British Travel Journal | Summer2024

We like to have our finger on the pulse of travel trends here at British Travel Journal, and this summer we bring you ‘dual-cations’. These are the new staycations, where you don’t need to choose between city or country; you get the best of both worlds, with hotel collections teaming up with nearby properties to offer doubly enticing itineraries, and sister properties combining their city and country venues into one glorious weekend break. Head north to Durham and Cumbria for a unique dual break, or perhaps mix a day of shopping and an evening of cocktails in London with a country mansion house, where you can walk amid 450 acres of deer-filled woods and kick back in a sublime spa. No matter how you choose to travel, by visiting one destination-defining property, or connecting multiple locations into one seamless and extraordinary journey, we hope this edition of British Travel Journal ignites your sense of adventure and sparks your passion for travel across the British Isles this summer.

We like to have our finger on the pulse of travel trends here at British Travel Journal, and this summer we bring you ‘dual-cations’. These are the new staycations, where you don’t need to choose between city or country; you get the best of both worlds, with hotel collections teaming up with nearby properties to offer doubly enticing itineraries, and sister properties combining their city and country venues into one glorious weekend break.
Head north to Durham and Cumbria for a unique dual break, or perhaps mix a day of shopping and an evening of cocktails in London with a country mansion house, where you can walk amid 450 acres of deer-filled woods and kick back in a sublime spa. No matter how you choose to travel, by visiting one destination-defining property, or connecting multiple locations into one seamless and extraordinary journey, we hope this edition of British Travel Journal ignites your sense of adventure and sparks your passion for travel across the British Isles this summer.


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SUMMER 2024<br />


Captivating<br />


Discover hidden Cornish coves,<br />

learn how to surf; and embrace<br />

slow travel, hugging the Devon<br />

coastline in an EV<br />

Discover the<br />

Dual-cation<br />

Combine town and country<br />

into your weekend break<br />

A TASTE OF<br />


Sip natural wines at a low<br />

intervention vineyard rooted in<br />

the East Sussex countryside<br />

Explore Lowlands<br />

and Peaks<br />

From the bonnie banks<br />

of Loch Lomond<br />

WIN<br />

A LUXURY<br />


STAY<br />

£6.95<br />



Time to be spoilt. With a short flight yet scenery that doesn’t seem of this<br />

country. With deserted beaches in the middle of August. With long days<br />

bookended by epic sunrises and sunsets. With all the island-hopping,<br />

clear-water kayaking, peaceful paddleboarding possibilities.<br />


Tresco: 28 miles off the Cornish coast. Somewhere else altogether.



£6.95<br />



<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com<br />

Welcome<br />


—<br />


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jessica Way<br />

FEATURES EDITOR Samantha Rutherford<br />

CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Angela Harding<br />

PROOFREADER Karyn Noble<br />

COPYWRITER Natalie Millar-Partridge<br />

HEAD OF DIGITAL Adrian Wilkinson<br />


Sophie Farrah, Chantal Haines, Emma<br />

Henderson, Jane Knight, Natalie Paris,<br />

Rosie Underwood, Jessica Way<br />

SUMMER 2024<br />

Captivating<br />

Discover the<br />

Dual-cation<br />


—<br />


Discover hidden Cornish coves,<br />

learn how to surf; and embrace<br />

slow travel, hugging the Devon<br />

coastline in an EV<br />

Combine town and country<br />

into your weekend break<br />



The Nare Hotel, Cornwall<br />

Discover more in our coast-to-coast special, p24<br />

Published by<br />

A TASTE OF<br />


Sip natural wines at a low<br />

intervention vineyard rooted in<br />

the East Sussex countryside<br />

Explore Lowlands<br />

and Peaks<br />

From the bonnie banks<br />

of Loch Lomond<br />

WIN<br />

A LUXURY<br />


STAY<br />



Snows Stadium, Salisbury Road,<br />

Southampton, SO40 2RW<br />

01489 660680<br />

contistamedia.co.uk<br />

All rights reserved by Contista Media Ltd. Copyright is either<br />

owned by or licenced to Contista Media Ltd, or permitted by the<br />

original copyright holder. Reproduction in whole or part without<br />

written permission is strictly prohibited. While every care is taken<br />

prices and details are subject to change and Contista Media Ltd<br />

take no responsibility for omissions or errors. Views expressed by<br />

authors are not necessarily those of the publisher.<br />

We like to have our finger on the pulse of travel<br />

trends here at <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>, and this<br />

summer we bring you ‘dual-cations’. These<br />

are the new staycations, where you don’t<br />

need to choose between city or country; you get the best of<br />

both worlds, with hotel collections teaming up with nearby<br />

properties to offer doubly enticing itineraries, and sister<br />

properties combining their city and country venues into one<br />

glorious weekend break.<br />

Head north to Durham and Cumbria for a unique<br />

dual break (p56), or perhaps mix a day of shopping and<br />

an evening of cocktails in London with a country mansion<br />

house, where you can walk amid 450 acres of deer-filled<br />

woods and kick back in a sublime spa (p37). In our coastto-coast<br />

special (p24), we feature three idyllic PoB Hotels as<br />

we travel through some of the UK's most gorgeous counties:<br />

Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.<br />

Gourmands in search of a gastronomical haven need<br />

look no further than the culinary delights of Woolsery – meet<br />

the tech millionaire who transformed this small village in<br />

Devon, introducing a renovated pub, a hotel, an organic<br />

farm, and a village shop (p30).<br />

No matter how you choose to travel, by visiting one<br />

destination-defining property, or connecting multiple<br />

locations into one seamless and extraordinary journey, we<br />

hope this edition of <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> ignites your sense<br />

of adventure and sparks your passion for travel across the<br />

<strong>British</strong> Isles this summer.<br />

@<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong><br />

Jessica x<br />



–<br />

@<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong><br />

@B<strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong><br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 3



18 JULY – 1 SEPTEMBER<br />

Escape to<br />

The Forest of Arden<br />

this summer in our<br />

outdoor theatre<br />





SUMMER 2024 | ISSUE 18<br />

24<br />

44<br />



24 <strong>Travel</strong>ling coast-to-coast, staying in three picture-perfect PoB<br />

Hotels, <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> goes in search of captivating coastlines,<br />

from the dramatic clifftops of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast to Cornwall’s<br />

subtropical-esque, Roseland Peninsula.<br />



Meet the tech-millionaire who transformed the North Devon village<br />

of Woolsery with ‘The Collective', comprising a brilliantly revamped<br />

pub, beautifully designed rooms and cottages, a village shop and a<br />

gourmet fish ‘n’ chip takeaway.<br />


36 From a smart riverside abode or a decadent townhouse to<br />

a rural red-brick mansion or a country manor house, here’s our pick<br />

of the best hotels that combine town and country for a memorable<br />

weekend break.<br />

66<br />


44 CORNISH BAY<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> takes a trip to the pretty fishing village of St Agnes,<br />

and discovers Trevaunance Cove, a dreamy spot to drift away, sip local<br />

cider and watch seals basking on the rocks.<br />


52 Brave the Atlantic swell and reboot your mind with a wellness<br />

retreat hosted by Una St Ives, a relaxed resort consisting of a series of<br />

ecolodges located at the edge of Carbis Bay.<br />


56 Embrace the diversity of a ‘Dual-cation’, combining the<br />

sea and spa with a masterfully orchestrated Michelin-star dining<br />

experience and inventive cocktails. <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> heads north to<br />

Durham and Cumbria for an unforgettable dual-break.<br />


66 Discover The Tawny – described as a ‘deconstructed hotel’<br />

nestled within the peaceful Staffordshire countryside, with unique<br />

accommodation set around stunning lakes, woodlands and gardens;<br />

from shepherd’s huts and treehouses to secluded cabins and<br />

waterfront retreats.<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 5


E D I T O R<br />

L O V E S<br />

We won’t be venturing anywhere<br />

without the new Adventure Waterproof<br />

Backpack from Red! Now in a trio of<br />

fabulous colours, it’s perfect for hikers<br />

and lovers of the great outdoors –<br />

designed to withstand the elements,<br />

with its trusty rolltop closure providing<br />

watertight protection. The stylish<br />

backpack is also eco-conscious, built to<br />

last with recyclable materials, ethically<br />

designed and manufactured to reduce<br />

plastic waste.<br />

Priced £114.95; red-equipment.co.uk<br />

This summer, we’re excited to visit<br />

The Mermaid Garden, opening in the<br />

nautical town of Cowes on the Isle of<br />

Wight. With unrivalled views across<br />

The Solent, and perfectly positioned<br />

in front of the Island Sailing Club,<br />

the beautiful waterside garden is<br />

a collaboration between The Isle<br />

of Wight Distillery – producers of<br />

Mermaid Gin – and The Garden<br />

Cowes. Soak up all the summer vibes<br />

with live music, delicious food and the<br />

award-winning Mermaid collection,<br />

mixed into refreshing summer cocktails<br />

and classic G&Ts.<br />

To book, visit thegardencowes.com<br />

6 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com<br />


74 <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> visit Tillingham<br />

– a pioneering, low-intervention vineyard and<br />

holistically-managed farmstead rooted in the East<br />

Sussex countryside, producing natural wines and<br />

plot-to plate food, and with 11 stylish bedrooms.<br />


80 AND PEAKS<br />

Loch Lomond hits the sweet spot, with its<br />

tranquil body of water dotted with captivating<br />

islands. Take time out to hike untamed peaks,<br />

brave the waters and laze on Luss’s shingle<br />

beach with a wee dram.<br />


86 <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> embraces the art<br />

of slow travel on a foodie-focussed road trip<br />

on the South West 660, hugging the south<br />

Devon coastline, where we discover pioneers of<br />

sustainable farming and fishing across the county.<br />


92 Embrace a little luxe living this<br />

summer and bed down at one of our gorgeous<br />

handpicked properties; from wellness and<br />

adventure to stunning gardens, coastal pads<br />

and dog-friendly abodes, <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong><br />

has you covered.<br />

64<br />

SUMMER 2024<br />

Captivating<br />


Discover hidden Cornish coves,<br />

learnhow to surf and embrace<br />

slow travel, hugging the Devon<br />

coastline in an EV<br />

Discover the<br />

Dualcation<br />

Combine Town & Country<br />

into your weekend break<br />




A TASTE OF<br />


Sip natural wines at a low<br />

intervention vineyard, rooted in<br />

the East Sussex countryside<br />

Explore Lowlands<br />

and Peaks<br />

From the bonnie banks<br />

of Loch Lomond<br />

WIN<br />

A LUXURY<br />


STAY<br />


Subscribe<br />


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09 From self-catering and glamping to<br />

a revamped spa hotel and a chic farmhouse<br />

– soak up all the sunshine vibes this summer<br />

while staying up-to-date on the most exciting<br />

events, including DogFest Retreats for fourlegged<br />

friends.<br />


23 <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> shines a spotlight<br />

on the multi-award-winning Matilda The<br />

Musical, adapted from the much-loved Roald<br />

Dahl book; a must-visit if you’re planning a<br />

trip to London this summer.<br />



The Signet Collection has teamed up with<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> to offer the chance to win<br />

an overnight stay with exceptional food and<br />

drink at one of three fabulous boutique hotels<br />

in Newbury, Surrey and Rutland.<br />


98 Challenge those holiday brains or<br />

while away sun-drenched hours by the pool<br />

with our summer book recommendations and<br />

crosswords.<br />


£6.95<br />



Find your special place<br />

From luxury contemporary barn conversions to charming<br />

thatched cottages, we’ve hand-picked the very best to bring<br />

you holiday memories to treasure.<br />

Westaway House, Trelights, Port Isaac<br />

A portfolio of<br />

over 800 luxury<br />

self-catering<br />

holiday properties<br />

across the UK<br />

01386 897 959<br />


Britain’s<br />

Greatest Palace<br />

Birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill<br />

UNESCO World Heritage Site<br />

partnerships@blenheimpalace.com<br />

blenheimpalace.com<br />


Summer<br />


Have fun in the sun, whether you stay in a beach shack, a safari tent<br />

with its own gin school, a houseboat, or even a yellow submarine<br />

Text by Jane Knight<br />





from page 10 from page 14<br />

from page 16 from page 18<br />

Pictured anticlockwise from top: Undercastle Cottage, New Forest; St Moritz Hotel, Cornwall; Meadow Field Glamping,<br />

Warwickshire; Undercastle Cottage, New Forest; Farne Islands, Northumberland

Hotel News<br />

LONDON<br />

The Beaumont<br />

As well as a room in an Antony Gormley<br />

sculpture, this London landmark of a hotel has<br />

now added a new wing. Some 29 additional<br />

rooms feature dark lacquer furniture, either a<br />

deep blue or ochre colour scheme, and Art-Deco<br />

lighting. Generous amounts of free snacks are<br />

included, and guests get complimentary use of<br />

the limo for local trips. The 101-room Beaumont<br />

has undergone a total update in the last few<br />

years, with the addition of Le Magritte Bar,<br />

with its alfresco dining terrace, in addition to<br />

the afternoon tea lounge and Champagne bar<br />

Gatsby’s Room. ◆<br />

Rooms from £700 a night, with breakfast;<br />

thebeaumont.com<br />


St Moritz Hotel<br />

It already has the only Cowshed Spa in a hotel outside the Soho<br />

House collection. This summer, Trebetherick’s St Moritz Hotel also<br />

gains a sleek new wellness area following a multimillion pound<br />

investment. It includes a swimming pool, an outdoor hydro pool, a<br />

sauna and steam room, along with ice fountains and multisensory<br />

showers in Miami-inspired interiors. ◆<br />

Rooms from £140, with breakfast; stmoritzhotel.co.uk<br />


Nest Farmhouse<br />

If you like London restaurants The Nest and Michelin-starred St Barts,<br />

check out their new country cousin, on a 1,000-acre farm in North<br />

Norfolk. This restaurant, in a former cattle shed with just six rooms,<br />

channels a chic New England vibe. From the bread to the ice cream,<br />

everything on the seasonal <strong>British</strong> menu is made in-house. ◆<br />

Rooms from £180 a night, with breakfast; nestfarmhouse.co.uk<br />

10 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com


Great Bustard<br />

You don’t have to be a twitcher to appreciate this gorgeous pub, which,<br />

after a major refurb, now features ten rooms all named after birds<br />

successfully reintroduced to the UK. The pub shares its name with the<br />

endangered bird now found in the area.<br />

Rooms from £200 a night, with breakfast; thegreatbustard.uk<br />


The Cavendish<br />

We’ve long been fans of the Duke and<br />

Duchess of Devonshire’s beautiful hotel on<br />

the Chatsworth Estate. Now it’s got even<br />

better following an extensive refurbishment by<br />

acclaimed designer Nicola Harding. She has<br />

drawn on elements from the nearby stately<br />

home, the personal story of the Devonshire<br />

family and the surrounding Derbyshire<br />

countryside to redesign the 28-room hotel.<br />

Rooms feature antique furniture, stone fireplaces<br />

and punches of colour, as well as countryside<br />

views across the estate. Art from the family’s<br />

private collection is on show everywhere, not to<br />

mention historic family photographs in the bar. ◆<br />

Rooms from £200 a night, with breakfast;<br />

devonshirehotels.co.uk<br />

Editor loves<br />


Arlington House Hotel<br />

Handy if you want to walk the 62.5-mile St Cuthbert's Way,<br />

this stylish little hotel has just opened in Wooler, which<br />

is on the trail. The seven-room property is well placed to<br />

visit Berwick and Alnwick and is a 30-minute drive from<br />

Northumberland’s beautiful beaches. It’s self-check-in, and<br />

guests stay on a room-only basis. ◆<br />

Rooms from £80 a night;<br />

arlingtonhousehotel.bookeddirectly.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 11


New Park Manor<br />

The latest of the Luxury Family Hotels to benefit from a<br />

refurbishment, this former royal hunting lodge has been redesigned<br />

using inspiration from the surrounding New Forest. New in the spa<br />

are meditation pods and ‘Little Ishga’ treatments for children as<br />

young as three, and there are outdoor hot tubs too.<br />

Rooms from £165, with breakfast; luxuryfamilyhotels.co.uk<br />


House of Gods, Glasgow<br />

Forget minimalism – it’s all about maximalism<br />

at this extravagant hotel, a sister property<br />

to the House of Gods, Edinburgh. From<br />

the handpainted 24-karat embellished de<br />

Gournay wallpaper in the lobby bar to the<br />

marble fountain in the rooftop restaurant and<br />

bar inspired by the Garden of Eden, this hotel<br />

overflows with opulence. One of the room<br />

categories features a four-poster bed and<br />

golden bathtub, while the two presidential Rock<br />

Star suites come with private cinemas, en-suites<br />

with twin baths, and his-and-her shower rooms.<br />

Even the smallest cabin rooms are special, with<br />

oak panelling and an Orient-Express feel. ◆<br />

Rooms from £119, with breakfast;<br />

houseofgodshotel.com<br />


The Brackenrigg Inn<br />

Stay in the inn and use all the facilities of stylish<br />

sister hotel Another Place, just down the road. The<br />

seven-room gastropub has colourful contemporary<br />

rooms, chunky Chesterfields, antique furnishings, and<br />

views across Ullswater. Another three restaurants can<br />

be found at Another Place, along with a pool,<br />

an outdoor hot tub, and paddle-boarding. Take the<br />

dog and your walking boots. ◆<br />

Rooms from £180, with breakfast; another.place<br />

12 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

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Finding the<br />

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Investing in UK film<br />

doesn’t have to be.<br />

Scan the QR to speak<br />

with the studio about our<br />

latest opportunities.<br />


Glamping<br />

DEVON<br />

Perry Pond<br />

The name tells you about the pond just in front<br />

of this romantic bolthole for two; what it doesn’t<br />

make reference to is the stream that trickles<br />

along the garden, with a small waterfall right<br />

by the firepit area. It makes the perfect place for<br />

some evening stargazing, as does the outside<br />

bath on the deck. Listen for the hoot of owls or<br />

the rutting of deer. Inside, it’s just as special,<br />

with plenty of warm oranges and soft blues,<br />

along with other Indian-inspired details, such<br />

as the doorway to the bedroom, and the bed<br />

headboard. ◆<br />

From £152 a night for two;<br />

canopyandstars.co.uk<br />


Meadow Field Glamping<br />

If you like a G&T or two when you’re camping, what about making<br />

your own brew at the new gin school on this 500-acre farm near<br />

Rugby, which is home to two safari-style tents. The Rugby Distillery<br />

even uses botanicals from the pitch where William Webb Ellis first<br />

picked up the ball and ran with it. ◆<br />

Two nights for six from £379; meadowfieldglamping.co.uk<br />


Yellow Submarine<br />

Embrace your inner child and live in a yellow submarine for a<br />

weekend at Petruth Paddocks campsite. A converted lifeboat,<br />

it sleeps four and comes with plenty of buttons, dials, and real<br />

portholes. There are a few extras, too, such as a giant octopus<br />

detector, a shark-warning system, and anti-whale-bump<br />

technology. You know what you’ll be singing – altogether now… ◆<br />

Two nights for four from £318; yellowsubmarineglamping.com<br />

14 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com


Bredon View<br />

With the feel of modern Hobbit homes, these glamping pods are<br />

integrated into the earth, with turf roofs. Outside, each has a<br />

wood-fired hot tub, a BBQ and firepit, while beneath the curved<br />

roof is a king-sized bed, a sofabed and a kitchenette.<br />

From £185 a night for four; bredonviewglamping.com<br />

WALES<br />

Y Caban<br />

Cabins don’t come much cosier than this wood<br />

one, in the rolling hills of Carmarthenshire<br />

just outside the small village of Login (no, we<br />

didn’t make that up). With warm woody tones<br />

everywhere and a wood burner for cool evenings,<br />

this former artist’s residence also comes with its<br />

own guitar. There’s a farm shop for supplies to<br />

cook in the kitchen and outside on the BBQ, or<br />

plenty of local restaurants and bars if you don’t<br />

feel like cooking. Take your walking boots; there<br />

are plenty of footpaths from the door, and the<br />

Preseli Mountains are ten miles away. ◆<br />

From £128 a night for four;<br />

canopyandstars.co.uk<br />


Houseboats at Taymouth Marina<br />

Fall asleep to the gentle rocking motion of the waves<br />

in a houseboat moored in this marina on the shores<br />

of Perthshire’s Loch Tay. With rooftop terraces and<br />

outdoor dining areas, the modern houseboats also<br />

have ladders that lead directly into the water for wild<br />

swimming. They sleep just two people… did anyone<br />

mention The Love Boat? ◆<br />

From £360 for two nights for two;<br />

taymouthmarina.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 15

Self-Catering<br />


Undercastle Cottage<br />

As if this thatched, chocolate-box cottage<br />

on the banks of the Hampshire Avon weren’t<br />

idyllic enough, its owners have joined forces<br />

with a local nature enthusiast so guests can<br />

see badgers from a hide (there have only been<br />

three no-show evenings in a year). By day, look<br />

out for ponies and deer from the sun terrace,<br />

or watch wild otters on the river. Fishing folk<br />

can cast a line in the water; there’s the option<br />

of private tuition. The country-chic cottage has<br />

two bedrooms and is let with the one-bedroom<br />

Fishing Lodge. ◆<br />

Three-night breaks from £1,600 for six, with<br />

one night in the Hide; undercastlecottage.co.uk<br />


Nuthatch Manor<br />

Live it up in the former family home of the 10th Duke and Duchess<br />

of Buccleuch in Scotland’s Drumfries and Galloway. There are 11<br />

bathrooms to go with its 11 elegant bedrooms, plus a sauna, a library<br />

and a games room. If you want a touch more grandeur, Drumlanrig<br />

Castle is just a ten-minute drive away. ◆<br />

From £1,620 a night for 24; luxurycottages.com<br />


Suffolk Wilderness Reserve<br />

Waterside stays don’t get much more perfect than this – after rowing<br />

around a private lake, relax in the on-deck hot tub between spells in<br />

the sauna and steam room. Tin Lizzy, which comes with a tin roof, is<br />

one of four lake houses added on this 8,000-acre estate. Guests also<br />

have use of Pashley bicycles and an electric BMW. ◆<br />

From £796 a night for four; wildernessreserve.com<br />

16 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com



Nyssa<br />

Want to keep doing those downward-dog poses on holiday?<br />

This converted barn comes with its own yoga studio as well<br />

as an ice bath, a sauna and hot tub. The rooms are pretty<br />

gorgeous too, in a neutral palette to keep your spirit serene.<br />

From £2,995 a week for eight; uniquehomestays.com<br />


Three Mile Beach<br />

When this luxury beach-house development<br />

opened two years ago a short stroll from<br />

Gwithian Beach in south Cornwall, there<br />

was only one problem: the three- and fourbedroom<br />

houses didn’t work for smaller<br />

families. Cue a handful of two-bedroom<br />

beach shacks, sleeping up to three adults and<br />

an additional child. These ‘shacks’ come with<br />

a sunken cedarwood hot tub and barrel sauna<br />

outside, while within, white wooden walls<br />

provide the background for eclectic artworks<br />

and colourful textiles. You can cook in your<br />

own kitchen, book a private chef, eat in the<br />

outdoor restaurant, or buy a DIY pizza kit. ◆<br />

From £619 for three nights;<br />

threemilebeach.co.uk<br />

DORSET<br />

Mapperton House<br />

The family seat of the Earl of Sandwich is already open<br />

to day visitors on guided tours. Now, on certain weeks<br />

of the year, you can also hire the whole manor for a very<br />

upmarket house party. Elegant interiors feature ornate<br />

ceilings and fireplaces, wood panelling and four posters;<br />

there are nine bedrooms with eight bathrooms. ◆<br />

From £2,000 a night for 15; mapperton.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 17

Experiences<br />


Farne Islands<br />

It’s been two years since visitors to the Farne<br />

Islands, off the coast of Northumberland, were<br />

able to land on Inner Farne. Now the threat<br />

of avian flu is reduced, landings are again<br />

permitted on the island where St Cuthbert<br />

spent the latter part of his life and died in<br />

687AD. It’s not just a spiritual pilgrimage –<br />

visitors flock here for the tens of thousands of<br />

birds that make it their home, including the<br />

puffins, which breed on the island from May to<br />

July. Other birdlife includes terns, guillemots<br />

and shags. Grey seals ply the waters. ◆<br />

Three-hour excursions from £30pp;<br />

farneislandstours.co.uk<br />



Islands of Guernsey<br />

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the D-day landings, Guernsey is<br />

opening some of its German bunkers that are normally closed to the<br />

public at certain events. It has also developed five new historical routes<br />

on the Visit Guernsey app. Aurigny airline has five new flight routes from<br />

Britain, or take a flight-free break with Byway. ◆<br />

Seven-day trip from £680pp with rail and ferry crossing; trip.byway.travel<br />


18 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com<br />

DogFest Retreats at Pylewell Park<br />

Retreats aren’t just for humans – now four-legged guests can also<br />

take part in everything from guided moonlight walks to dog-friendly<br />

yoga and grooming. Pampered pooches and their parents can book<br />

into new three-day retreats from the DogFest festival organisers at<br />

13-room Pylewell Park in the New Forest with ‘Dogtor’ Adem Fehmi, a<br />

top canine behavioural therapist. ◆<br />

Three-day retreat including two nights’ B&B, two lunches and<br />

one dinner from £845pp starting 23 September and 7 October;<br />



Discover the very best of Scotland<br />

this summer with Collins<br />

Available from all good bookshops and online at collins.co.uk

LONDON<br />

IMAGE © P&CO.LTD / SC 2024<br />

The Paddington Bear Experience<br />

Marmalade sandwiches at the ready – this interactive experience<br />

at County Hall immerses visitors on an adventure featuring some<br />

of the Peruvian bear’s haunts, including Paddington Station, and<br />

the Brown family home. The adventure culminates with a very<br />

special street party celebrating the Marmalade Day Festival.<br />

Adult tickets from £32.50, children from £24.50;<br />

paddingtonbearexperience.com<br />


Lime Wood Retreats<br />

Experience the therapeutic benefits of painting<br />

in one of a series of Re-Root retreats, events<br />

and workshops designed to help guests at Lime<br />

Wood country house hotel connect to nature in<br />

different ways. The art retreat, from 8 to 10 July,<br />

includes tuition for both beginners and seasoned<br />

artists from the Arniano Painting School’s William<br />

Roper-Curzon. Meanwhile, a one-night retreat<br />

in November with writer and broadcaster Alice<br />

Vincent will focus on rebalancing the soul through<br />

morning swims, sound bathing, mindful walks<br />

and forest foraging. One-day retreats in the New<br />

Forest will also be held in June and October. ◆<br />

Two-night art retreat from £1,565pp with<br />

painting classes and all food and drink;<br />

limewoodhotel.co.uk<br />


Bikepacking Dirt Dash<br />

It might just be the best fun you’ve ever had behind two<br />

handlebars. The 95-mile Yorkshire Coast Dirt Dash is<br />

designed to bring off-road cyclists together. By day, enjoy<br />

the scenery, which winds through the North York Moors<br />

National Park and the Yorkshire Wolds. At night, there’s<br />

overnight camping with dinner and breakfast, where you<br />

can bond with fellow cyclists. ◆<br />

Entry £95; entrycentral.com/dirtdash<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 21

3032-Half-Page-Britain-Ad-202x129mm-AW.indd 1 07/07/2023 14:45<br />

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holburne.org<br />





Inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl<br />


The multi-award-winning musical<br />

adapted from the much-loved<br />

Roald Dahl book has won over<br />

100 international awards,<br />

including 24 for Best Musical.<br />

With book by Dennis Kelly and original<br />

songs by Tim Minchin, Matilda The Musical<br />

is the story of an extraordinary little girl,<br />

armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp<br />

mind, who dares to take a stand and change<br />

her own destiny.<br />

A tonic for audiences of all ages, this<br />

anarchic production continues Roald Dahl's<br />

theme of bravery and standing up for what<br />

you believe in, inspiring young audiences all<br />

over the world.<br />

The West End production is currently<br />

playing to audiences in the Cambridge<br />

Theatre on the corner of Earlham Street<br />

facing Seven Dials. Your visit to London this<br />

summer just isn’t complete without a trip to<br />

experience Matilda The Musical. ◆<br />


Matilda The Musical is taking<br />

bookings now, with excellent<br />

availability mid-week throughout<br />

the summer holidays. Tickets<br />

priced from £20.<br />

Call 020 3925 2998 to book.<br />

For the full performance<br />

schedule visit the website:<br />

matildathemusical.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 23


of the Sea<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> goes coast-to-coast with PoB Hotels, travelling<br />

across three of the UK’s most beautiful counties in search of their<br />

captivating coastlines, and some very special places to stay<br />

Text by Sophie Farrah<br />

unique hotels dotted across the <strong>British</strong> Isles. Whether you’re a<br />

food fanatic, a culture vulture, a history buff or nature lover,<br />

its themed itineraries and curated breaks are designed to<br />

showcase the very best of an area, while staying at a selection<br />

of PoB’s beautiful properties along the way.<br />

My coastal adventure began in Dorset, home to dramatic<br />

cliff-edged bays, charming seaside towns, and a historic<br />

coastline studded with fossils. I checked into the fairytaleesque<br />

Priory Hotel in the market town of Wareham.<br />

Tucked away behind a hefty wooden door and a pretty,<br />

cobbled stone courtyard, this picture-perfect hotel has 17<br />

luxurious bedrooms and a captivating sense of history. Set<br />

on the banks of the River Frome, the Grade II* listed building<br />

dates back to as early as 809. Lovingly owned and run by the<br />

Merchant family and filled with antiques and characterful<br />

details, it exudes both elegance and cosy charm.<br />

In the summer months there’s nothing quite like being<br />

by the sea, and the UK is blessed with some of the most<br />

staggeringly beautiful coastline that there is.<br />

With the sun shining and the sea calling, I packed<br />

my swimming costume and embarked on PoB Hotels’<br />

Coast-to-Coast break; a tailored escape that covers three<br />

beautiful counties and takes in some of the South West’s most<br />

picturesque beaches.<br />

Formed in 1982 by a small group of <strong>British</strong> hoteliers,<br />

PoB represent a carefully handpicked collection of over 50<br />

24 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

Here, I swam in the gentle turquoise waters of Lulworth<br />

Cove, marvelled at the vast limestone arch that is Durdle<br />

Door, and walked for miles along the world-famous shingle<br />

of Chesil Beach.<br />

Back in the cocoon of The Priory, I enjoyed a well-earned<br />

glass of fizz and some delicious canapés in the hotel’s<br />

candlelit bar. Dinner is served in the newest part of the hotel –<br />

a sleek, contemporary space with wraparound windows and<br />

gorgeous views.<br />

Overlooking the beautifully kept English cottage gardens<br />

and twinkling river beyond, I checked into the Kingfisher suite<br />

– a sumptuous space with a high-vaulted beamed ceiling,<br />

private terrace and a super-king bed draped in lavish fabrics.<br />

Tempted as I was by the luxurious Jacuzzi bath, it was time to<br />

hit the beach.<br />

Just 20 minutes from the hotel lies Dorset’s famous<br />

Jurassic Coast – a 95-mile-long stretch of staggering<br />

coastline and a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognised for<br />

its outstanding rocks, fossils and landforms.<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 25

Service is warm and traditional, and the sophisticated<br />

menu is laden with indulgence, from caviar and local lobster<br />

to whole Dover sole, studded with herbs from the garden and<br />

expertly filleted at the table.<br />

serene journeys on the River Frome out into Poole Harbour,<br />

and along the remarkable Jurassic coastline. Armed with a<br />

delicious picnic handmade by the hotel, I settled into one of<br />

the boat’s luxurious cushioned seats and enjoyed a gentle<br />

cruise through picturesque countryside.<br />

The following morning, a stunning yacht that wouldn’t<br />

look out of place in Saint-Tropez was waiting for me on the<br />

hotel’s private moorings. In partnership with The Boat Club,<br />

a premium boat membership and charter company, The<br />

Priory can organise private cruises for its guests, including<br />

26 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

‘<br />

Family owned for over 125 years and home to 65 rooms and suites (many<br />

with sea views and private balconies), this breezy, beachside hotel... sits in<br />

prime position for exploring the many delights of South Devon, including<br />

the nearby harbour towns of Salcombe and Dartmouth<br />

’<br />

My next destination was Devon; the only county in England<br />

with two separate coastlines – one north and one south. I set a<br />

course for the latter and made a beeline for Thurlestone Hotel,<br />

where I was greeted by dramatic, far-reaching sea views and<br />

some of the most delicious scones I’ve ever tasted.<br />

Family owned for over 125 years and home to 65 rooms<br />

and suites (many with sea views and private balconies), this<br />

breezy, beachside hotel has a par 3 golf course, tennis courts,<br />

19 acres of beautiful gardens, a kids' club and more. It also<br />

sits in prime position for exploring the many delights of South<br />

Devon, including the nearby harbour towns of Salcombe and<br />

Dartmouth.<br />

Less than a 10-minute stroll later, I was happily floating<br />

in the calm blue waters of Yarmer Beach; a small, sandy cove<br />

hidden behind rolling sand dunes. Devon’s famous South<br />

Milton Sands is nearby too; a long sweep of golden beach<br />

well known for its crystal-clear waters, staggering sunsets,<br />

and the impressive Thurlestone Rock archway, which you can<br />

see from the hotel.<br />

That afternoon, I luxuriated in the hotel’s beautiful<br />

Voyage Spa; a serene space with light, modern interiors<br />

inspired by the golden age of ocean-liner travel. Home to<br />

a sleek swimming pool, thermal suites and more, the hotel<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 27

also has a good choice of treatments on offer, including an<br />

excellent ELEMIS facial. In the summer months, guests can<br />

also enjoy Thurlestone’s lovely outdoor pool, overlooking<br />

both sea and countryside.<br />

That evening, I took a seat on the hotel’s elegant terrace<br />

and, with a very good cocktail in hand, watched as the sun<br />

set and the summer sky turned pastel pink over the glassy<br />

waves below. Heaven in Devon indeed.<br />

My third and final destination took me further west and<br />

into Cornwall. Just south of Truro on the Roseland Peninsula,<br />

I found myself on a pretty winding road heading towards the<br />

sea. Just moments before driving straight into it, I turned into<br />

the driveway of The Nare Hotel.<br />

Privately owned by the Ashworth family for over 30 years,<br />

this unique ‘country house hotel by the sea’ is surrounded<br />

by subtropical gardens and the sweeping golden sands of<br />

Carne Beach. Looking up at the silhouettes of swaying palms<br />

against the blue summer sky, it felt more like the Caribbean<br />

than Cornwall.<br />

Crossing the hotel’s polished brass threshold, I could see<br />

twinkling sea through every window, and felt a deep sense<br />

of comfort set in. I stayed in one of the hotel’s Whittington<br />

Suites – a beautifully designed seaside haven adorned with<br />

luxurious fabrics, antique furniture, patterned wallpaper<br />

and sliding glass doors perfectly framing the blue expanse<br />

beyond. Along with the luxury of a private terrace, pleasing<br />

details included fresh flowers, Penhaligon's toiletries and a<br />

glistening decanter filled with port. A home-from-home may<br />

sound like a cliché, but in the case of The Nare, it’s true.<br />

I strolled along the vast, unspoilt beach, just metres from<br />

my bedroom. Passing the hotel’s tennis court, I popped into<br />

the small spa for a dip in the indoor pool (there is a stunning<br />

outdoor one too), followed by a soothing soak in the spacious<br />

hot tub, which sits in prime position looking out to sea.<br />

28 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

‘<br />

I strolled along the vast, unspoilt beach, just metres from my bedroom..<br />

Passing the hotel’s tennis court, I popped into the small spa for a dip in the<br />

indoor pool (there is a stunning outdoor one too), followed by a soothing soak<br />

in the spacious hot tub, which sits in prime position overlooking the beach.<br />

’<br />

Before dinner, I met The Nare’s proprietor, Toby<br />

Ashworth, who comes from a long line of Cornish hoteliers.<br />

A warm and welcoming host, he is often found chatting with<br />

guests in the hotel’s charming bar and homely, art-filled<br />

lounge areas.<br />

With wraparound sea views, the hotel’s dining room is a<br />

classic silver-service affair. The indulgent, five-course table<br />

d'hôte menu changes every evening and includes a fabulous<br />

hors doeuvres trolley, gueridon-served flambés, and an<br />

abundance of fresh seafood and West Country cheeses.<br />

The dessert trolley, laden with several layers of plump<br />

puddings, beautiful cakes, tarts, and lashings of Cornish<br />

clotted cream, was an unforgettable treat.<br />

It’s easy to see why so many guests return to The<br />

Nare year after year. The experience is reassuringly<br />

traditional (not to be confused with old-fashioned),<br />

incredibly comfortable and deeply luxurious. Countless<br />

well-considered touches include a midmorning breakfast<br />

for ‘late risers’, a sumptuous daily afternoon tea (included<br />

in the room rate), and a chauffeur service that can collect<br />

guests from anywhere in the country. The hotel also has its<br />

very own boat – a beautiful, locally built, wooden motor<br />

launch called Alice Rose, and this summer sees the opening<br />

of The Nare’s new seafood restaurant, bar, and several<br />

suites, including one with a private sea-view hot tub.<br />

I began my final morning with a swim in the sea. I dried<br />

off in the sunshine while tucking into a breakfast of warm<br />

pastries, fresh local fruit, and fragrant kedgeree. Just when<br />

I thought life couldn’t get much better, a pod of playful<br />

dolphins appeared in the bay. Not only was it a beautiful<br />

sight, but a suitable end to my unforgettable coast-to-coast<br />

adventure spent by the sea.<br />

Room rates (per night) at The Priory Hotel start from £230,<br />

Thurlestone Hotel from £295 and The Nare from £416. For more<br />

details on PoB Hotels’ curated breaks, visit pobhotels.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 29



Culinary Success<br />

Discover the story of a tech millionaire who transformed the village of<br />

Woolsery into a gastronomical haven, with a renovated pub,<br />

an organic farm, a hotel, and a village shop, all owned by one man<br />

Text by Jane Knight<br />

Stein has fingers in so many pies, it’s known as Padstein. It’s<br />

more the kind of place you’d drive through to get somewhere<br />

else, except that it’s not on the road to anywhere in particular.<br />

Yet this out-of-the way place, which also goes by<br />

the virtually unpronounceable Anglo-Saxon name of<br />

Woolfardisworthy, is getting quite a reputation for itself as<br />

a foodie escape. Gourmands are beating a trail down the<br />

When you arrive in the little village of Woolsery,<br />

population 1,100, you wonder if you’ve<br />

reached the right place. Just three miles from<br />

gorgeous Clovelly, which tumbles down the<br />

wild North Devon shoreline, Woolsery might have a quaint<br />

medieval church but it’s never going to win any prizes for<br />

Britain’s prettiest village. Nor does it have the charisma of<br />

Padstow further down the coast in Cornwall, where chef Rick<br />

30 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

‘<br />

He is <strong>British</strong> tech millionaire Michael Birch, who made his fortune in 2008<br />

by selling his social networking site Bebo for $850 million.<br />

’<br />

M5 to eat at the revamped Farmers Arms; since last summer,<br />

they have been able to stay in The Collective at Woolsery’s<br />

beautifully designed rooms and cottages in the village too.<br />

It doesn’t stop there: The Collective also comprises<br />

a village shop with post office, a gourmet fish ‘n’ chip<br />

takeaway, a 150-acre organic farm, and Wulfheard Manor,<br />

which is being converted into a hotel. And it’s all owned by<br />

one man.<br />

He is <strong>British</strong> tech millionaire Michael Birch, who made<br />

his fortune in 2008 by selling his social networking site Bebo<br />

for $850 million, and who now lives in San Francisco with his<br />

wife and Bebo cofounder, Xochi: a computer programmer<br />

and entrepreneur. Yet he hasn’t forgotten his family roots and<br />

Devonshire heritage.<br />

“My great-grandfather built the village store and my<br />

grandmother was born in one of the rooms above it,” Birch,<br />

53, tells me on the phone from his holiday home in the <strong>British</strong><br />

Virgin Islands. “I loved Woolsery as a child. For me, it was<br />

always the place that represented family.”<br />

It was when his sister called him in America to tell him that<br />

the Farmers Arms might be turned into flats by developers<br />

after the collapse of its thatched roof that he decided to buy it.<br />

“The pub is the heart of the village,” he says simply.<br />

Four long years of renovation followed his 2014 purchase,<br />

during which time the owners of the adjacent takeaway and<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 31

the modern convenience store with post office across the<br />

road approached him to see if he was interested in buying<br />

them too. The project grew, masterminded in the UK by Emily<br />

Harmon, who had previously set up Birch’s private members<br />

club in San Francisco, as well as developing his Sonoma<br />

ranch and winery, and his BVI home.<br />

Recognising, though, that Woolsery wasn’t “on a drivethrough<br />

route, or on anyone’s radar”, Harmon decided that<br />

The Collective could only survive as a business if it aimed for<br />

people’s stomachs.<br />

They’ve really hit the bulls-eye. In the buzzy pub with<br />

open fire and beams, my friend and I sit in a wooden booth<br />

with sheepskin rugs thrown over the backs of the seats and<br />

wall-mounted cows’ heads looking down on us. If we find<br />

them a little offputting to start with, we’re soon distracted by<br />

the unusual menu.<br />

Dishes such as goat's cheese salad and Birch Farm<br />

hogget are accompanied by pickled farm veg and fermented<br />

cabbage, alongside a smattering of nettles, ramson, lavender<br />

and juniper. It’s farm-to-fork at its finest, along with foraged,<br />

pickled and preserved ingredients, which give everything a<br />

real depth of flavour.<br />

And it all tastes so good. My friend proclaims her fishcake<br />

32 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

‘<br />

Meat comes courtesy of the rare heritage animals cared for by livestock manager<br />

Chris Jenn, who is one of Birch’s distant relations (others work in the shop).<br />

’<br />

the best she’s ever had, with whole chunks of monkfish and<br />

scallops rather than the usual mash of fish, while I love the<br />

mushroom parfait with chanterelle and dulse. It’s a battle<br />

of the spoons to see who gets most of the sea buckthorn<br />

tart – a new flavour to us both, and beautifully accompanied<br />

by hibiscus, pink peppercorn and sweet cicely. There are<br />

homemade cordials and cocktails to go with it all, from<br />

spiced orange and pumpkin cordial to crab apple bramble,<br />

with apple gin, rosehip and mint.<br />

The man behind the taste is Ian Webber, a former chef at<br />

Gidleigh Park who prides himself on taking a simple dish and<br />

making a superior version of it, layering flavour upon flavour<br />

in the process. “We pickle, preserve and ferment using all<br />

those techniques that have largely been lost,” he says.<br />

His secret weapon is Birch Farm on the village outskirts,<br />

which supplies the majority of his ingredients. Meat comes<br />

courtesy of the rare heritage animals cared for by livestock<br />

manager Chris Jenn, who is one of Birch’s distant relations<br />

(others work in the shop). And fresh produce comes from the<br />

organic market garden, where Josh Sparkes runs the show.<br />

Based on Japanese and Dutch ideas of sustainable<br />

farming, the market garden is a fascinating place to look<br />

around. Traditional weeds, such as dandelions and nettles,<br />

are left as cover crops and later used in restaurant dishes;<br />

an ‘edible forest’ is growing with seven layers of vegetation<br />

for managed foraging; and alternative crops, such as lemon<br />

geranium, replace a reliance on imported citrus fruit.<br />

The storeroom is particularly interesting, with row after<br />

row of jars holding unusual ingredients, such as pineapple<br />

weed vinegar or mugwort syrup. It feels like we’re eyeing<br />

items for a Hogwarts herbology lesson rather than supplies<br />

for a restaurant kitchen.<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 33

Sparkes, who is passionate about using alternative<br />

products, works closely with Webber to supply produce for an<br />

interesting menu. Right now, he’s particularly pleased that he<br />

has convinced the chef to use a natural replacement for sugar<br />

in some of his desserts. “I’ve been badgering him for two<br />

years to use pheasant berry and it’s now in his apple pie,” he<br />

says. “He knows how to cook it to get rid of the burnt caramel<br />

aftertaste.”<br />

Farm produce is also sold in the village shop, named<br />

J Andrew after Birch’s great-grandfather, and now a very<br />

polished version of ye olde village store. Even the fish ‘n’ chip<br />

shop benefits from Sparkes’s labour; beetroot leaves are used<br />

in the veggie burger sold there.<br />

My friend and I order one of these along with some fish<br />

on our second night, and devour them along with a bottle of<br />

wine from the shop back at our cottage, one of three owned<br />

by The Collective. Like the four rooms above the shop, they<br />

have been beautifully designed under Harmon’s careful<br />

instruction. “I’m obsessed with interior design,” she tells<br />

me. “I love texture and colour.”<br />

It shows. Bold vintage wallpapers are complemented by<br />

heritage fabrics you can’t help running your hands<br />

over, bedrooms might feature a fabric headboard or a<br />

delicate petal lamp, and some bathrooms have a modern<br />

interpretation of a rolltop bath. The look is “fun period<br />

country vibe done very elegantly,” says Birch.<br />

One of the cottages, with its beams and statement<br />

breakfast bar in the kitchen diner, has a wood-burning<br />

stove in its bedroom, ideal for romantic couples. Ours is the<br />

four-bedroom Hillside Cottage, where the beamed master<br />

bedroom comes with an enormous fabric bed, peacocks on<br />

the wallpaper, and a roof terrace outside.<br />

Downstairs, the open kitchen/sitting room has all<br />

the goodies, including a Sage coffee-maker and Miele<br />

‘<br />

Farm produce is also sold in the village shop, named J Andrew after Birch’s<br />

great-grandfather, and now a very polished version of ye olde village store.<br />

’<br />

34 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

dishwasher; there’s also a laundry room with a washer and<br />

dryer. It makes for an elevated kind of self-catering, with<br />

bathrobes, hairdryers, an iron and a steamer as well as daily<br />

housekeeping and an evening turndown service.<br />

In the morning, breakfast arrives in a wicker hamper.<br />

Don’t expect your usual fry up here. Options include nettle<br />

and ramson fritter with a side serving of spiced fermented<br />

vegetables, and potato cake with thyme butter and smoked<br />

dulse. Together with honey porridge, yogurt and fruit, they<br />

make a surprisingly delicious feast.<br />

It sets us up beautifully for a walk along North Devon’s<br />

wild coast, once frequented by smugglers. We start at Bucks<br />

Mills, where a sign tells us the old harbour was built in 1598<br />

by a certain Richard Cole of Woolfardisworthy. He was<br />

possibly the Old King Cole of the nursery rhyme (whether it’s<br />

true or not, his tomb and effigy are in Woolsery’s All Hallows<br />

Church, where many of Birch’s relatives are buried). From<br />

Bucks Mills, it’s a three-hour round trip along the coast to the<br />

beach at Peppercombe. We’re tantalisingly close to Lundy<br />

Island with its puffin colony too, but we don’t have time to<br />

make the two-hour crossing from Bideford.<br />

Luckily, there’s an excuse to return to Woolsery and<br />

to make the excursion then – Wulfheard Manor is being<br />

converted into an 18-room hotel as the final part of The<br />

Collective. Although work is taking longer than originally<br />

planned, it should be completed in another two years.<br />

At that stage, The Collective should finally become<br />

“cash-flow positive”, says Birch, who declines to say how<br />

much money he’s pumped into the project to date.<br />

“It has always been a passion project,” he says. “I care<br />

a lot about Woolsery – what it is and what it becomes.” He<br />

adds that he and Xochi aim to visit for longer periods once<br />

their youngest son, currently 15, leaves home. His name tells<br />

you everything you need to know about how much Birch loves<br />

this little corner of the world. It’s Devon.<br />

Rooms cost from £275 a night year-round; the largest cottage,<br />

which sleeps eight, is £750. A hamper breakfast costs £15pp;<br />

woolsery.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 35

TOWN &<br />


Can’t decide between the two?<br />

Why not combine both in one<br />

glorious weekend break…<br />

Text by Jane Knight<br />

Talk about the perfect weekend. First, a day of shopping<br />

in London’s Peter Jones and Harvey Nichols, followed<br />

by a catch up with a friend over sushi and Champagne<br />

and a night in boutique Beaverbrook Town House.<br />

Next, day, I was driven an hour south to Beaverbrook<br />

itself, the Surrey Hills country mansion that press baron Lord<br />

Beaverbrook called home. Here, amid 450 acres with deer-filled<br />

woods and a fishing lake, a sublime spa day awaited.<br />

If you can’t decide between a town or a country break, why<br />

not combine both? An increasing number of <strong>British</strong> hotels now<br />

have sister properties allowing you to do just that. Here’s our pick<br />

of the best that combine both capital and the country.






Town<br />

The Mitre, Hampton Court, Surrey<br />

The riverside setting and free parking might not<br />

give The Mitre the feel of a London hotel, but you<br />

can use your Oyster card to get here from Waterloo<br />

– it’s still within zone 6. Commissioned by Charles II<br />

to house overspill guests for Hampton Court Palace<br />

across the road, the hotel now includes free palace<br />

entry for its guests.<br />

A relaxed riverside air pervades within, where<br />

you’ll find a complimentary tipple waiting at checkin,<br />

a retro jukebox in the library, and the choice of<br />

hiring a boat to explore the river or just sipping a<br />

drink on the terrace.<br />

I could gaze at the views of The Thames from<br />

a window seat at the riverside rotunda for hours.<br />

The lower level houses the hotel’s atmospheric 1665<br />

Brasserie (I recommend the teriyaki cauliflower<br />

popcorn and creamed wild mushroom pappardelle),<br />

while upstairs, the Boat House bar with a roof like a<br />

circus tent doubles as a breakfast venue.<br />

Colourful bedrooms with opulent fabrics are<br />

squirrelled away down a warren of corridors. They’re<br />

all lovely, their pops of colour showcasing designer<br />

Nicola Harding at her best. But if you’re a light<br />

sleeper, be aware of traffic noise in the rooms at the<br />

front; this is London, after all.<br />

Country<br />

The Retreat at Elcot Park, Berkshire<br />

The joy of this rural hotel in Newbury, Berkshire,<br />

is that you can expect all the trappings of a posh<br />

hotel – swanky spa, whisky library, tennis court,<br />

delicious restaurant and even a helipad – without the<br />

accompanying price tag.<br />

Nor is there a stuffy feel to this former home of<br />

Percy Bysshe Shelley’s mum. In fact, it’s all rather<br />

fun, with complimentary pantries to raid, a welcome<br />

glass of wine during check-in, and special times in the<br />

open-air pool with inflatables for kids. The hotel even<br />

gives away ten tickets a day to nearby Highclere, of<br />

Downton Abbey fame.<br />

There are plenty of places for lounging around,<br />

from the Atlas Room to the chilled courtyard area and<br />

its coffee shop, wine cellar and hair salon.<br />

Up the sweep of a staircase lie beautifully<br />

designed bedrooms with a modern English feel, bright<br />

fabrics and William Morris wallpaper.<br />

You can eat in the relaxed 1722 brasserie (the year<br />

the house was built), but I’d recommend pushing the<br />

boat out in the Pan-Asian Yu restaurant, where we<br />

couldn’t get enough of the sea-fresh sushi, gyoza,<br />

crispy squid, cauliflower popcorn and teriyaki beef.<br />

Go on, treat yourself – you’ve saved on the room price,<br />

after all.<br />

Rooms from £190 at The Mitre and £204 at<br />

The Retreat at Elcot Park, both with breakfast;<br />

mitrehamptoncourt.com, retreatelcotpark.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 37





Town<br />

Beaverbrook Town House, Chelsea<br />

There’s theatre everywhere you look in this gorgeous<br />

Sloane Street bolthole, starting with the names of<br />

the 14 suites. From The Garrick to The Old Vic, they<br />

all reference London theatres, their walls awash with<br />

posters and programmes.<br />

Drama in the decor comes courtesy of Nicola<br />

Harding, who has combined bold colours and fabrics<br />

in rooms with canopied or four-poster beds; where<br />

televisions pop out of ottomans, and velvet sofas<br />

rub shoulders with antique desks. Eye-catching<br />

bathrooms with bright blue and aquamarine tiles<br />

have both a tub and a shower. Even the smallest<br />

rooms are large for London and come with a drinks<br />

trolley and a range of complimentary snacks as well<br />

as a key to Cadogan Place gardens.<br />

Downstairs, the drama is dialled up in the buzzy<br />

bar, with its rainbow of colours and comfy sofas,<br />

copper-top bar and red-leather booths reminiscent<br />

of a train carriage. It opens onto the matcha-green<br />

Fuji Grill, where we feasted on the freshest of sushi,<br />

sashimi and popcorn shrimp (there’s also a set<br />

omakase meal). Just keep your eye on the prices so<br />

paying the bill doesn’t turn into a performance –<br />

sashimi is £7 a slice.<br />

Country<br />

Beaverbrook, Surrey<br />

As full of character as its former owner, Lord<br />

Beaverbrook, this wedding cake of a hotel in the<br />

Surrey Hills is reminiscent of both the media baron’s<br />

socialising and his wartime efforts as Minister of<br />

Aviation Production (there are spitfire references<br />

everywhere). Relax in the library where Churchill<br />

strategised with his ministers or catch a movie as<br />

Hitchcock did in the Art Deco cinema with lamps<br />

from the Empire State Building.<br />

The heart of the place is the domed copula, with<br />

its huge artwork and an impressive stairway leading<br />

to stylish rooms named after Beaverbrook’s famous<br />

guests, from Elizabeth Taylor to Ian Fleming.<br />

Although there’s a kids' club, it feels like a very<br />

adult kind of place, where, after an afternoon in<br />

the kaleidoscope of a spa (its colourful design more<br />

arresting than restful), you can sip a cocktail in Sir<br />

Frank’s Bar as a prelude to dinner in the Japanese<br />

restaurant, then run amok in the Italianate garden,<br />

with its pond created from Lord Beaverbrook’s<br />

swimming pool.<br />

A new hotel within the hotel has just opened – The<br />

Village – but although each of its 21 rooms come with<br />

a golf buggy, I infinitely preferred the hotel proper, in<br />

the very heart of Lord Beaverbrook’s empire.<br />

Rooms from £580 in Beaverbrook Town House,<br />

and £610 in Beaverbrook, both with breakfast. A city to<br />

silence package costs from £1,800 for two, with a night<br />

each in Beaverbrook Town House and Beaverbrook,<br />

breakfast, two dinners, spa use, and car transfer<br />

between the hotels; beaverbrooktownhouse.co.uk,<br />

beaverbrook.co.uk<br />

38 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com





Town<br />

The Cadogan, Chelsea<br />

Among all the elegance, there are some fun details<br />

in this hotel where Oscar Wilde was arrested, and<br />

where the actress Lillie Langtry once lived. Cocktails<br />

flow at The LaLee bar, the lifts are surrounded by a<br />

bronze cast of 600 books, and even the bedrooms<br />

have tartan slippers as a nod to Wilde, who loved the<br />

fabric.<br />

Original features have been injected with<br />

contemporary cool; an impressive oak staircase,<br />

for instance, has modern lights hanging from relief<br />

ceilings.<br />

Indulge in afternoon tea in the Tea Lounge, with<br />

its curved seats, spectacular light and tea bar, or pick<br />

from the all-day menu in The LaLee, where dishes<br />

range from duck breast to sole meunière.<br />

While the bedrooms are a tad corporate, they<br />

are very comfy, with commissioned artwork above<br />

the headboards and curated artwork. My firstfloor<br />

room was quiet, despite the traffic outside. If<br />

you want something a bit more historic, the Lillie<br />

Langtry room, in the actress’s old townhouse, has a<br />

wonderful ceiling, but you’ll need to book the Royal<br />

Suite to see the room in which Wilde was arrested.<br />

Country<br />

Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, Oxfordshire<br />

The entente cordiale reigns supreme in this 15thcentury<br />

manor house. Outside the honey-coloured<br />

building lies an English country garden with lavenderfringed<br />

pathways, while within, the kitchen is ruled by<br />

chef Raymond Blanc, who has held two Michelin stars<br />

since 1984.<br />

You come here for the food, and it doesn’t<br />

disappoint. On my last of many visits, I tucked into a<br />

seven-course vegetarian tasting menu that started<br />

with French onion soup in a tea cup and included<br />

truffled egg with wild mushroom tea. The matching<br />

flight of wines also went perfectly with my companion’s<br />

meat-eater’s menu, which was just as exquisite with its<br />

langoustine and venison.<br />

Blanc’s creative soul has spilled over from the<br />

kitchen into the 32 bedrooms, which, he says,<br />

“have all been inspired by my Frenchness as well as<br />

by something in my past”. Hence Opium, with its<br />

opulent purple and red furnishings, has its roots in<br />

a visit to China, while travels in Thailand resulted<br />

in Lemongrass, with its lime-green furnishing and<br />

fishtank in the wall separating the bedroom from the<br />

bathroom.<br />

There’s a Japanese garden outside too, making<br />

this hotel even more multinational.<br />

Rooms from £680 at The Cadogan, with breakfast<br />

and £1,312 at Le Manoir, with dinner and breakfast.<br />

Two nights’ B&B at The Cadogan plus one night with<br />

breakfast and dinner at Le Manoir and limousine<br />

transfer from £2,672 for two; belmond.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 39





Town<br />

The Chelsea Townhouse<br />

Once the Astor family’s London pad and named<br />

Cliveden Townhouse before it became the Draycott<br />

Hotel, this boutique bolthole became the newest<br />

addition to the Iconic Luxury Hotels’ stable last<br />

autumn. The last of its 36 rooms in three townhouses<br />

are just being completed.<br />

The overall feel is of a home rather than a<br />

hotel, where you can snuggle up with a book by<br />

the fireplace in the library, enjoy a lazy breakfast<br />

as you gaze at pictures of Cliveden in the drawing<br />

room (there’s also a painting of Nancy Astor on<br />

the stairwell), then open the door straight onto the<br />

private Cadogan Gardens.<br />

The garden suites also have direct access to this<br />

pretty little enclave, while those on the first floor<br />

benefit from high, ornate ceilings. All rooms, in a<br />

neutral palette, come with an old-fashioned drinks<br />

cabinet stocked with complimentary soft drinks and<br />

snacks, a snug shower room, and details such as a<br />

Chelsea bun on arrival and local neighbourhood<br />

guidebook.<br />

Use it to pick your dinner destination – the idea is<br />

that you dine out when staying here.<br />

When you return, there’s no need to even pass<br />

through reception to get to your room.<br />

Country<br />

Cliveden House, Berkshire<br />

Talk about a pile with a past. History along with<br />

more than a whiff of scandal is built into every brick<br />

of Cliveden’s neoclassical facade. William Waldorf<br />

Astor embellished the house with his travel souvenirs,<br />

including Madame de Pompadour’s gilded dining<br />

room, before his daughter-in-law Nancy Astor turned<br />

Cliveden into party central.<br />

Everyone who is anyone has stayed here, from<br />

Chaplin to Churchill, and more recently, a certain<br />

Ms Markle the night before her wedding. If she had<br />

Buckingham, the suite up the spectacular woodcarved<br />

staircase where I stayed, she would have<br />

enjoyed oak-panelled walls, views of the parterre,<br />

and an enormous Carrara marble bathroom. Even<br />

the smallest room, Kipling, comes with an impressive<br />

stucco ceiling.<br />

The swimming pool in the spa’s walled garden<br />

is where John Profumo, who was Secretary of State<br />

for War; first saw Christine Keeler in 1961; their<br />

consequent affair helped to topple Harold Macmillan’s<br />

government. Take a turn in the 376 acres of National<br />

Trust grounds before venturing inside the Relais &<br />

Châteaux hotel amid the wood panelling and suits of<br />

armour. We preferred the stable-themed Astor Grill to<br />

the dining room; be sure to try a Bitter Nancy, which<br />

the menu tells us was like the socialite – ‘bold and<br />

unapologetically unique’.<br />

Rooms from £249 at The Chelsea Townhouse,<br />

room only and from £445 at Cliveden, with breakfast;<br />

thechelseatownhouse.com, clivedenhouse.co.uk<br />

40 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com





Town<br />

The Mayfair Townhouse<br />

Oodles of eccentricity accompany this hotel, which<br />

sprawls over 15 townhouses. The fun decor tells its<br />

story, much of which revolves around the flamboyant<br />

Oscar Wilde; he set much of his book The Importance<br />

of Being Earnest, in prime dandy territory on Mayfair’s<br />

Half Moon Street, the hotel’s address.<br />

Guests are greeted in reception by a lifestyle<br />

peacock comprising 25,000 Swarovski crystals, and<br />

named 'Alfie' after Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred Douglas.<br />

The townhouses were built by the wealthy<br />

Renard family in the 1700s, which is why foxes pop<br />

up everywhere, from door-knockers to the cuffs,<br />

buttons and pins on staff uniforms. Just off the<br />

downstairs breakfast area, with its unusual portraits,<br />

a semi-private room called The Den is hung with the<br />

equivalent of an ancestral portrait gallery for foxes. It<br />

sounds peculiar but it works.<br />

The idea is that guests go out to eat, but there is<br />

a decent all-day menu in the Dandy Bar, which has<br />

the feel of a private club about it, with its dark-wood<br />

panelling and slouchy sofas.<br />

Rooms of all sizes can be found down wonky<br />

corridors with uneven floors. Ours, in Art Deco gold<br />

and navy, came with a generous complimentary<br />

minibar and one other lovely touch – a copy of The<br />

Importance of Being Earnest at turndown.<br />

Country<br />

Chewton Glen, Hampshire<br />

Quintessentially English, achingly idyllic, fun for all the<br />

family, with superb but not overfussy food…They don’t<br />

put a foot wrong at this 130-acre estate on the edge<br />

of the New Forest, starting with the door attendant;<br />

although we declined help when he came out to help<br />

us with our luggage, he whisked it subtly away to our<br />

room while we checked in.<br />

You won’t be bored here, with tennis (both<br />

indoors and out), croquet, two swimming pools, a<br />

hydrotherapy pool, cookery lessons, and a kids club.<br />

Take time, though, to linger over meals at this<br />

Relais & Châteaux property, because the food is<br />

really special, served in the refined yet relaxed Dining<br />

Room. We loved the soupcon of spectacle added when<br />

ordering meat carved from the trolley; the vegetarian<br />

Thai red curry is also recommended. Be sure, too, to<br />

eat in James Martin’s Kitchen in the grounds, where<br />

the fish and chips is a must.<br />

There’s a room to suit everyone here, with almost<br />

all of them enjoying their own outdoor space. And for<br />

a real treat, book one of the top suites with its own hot<br />

tub, or one of the contemporary styled treehouses.<br />

Rooms at The Mayfair Townhouse from £252, room<br />

only; and from £410 at Chewton Glen, with breakfast;<br />

themayfairtownhouse.com, chewtonglen.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 41





Town<br />

The Dorchester, Mayfair<br />

When you’ve seen The Promenade at The<br />

Dorchester, with its huge displays of Dorchester<br />

roses, its columns, floral carpet spread over marble<br />

floor and ornate ceiling, it’s hard to imagine<br />

afternoon tea in London anywhere else.<br />

At the end of this far-reaching room, a pianist<br />

tinkles on Liberace’s restored mirrored grand piano<br />

in a new Artists Bar, with mirrored ceiling and artthemed<br />

cocktails.<br />

Fresh from the first major renovations since the<br />

eighties, the ground floor is looking pretty swish,<br />

especially the Vesper Bar with its 1920s theme and<br />

theatrical snug area.<br />

Work is still ongoing in the 251 rooms upstairs.<br />

As with the Promenade, they’re designed by Pierre<br />

Yves-Rochon, with English-garden colours, marble<br />

bathrooms and perhaps a window seat or desk in a<br />

turret area. A ninth-floor rooftop area isn’t due to<br />

open until 2025.<br />

For dinner, you can choose between Alain<br />

Ducasse’s restaurant, Chinese or The Grill, where the<br />

dish to pick is ‘All the Chicken’ with stuffed crown,<br />

chicken hotpot, rolled leg and crispy skin salad.<br />

For me, though, it’s afternoon tea that’s what this<br />

grande dame is all about.<br />

Country<br />

Coworth Park, Berkshire<br />

You’re just ten minutes from Ascot when you stay at<br />

this 18th-century mansion, so it’s no surprise to find<br />

horse references everywhere at this hotel with its own<br />

stables and two polo fields amid its 240 rolling acres.<br />

Last time I was here, my son took his first riding<br />

lesson – Coworth Park is very family friendly, with<br />

activities from baking to tie-dyeing. This time, I’m<br />

more about the spa, a sleek building carved into the<br />

hillside, with herb-topped roof and music playing as<br />

you swim underwater in the pool.<br />

Cream tea in the spa cafe is a civilised affair, or<br />

you can opt for a grander occasion in the drawing<br />

room, with its twin fireplaces, grand piano and<br />

conservatory.<br />

There are surprising touches in this refined<br />

environment, including a fake tree in reception, a<br />

light installation that reads ‘Love’ in the bar and<br />

screens that resemble looms between the tables in the<br />

Michelin-starred restaurant, Woven. It’s all part of the<br />

modern decor, which includes a light-wood staircase<br />

leading up to 30 rooms, most with a copper bathtub<br />

(there are another 40 rooms in the stables).<br />

There’s one more surprise at bedtime – the<br />

bedlinen has a horse motif on it.<br />

Rooms from £900 at The Dorchester and from<br />

£545 at Coworth Park, dorchestercollection.com<br />

42 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com





Town<br />

Ten Trinity Square, London<br />

Think you recognise the fantastic facade of this hotel<br />

with its neoclassical columns just over the road from<br />

the Tower of London? You may have seen it doubling<br />

as M16 in James Bond’s Skyfall, or in one of many<br />

other productions.<br />

But it’s not all about the facade here. Just past<br />

reception in the former HQ of the Port of London<br />

Authority is the Art Deco rotunda dome, with<br />

its copper bar and modern reliefs on the whitest<br />

of walls. Downstairs lies a minimalist spa, a real<br />

sanctuary in the city with its gold mosaic walls,<br />

elliptical counters and silver-tree images in square<br />

columns rising from the indoor pool.<br />

Considering this is the capital, the 100 minimalist<br />

rooms in greys and honeys are generous in size,<br />

though they don’t have Tower of London views,<br />

looking instead onto the street or an inner courtyard.<br />

The best bit, though, is the food. Every mouthful<br />

I ate in two-Michelin-starred La Dame de Pic came<br />

with an explosion of flavour, starting with the<br />

exquisitely crafted amuse-bouche. Or you can pick<br />

your favourite Asian dishes in the Chinese/Japanese<br />

fusion restaurant.<br />

Country<br />

Four Seasons, Hampshire<br />

According to local legend, a former owner of this 18thcentury<br />

red-brick mansion moved an entire village<br />

so he could enjoy the lake view from his bathroom<br />

window. Don’t confine yourself to the views, though;<br />

this 500-acre estate is made for country pursuits.<br />

There’s everything from archery to axe throwing and<br />

falconry to fishing, by way of riding and shooting.<br />

Inside, it feels bigger than its 133 spacious but<br />

slightly old-fashioned rooms suggest; long glass<br />

corridors link the different buildings leading from<br />

a central area with welcoming library and Martin<br />

Brudnizki-designed drawing room, with wood<br />

panelling and parquet floor. Brudnizki designed<br />

the relaxed restaurant, too, with its red-leather bar,<br />

banquette seating and modern <strong>British</strong> food (don’t<br />

miss the Hampshire trout tartare starter).<br />

Like the rest of the hotel, with its kids club, sofabed<br />

and fun children’s pool in the spa, it’s incredibly family<br />

friendly – waiters couldn’t do enough for a toddler at a<br />

nearby table.<br />

Impeccable service isn’t just confined to the<br />

restaurant – it’s noticeable throughout the hotel, from<br />

the door attendants who greeted my son and me after<br />

a long walk amid the deer-filled estate, to Sam, who<br />

couldn’t have been more helpful as we battled it out<br />

while clay-pigeon shooting.<br />

From £650 a night, with breakfast at Ten Trinity<br />

Square, and from £641 a night, room only, at the<br />

Four Seasons Hampshire; fourseasons.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 43



Cornish bay<br />

Discover the magic of Trevaunance Cove, a dreamy fishing village in<br />

St Agnes where you can drift away, leaving the world behind you, as you<br />

watch fishers come into shore with their daily catch and fall asleep to<br />

the sound of the waves lapping into the shore<br />

Text by Jessica Way<br />

beach in St Agnes. Situated on the north coast of Cornwall,<br />

where there’s excellent swell, you might presume this popular<br />

surfing spot to be an adrenaline-fuelled, lively, party-going<br />

kind of place, but you would be mistaken. St Agnes is a<br />

surprisingly sleepy village, and its beachfront is no exception.<br />

Seals enjoy basking on the rocks while clusters of surfers<br />

ride the waves. Groups of holidaymakers and hikers stop in<br />

their tracks to admire them – some while resting on one of<br />

the many benches in the beautiful Jubilee Garden (formed by<br />

You might recognise the dramatic scenery of the St<br />

Agnes Heritage Coast from the TV series Poldark,<br />

based on novels by Winston Graham, a resident<br />

of Perranporth. Wheal Coates is featured as the<br />

Nampara Estate and is possibly the most photographed tin<br />

mine in Cornwall. It is quite spectacular, towering high on a<br />

dramatic cliff above a picture-perfect sweeping beach and<br />

shimmering ocean.<br />

Less than an hour’s walk from Wheal Coates over St<br />

Agnes Head brings you to Trevaunance Cove, the main<br />

44 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

‘<br />

Seals enjoy basking on the rocks while clusters of surfers ride the waves.<br />

Groups of holidaymakers and hikers stop in their tracks to admire them...<br />

’<br />

There is a comfortable balance between holidaymakers<br />

and villagers, providing a pleasing sense of community, from<br />

the zestful locals out walking their dogs to the pretty thatched<br />

cottages offering fresh egg boxes to passersby.<br />

The heartbeat of Trevaunance Cove is the Driftwood<br />

Spars, or ‘the Drifty’ as it's known by the locals.<br />

volunteers), others from their balconies and windows with a<br />

glass of Cornish cider. The setting is calm and tranquil, with<br />

minimal movement beyond the sea, just the occasional hiker<br />

meandering their way up, down and around the cove on a<br />

section of the coast path offering magnificent views.<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 45

The 17th-century Cornish pub was formerly a sail loft<br />

and warehouse for tin mines, ships and chandlery – and the<br />

building is made of Cornish slate and stone, as well as huge<br />

ships' timbers and spares, from which it gets its name. The<br />

Drifty is brimming with character and has a unique feature –<br />

behind the bar fireplace, there’s a wreckers tunnel that runs<br />

through the hill, down and down to the beach!<br />

Opposite, and perfect for sunny days, is the pub's pretty<br />

courtyard garden with ample seating and additional Crab<br />

Shack (with a raised platform for live-music performances). It's<br />

popular with families; you can order your drinks, sandwiches,<br />

cakes, and Callestick Farm Cornish ice cream here instead of<br />

going to the bar. There's a touching remembrance bench in<br />

the garden, too – a tribute to the ‘Drifty Legends – gone but<br />

not forgotten'. You'll find around twenty plaques with names<br />

and nicknames spanning the last decade, a heartwarming nod<br />

to the sense of belonging and friendship of those who have<br />

enjoyed this special pub over the years.<br />

Next door is the Driftwood Spars award-winning<br />

microbrewery, where they craft their own ales along with a<br />

good selection of cider. They're open to visitors for tours of their<br />

small-batch five-barrel plant (with beer tastings, of course).<br />

Schooners, though, is the place to be to watch the surfers<br />

and big waves, and it too has a historical significance that<br />

adds to its charm. The pub is named after four schooners<br />

built on the beach at Trevaunance Cove in the 1870s – The<br />

St Agnes of St Agnes, The Goonlaze, Trevellas, and The Lady<br />

Agnes. You can watch the waves boom against the tavern,<br />

and during high tide, you can witness the splashes on the<br />

sundeck. Schooners serves the most delicious wood-fired<br />

sourdough pizzas (and they do takeaway boxes). Plus, the<br />

pub's location makes a perfect spot to enjoy the mesmerising<br />

sunsets while sipping on your favourite sundowner (perhaps<br />

while you wait for your pizza).<br />

The Cornish coastal community has a long mining history<br />

of copper, tin and arsenic, which would have been used<br />

for creating tools and weapons. During the late 1800s,<br />

St Agnes was the centre of tin and copper mining, but<br />

evidence of habitation has been discovered from as far back<br />

46 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

as the Bronze Age, with Mesolithic remains dating back to<br />

10,000 BC. Although this era ended in the 1920s, its history<br />

is preserved in the architecture and as part of the Cornwall<br />

and West Devon Mining Landscape: a UNESCO World<br />

Heritage Site.<br />

There have been five harbours at St Agnes and the<br />

remnants of the last one to collapse can still be seen on the<br />

western side of the beach. The pier lasted over 100 years<br />

before a storm in 1915, at a time when it was well used. Goods<br />

included copper, lime, slate, wine and, most importantly, coal<br />

from Wales for the local miners. St Agnes is most famous,<br />

though, for its high quality tin, as in the old Cornish saying,<br />

“Sten Sen Agnes yw an gwella sten yn Kernow”, meaning "St<br />

Agnes tin is the best tin in Cornwall". At low tide it is possible<br />

to discover the remnants of the old harbour and explore<br />

the neighbouring Trevellas Porth beach, a great spot for<br />

discovering hidden rock pools.<br />

With St Agnes designated as an Area of Outstanding<br />

Natural Beauty (AONB), you can’t go wrong by following<br />

‘<br />

With St Agnes designated as an<br />

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty<br />

(AONB), you can’t go wrong by<br />

following the South West Coast Path<br />

in either direction.<br />

’<br />

the South West Coast Path in either direction. Head west<br />

to Wheal Coates and Porthtowan and wander past the<br />

remains of the engine house at Wheal Charlotte. Head east<br />

to Perranporth, and you could take a dip in Chapel Rock sea<br />

pool, quench your thirst at the Watering Hole – the only bar<br />

on the beach in the UK, or satisfy your hunger at Alcatraz,<br />

a beautiful bistro converted from an old WWII gun shelter.<br />

Whichever you choose, be sure to keep your eyes open for<br />

seabirds, dolphins, seals and herons along the way.<br />

The village of St Agnes is about a mile inland from<br />

Trevaunance Cove, and has a butcher, bakery, barber, farm<br />

shops, post office, galleries, deli and more.<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 47

‘<br />

From Nori (to St Agnes) it is a short walk up the lane... passing the<br />

famous Stippy Stappy street (a terrace of Victorian cottages laddered<br />

into the hillside that feature in all seven Poldark books.<br />

’<br />

St Agnes Museum – there are two floors of local exhibits and<br />

originalities. Then visit St Agnes Beacon. At 630 feet above<br />

sea level, this impressive landmark was once the sight of a<br />

Pop into the Sorting Office for the best coffee and<br />

find your perfect souvenir in Little Feathers Gallery – where<br />

Gary’s impressive artwork and Maria’s beautiful handmade<br />

jewellery adorn the walls, windows and glass cabinets.<br />

You can also get closer to the living history here by visiting<br />

48 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

‘<br />

Hidden within the bay is a best-kept<br />

Cornish cottage, Nori... nuzzled into<br />

the cliff... high enough to make the<br />

most of the views and low enough<br />

to hear the ocean and feel the sand<br />

between your toes.<br />

’<br />

burning beacon. Today a trig mark and plaque mark the spot.<br />

This is one of the best viewpoints in Cornwall. On a clear<br />

day, you can see around 30 miles in every direction, including<br />

views of Godrevy Lighthouse.<br />

Where to Stay<br />

Hidden within the bay is a best-kept Cornish cottage, Nori.<br />

This beautifully romantic hideaway is nuzzled into the cliff<br />

in a perfect position – high enough to make the most of the<br />

views and low enough to hear the ocean and feel the sand<br />

between your toes. Plus, there’s a private rooftop terrace from<br />

which to watch the world go by. Surrounded and protected<br />

by the wild and rugged cliffs, this comforting cove is a place<br />

to simply sit back, recharge and relax.<br />

Inside, the romance continues with dreamy furnishings,<br />

including a cosy wood-burning stove, sliding French doors,<br />

custom-made draped curtains from a stunning Weaver Green<br />

fabric, Daylesford Farm throws, and a coffee table made<br />

from a vintage military chest. You will want to sink into the<br />

giant settee with perfectly plumped cushions and let the fresh<br />

sea breeze waft over you through the sash-style windows.<br />

Nori is small but flawlessly formed, providing the perfect<br />

space to hunker down for the evening, read a good book,<br />

play cards, or watch a movie.<br />

If you are looking for an unforgettable Cornish experience,<br />

there is a surf shop in the cove where you can try surfing, standup<br />

paddleboarding, yoga, massage, or even brave a session in<br />


<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 49

a floatation tank. Nori property owners Jane and Paul, (who<br />

live in the village) are keen sailors. They also offer their guests<br />

sailing adventures, skippered charters, overnight stays and<br />

lunch on the water on their yacht Good Hope.<br />

Where to Eat<br />

In the morning, there are a couple of breakfast options<br />

to choose from within very easy walking distance from<br />

Nori, including Cafe Q, named after its location on Quay<br />

Road. It gives trendy beach-hut vibes, with lots of breakfast<br />

options, pastries, and homemade cakes (the lemon polenta<br />

is unbelievably good) on the menu. Or, if you’re not fussed<br />

about having a cooked breakfast, then the healthy smoothie<br />

bowls or cherry-topped porridge and coffee taste delicious at<br />

Genki. They have a beautiful garden (where, if you’re lucky,<br />

Wild Samsara offers Reiki and massage treatments), and<br />

their homemade Crunchie and Flump rocky road is pretty<br />

special too.<br />

For something more substantial, from Nori it is a short walk<br />

up the lane and through Peterville Woods passing the famous<br />

Stippy Stappy street (a terrace of Victorian cottages laddered<br />

into the hillside that feature in all seven Poldark books), to either<br />

the Peterville Inn – think modern gastro-pub, serving locally<br />

sourced <strong>British</strong> classics and Cornish Ale – or the slightly trendier<br />

The Taphouse, with Pad Thai, gyozas and house cocktails on<br />

the menu.<br />

Visit on Saturday night and expect vinyl DJs or a gig, The<br />

Taphouse attract some great artists, including George Ezra,<br />

Ben Howard and – more recently – Tay Oskee.<br />

A short drive (five minutes) in the car and there’s also the<br />

fantastic Miners Arms in Mithian – a traditional Cornish pub,<br />

serving real food. It has unique 16th-century character, with<br />

authentic beams and low ceilings. Or, if you would prefer<br />

to cook at Nori, there are two butchers, a fishmonger, a<br />

greengrocer and a deli or two, plus the wonderful St Agnes<br />

Bakery (featured in The Times) in the heart of the village.<br />

Further Afield<br />

If you’re keen on exploring the area on a day out in the<br />

car, you could head west for St Ives, Sennen and Land's<br />

End. Head east for the wild beaches of Holywell Bay and<br />

Crantock, or head to the south coast for Falmouth and the<br />

fabulous Roseland Peninsula.<br />

Prices for a long weekend or mid week break staying in Nori<br />

start from £807 available with Boutique Retreats, bridging the<br />

gap between boutique hotels and traditional holiday cottages,<br />

boutique-retreats.co.uk<br />

50 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com


From cosying up fireside in a country cottage, to stargazing from a<br />

dreamy hot tub at your clifftop hideaway, escape the everyday and<br />

seek the magic of a staycation with Boutique Retreats. With over<br />

260 luxury abodes to choose from, uncover our curated collection<br />

of luxury retreats, set in unique locations across the UK.<br />

boutique-retreats.co.uk<br />

+44 (0)1872 553 491<br />


Spotlight ON<br />

ST IVES<br />


<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> takes a trip to St Ives to brave the Atlantic<br />

swell, staying in a luxury resort on a surf-and-wellbeing<br />

retreat to reboot mind and body<br />

Text by Rosie Underwood

Lying in a 'cobra' position on a fan of surfboards in<br />

March’s interchangeable weather in St Ives, I can<br />

feel the familiar butterflies that come with the roar<br />

of the Atlantic behind me. There’s always a moment<br />

of what I can only perceive as total perplexing fear when I<br />

surf unpredictable waves. But on this occasion, I could feel<br />

a pull in the form of a highly infectious enthusiasm for the<br />

water from the reassuring retreat team offering me all the<br />

encouragement and optimism I need.<br />

The carefully formulated retreat is hosted by one of<br />

Cornwall's most exciting holiday resorts, Una St Ives, located<br />

above idyllic Carbis Bay, and designed by the mastermind<br />

behind St Ives Surf School, Harris Rothschild, and mind-andbody<br />

coach Andrew Blake ('Blakey'). Their unique pairing<br />

of skills and personality traits, combined with their laid-back<br />

humour and infectious energy, relaxes you from the get-go.<br />

The logic behind the combination of surfing, functional<br />

movement, injury prevention, breath work and both dynamic<br />

and restorative yoga is centred around flow states. The<br />

experience that positive psychologists discovered when<br />

someone is so fully immersed in a task, they experience joy in<br />

all its dimensions, “We want to get people into a flow state<br />

because it gives people time out from the prefrontal cortex,”<br />

explained Blakey, “the part of our brain that’s constantly<br />

reaching, thinking, organising, analysing; this kind of training<br />

gives people a break from that.”<br />

Our days start with 7am yoga or functional-movement<br />

workshops, followed by surfing the local surf spots; chosen<br />

day by day depending on conditions. We’d end with<br />

restorative yoga or breath work. Each day is peppered with<br />

treatments, cold-water swims, one-to-one coaching sessions,<br />

nutritious meals, and – of course – downtime exploring the<br />

cobbled streets of St Ives.<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 53

The Location<br />

Una St Ives, which celebrates its ten-year anniversary in<br />

2025, serves as the optimal backdrop, matching the ethos<br />

of the surfing retreat entirely. You are within easy walking<br />

distance from Carbis Bay, famous for its white sand and<br />

turquoise rumbling waters. Una’s village gives that instant<br />

sense of community. With outdoor living at the heart of<br />

the design, you can wind through the lodges to the spa to<br />

decompress, stopping along the way to chat to neighbours<br />

and fellow retreat guests.<br />

Delicious food is served in Una Kitchen’s – led by<br />

multiple- AA-Rosette-winning Cornish chef Glenn Gatland,<br />

centred around nutrient-dense nourishment and enjoyment.<br />

Guests are given the option of what they’d require to ‘retreat’<br />

from their everyday life. If that means enjoying one of Una’s<br />

deliciously crafted Negronis after a day in the surf, or even<br />

better, indulging in Una’s interpretation of Cornwall’s finest<br />

form of feasting – afternoon tea, with all the trimmings – then<br />

Una delivers.<br />

The dining area and restaurant have a laid-back, beachlife<br />

vibe. The spa is a showstopper; complete with an infinity<br />

pool, a sauna, a steam room, a Jacuzzi, a fitness centre, and<br />

treatment rooms serving up post-surf massages – all included<br />

in our stay.<br />

During the summer months, guests staying at the resort<br />

can also enjoy the heated outdoor pool, and new outdoor<br />

barbeque and grill at the Lido, CARGO.<br />

Movement, breath and mind<br />

Andrew Blake’s upbeat preparation talk ahead of stepping foot<br />

in the water not only settles your nerves – his expert guidance<br />

teaches you range of motion, breath capacity and mindset.<br />

He even got us lapping Una’s Olympic-sized swimming pool<br />

under water by the end of the retreat. “Everything moves in<br />

waves,” he told me over arguably one of the best scones I’ve<br />

ever tasted at Una’s kitchen. “The sea, our minds, brainwaves,<br />

our heartbeat, this group’s frequency." This surf retreat was a<br />

perfect opportunity for me to marry my experience and skills<br />

with the best surf school in the south west.<br />

Surfing<br />

I’ve worked with many surf instructors in my time; most are<br />

enthused to just get out there on the waves. If you’re new<br />

to the water, looking like you’re wrestling a crocodile as<br />

you familiarise yourself with a board, it can be quite a scary<br />

prospect to wade so quickly into it. Harris and his team focus<br />

on outlook and growth mindsets with safety and high-octane<br />

fun at the forefront of what they do.<br />

They focus on progress and not perfection, which means<br />

no one is ever alienated; you feel seen, heard, elevated – and<br />

uplifted with roars of encouragement. I watched as the team<br />

danced through swells, arms in the air as they got pelted by<br />

the elements while putting every muscle, tissue, ligament,<br />

bone and reserves of energy they had into helping us ride<br />

the waves. They worked so hard to enable us to feel that<br />

clearheaded adrenaline rush that only comes from surfing.<br />

After I took a rumbling in the water, adopting Andrew<br />

Blake’s much needed breathwork, Harris reassured me that<br />

while he loves surfing, he knew he could be much better. He's<br />

already an extremely skilled surfer. Between ducking waves<br />

outback he clarifies: "There are many people that surf better<br />

than me, but I’m not sure they all enjoy it as much as I do.” He<br />

went on to explain that no matter your ability at surfing, you<br />

can still get the same high from catching your first waves in<br />

the UK as the pros in Nazaré (Portugal).<br />

Just by being deeply focused and immersed in the<br />

experience is an intrinsic motivation, resulting in more joy.<br />

That’s why everybody should try it. All you need is a willingness<br />

to try. As the retreat continued, smiles got bigger, eyes brighter,<br />

jokes funnier, brows softer and connections grew.<br />

Rates for the Una St Ives surf and wellbeing retreat (12-15<br />

November 2024) start from £595 per person, based on two<br />

people sharing a twin/double room with shared bathroom; 2025<br />

dates yet to be confirmed. St Ives Surf School is open all yearround;<br />

unastives.co.uk/offers/surf-wellbeing-retreat<br />


54 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com



NIGHTS<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> heads north to Durham and Cumbria in search<br />

of a spa and a shore for a scenic staycation, and discovers<br />

Michelin-starred dining, old-world elegance and hotels rich in poetic history<br />

Text by Chantal Haines<br />

A few minutes’ walk from the shore, Seaham Hall, a<br />

beautifully restored Georgian country house hotel, is set in 37<br />

rolling acres atop the cliffs.<br />


Our first lodgings for this staycayion, the strikingly handsome<br />

Hall was originally built by Sir Ralph Milkbanke, 6th Baronet<br />

of Halnaby, in 1791. Completed in 1972, the building's history<br />

is writ large in every era. Most notably, flamboyant poet<br />

and leading figure in the 18th-century Romantic Movement,<br />

Lord Byron, wed Milbanke's only daughter, Anna Isabella<br />

Milbanke (known as Annabella) in the drawing room of the<br />

grand house in 1815.<br />

While the marriage was neither long nor very happy, the<br />

couple’s daughter, Ada Lovelace, is celebrated as the first<br />

Clomping happily along the vast shingle and sand<br />

beach at Seaham, hearts invigorated by great<br />

gulps of bracing, coastal air and eyes in search of<br />

elusive glints of emerald-blue sea-glass treasures<br />

for which this coastal stretch is renowned, we realise one of<br />

the greatest pleasures of travelling north – sheer space and<br />

restful room to roam.<br />

While some staycation spots in the south of England can<br />

throng heavy with visitors in the summer months, Durham’s<br />

Heritage Coast and its environs are blissfully peaceful.<br />

56 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

sumptuous sink-in-to-me sofas, and a bathing deck featuring<br />

twin slipper baths set by the Georgian bay windows – an<br />

unmatched place to soothe away the day’s stresses and<br />

strains. Portraits of Byron, Annabella and Ada dot the<br />

walls, while bold wallpaper prints add a pop of colour and<br />

modernity throughout. The suite is exquisitely appointed with<br />

a huge TV rising from the bed-end, luxury toiletries, a walk-in<br />

rain shower and contemporary furnishings.<br />

computer programmer and remembered for her pioneering<br />

work on Charles Babbage’s revolutionary mechanical<br />

computer, the analytical engine. Today, the spectacular Ada<br />

Lovelace suite is the hotel’s grand dame and occupies the very<br />

drawing room where Byron and Annabella wed.<br />

The take-your-breath-away split-level suite has a<br />

vast mezzanine bedroom, and enjoys commanding views<br />

across the grounds, fountains and forests from bed, couch<br />

and baths. There is an office area, a lounge space with<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 57

‘<br />

The grand property was also a military hospital in WWI and a Spey<br />

whisky smuggling den during US Prohibition (legend has it the tunnel<br />

still runs to the coast from the impressive wine cellar).<br />

’<br />


The grand property was also a military hospital in WWI and<br />

a Spey whisky smuggling den during US Prohibition (legend<br />

has it the tunnel still runs to the coast from the impressive<br />

wine cellar).<br />

Fast forward to present day and (located in an area not<br />

terribly well known for five-star hotels) Seaham Hall stands<br />

out with its impeccable hospitality, luxurious accommodation<br />

and colossal spa. There is a pillow concierge, a butler<br />

service, pod domes for private dining alfresco, a dock with<br />

a clutch of bright coloured deck chairs that feel a touch<br />

Soho Farmhouse, and quiet terraces where guests can enjoy<br />

sundowners with the sound of the waves crashing in the<br />

distance.<br />

The hotel blends the traditional with pops of playful<br />

contemporary design; the interior is awash with ornate<br />

mirrors, large gilded paintings and original fireplaces twinned<br />

with plush velvet sofas, plaid chairs, and flashes of teal,<br />

purple and burnt-orange soft furnishings. Design books stack<br />

next to leather tomes, while statement lights – including<br />

pugdog table lamp – add humour and fun. Open fires<br />

crackle in winter and fresh blooms burst from copious vases<br />

and mantles. Of the 21 luxuriously appointed suites, several<br />

rooms welcome furry four-legged friends.<br />

A grand staircase leads to the main house’s suites while<br />

a glass-roofed atrium connects guests to the hotel’s Serenity<br />

Spa and features more capacious suites. Four modern<br />

self-catering villas – offering the best sea views - have also<br />

recently been added to the estate, with some offering<br />

outdoor hot tubs.<br />


As you descend to the subterranean tinkling waterway<br />

and floating boardwalk that leads to the award-winning<br />

44,000sq ft Serenity Spa, notable water features add to<br />

the sense of tranquillity. The spa, complete with a ceiling of<br />

pink cherry blossom, is home to an Asian herbal samarium,<br />

a salt sauna, an Indian steam room with amethyst crystal, a<br />

hydrotherapy pool, a 20-metre pool, a hammam with snail<br />

showers and Jacuzzi, plus plunge pools and outdoor hot tubs,<br />

along with a blissful menu of treatments from Temple Spa<br />

and organic seaweed skincare brand, ishga.<br />

The name ishga is derived from the Gaelic word for<br />

water and the Five Senses Sound Ritual is a new additional<br />

that uses immersive sound to deepen relaxation. The sounds<br />

of ‘Swell’, composed using field recordings from the Outer<br />

Hebrides (where ishga sustainably harvests its mineral-rich<br />

seaweed) accompany the 90-minute treatment.<br />

58 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

The ritual – with its restful soundtrack of gently lapping<br />

waves, ethereal melodies and traditional Gaelic instruments –<br />

is utterly soporific and begins with a welcome foot scrub and<br />

cleanse, a soothing back scrub and hot-stone oil massage<br />

with blended oils, followed by a bliss-out multilayer facial,<br />

a hot-oil scalp massage and cold-stone eye therapy. The<br />

treatment ends in the private Swell Room – a cosy, dark<br />

sanctuary with two vibro-acoustic loungers. Lying down<br />

and cocooned in blankets, you'll have headphones playing<br />

more immersive calming sounds, synchronised with the<br />

reverberations of the loungers, to induce deep relaxation.<br />

resident, Lord Byron. More relaxed dining can be found at the<br />

spa’s Pan-Asian Ozone restaurant where guests are invited,<br />

nay encouraged, to sashay from the spa to restaurant for<br />

lunch, cocktails or dinner. And so we did. Clinking mixologistmade<br />

zesty cocktails and glasses of bubbly while still dressed<br />

in our fluffy white robes and slippers – heaven.<br />


While many guests come for the spa alone, Seaham Hall<br />

provides a handy jumping-off point for further adventures; be<br />

it a shoulder-dropping pitstop enroute to Scotland or a base<br />

from which to visit the nearby cities of Durham, Newcastle<br />

and Sunderland.<br />

We opt to head 20 minutes inland, where the UNESCO<br />

World Heritage Site of Durham’s captivating cathedral and<br />

The hotel’s formal restaurant, The Dining Room, is<br />

headed up by chef Damian Broom who produces unfussy<br />

plates that celebrate seasonal produce with a deft touch. The<br />

lofty dining room features 14-carat gold-plated chandeliers,<br />

towering Georgian windows overlooking the hotel’s<br />

trademark Vortex water sculpture and a portrait of former<br />

the city’s adjacent castle forms one of the most stunning<br />

city panoramas in Europe. After a punt on the river and a<br />

cream tea, we make the short hop to the Angel of the North<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 59

to explore the effervescent city of Newcastle – where the<br />

shopping and bar-restaurant scene has had a welcome<br />

injection of fledgling chefs and trendy shops of late.<br />

It's just an hour’s drive across the northern Pennines to<br />

our next country house hotel stay at Farlam Hall.<br />

Providing a quintessential slice of country refinement, the<br />

16th-century manor is built of Lakeland stone. It houses just<br />

12 luxurious bedrooms and six stable suites. Quiet, traditional<br />

and refined, Farlam feels like your own private manor, thanks<br />

to the hushed grandeur and exceptional staff. Our bedroom<br />

is large, luxurious and flooded with dappled sunlight. Soft<br />

furnishings of plaids and soft tartans make for a homely<br />

feel, while accessories and bathrooms feel uber-chic, with<br />

freestanding bath, underfloor heating and Molton Brown<br />

amenities.<br />

Nods to the historic building and surrounding area are<br />

interspersed throughout the manor house – the Stephenson’s<br />

Clock dates back to 1850 and is ticking in the main lounge.<br />

Guests can don wellies and grab a brolly from the porch<br />

and enjoy country rambles from the doorstep. Alternatively,<br />

Hadrian’s Wall path is just three miles to the north – routes<br />

taking in Steel Rigg, Crag Lough and Birdoswald are all a<br />

short drive from the hotel. For more of a hike, both the North<br />

Pennines and the Lake District are between a 30- and 45-<br />

minutes drive.<br />


Whether it’s the tinkling brook that dawdles through Farlam<br />

Hall’s seven-acre grounds or the serene cosy palettes of the<br />

hotel’s interior, this country manor instantly envelops you into<br />

its tranquil vibe. We curl up on comfy wingback chairs with the<br />

Sunday papers in one of the (three) lounges beside an open fire<br />

while a rain shower passes before exploring the pretty grounds,<br />

taking in the rose garden and impressive kitchen garden.<br />

The centrepiece to the picturesque setting is the large<br />

150-year-old cedar tree by the pond garden – the namesake<br />

for the Hall’s Michelin-star restaurant.<br />

60 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

‘<br />

Hadrian’s Wall path is just three miles to the north – routes taking in Steel<br />

Rigg, Crag Lough and Birdoswald are all a short drive from the hotel.<br />

’<br />

In early 2023, Hrishikesh Desai took over as chef-patron<br />

at Farlam Hall, moving from the revered The Gilpin Hotel<br />

and Lake House in nearby Windermere where he had won<br />

a Michelin star. With a goal of overhauling Farlam Hall, the<br />

celebrated chef has been hard at work. The Gilpin’s former<br />

managing director Karen Baybutt has joined Hrishikesh at<br />

Farlam and the alchemy has worked wonders. In less than a<br />

year, the Cedar Tree has been awarded its first Michelin star.<br />

True to form, dining at The Cedar Tree is intimate and<br />

immaculately orchestrated – even your menu comes with its<br />

own wax seal. Wine buffs will relish the tremendous wine<br />

list, while foodies will delight in every twist and turn and the<br />

locality of the food – lamb comes from the fields behind the<br />

hotel and local producers are highlighted throughout.<br />

As we sit down for predinner cocktails in the lounge,<br />

it is clear why patrons travel hours to sample Hrishikesh’s<br />

culinary prowess. Every morsel presented has a level of<br />

ingenuity, complexity, or simple beauty that – more often<br />

than not – elicits a ‘wow’. Hrishikesh gives his twist on<br />

several classics, and the menu is packed full of surprises and<br />

artfully sure of spice.<br />

Olives ‘our way’ are a playful nibble, a spiced duck liver<br />

‘cookie’ is perfectly crisp, with a sublimely velvety duck-liver<br />

parfait and zing of sour cherry gel. Roast and pickled Farlam<br />

garden beetroots are served with a savoury toasted coconut<br />

bavarois, while the fried fillet of cured Hodgson’s hake is a<br />

deft match for roasted pineapple and smoked sweet-andsour<br />

sauce. A rightful shout out to the staff here, who strike<br />

the often elusive balance of being friendly, fastidious and at<br />

the top of their game throughout.<br />


Reflecting on the last 12 months, Karen says leaving<br />

Gilpin was not for the fainthearted: “It was a leap of faith,<br />

particularly when you’ve worked for such a high calibre place<br />

like Gilpin. But with Hrishikesh and his pedigree, you know<br />

you’ve got someone really special that can create magic with<br />

food. I felt we could make this beautiful property a stunning<br />

food-led destination.<br />

“My mind was made up on seeing the property and<br />

seeing the area and all the beauty around it. It’s not in the<br />

middle of the Lake District National Park, but in some ways<br />

that for me was the beauty of it because it had a lot of the<br />

natural beauty, but without those crowds.”<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 61

“<br />

The first year was all about good food, great wine, incredible hospitality...<br />

Now we are bringing in... wellness, sustainability and the indulgence.<br />

”<br />

“It’s been one of the most exciting years of my life. To look<br />

back on it and see what we have achieved in such a short<br />

space of time is phenomenal, really.”<br />

This year, the hotel is expanding its kitchen garden, with<br />

everything grown showcased to diners at the restaurant. The<br />

hotel has also welcomed a new colony of bees – Hrishikesh<br />

that operates from the site of The Cedar Tree when the<br />

Michelin-star restaurant is closed.<br />

The hotel is also introducing new treatment rooms, the<br />

first of which will be ready this summer.<br />

“The first year was all about good food, great wine,<br />

incredible hospitality. And that obviously continues as we<br />

move forward,” explains Karen. “Now we are bringing in the<br />

second layer, which is the wellness, sustainability and the<br />

indulgence.”<br />

Rates at Seaham Hall start from £295 in a Junior Suite on<br />

a B&B basis. Rates at Farlam Hall start from £274 for a double<br />

room on a B&B basis; pobhotels.com<br />

has become an avid apiarist – with the honey used in dishes<br />

and also the Farlam Hall gin.<br />

In spring 2024, Farlam Hall introduced a new casual<br />

dining addition in the form of Bistro Enkel, offering small bites<br />

and seasonal dishes. It is a more relaxed dining experience<br />

62 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com


Are you set for a summer of sport? Pursue your favorite <strong>British</strong> sport<br />

or try a new one with PoB Hotels. Embrace your inner<br />

sportsman, connecting with one or more of Britain's five most-loved<br />

sports through your travels.<br />


Competition time!<br />


Win an overnight stay and dining at one of three extraordinary boutique hotels<br />

The Signet Collection, a vibrant hotel company whose<br />

vision is to create meaningful stays in time-honoured<br />

places throughout the UK, has teamed up with <strong>British</strong><br />

<strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> to offer the chance to win an overnight<br />

stay in one of their three wonderful hotels: The Mitre, The<br />

Retreat at Elcot Park, and The Barnsdale.<br />

The Mitre, the first hotel to open under the Signet<br />

Collection portfolio, launched in September 2020. It's a<br />

36-bedroom, Grade II-listed boutique hotel set on the banks<br />

of the River Thames by Hampton Court Palace. Rebuilt in<br />

the mid-18th century, The Mitre dates back to 1665 and was<br />

originally used as ancillary accommodation for guests of King<br />

Charles II. Think: country house meets the joy and colour of<br />

Britain’s boating tradition, or The Wind in the Willows does<br />

Henley Royal Regatta. With a riverside restaurant, brasserie<br />

and bar, 80-cover Orangery, a Whispering Angel terrace and<br />

a private boat jetty, complete with boats, there is much to keep<br />

guests entertained.<br />

The Retreat at Elcot Park is the perfect blend of quirky<br />

<strong>British</strong> sensibility and elegant authentic luxury; blending<br />

the old and the new, the refined and the comfortable, and<br />

the local and the worldly. Guests choose from a variety of<br />

quintessentially English rooms and luxurious suites, each with<br />

their own story to tell and overflowing with impeccable style<br />

and substance. The Retreat experience is all about enjoying<br />

top-notch food and drink. There are two stunning restaurants –<br />

1772 Brasserie and the Pan-Asian restaurant Yu, – which set the<br />

stage for enjoying good times and exceptional food and drink,<br />

64 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

Scan here to enter · britishtraveljournal.com ·<br />

shared in good company. Those looking to relax can enjoy use of<br />

the hotel’s Signet Spa facilities, complete with an outdoor pool.<br />

At the heart of England's smallest county, on the edge of the<br />

breathtaking Rutland Water, you will find The Barnsdale. The<br />

former hunting lodge has been lovingly reimagined, paying tribute<br />

to its history and distinctive local area – eccentric <strong>British</strong> flair meets<br />

refined, genuine luxury; tradition intertwines with modernity,<br />

sophistication with comfort, and local with international influences.<br />

The Barnsdale's 45 bedrooms are perfect for a weekend in the<br />

country. With a timeless environment and a sensational menu, the<br />

laid-back brasserie 1760 – named after the year the original hunting<br />

lodge was built at The Barnsdale – is the place to enjoy good times<br />

and exceptional food with friends and family.<br />

Enter for your chance to win a stay in one of these three beautiful<br />

hotels. Good luck! The Signet Collection portfolio is for destinationdefining<br />

properties for discerning travellers, with more hotels planned<br />

to launch over the next few years across the UK. To find out more about<br />

The Signet Collection visit signet.ltd<br />

Pictured<br />

below left<br />

to right: The<br />

Retreat at<br />

Elcot Park;<br />

The Mitre,<br />

Hampton<br />

Court; The<br />

Barnsdale,<br />

Rutland<br />


britishtraveljournal.com/competitions<br />

Last entries 31 August 2024. Prize is to<br />

be taken before May 2025, excluding bank<br />

holidays, special event dates and the festive<br />

period and is subject to availability. Strictly<br />

over 18s only. Based on two people sharing,<br />

with a £45 allocation towards dinner.<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 65

AN<br />



The Tawny

Planning a group getaway?<br />

<strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> checks into<br />

Kestrel Cottage – a brand new<br />

countryside retreat with ‘wow’ factor<br />

at award-winning Staffordshire<br />

hotel, The Tawny<br />

Text by Sophie Farrah<br />

A<br />

hotel like no other’ is The Tawny’s tagline, but<br />

‘ with thousands of hotels in the UK alone, this<br />

seems like a big claim to make.<br />

Nestled deep within the peace and tranquillity<br />

of sheep-dotted Staffordshire countryside, The Tawny<br />

describes itself as a ‘deconstructed hotel’. Since 2021, this<br />

new and already award-winning concept has taken shape<br />

within the historic Consall Gardens Estate, a 70-acre<br />

beauty spot near Stoke-on-Trent, which has been carefully<br />

transformed by two local couples.<br />

Instead of having one large building filled with hotel<br />

rooms, The Tawny has created various types of unique<br />

accommodation and dotted them around a series of<br />

picturesque lakes, woodlands and gardens. There are 34<br />

in total, comprising bespoke shepherd’s huts, treehouses,<br />

secluded cabins, waterfront retreats and more, all offering<br />

modern design, creature comforts and a plethora of luxurious<br />

extras, while completely immersed in the natural tranquillity<br />

of the folly-dotted estate.<br />

The most recent addition to the hotel’s offering – and the<br />

reason for my visit - are its Fledglings, a brand-new collection<br />

of swanky private rentals designed with large families and<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 67

‘With the prospect of four double bedrooms, all en-suite, I packed the<br />

car with various family members. With various ages and stages in tow it<br />

can be a challenge to keep everyone happy, but Kestrel Cottage – the first<br />

Fledgling to open – promises to please all.’<br />

groups of friends in mind. These smart, secluded holiday<br />

homes are around a 15-minute drive from the hotel and<br />

promise a carefully curated and deeply luxurious experience,<br />

in unique Tawny style.<br />

With the prospect of four double bedrooms, all en-suite,<br />

I packed the car with various family members. With various<br />

ages and stages in tow it can be a challenge to keep everyone<br />

happy, but Kestrel Cottage – the first Fledgling to open –<br />

promises to please all.<br />

We were greeted by friendly Fledgling host Ian, freshly<br />

made biscuits and a huge pot of tea in a bespoke Emma<br />

Bridgewater creation, whose pottery is nearby (tours can be<br />

arranged). Even our four-legged friend received a similarly<br />

warm welcome, including treats and a fleece blanket, to<br />

ensure that she too enjoyed her stay.<br />

Within minutes of arriving, we made a dash for Kestrel<br />

Cottage’s irresistible private outdoor pool. Designed for<br />

relaxation rather than lengths and enveloped by beautifully<br />

planted, carefully landscaped gardens, it’s heated to a balmy<br />

38 degrees all year round and shimmers with iridescent<br />

mosaic tiles. Complete with bubbles and colourful lights, it<br />

has a decadent table at its centre, presumably for a bottle of<br />

something chilled…<br />

68 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

corner of the terrace, overlooking a small stream and green<br />

hills beyond, sits one of The Tawny’s signature outdoor<br />

spa baths. I say ‘signature’, because every single type of<br />

accommodation at the hotel has one; all outdoors, in prime<br />

position for stargazing.<br />

Conveniently close to this splendid outdoor tub, through a<br />

set of French doors, I discovered Kestrel Cottage’s glamorous<br />

games room, kitted out with a built-in bar, a full-size airhockey<br />

table and a chic, cocoon-like cinema snug area.<br />

Under the watchful eye of a huge, hand-carved wooden<br />

kestrel, we happily bobbed around and tuned into the<br />

rural surroundings and peaceful chorus of gently bleating<br />

sheep, pheasant calls and resounding birdsong. With rolling<br />

countryside as far as the eye can see, we all marvelled at how<br />

tranquil and totally immersed in nature we felt.<br />

The luxurious pool is not the only opportunity for<br />

alfresco bathing at Kestrel Cottage; tucked away in a quiet<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 69

‘<br />

We... made the short drive to The Plumicorn, the hotel’s zero-waste<br />

restaurant, which dishes up a seasonal, ingredient-led menu.’<br />

I then stepped into a vast open-plan space, filled with<br />

natural light and Farrow & Ball’s stylish earthy greens. It's home<br />

to a comfortable seating area; a cool, contemporary kitchen;<br />

and a large dining table stretched out beneath a skylight – all<br />

connected but cleverly designed to feel intimate and cosy.<br />

Floor-to-ceiling retractable glass doors overlook the<br />

garden, swimming pool and generous terrace, perfectly<br />

furnished with comfortable sunbeds, a firepit, another<br />

huge dining table and a Big Green Egg BBQ.<br />

As first impressions go, Kestrel Cottage certainly has the<br />

wow factor, but there are plenty of thoughtful and practical<br />

touches that make it feel reassuringly homely too – an elegant<br />

fireplace with an unlimited supply of logs; a utility room kitted<br />

out with all the mod cons; a smart coffee machine that uses<br />

freshly ground beans; and a good selection of teas and hot<br />

chocolate, ensuring that everyone can enjoy their favourite<br />

cup. There’s even a small, empty rucksack, ready to be packed<br />

for adventures.<br />

70 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

Upstairs, there is no short straw when it comes to<br />

bedrooms. Each of the four spacious en-suites offer unspoilt<br />

countryside views, privacy and a pleasing mix of calming<br />

colours, luxurious furnishings, and playful, nature-inspired<br />

Liberty prints, not to mention fluffy robes, flip-flops and soft<br />

stripey pool towels. Lighting is slick and cosy, and each lavish<br />

bathroom has something special to offer, from double marble<br />

sinks and huge walk-in showers to a show-stopping circular<br />

bathtub, all with the luxury of underfloor heating, too.<br />

back of one and made the short drive to The Plumicorn, the<br />

hotel’s zero-waste restaurant, which dishes up a seasonal,<br />

ingredient-led menu.<br />

Housed in an architecturally designed double-height<br />

space which crowns the estate, the restaurant has a towering<br />

glass wall that comprises one side and overlooks a collage<br />

of glistening ponds and stunning landscaped gardens.<br />

After much running around and delighted squeals of<br />

"look at this!" and "look at that!", it was time to eat.<br />

Kestrel Cottage guests get to enjoy both the joy of<br />

seclusion and the hotel facilities, with transfers in The<br />

Tawny’s fleet of branded Land Rovers. We piled into the<br />

This glorious view is reflected in plant-filled walls and<br />

brightly coloured floral fabrics. We tucked into an array<br />

of imaginative and well-presented dishes, which included<br />

a delicious leek and wild garlic tart; a loaf of fluffy mapleglazed<br />

milk bread; and a sensational sourdough waffle with<br />

maitake mushroom, Bath Soft Cheese and black garlic. With<br />

creative meat, fish and plant-based options, everyone was<br />

well-catered for, and a round of fiendishly good espresso<br />

martinis provided one final crowd-pleaser.<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 71

After an excellent night’s sleep, thanks to heavenly soft<br />

sheets and Hypnos mattresses, the following day was filled<br />

with the kind of nostalgic adventure that unforgettable<br />

family holidays are made of. Less than two minutes from<br />

Kestrel Cottage, and just visible from the garden, lies a piece<br />

of local heritage: the Churnet Valley Railway. We heard<br />

the distinctive ‘toot toot’ and all raced to the track where<br />

we waved in awe as a delightful vintage steam train went<br />

chugging past.<br />

Kestrel Cottage is a good 90-minute walk from The<br />

Tawny so off we went, and it was a staggeringly beautiful<br />

walk. Weaving our way through unspoilt countryside, we<br />

wandered alongside winding canals, played pooh-sticks<br />

and stopped halfway for a veritable feast, thanks to a wicker<br />

picnic hamper that had been prepared by the hotel and<br />

delivered to the cottage earlier that morning. It was brimming<br />

with smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches, crisps,<br />

fresh salads, local cheese and more, plus a bottle of Prosecco,<br />

which more than fuelled us on our way…<br />

Arriving at The Tawny, we picked up a map from<br />

reception and embarked on the hotel’s ‘folly trail’, which<br />

meanders through the pretty grounds, passing various<br />

points of interest, such as a lovely Italian garden, mysterious<br />

grotto and several original stone follies. Had we the time<br />

(or energy) after our walk, we could have had a swim in the<br />

hotel’s stunning outdoor pool, borrowed bikes or indulged<br />

in a GAIA spa treatment, but by midafternoon, Kestrel<br />

Cottage was calling.<br />

Back ‘home’, there was time for one final Tawny-style<br />

treat. If you can’t bear to tear yourself away from the cottage,<br />

an array of hampers can be delivered to you, filled with all<br />


72 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

‘<br />

The table outside was beautifully laid, the firepit lit, and an exquisite<br />

alfresco feast was charcoaled to perfection on the Big Green Egg, accompanied<br />

by an array of tasty salads, fresh bread and more.’<br />

you could need for a slap-up breakfast, hearty Sunday roast,<br />

treat-filled movie night, elevated BBQ, and more. Tailormade<br />

experiences can also be arranged, ranging from yoga<br />

classes and water aerobics to a choice of private dining<br />

options and cocktail-making masterclasses – or a fridge fully<br />

stocked with all the required ingredients, if you’d prefer.<br />

That evening – on our final night – we were lucky enough<br />

to welcome the hotel’s head chef, Andrew Watts, to Kestrel<br />

Cottage. The table outside was beautifully laid, the firepit lit,<br />

and an exquisite alfresco feast was chargrilled to perfection<br />

on the Big Green Egg, accompanied by an array of tasty<br />

salads, fresh bread and more, as well as some of the most<br />

delicious chocolate brownies I have ever eaten.<br />

As the sun set over the Staffordshire countryside, I sat<br />

on the terrace next to the crackling firepit and tuned in once<br />

again to the soothing soundscape. While some disappeared<br />

to mix cocktails at the bar and others enjoyed the privacy of<br />

the outdoor spa bath, I sat peacefully and absorbed the sense<br />

of communal content, and the brilliance of The Tawny, which<br />

is indeed a hotel like no other.<br />

Kestrel Cottage starts at £7,100 for seven-night stays (short<br />

breaks also available –Mon–Fri £3,200 and Fri–Mon £3,900).<br />

Sleeps eight plus two well-behaved dogs; thetawny.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 73


intended<br />

Stunning interiors, delicious plot-to-plate food and inventive<br />

natural wines… <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> visits pioneering<br />

low-intervention vineyard and winery, Tillingham<br />

Text by Sophie Farrah<br />

Part of a growing movement in the UK, the wine it produces<br />

is what’s known as natural or low-intervention, meaning<br />

that it has been made without additives, using traditional<br />

winemaking methods and organically farmed grapes grown<br />

without pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals.<br />

Dew Farm, where the winery is based, dates back to the<br />

13th century and was, up until recently, intensively farmed.<br />

Today, the team at Tillingham is biodynamically breathing<br />

new life into the land, steadily working to restore soil health<br />

and biodiversity across the estate. In 2018, 44,000 vines<br />

were planted, and today, Tillingham’s winery produces<br />

around 40,000 bottles of natural wine per year, using<br />

Once reserved for sunnier climes, rolling green<br />

vineyards are becoming an increasingly<br />

common sight in the <strong>British</strong> countryside. Thanks<br />

to the recent boom in English wine – some of<br />

which now easily rivals Champagne – wine tourism has also<br />

grown, with several wineries across the country now offering<br />

the opportunity to visit, drink, eat and stay the night.<br />

One such vineyard stay can be found at Tillingham<br />

Winery, nestled among 70 acres of rolling hills and ancient<br />

woodland just outside Rye in East Sussex. There are several<br />

factors that make this <strong>British</strong> vineyard unique; firstly,<br />

and some might say most importantly, the winery here is<br />

considered to be one of the most exciting in the country.<br />

74 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

‘<br />

There are several factors that make this <strong>British</strong> vineyard unique... the<br />

wine it produces is what’s known as natural or low-intervention... made<br />

without additives, using traditional winemaking methods and organically<br />

farmed grapes grown without pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals.’<br />

a mixture of its own grapes and some from other <strong>British</strong><br />

vineyards that share a similar ethos.<br />

Many vineyards choose to cultivate a few select grape<br />

varieties; Tillingham grows an impressive 21. They are a<br />

mixture of French and German with the addition of some<br />

lesser-known types in order to satiate the winery’s thirst for<br />

experimentation. Considered ‘low-intervention pioneers’,<br />

Tillingham produces an array of wines that are most<br />

definitely far from the ordinary.<br />

Dynamic winemaker Salvatore Leone’s approach is<br />

based on ancient winemaking and farming methods. In a<br />

brilliant 90-minute tour and tasting, estate manager Tierney<br />

Beames enthusiastically explained some of these complex<br />

techniques, as he showed a small group of us around the<br />

surprisingly small but productive winery. Alchemy is the best<br />

way to describe what happens here; often unpredictable wild<br />

ferments are used, wine is aged in a combination of oak,<br />

stainless steel and Georgian qvevris (terracotta urns that are<br />

traditionally buried in sand for thermal effect), and nature is<br />

allowed to run its course, resulting in expressive wines that<br />

are both unusual and unique.<br />

Over the course of the tour, we tasted a selection of<br />

Tillingham’s recent releases. My favourites included a hazy,<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 75

pale gold sparkling called ‘Col ’22’ – short for ‘Col Fondo’,<br />

an Italian term that refers to an ancestral method of wine<br />

making. Made with Auxerrois and Seyval Blanc, it had<br />

vibrant aromas of green apple, a zippy, lemony palate and<br />

just a hint of creaminess.<br />

care and respect as its vines. This holistic approach means<br />

that nature flourishes across the estate and the farm is now a<br />

haven for wildlife, which creates a wonderfully bucolic guest<br />

experience. Chickens busily peck around in the grass, and<br />

watching the muddy Mangalitza pigs emphatically enjoy<br />

their breakfast is a truly joyful sight.<br />

Another delicious fizz (‘100’; 2022) had been made<br />

using Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc grapes combined with cider<br />

apples, giving it a delicious whisper of cider-like funk and<br />

fruitiness. Tillingham’s Ortega-only white (‘Endgrain’) tasted<br />

like summer in a glass, with notes of elderflower, stone fruit<br />

and crisp acidity. Each wine was completely different, all of<br />

them distinctive and excitingly complex.<br />

As the vineyard is biodynamic and regeneratively farmed,<br />

it also treats its plants, wildlife and livestock with the same<br />

Beneath the farm’s esteemed, picture-perfect oast house<br />

sits a small paddock of goats, a pretty duck pond, and a small<br />

grid of planted herbs and flourishing flowerbeds. You’re likely<br />

to spot friendly farm cat, Bertie, too, happily rolling around in<br />

the sunshine.<br />

The other big draw at Tillingham is exquisite design, from<br />

the well-considered contemporary bottle labels wow-factor<br />

76 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

interiors. Former farm buildings have been transformed<br />

into several chic spaces; a striking and oh-so-tasteful mix of<br />

smooth concrete floors, exposed brick walls, exotic plants<br />

and pops of modern art and graphic design.<br />

The bar area is a mishmash of rustic and mid-century<br />

furniture; it has a cool, industrial quality, but flickering<br />

candles (in waxy wine bottles, of course), careful lighting,<br />

and statement flower arrangements add softness and an<br />

irresistible warmth. It’s all incredibly aesthetically pleasing,<br />

but not intimidatingly so.<br />

There are 11 stylish bedrooms located in the estate’s<br />

former hop barn, plus two sleek, high-spec bell tents in the<br />

summer months. Two larger ‘Feature Double’ bedrooms<br />

include Room 4, which has its own private terrace<br />

‘<br />

The bar area is a mishmash of rustic and mid-century furniture; it has a<br />

cool, industrial quality... and an irresistible warmth.<br />

’<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 77

‘<br />

A Roberts radio is the only tech provided – a deliberate choice by Tillingham<br />

in order to create a tranquil and immersive environment for its guests.’<br />

overlooking the vines, and Room 11, which features a perfectly<br />

positioned freestanding tub. I stayed in the latter; cosy and<br />

cocoon-like, thanks to its dark colour palate and scattered<br />

sheepskins. This deeply pleasing split-level space is also<br />

immersed in natural light as a result of several vast windows<br />

that perfectly frame the sheep-dotted fields and rows of<br />

leafy vines outside. There’s also a sumptuous king-size bed,<br />

a spacious shower room and a small decanter of delicious<br />

walnut liqueur, made on a nearby farm. A Roberts radio is<br />

the only tech provided – a deliberate choice by Tillingham in<br />

order to create a tranquil and immersive environment for its<br />

guests. A wise decision if you ask me, as the instant sense of<br />

peace and serenity was glorious.<br />

Finally, there is the food. A relaxed all-day menu is served<br />

in the spacious bar, and in the summer months there’s also a<br />

large, open-sided barn and a lovely vineyard-facing terrace,<br />

with beautiful views along the Tillingham River valley, across<br />

to Rye, and beyond to Dungeness. Crisp sourdough pizzas<br />

come fresh from a huge wood-fired oven. An excellent<br />

Margherita and a glass of Tillingham ‘Dew’ – a luscious,<br />

vibrant, cherry-coloured red wine, served chilled – was a<br />

match made in heaven, while punchy garden pickles, wild<br />

garlic pesto, and a fresh bitter leaf salad made perfect sides.<br />

Above the bar in another beautifully designed space,<br />

with floor-to-ceiling windows and more glorious views, is<br />

where a refined dining experience awaits. Awarded a Green<br />

Michelin Star for its rigorous approach to sustainability, the<br />

restaurant at Tillingham serves a sophisticated, flavour-led<br />

five-course tasting menu that showcases produce from its<br />

78 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

nearby walled garden, surrounding farms, meat reared on<br />

the estate, and fish caught daily at Rye Harbour. Highlights<br />

included wafer-thin slices of celeriac with hazelnut and pear;<br />

a perfectly cooked skate wing doused in a light, creamy<br />

sauce, topped with rainbow chard and salty pops of trout roe;<br />

and a beautiful bright green and pink macaron, made with<br />

Alexander (a parsley-type herb) and sweet, fruity rhubarb.<br />

more than enough to set me up for the day.<br />

The sense of creativity found at Tillingham is palpable,<br />

from the attractive interiors, friendly, learned team, freshly<br />

made food, and of course, its extraordinary wines. I highly<br />

recommend sitting on the terrace on a warm summer’s day<br />

with a glass of ‘Spiral’ in hand – a mouthwateringly juicy,<br />

strawberry-pink creation with notes of crunchy apricot and<br />

plenty of texture. I took a sip and gazed out across the vines,<br />

listening to gentle hum of bees and watching as two buzzards<br />

soared overhead. How wonderful to sit and drink something<br />


There are two options when it comes to wine pairings: a<br />

selection of Tillingham’s top tipples, or an opportunity to try<br />

some interesting (and very delicious), low-intervention wines<br />

from around the world, carefully sourced by the restaurant’s<br />

hugely knowledgeable team.<br />

A leisurely farmhouse breakfast is served in the same<br />

beautiful space. There’s a simple chalkboard menu scribbled<br />

with the likes of soft-boiled eggs, mushrooms on toast,<br />

and the ‘full Tillingham’, but the steady stream of fresh<br />

sourdough bread, Neal’s Yard cheese, granola and fruit was<br />

so delicious produced with passion from the vines right in<br />

front me, made with no chemicals, and in harmony with the<br />

land. Just as nature – and Tillingham – intended.<br />

Rooms at Tillingham start at £175 per night with breakfast,<br />

bell tents (May to September) from £150 per night. Dog-friendly<br />

rooms available. Tours £35 per person; tillingham.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 79




the sweet spot<br />

The bonnie banks of Loch Lomond are immortalised in song but this serene<br />

body of water is dotted with intriguing islands too. Come for a few days to<br />

hike untamed peaks, take refreshing loch dips and sip on delicious drams<br />

Text by Natalie Paris<br />

learnt, is home to white deer, while another has its own nudist<br />

colony (in Scotland!).<br />

I knew the ‘bonnie banks’ of Loch Lomond from the folk<br />

song but I didn’t know that the loch is the largest in Scotland<br />

by surface area (as opposed to volume). It is five times the<br />

size of Windermere and stretches for 24 miles in the Trossachs<br />

National Park, across a faultline between the Lowlands north<br />

of Glasgow and the glens and peaks of the Scottish Highlands.<br />

Osprey, red squirrels and deer live here and the shores are lined<br />

with oaks, undisturbed moss and ferns.<br />

From a hilltop bristling with bracken, a scattering of<br />

islands and islets lay before us; droplets of green in<br />

a sheet of still water. The horizon was reminiscent<br />

of a coastal archipelago. Yet, as the wisps of distant<br />

rain drifting along the hillside reminded us, we were not in<br />

the tropics but in Scotland. These islands belonged to a<br />

freshwater loch that wound between us and a neighbouring<br />

mountain range. Halfway up Beinn Dubh, and Loch Lomond<br />

had revealed its secrets. The loch contains more than 20<br />

islands and we could spot many of them. One, we later<br />

80 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

‘<br />

Beinn Dubh... can be tackled from Luss, a conservation village. Slate and<br />

sandstone cottages that once belonged to miners and weavers run down to<br />

the shore. Rambling roses frame their latticed windows.<br />

’<br />

Beinn Dubh, which means ‘black mountain’, looks upon<br />

the loch from the west, and its 642m-high heft can be tackled<br />

from Luss, a conservation village. Slate and sandstone<br />

cottages that once belonged to miners and weavers run down<br />

to the shore. Rambling roses frame their latticed windows. We<br />

tugged on our walking boots and followed a path that ran out<br />

from behind the village through fields. It kept climbing, past<br />

a rushing stream, damp woods and even damper sheep until<br />

we were rewarded with marvellous loch views whenever we<br />

stopped to catch our breath. More islands popped into sight<br />

at every resting point, while the loch’s white-painted ferry cut a<br />

steady course across the water.<br />

Up here, the wind had grown strong and swelled at our<br />

backs, so I was grateful for my jacket. Around our feet however,<br />

lay the most beautiful bog. Sparks of fiery orange bog asphodel<br />

brightened swathes of mud-saturated grass and gathered<br />

around puddles that mirrored the cotton-wool clouds overhead.<br />

We had been tracking our route using the hiking app,<br />

AllTrails (alltrails.com/en-gb), which would buzz if we strayed<br />

from the path. But it was too windy to reach Beinn Dubh’s<br />

summit. Thanks to the panorama, the walk back down was<br />

glorious nonetheless, with rare moments of sunshine casting<br />

light on the loch’s many bays.<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 81

‘<br />

I knew the ‘bonnie banks’ of Loch Lomond from the folk song but I didn’t<br />

know that the loch is the largest in Scotland by surface area... five times the size<br />

of Windermere and stretches for 24 miles...<br />

’<br />

Back on Luss’s shingle beach, my aching calves cried out<br />

for water therapy. You can hire kayaks here but I piled my<br />

clothes up high near the jetty and instead slipped into the<br />

gin-clear loch for a swim. Gazing up at Beinn Dubh, a rainbow<br />

materialised above the summit. A peak to conquer another<br />

day, perhaps.<br />

Many of Loch Lomond’s islands have a story to<br />

tell and the largest are well worth a wander. A ferry<br />

(cruiselochlomond.co.uk) stops at mainland villages and the<br />

island of Inchcailloch. It makes it easy to cycle along parts of<br />

82 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

the shoreline too, with bicycles permitted on waterbus routes.<br />

Alternatively, you can charter a boat for up to 12 people and<br />

have the freedom of the loch.<br />

On Inchcailloch, bluebells fan across the forest floor in May<br />

and, at Port Bawn, there is a sandy beach where you can picnic<br />

and have a paddle. The island has a population of fallow deer<br />

and, during our visit, walkers told us they had been struck by<br />

the sight of a rare white stag among the trees.<br />

across the loch’s widest stretch, taking in Inchcailloch and flat<br />

Inchfad, a private island once linked to illicit whisky distilling.<br />

The ferry also visits the RSPB nature reserve at Inversnaid, on<br />

the loch’s northeastern shore, where there are trails and the<br />

River Arklet flows into Loch Lomond at Inversnaid waterfall,<br />

through internationally important Atlantic oakland.<br />

Loch Lomond narrows and becomes more fjord-like in<br />

the north, where there are munros to bag. These peaks are<br />

dusted with snow in winter, while in autumn the loch reflects<br />

the riot of russet and gold that blazes across the forest slopes.<br />

Ben Lomond, to the east, is the area’s most southerly munro.<br />

My AllTrails app described it as a popular but hard 6.5km<br />

trail that leads to a 974m-high summit, with some scrambling<br />

at the end.<br />

For alternative views, the ferry can cross to Balmaha, on<br />

the loch’s eastern flank, for a short but satisfying walk up to<br />

Conic Hill (361m). Highland cattle chew silently as a path<br />

winds up to a softly-rounded hilltop. Here, we looked out<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 83

After a weekend of walking, I was glad that our hotel was<br />

not only based directly on the loch banks but that it also had a<br />

sauna. The Lodge on Loch Lomond occupies a peaceful spot<br />

beside Luss and you can warm your muscles in a small spa that<br />

overlooks the water. The restaurant and bedrooms face the<br />

silvery expanse too. The loch’s showpiece hotel, meanwhile,<br />

is Cameron House, a grand, turreted mansion with luxurious<br />

lodges and its own seaplane ostentatiously parked outside.<br />

The hotel also has a spa, plus a cinema and some great<br />

restaurants. The Grill offers a traditional dining experience,<br />

with high-quality Scottish meat, fish and seafood on the menu.<br />

Try the sophisticated take on typical cullen skink – a thick soup<br />

with smoked haddock, potatoes and leeks.<br />

For a final treat, we took a trip to the Glengoyne whisky<br />

distillery (glengoyne.com), which dates to 1833. It is half-anhour’s<br />

drive from Luss and produces a superior single malt.<br />

Our guide walked us around the malting floor, describing the<br />

distilling process but more unusually, also revealed a display<br />

of bottles that showed the colour of aged whisky at different<br />

stages and in different casks. A tasting followed, of course,<br />

alongside chocolate pairings, which were surprisingly good.<br />

Later that evening, as I sipped a straw-coloured dram at<br />

the hotel bar, the moonlit quiet of the loch was a reassuring<br />

companion. I had to remind myself that we were only a<br />

30-minute drive from Glasgow – how very bonnie indeed.<br />

Double rooms at the Lodge on Loch Lomond cost from<br />

£189, including breakfast; loch-lomond.co.uk. A three-night<br />

stay at Cameron House in a Contemporary or Classic room,<br />

with full access to Cameron Leisure Club is from £756 per<br />

room, including breakfast for two people in the Cameron Grill<br />

Restaurant, until September 30; cameronhouse.co.uk<br />



84 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

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slow road<br />

Instead of sticking to the usual thoroughfares, <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> embraces<br />

the art of unhurried travel by driving part of the South West 660 and finds<br />

tiny family run vineyards, rural thatched hotels near beaches, and pioneers<br />

of sustainable farming and fishing<br />

Text by Emma Henderson<br />

It’s not essential to be a car enthusiast to embark on the<br />

trip, just be sure to pack your sense of adventure. The route is<br />

broken into 12 sections and I'm doing the third segment, plus<br />

part of the fourth, from Exeter to Dartmouth. There are guided<br />

directions on the website, but of course it's flexible and you<br />

don't have to exactly stick to it, which is part of the fun.<br />

This more leisurely approach aims to show what's beyond<br />

the southwest's main road's service stations and to support<br />

local independent businesses. And there's plenty of them<br />

who have made it their mantra to look after and champion<br />

what's around them. One who has been doing it for 25 years<br />

is broadcaster, food writer and campaigner, Hugh Fearnley-<br />

I'm driving along narrow and windy roads on the South<br />

Devon coast. My phone's Google Maps app keeps telling<br />

me its 'rerouting', as my eta continues to increase. The<br />

app is desperately trying to make me turn left at every<br />

opportunity. But the car I'm following in our group onto the<br />

next destination isn't turning left. No, I'm not lost, I'm taking<br />

the slow road.<br />

I'm driving part of the South West 660 driving route.<br />

Like it sounds, it's a mammoth 660-mile circuit beginning<br />

in Dorset, running along Devon and Cornwall's southern<br />

sides, and looping back via the county's northern coastlines,<br />

finishing in Somerset.<br />

86 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

‘<br />

After snaking down roads, we make a pit stop at Beer, home to Marine<br />

House at Beer and Steam Gallery, about 20 minutes away. The pebbled<br />

beach, flanked by chalky white cliffs, is full of hauled-up boats waiting to<br />

go out to sea again the following day.’<br />

Whittingstall, who hit screens back in 1999 with his River<br />

Cottage programme. The River Cottage is where I'm starting<br />

the South West 660 on the Dorset and Devon border.<br />

Following Hugh's holistic ethos, much of the food at River<br />

Cottage's cafe comes from its 100-acre organic farm. We're<br />

lucky enough to have lunch with Hugh, and over pudding he<br />

explains how the River Cottage team are constantly looking<br />

at ways to reduce sugar and include more plants in the<br />

dishes. It follows on from his latest book HowTo Eat 30 Plants<br />

A Week. As we're talking, I'm wondering how it's possible to<br />

work this concept into a realistic diet, before he explains it<br />

includes seeds and even spices...phew.<br />

If you've got time – of course you have, this is the slow<br />

road after all – book one of the cooking school's many<br />

inspiring courses and stay at the original River Cottage<br />

farmhouse, which is now self-catering accommodation.<br />

After snaking down roads, we make a pit stop at Beer,<br />

home to Marine House at Beer and Steam Gallery, about 20<br />

minutes away. The pebbled beach, flanked by chalky white<br />

cliffs, is full of hauled-up boats waiting to go out to sea again<br />

the following day. Marc and Leanne run Beer Fisheries Ltd,<br />

the fourth generation to oversee it during the past 45 years.<br />

The little hole-in-the-wall fish market is just 100m from the<br />

water, selling the day's catch from The Lyme Bay Reserve and<br />

Brixham.<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 87

Just a 10-minute drive up the road and we reach our bed for<br />

the night at the Masons Arms pub in Branscombe, a 15-minute<br />

walk from Branscombe Beach. Set in a valley, this bucolic<br />

village justice with the 14th-century thatched pub looks as<br />

'chocolate-box' as they come; photographs don't do it justice.<br />

The following day, despite it being before 12pm – and<br />

therefore not socially acceptable to contemplate an alcoholic<br />

drink – we head off to Budleigh Salterton's Lily Farm<br />

Vineyard, one of the UK's smallest at just 1.5 acres. Run by<br />

Alan and Faye Pratt, it was previously their horses' paddock,<br />

but after realising its perfect conditions for viticulture<br />

The inn's expansion has sprawled into the village, and<br />

my room is here in the converted cottages: the Branscombe<br />

rooms. It's so big; there's a separate seating area, a<br />

freestanding roll-top bath and a spacious bathroom.<br />

Huge beams, hung with boho-esque lampshades,<br />

dominate the peaked ceiling. There's plenty of sage green<br />

and heritage hues, floral patterns, vintage-look prints and<br />

decorative trinkets giving an element of The Pig or Soho<br />

House's style, but without the price tag.<br />

(sandstone slopes that are 40m above sea level, southfacing<br />

and near the sea), they turned their hands to vines,<br />

creating white, red, rosé and sparkling. As the saying goes,<br />

good things come in small packages and its award-winning<br />

bacchus is wonderfully fresh, spritely and fruity, so it comes<br />

home with me.<br />

88 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

Winetasting over, I'm now unsurprisingly ready for lunch,<br />

and we continue our journey and head off to eat at The Farm<br />

Table. It's one of a handful of Darts Farm's dining options –<br />

another grassroots business that humbly began 50 years ago<br />

as a roadside hut selling its own produce. It's also making<br />

substantial sustainability commitments, from its solar power<br />

running the farm shop and farm facilities, to using excess<br />

energy from shop fridges to heat water, and following a nowaste<br />

nose-to-tail ethos with its Devonian Ruby Red cattle.<br />

The farm shop's food offering alone is vast, where the focus is<br />

heavily on hyperlocal and southwest produce.<br />

There's also a vineyard, a cidery, a chocolate cafe<br />

(chocolate is even made on-site), a cheesemonger, and<br />

a butchery. It's a serious family affair, with a number of<br />

generations and copious family members working across<br />

many of its departments. It's wise to stock up on takeaway<br />

items and drinks here for any potential picnicking spots along<br />

the way, of which there are many.<br />

‘<br />

There's also a vineyard, a cidery, a chocolate cafe, a cheesemonger, and a<br />

butchery... It's wise to stock up on takeaway items and drinks here for any<br />

potential picnicking spots along the way, of which there are many.<br />

’<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 89

‘<br />

Wine bottles adorn the walls and mustard-yellow, booth-style seating<br />

makes it feel like we're in Paris, not Devon.’<br />

Back in the car, we're driving south along Torquay's coast<br />

road, which has some of the best views going near Thatcher<br />

Point, with deeply curved sandy bays and a handful of 'rock<br />

islands' cut off by coastal erosion. If the weather allows,<br />

have that picnic here – there's perfectly placed benches on a<br />

grassy slope looking out to sea.<br />

Further on, one of the highlights for driving fans is<br />

Slapton Ley, an unusual road that is just a thin piece of<br />

land with water either side, where for about a kilometre the<br />

road feels almost as if you're driving straight over the water.<br />

After the quick thrill, we hotfoot it back up the coast on to<br />

glamorous Dartmouth to stay at the Dart Marina Hotel,<br />

where my balcony overlooks the marina. With the afternoon<br />

90 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

light, it's absolutely the spot for a little sundowner before<br />

dinner in Zephyr, the hotel's restaurant.<br />

As the sunshine continues, we spend the morning<br />

kayaking with Sea Kayak Devon up the River Dart to<br />

Dartmouth Castle, bobbing past the small sailing boats<br />

Don't miss the lobster langoustine fritti – as<br />

wonderfully decadent as it sounds, it's Mitch's elevated<br />

take on scampi. Then go for the fanfare of dayboat fish<br />

that's cooked whole over a charcoal grill and plated<br />

up at the table. Mitch has been integral in pioneering<br />

traceability in fishing, ensuring it's been responsibly<br />

caught and can be traced back to the exact boat and<br />

skipper who caught it.<br />


coming in and out of the marina. We can't help eyeing up the<br />

waterfront houses, many with their own little boathouses, as<br />

our guide James points out the most impressive. We think we<br />

see a glimpse of a seal ducking back below the depths, but<br />

James says sightings of them are quite rare.<br />

After working up an appetite paddling back to shore,<br />

it's time for the reward, so we head to the best seat<br />

in town, The Seahorse. Owned by Mitch Tonks (who<br />

also owns the Rockfish mini-chain of restaurants), The<br />

Seahorse is his Mediterranean-inspired brasserie. Wine<br />

bottles adorn the walls and mustard-yellow, booth-style<br />

seating makes it feel like we're in Paris, not Devon.<br />

Happily full, it’s a hearty lunch to round off a worthy<br />

journey. This glimpse into the South West 660 is a welcome<br />

tonic to our fast pace of life. Maybe it's time we all turn off<br />

our satnavs and get a little lost.<br />

Emma Henderson cruised the South West in the new Audi Q8<br />

e-tron (audi.co.uk), with improved efficiency and range, as well as<br />

a refined design. For further information, visit southwest660.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 91

LUXURY<br />

SUMMER<br />

Stays<br />

Embrace warmer weather in<br />

style by bedding down at one<br />

of these gorgeous properties.<br />

Whether it’s wellness, walking<br />

or a weekend with the family<br />

that’s calling, there is a hotel<br />

for every occasion<br />

Text by Natalie Paris<br />


Combe Grove, Bath<br />

For health benefits that will last a lifetime, make<br />

wellbeing a priority this summer and sign up to a<br />

comprehensive, holistic programme, such as the Metabolic<br />

Health Retreat at Combe Grove. This medi-spa has peaceful<br />

valley views from a hillside outside Bath. Its weeklong<br />

programme comes with 48 weeks of follow-up support to<br />

keep you on track even after you’ve checked-out. Specialisms<br />

within the year-round programme include pre-diabetes,<br />

menopause and food addiction.<br />

Combe Grove’s outdoor pool overlooks ancient<br />

woodland, while the spa has a Scandi-style indoor pool<br />

and a nature-inspired gym. Accommodation is on site and<br />

in-room amenities are individually tailored to make stays<br />

more comfortable.<br />

A week’s Metabolic Health Retreat, with a three-week<br />

lead-in and year-long support from £2,600, various dates;<br />

combegrove.com<br />

92 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

2<br />


The Fife Arms, Braemar<br />

With a wealth of cultural and outdoor activities<br />

available at The Fife Arms, solo travellers will never<br />

be short of things to do. This artsy boutique hotel, with folky,<br />

dreamlike interiors, sits amid dramatic scenery in the Scottish<br />

Highlands. This summer, guests can pony trek to a whisky<br />

tasting, or head out on a stargazing trip, warming up with a<br />

dram in a bothy while hearing tales of folklore.<br />

It’s possible to learn survival skills out in the wilderness and<br />

to practise yoga and breathwork in view of local mountains.<br />

Capture the landscape during a day of wild sketching or<br />

photography course, or get inventive –design your own<br />

Scottish-inspired tartan or join a creative-writing workshop,<br />

led by professional writer and poet Gillian Shearer.<br />

A one-night stay in a double room, including a three-hour<br />

creative-writing course for one person from £773, various dates;<br />

thefifearms.com<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 93


No 1 by GuestHouse York<br />

There is lots for children to love at GuestHouse hotels,<br />

whether it’s the tipis that can be erected in rooms, the<br />

pantries that can be raided for goodies or the Yoto audio players that<br />

are available to borrow. Rooms for families also come equipped with<br />

board games, toys, bedtime stories and a Polaroid camera to have<br />

fun with. Plus, York has a host of family-friendly attractions to enjoy<br />

over the summer, including the interactive JORVIK Viking Centre and<br />

the National Railway Museum, filled with shiny engines.<br />

When hunger calls, you can fulfil your children’s wildest pizza<br />

dreams at the only authentic Neapolitan pizza maker in York (and<br />

one of only eight such Neopolitan pizzerias in the UK) acknowledged<br />

with certification by the True Neapolitan Pizza Association.<br />

One night’s stay for two adults and a child in a large guest room from<br />

£260, including breakfast; guesthousehotels.co.uk<br />

4<br />


Bowood Hotel, Wiltshire<br />

Bowood House has a lake and<br />

cascades in its 100 acres of<br />

landscaped, Capability Brown parkland.<br />

Visit during the summer when the roses are in<br />

full bloom, the geraniums are flowering, and the<br />

kitchen garden is at its best. Guests at Bowood<br />

Hotel gain free entry and can head up to the<br />

woods to follow a trail past colourful blooms of<br />

rhododendrons and azaleas, carpets of bluebells<br />

and soft-petalled magnolias.<br />

Bowood House is Georgian, but Bowood<br />

Hotel is a modern-build property, with a small<br />

spa, located a short walk from the house and<br />

gardens. The hotel borders a golf course and a<br />

deer park and is on the Great West Way touring<br />

route between London and Bristol, an adventure<br />

perfect for slow travellers – based on ancient<br />

routes through idyllic countryside.<br />

A one-night stay on Bowood’s Garden Escape<br />

from £190, with full board and a tour of Lord and<br />

Lady Lansdowne’s Private Walled Garden, until 18<br />

September; bowood.org<br />

94 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

5<br />


The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny<br />

The market town of Abergavenny is a<br />

gateway to hikes in the Brecon Beacons,<br />

as well as being somewhere to feast on gourmet<br />

Welsh produce. The Angel is a former coaching<br />

inn in the heart of town. In summer, walks in the<br />

National Park are less boggy underfoot.<br />

A manageable, half-day hike could be up the<br />

Sugar Loaf, a 596m-high hill that looms above<br />

the town. Alternatively, commit a day to master<br />

the trickier peak of Pen y Fan (886m). Cycling,<br />

paragliding and hang-gliding are also available<br />

and can be arranged at the hotel. Abergavenny<br />

Castle is only a short stroll away, as are a number<br />

of fine cafes, bakeries and restaurants; the best<br />

of which is The Walnut Tree, a Michelin-starred<br />

restaurant and the hotel’s sister property. The<br />

hotel also runs local foraging weekends.<br />

Weekend foraging break from £365 for a<br />

one-night stay and a three-hour foraging course<br />

on Sunday morning, end of June, July and August;<br />

angelabergavenny.com<br />

6<br />


Lord Crewe Arms, Northumberland<br />

These stone buildings on the North Pennine Moors were<br />

once a guesthouse for a local abbey. A log fire burns<br />

on chilly evenings, while there is a bar below ground in the crypt.<br />

Bedrooms come with woollen throws, while some have a window<br />

seat, a medieval window, a roll-top bath or an outdoor firepit. Best<br />

of all, canine companions can join in the fun and will relish walking<br />

opportunities in the countryside. Up to two well-behaved dogs<br />

are welcome in 16 suitable bedrooms, where they will find a bed, a<br />

bowl, a towel and some treats. Dogs are also allowed in the bar, a<br />

couple of dining rooms and in the garden.<br />

One night in a double room with dog from £204, including<br />

breakfast; lordcrewearmsblanchland.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 95

8<br />


Harbour Hotel Richmond, Surrey<br />

Reached via the tube or National Rail from<br />

London, this 18th-century hotel and spa makes a<br />

convenient base for sightseeing in the capital, after which<br />

guests can retreat to leafy Surrey. Feet that have pounded<br />

London’s streets can be soaked in a hydrotherapy pool or a<br />

Scandinavian hot tub. The hotel lies adjacent to Richmond<br />

Park, one of the city’s great green lungs, where woodland<br />

and roaming deer provide respite from the hustle and<br />

bustle. In summer, Richmond is a great place to experience<br />

the River Thames and the hotel offers paddleboarding<br />

opportunities or can arrange genteel rowing-boat hire.<br />

The Tudor grandeur of Hampton Court Palace is a short<br />

drive away, with Windsor Castle also easily accessible via<br />

train. Meanwhile, a couple of stops away on the tube, Kew<br />

Gardens is where 50,000 plants grow in the Royal Botanic<br />

Gardens.<br />

One night’s stay in a double room from £165, excluding<br />

breakfast; harbourhotels.co.uk<br />

7<br />


Cary Arms & Spa, Devon<br />

Sitting out on the terrace or at the Captain’s<br />

table in the summertime, feasting on freshly<br />

caught lobster, is a one-of-a-kind culinary experience.<br />

On a clear day, you can see Portland Bill, 40 miles<br />

away, as well as Teignmouth, Exmouth and Sidmouth.<br />

Resident seal Sammy, (who has a lager named after<br />

him behind the bar) is seen most days basking on the<br />

rocks or wallowing by the pier. Stay in one of their new<br />

stylish beach huts, and unwind in the hotel’s waterfall<br />

hydrotherapy pool with ocean views. Better still, with<br />

complimentary fishing rods guests are encouraged to<br />

bring their freshly caught mackerel back to the hotel<br />

for the chefs to cook it for you, presenting you with a<br />

delicious lunch or snack, lightly oven-baked and served<br />

with butter, lemon, and salad. Delicious!<br />

Luxury rooms at Cary Arms & Spa start from<br />

£220 per night, beach huts from £295 bed and breakfast;<br />

caryarms.co.uk<br />

96 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com


The Headland, Cornwall<br />

Blustery walks are part of the appeal<br />

at The Headland, a landmark<br />

Victorian hotel in Newquay, accompanied<br />

by the sight of surfers catching waves at<br />

Fistral Beach. Take a surf lesson, explore the<br />

South West Coast Path or simply enjoy the<br />

beach before summer’s crowds descend. The<br />

AquaClub is a new £10 million wellness club<br />

built with natural materials and featuring<br />

outdoor pools that overlook the Atlantic.<br />

Further pools are found indoors and in the<br />

hotel spa. Accommodation at The Headland<br />

comes in cottages, rooms and suites. Cornish<br />

produce is king at the RenMor restaurant,<br />

with catches fresh from the dayboats, and sea<br />

views for miles.<br />

One night’s stay in a double room from £195,<br />

including breakfast; headlandhotel.co.uk<br />


Lucknam Park, Wiltshire<br />

Make the most of the 500 acres on the Lucknam<br />

10BEST<br />

Park estate by staying with friends or family in<br />

one of the hotel’s high-spec cottages. There are nine to choose<br />

from, with larger cottages sleeping up to eight. Some are located<br />

close to the hotel’s equestrian centre and two are brand new this<br />

spring. Each has a modern country kitchen, lounge, parking and<br />

a garden. Guests cosying up inside have access to all the hotel’s<br />

facilities, including its expansive spa. Complement a night to<br />

remember at the Michelin-star Restaurant Hywel Jones with lunch<br />

or dinner at the hotel’s new Walled Garden Restaurant.<br />

Two nights midweek in a three-bedroom cottage, sleeping six,<br />

from £2,080; lucknampark.co.uk<br />

<strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com 97


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<br />

Answers will be printed in the Autumn/Winter 2024 Issue<br />

Clues & Reviews<br />

Page turners and puzzles to challenge<br />

your holiday brains<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

ACROSS<br />

1 The ---, hotel opposite Hampton<br />

Court (5)<br />

4 Top dining spot, --- aux<br />

Quat'Saisons (2,6)<br />

10 Perversely, possibly the oldest<br />

Thames crossing (9)<br />

11 The Lord --- Arms, formerly a<br />

guesthouse for Blanchland<br />

Abbey (5)<br />

12 Sartorial mementoes for just<br />

about anything or anywhere (1-6)<br />

13 Firm to the bite (2,5)<br />

14 Flight commander (8,6)<br />

18 Tarragon dressing (9,5)<br />

22 Alert to danger, run a dog<br />

ragged (2,5)<br />

24 Close in on the answer (3,4)<br />

26 Kind of power switch (2-3)<br />

27 Jazz singer widow of Johnny<br />

Dankworth (4,5)<br />

28 Well measurement (8)<br />

29 The ---, former Abergavenny<br />

posting inn (5)<br />

DOWN<br />

1 Superlatively small US mitten<br />

cut to ribbons (8)<br />

2 The Chelsea ---, formerly the<br />

Draycott Hotel (9)<br />

3 Solecism (5)<br />

5 Evaluate visually (7)<br />

6 Ideal rustics (9)<br />

7 Vast quantity (5)<br />

8 Made a big stink (6)<br />

9 Supplements (4,2)<br />

15 Worrying sight at a beach<br />

(6,3)<br />

16 Aping (9)<br />

17 It gives rise to gametes (4,4)<br />

19 Carries off (7)<br />

20 Collection including 1 Across<br />

(6)<br />

21 Trossachs loch (6)<br />

23 Combe ---, Bath wellbeing<br />

centre (5)<br />

25 It was a day off for Gene<br />

Pitney (5)<br />


We're adding to our bookshelf...<br />

1 If you enjoyed our 100 Glorious Years article (Spring 2024 edition) about the iconic<br />

Scottish hotel Gleneagles celebrating its centenary, then you’ll love the limited-edition<br />

book, Gleneagles Stories from the Glorious Playground. Published to coincide with the<br />

hotel's special milestone, it explores the heritage, glamour, and timeless sophistication<br />

of this enduring Scottish treasure. Priced £91, rizzolibookstore.com. 2 The Hut, Colwell<br />

Bay, set on the water’s edge on the Isle of Wight showcases the best recipes from<br />

The Hut and takes readers through the history of the restaurant over the years. Priced<br />

£20, thehutcolwell.co.uk. 3 For a mindful journey, Slow <strong>Travel</strong> Britain features inspiring<br />

ways to explore England, Scotland and Wales that encourage a deeper connection with<br />

their landscapes, people and culture. Priced £35, hoxtonminipress.com<br />

HOW TO ENTER – Simply send your completed crossword (or the<br />

answers) and your postal address by post to <strong>British</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>,<br />

Snows Stadium, Salisbury Road, Southampton, SO40 2RW, or email<br />

the answers to crossword@britishtraveljournal.com<br />

GRAND ADVENTURE MAP – The National Trust's brand-new map<br />

with top places to visit around the UK (shop.nationaltrust.org.uk) will<br />

be sent to the first three correct entrants received this issue.<br />


ACROSS 1 Elcot 4 Bramhall 10 Headboard 11 SECAM 12 Delayed<br />

13 Chewton 14 Anthropologist 17 Persian carpets 22 In a hole 24 Astride<br />

26 Epsom 27 The Goring 28 Necklace 29 Nodes.<br />

DOWN 1 Echidna 2 Charlotte 3 Tubby 5 Radical 6 Messenger 7 Ascot<br />

8 Lomond 9 Laid up 15 Restormel 16 Specified 18 Aseptic 19 Craven<br />

20 Sleighs 21 Eilean 23 Assoc 25 Troon<br />

98 <strong>British</strong><strong>Travel</strong><strong>Journal</strong>.com

Made by nature, crafted by Bramley<br />




To request a copy of our Spring Summer catalogue please visit our website,<br />

where you’ll also discover more exciting brands and our latest summer styles.<br />


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