When we think of England, we think of centuries of tradition, the “Commonwealth on which the sun never sets” and a style and class associated with a rather starchy people with aristocratic tendencies. While the Queen and the House of Lords irresistibly evoke this glorious Empire, it becomes evident when visiting the country that here everything looks to the future and a spirit of youth wafts over a country where every extravagances and craze becomes the height of fashion!
The city founded its power on navigation, thriving on the banks of its beloved River Thames while keeping an eye on the sea beyond. Although it lies 70 kilometers upstream from the Channel, London is a maritime metropolis, a city of docks and warehouses, a center of commercial and political conquest. Its bond with the sea gives the British capital its distinctive colors: a sky in an endless palette of grays, its streetlights casting billowy yellow pools in the misty night, its deceptively untamed parks cloaked in deep, dark greens. From the far-flung corners of the globe that once made up its empire, London has learned the art of subjugating nature. In St. James’s Park and in front of the lovely brick townhouses of South Kensington, bursts of primrose and forget-me-not blossoms adorn meticulously groomed lawns. But there’s more to West London, where earls and countesses rub shoulders with well-heeled expatriates, than its elegant avenues and squares. Contemporary art and design, a lively culinary scene… this is a hive of creativity.
The reputation of its music festival makes it easy to forget that Glastonbury, thought to be the site of the mythical island of Avalon, entered the annals of history nearly a millennium ago when local monks claimed to have discovered the tomb of King Arthur in a tree trunk. Risible as they may seem today, such fables are treasured here as timeless truths. This is Celtic country, a land of traditions where legends are as real as the rock stars who grace the stage here every summer. Even though little is known about the great Arthur, the people of Glastonbury are firmly convinced that his remains were brought here in the early 6th century after his death on the battlefield. With the Saxon Wars a distant memory, today’s certainty is southern England’s warm and pleasant climate, which produces a rich harvest. In springtime, orchards in blossom transform the Kentish landscape into a tableau of bright colors and delicate scents. Late summer in the so-called “Garden of England” sees more and more vineyards bearing fruit, in preference to hops, traditionally picked by East End Londoners and hung out to dry in the round towers of Kentish oast houses. The ancestral royal hunting ground of the New Forest, England’s oldest national park, is at its resplendent best in the fall.
Hotel and restaurant in the country. With its breath-taking west coast scenery and incredible views of the loch, Airds Hotel is the perfect spot to soak up the beauty of Scotland. Port Appin, where the hotel is located, provided the opening for Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel “Kidnapped”. This exquisite 18th century lochside hotel with charmingly decorated rooms represents the very best of Scottish elegance. Excellent service is combined with the finest cuisine and a wine list that is just as impressive; admiring the spectacular views of the atmospheric loch and iconic mountains is a highlight at the restaurant. The Hebrides, a remote and wild paradise, is only a five-minute boat trip away. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the country. Amberley Castle’s idyllic setting beside the River Arun places this medieval survivor in some of the loveliest English Countryside. The majority of guest rooms and bathrooms have been individually designed by the Brownsword family to provide the highest standards of luxury and comfort. Enjoy the calm and warm ambience of our lounges and library complete with roaring log fires on cold winter days. Amberley Castle is renowned for the quality of its cuisine – superb locally sourced seasonal ingredients are matched with whatever is fresh that day. Feeling serene and secure behind the castle’s portcullis and battlements, many of our guests venture no further than our beautiful gardens which include a putting course, croquet lawn and tennis court. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in a village. Set next to a 13th Century church and nestled amidst beautiful gardens, Buckland Manor is one of the finest manor houses in the Cotswolds and a unique retreat for peace and reflection. If not relaxing in surroundings of timeless beauty and elegance where crackling log fires warm the cosy lounges then you will be able to expend some energy on the tennis court or try your hand at horse riding, hunting and hiking. Savour its top hospitality, fine wines and exquisite food whether a sumptuous dinner or a light alfresco lunch amidst glorious vistas where the sun falls on honeyed stone. With its air of classic English charm, it’s your perfect few days away and popular for exclusive house parties. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the country. Cheerful sage shutters and immaculate sweeping lawns welcome visitors to Chewton Glen. A luxury country house hotel and spa set in 130 acres of Hampshire countryside on the edge of the New Forest National Park. The location, just a few minutes’ walk from the beach at Highcliffe, makes it the perfect country house resort for a family holiday. Hidden away in a wooded valley you will find the hotel’s luxury treehouses. The restaurant is as formal or relaxed as the mood takes you and is a nexus of beautiful conservatories, intimate dining spaces and a stunning wine room. The luxury health spa is dedicated to personalised service and indulgent spa experiences. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the country. Behind its imposing period façade, this grand 17th century stately home boasts interiors brimming with English charm. Exquisite antique furniture and oil paintings contribute to creating a warm and very intimate ambiance. Not surprising that it has hosted many famous names throughout its history, and some of them, such as Charlie Chaplin and Winston Churchill, have even lent their names to rooms. Cliveden House, in the heart of Berkshire, is renowned for its magnificent 376 acre estate overlooking the River Thames offering tranquillity and exquisite dining just outside London and a stone’s throw from Windsor, Ascot and Heathrow. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the country. This beautiful old manor house stands in mature grounds sheltered by 100 year old trees that are now a haven of peace and quiet–but not always. In April 1837 George Stephenson’s famous “Rocket” locomotive was bought by the owning family and even ran on a test track through the garden. Covered in ivy and climbing vines that change colour with each season, the house blends marvellously into its surroundings and its presence is only betrayed when the little lake reveals its reflection. The interior design is that of a traditional country house. The local area is a paradise for walkers with the unspoilt Northern Pennines to the south and to the north, Hadrian’s Wall with the fabulous museums explaining the Roman’s occupation of Britain. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant and hotel in the country. Gidleigh Park sits majestically on the bubbling upper reaches of the River Teign within 107 acres of mature grounds which feature an acclaimed kitchen garden, croquet lawns and putting course. The house has an air of tranquillity and romance and a genuinely warm welcome awaits you. The majority of guest rooms overlook the beautiful gardens and the river, each unique with thoughtful touches and indulgent bathrooms. And of course there is the sublime food of Chef Michael Caines whose modern European cuisine is a celebration of West Country produce from land and sea. Match this with one of the finest wine cellars in the UK and a visit to Gidleigh Park will be an unforgettable experience. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the country. Gilpin is a charming hotel in an extraordinary place: the Lake District National Park. In the main hotel the rooms are exquisitely designed and six have their own private gardens and cedarwood hot tubs. At the beautiful Lake House (a mile from the main hotel) there are just six suites, exclusively sharing 40 hectares of grounds including a private lake, the Jetty spa, heated indoor swimming pool, salt snug, boat house and cedarwood hot tub. Make time for the simple pleasures of the stunning surroundings, between soothing body treatments and invigorating sporting activities. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the country. Standing high above a dramatic coastline overlooking the Irish sea, in the south west of Scotland’s historic lowlands, Glenapp is a family owned and occupied baronial castle set in an area of outstanding and unspoiled natural beauty. Underneath its fairytale turrets and towers there are oak-panelled rooms, rich fabrics and fine antiques, as well as modern award winning cuisine and impeccable service. The castle is hidden from the rugged landscape by 15 hectares of magical gardens filled with specimen trees and plants, including a fine collection of rare and unusual rhododendrons. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the woods. Gravetye Manor is a truly enchanting place; both close to the pleasures of London, yet far from its hustle and bustle. This beautiful Elizabethan manor sits proudly amongst the winding pathways and abundant flower beds in the English natural and wild gardens created by William Robinson, the father of the English natural garden and a former owner of the estate. This quintessential English country house’s charm is evident in the wood panelled restaurant with crackling log fires. All year round, the sweeping countryside views, first-class cuisine and attentive yet unobtrusive service ensure an unforgettable experience. ... Learn moreless