HOTELS • October 2018
As the UK’s leaves begin to crisp and turn to rusty reds, The Club team scouts out the most exquisite country inns and boutique boltholes less than two hours from London
Says who? Hannah Ralph, The Club content editor
A firm favourite with London’s staycation-savvy crowd, The Pig Hotel is two parts boutique manor, one part dreamy, derelict barn, where swathes of burnished bronze, mismatched crockery and tartan textures form a portrait of pure, rustic ritziness. Despite the verdant New Forest location, wildflower flecked frontage and decadent, old-worldy nooks at every turn, it’s the restaurant that has travellers flocking to visit. Enveloped by glass and tall sprawls of ivy, it’s like walking into a designer greenhouse, with seasonal dishes foraged from around 25 miles of the kitchen. Sit down for some Piggy Bits, a micro-buffet of soft quail eggs encased in deep-fried shredded ham hock and crispy, Saddleback crackling. Then it’s off to your fairytale of a room, where wood-panelled walls, free standing tubs and a cabin-chic colour scheme embodies all the cosiness of a roaring fire and strong cup of English tea (you can have these too, if you’d like).
Doubles from £155, room only.
Says who? Marisa Cannon, The Club content editor
Set on the grass-fringed dunes of Camber Beach on the Sussex coast, this gorgeous restaurant with rooms is just over an hour and half’s drive from London, and a ten-minute drive from Rye station if you prefer to travel by train. With just 20 rooms, the hotel’s sleek Scandi design and muted, marine hues reflect its serene beachfront location, where guests can energise with beach yoga before feasting on hearty dishes of fresh fish or salt marsh lamb from an award-winning kitchen that prizes local produce. At night, retire to the sumptuous lounge, replete with plush sofas draped with sheepskin rugs, rustic furnishings and a well-stocked bar for all the warmth and luxury required for an idyllic mid-autumn retreat. For a moment of bliss, book into The Beach Hut mini spa for an invigorating massage or a clarifying facial using products from local, ethically-sourced beauty store WiDEYE.
Doubles from £125 B&B.
Says who? Matt Richardson, The Club picture editor
If you’re in-the-know with Britain’s trendy organic scene, you’ll know all about Daylesford. Nestled in the Cotswolds, Daylesford farm now has a lifestyle brand, a winery and The Wild Rabbit itself. Here, a beautifully brick-walled restaurant presents updated crowd-pleasers, such as parsley gnocchi slathered in truffle butter and a beef ribeye with crispy, garlic chips. If, like me, you think that you could devour both knockout dishes, try the tasting menu – a seven-course journey for a reasonable £65 per person. Once suitably stuffed, retire to one of the minimalist yet homely rooms or cottages – all endearingly named after the British countryside. Filled with king-size beds, Nespresso machines and log burners, they’re the perfect place to nest during the colder months, while the Daylesford’s Cookery School and Bamford’s Haybarn Spa are both just a five-minute drive away.
Doubles from £187 B&B.
Says who? Charlotte Swift, The Club group editor
This handsome thatch-roofed inn in bucolic Berkshire has been receiving guests since the 1600s – Oliver Cromwell is even said to have stayed in 1647. Today, it attracts a smart weekend crowd with its proximity to London and copious country pub charms. Outside there’s a lovely garden while inside it’s a picture of pub-perfection: stone floors, low beams, local ales, comfy sofas and board games for playing by the fire. It’s also dog-friendly, as are its 14 charming rooms. Some have four-poster beds and open fires. While others have private hot tubs in little courtyards, the perfect pick-me-up after a brisk autumnal walk around the country lanes. The menu is packed with local and British produce, especially seafood. Or visit on Sunday for traditional roasts with all of the trimmings.
Doubles from £100 B&B.
Says who? Ross Clarke, The Club consultant editor
Just four miles from the world-famous Newmarket Racecourse, this gorgeous, ultra-boutique inn has eight individually furnished rooms, featuring minimalist Scandi influences in some and rich, traditional accents in others, with worn oak floors, and a variety of palettes from sombre burgundies and golds to clean creams and polished silvers. The inn’s restaurant is a delightful spread of modern British dishes cooked up by a team of award-winning chefs, with an utterly decadent Christmas menu featuring roast Suffolk turkey, cured British trout and duck liver parfait, should you fancy putting your feet up this season. On Race Days, the rustic bar is packed to the rafters with visiting punters – grab a stool and drink in the atmosphere with a local gin to celebrate your winnings, or lack thereof.
Doubles from £100 B&B.