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Winter boltholes

Pack that overnighter and give yourself the break you deserve, with 37 curated cosy breaks across the Muddy counties.

Is there anything more snuggly, comforting and get-away-from-it-all than an overnighter? Being a helpful bunch, we’ve found the best winter boltholes across 19 Muddy counties to tempt you for that moment (soon surely?) when the logfires go on and the cashmere comes out to play. All you have to do is decide where to rest your head first…

 

BERKSHIRE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE CAMBRIDGESHIRE CORNWALL DEVON GLOUCESTERSHIRE HAMPSHIRE HERTFORDSHIRE KENT LEICESTERSHIRE NORFOLK NORTHAMPTONSHIRE OXFORDSHIRE RUTLAND SOMERSET SURREY SUSSEX WARWICKSHIRE WILTSHIRE

 

CAMBRIDGESHIRE

The University Arms, Cambridge

OK, most boltholes don’t have 192 rooms but this newly refurbed city centre institution is a delicious choice for a decadent, fancy-pants overnighter. Its £80m (wowzers!) jazz-up was courtesy of John Simpson, who’s previously tinkered with palaces Buckingham and Kensington, so the results are suitably grand. I’d recommend hunkering down with a glass of red in the wood-pannelled library, with its fireplaces and velvety sofas, before trying the cooking of new chef Tristan Welch, Gordon Ramsay’s former sidekick at Pétrus. Ask for a room overlooking the iconic Cambridge green, Parker’s Piece, ideally room 907. It’s in one of the turrets and has an incredible panoramic bathroom. Which means, ahem, a poo with a view (*gets coat*).

universityarms.com

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BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

The Pointer, Brill

We’re long-term fans of this luxe country pub with four B&B rooms. It’s a previous Muddy award-winner and now everyone else has cottoned on – it’s currently The Sunday Times hotel of the year and Michelin Guide pub of the year. It’s certainly a super spot for an indulgent night away. The rooms, in a Victorian cottage just across the road, are boutique hotel-standard, all tasteful muted tones and giant Hypnos beds. We love all the details too – Hunter wellies to stomp around Brill common with its 18th century windmill, proper fresh milk for your tea and excellent wi-fi (unusual for such a remote location). If you can tear yourselves away, head into the bar (nab a sofa by the fire) and get stuck into the acclaimed farm-to-fork menu (said farm is just down the road so it’s all super-fresh). Warning: don’t snooze through breakfast the next morning – the fry-up is one of the best we’ve had and they’ve got a DIY Bloody Mary station. Heaven.

thepointerbrill.co.uk

 

The Mash Inn, Bennett End

The first thing to note about this restaurant-with-rooms hidden away in the deepest Chilterns countryside is that it’s a child-free zone. No under 16s allowed – which makes it the perfect spot for a treat-y, grown-up, decadent, ooh-la-la weekend away. But make sure you don’t spend your entire stay naughtily holed up in the one of the six, stylish, pared-down bedrooms – the second thing to note is that the food is phenomenal. Owner Nick Mash is an accomplished London restaurateur and it shows – even the nibbles have wow factor (smoked river trout with cucumber ketchup and snail caviar from Chiltern Escargot, madame? Then there’s the exquisite service, candle-lit seating and roaring log fire. It’s a doozy, basically.

themashinn.com

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OXFORDSHIRE 

Artist Residence, South Leigh

On the outside this fourth outpost of the Artist Residence group (find them also in London, Brighton and Cornwall) is all thatched gorgeousness and chocolate box perfection. However, step inside this stylish pub with rooms in sleepy South Leigh and you’ll see an eclectic, super-stylish upgrade to this 16th century inn, with five luxe bedrooms, two suites in the farm outbuildings and the cosy pub The Masons Arms downstairs, designed in collaboration with artists The Connor Brothers (no surprise to see the contemporary artworks peppered around). What you’re getting here is bohemian luxe, plus you’re bang in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds here, so ideal for zipping off to Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Daylesford Farm, Soho Farmhouse, and Burford. Frankly my dear, you’re going to love it.

artistresidence.co.uk

 

The Greyhound, Letcombe Regis

This 18th century red- brick village inn in the Vale of the White Horse has eight B&B rooms within easy rolling distance after you’ve scoffed your way through renowned Kiwi chef Phil Currie’s gorgeous menu. (The cheese soufflé is your go-to dish, believe us.) Crisp white bed linen, snazzy Hypnos beds, digital radios, homemade biscuits and a sexy roll-top bath in the Oxford Suite? We’re sold. Want more? It was this year’s Best Destination Pub in the Muddy Awards.

thegreyhoundletcombe.co.uk

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HERTFORDSHIRE

The Farmhouse at Redcoats, Hitchin

This sprawling rural retreat was bought by Anglian Country Inns last year and they’ve made big, brilliant, bold changes. There are 27 super-sexy rooms, all decadent hand-painted wallpaper, chandeliers and lashings of velvet soft furnishings, while the interiors in the communal areas are equally Instagrammable – lamps made from colanders, anyone? Then there’s the excellent food, courtesy of Sherwin Jacobs (formerly of The Fox at Willian) with an emphasis on farm to fork dishes and unmissable home-made sourdough. Both of which make for a brilliant breakfast fry up that’s worth sacking off your lie-in for. It’s set in four acres of rolling fields so a little post-prandial trot around the grounds should burn it all off.

farmhouseatredcoats.co.uk

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HAMPSHIRE

The Pig in the wall, Southampton

The Pig In the Wall Southampton Bolt Hole WInter

Your cosy little bolthole needn’t be all the way in the sticks. You’ve probably heard of the super swish New Forest haunt, The Pig, over Brockenhurst way but they’ve also got a little gaff in Southampton as well. Built into the medieval walls in the centre of town, The Pig – in the wall, boasts 12 snuggly bedrooms, super casual (but nonetheless delicious) deli-style eatery and, of course, a range of wines and booze on tap. If you want something a bit more substantial while you’re staying over, have a word and they’ll even put on a complementary Land Rover transfer to whisk you off to The Pig down the road. Isn’t that nice of them? Prices from £135. 

thepighotel.com

 

The Woolpack, Totford

Woolpack Inn alresford hampshire

Set in the dinkiest hamlet in the UK, The Woolpack just screams at you to come in and snuggle up by the fireplace. With its homely vibe, leather armchairs and exposed brickwork, this Grade I listed building is the perfect off-the-beaten-track place to hunker down for the colder months, complete with a roaring log fire. So whether you want to hole up, tuck into some locally sourced grub or fancy exploring nearby Winchester and Alresford, this is the ideal locale to bed down in one of their eight bedrooms. Prices from £250 for two nights.

thewoolpackinn.co.uk

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NORFOLK

The Dial House, Reepham 

bedroom wooden beans roll top bath at end of bed wooden floors cow hide rug

You could easily fill a day meandering and marvelling at all the wonderful curiosities that fill this luxurious Georgian guest house. Plus you can buy them too! From period furniture to exquisite glassware to retro accessories – everything you see in each of the cosy dining areas is up for sale. With the space and interior forever changing, no two visits will ever be the same. Choose from several dining experiences – a la carte in the chandelier lit restaurant (full of great antique finds), the sumptuously velvet garden room or below stairs in the pantry where you can dine privately at the ‘Chef’s table’ whilst watching the kitchen at work. Eight individually styled bedrooms tell the tale of Georgian discoveries from around the Globe. Take your pick from India, Africa, China, Paris, Italy and drift away to another time and place whilst safely ensconced in the heart of Norfolk. Not forgetting the Spa, afternoon tea service and cocktail bar, there really is no need to step outside – possibly the ultimate winter bolthole!

thedialhouse.org.uk

 

The Brisley Bell, The Green, Brisley 

restaurant red chairs green wall pheasant feather picture

From the outside The Brisley Bell is a quaint 17th century pub, in the heart of countryside, not far from the market town of Swaffham and en route to the North Norfolk Coast . Walk inside and you’ll be surprised by the wonderfully stylish interior, mixing the oldie country charm with some fabulous modern and eclectic details. The rich warm colours, heavy drapes, and textured wallpapers make this pub incredibly warm and cosy, perfect for snuggling up by the fire with a bottle of red wine on a winter’s afternoon before retiring to one of their six individually designed en-suite rooms. Michelin trained Chef Herve Stouvenel, serves up a tasty menu and you can choose between several rooms to eat and drink: A traditional bar room, which is very much in keeping with the original pub and therefore where you’ll find many of the local farmers, a quieter relaxed lounge with big comfy sofas and chairs by the fire, a more formal dining area and an amazing garden room bursting with books.

thebrisleybell.co.uk

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KENT

The Salutation, Sandwich

Tom Parsons Photography

The Salutation, is a stunning country-house sitting in the heart of Sandwich, a pretty town on the Kent coastline. Under the new management of John and Dorothy Fothergill it has just been awarded the Romantic Hotel of The Year in the Good Hotel Guide (2019). This Queen Anne-style house, designed by Lutyens, is luxury boutique hotel, fine-dining restaurant, magnificent gardens, top-notch café, plant nursery and stylish shop all rolled into one. The location, elegance and warmth of the place make it the perfect escape whatever the weather.

the-salutation.com

 

The Snuggery, nr Cuxton

The Snuggery is the perfect bolt-hole situated in the grounds of the owner’s Grade II home in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the pretty hamlet of Upper Bush surrounded by Kent’s North Downs countryside. Discover a colonial meets country interior, a cosy wood burning stove, lots of snuggly wraps to cuddle up in and even an outside boot warmer. Walking enthusiasts and culture lovers alike will enjoy this hidden gem with walking trails starting from your doorstep onto the North Downs Way and Historic Rochester only 15 minutes drive away.

thesnuggerykent.com

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GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Viney Holiday Properties, Blakeney

These two gorgeous period houses, renovated, buffed and shined to perfection, offer acre of lawns, a view to die for over the stunning Gloucestershire countryside and winter walks a-plenty through the Royal Forest of Dean. Cosy log fires, a covered pool to relax in after that 10k hike and even a BBQ hut with a BBQ inside it, perfect for year-round use. And if that’s not enough the famous Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, Go Ape and Clearwell Caves will keep the kids busy all winter long. Make it a weekend to remember and call on The Little Pickle to come with you – this fantabulous and much in demand catering duo and will organise, shop for and cook all your meals, allowing you to truly relax and enjoy your hols. Holy moly, I am there! Oh, and as it will be chilly don’t forget to snuggle up with a gorgeous throw from Just Fabrics Cheltenham. Sorry, was that someone asking me what I wanted for Christmas…?

vineyholidayproperties.co.uk

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WARWICKSHIRE

The Welcombe, Stratford-upon-Avon

With a roaring log fire in the magnificent oak-panelled lounge, traditional Christmas tree and tasteful festive decorations, this 78-room four-star country hotel is the place to soak up the winter atmosphere.  Set within a private estate of 157 acres, it has an 18-hole championship golf course, newly refurbished swimming pool and spa facilities. New for this year is a Winter Wonderland themed event featuring a 3-course dinner and resident band. Christmas Party nights from Nov 24 onward are already booking up and include an 80’s party night on Dec 16. They include a 4-course dinner or carvery, cocktail, free-flowing wine, beers, disco and bacon rolls. Sunday lunch with Santa on Dec 16 is perfect for families and includes a three-course dinner.  Book early-ish for a 4-course lunch on Christmas Day with a Champagne reception and the New Year’s Eve Gala dinner with Champagne reception, 5-course dinner, live band, disco and fireworks.

hallmarkhotels.co.uk

 

The Castle at Edgehill, near Banbury

A turreted country pub and restaurant with rooms at your service, m’lady. Breathtaking views await, as this impressive 4-star inn is on top of a hill above a famous Civil War battlefield. It even has its own Round Tower dating back to around 1742, intended to replicate Guy’s Tower at Warwick Castle. Completed refurbished in 2014, original features including beautiful stone fire places, paintings and exposed stonework, have been retained. Cosy, intimate and romantic, it boasts three main dining areas including relaxed library, a glasshouse with panoramic views, landscaped gardens and delicious food. Four en-suites with all mod-cons, include two rooms in the main tower which have four-poster beds, make for a swift stagger home. On the doorstep local attractions include a one-hour Civil War Walk and the National Trust’s Upton House and Gardens.

castleatedgehill.co.uk

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SUSSEX

The Cat Inn, West Hoathly

Cosy and characterful, this friendly 16th century, Muddy Award-winning pub is situated in West Hoathly near the Ashdown Forest and the South Downs. Pull up a chair near the inglenook fireplace where, despite the pub’s name, you’re likely to be surrounded by dogs lounging under the oak beams. Comforting classics using good local produce are to the fore on the menu (think steak, mushroom and ale pie, haunch of venison, roast butternut squash, crumble and spice ginger cake… ) while Sussex sparkling wine and real ale keep drinkers happy. Smart rooms in a Victorian extension come with luxury touches like fluffy robes, and Nespresso machines.

catinn.co.uk

 

The Snowdrop Inn, Lindfield

The Snowdrop Inn is at the heart of lovely Lindfield with its duck pond, village green and smart boutiques. Fresh from a refurbishment this year, it still retains its character, with old beams and low ceilings. Have a drink in front of the woodburner and take your pick from a menu of pub classics like slow roast belly pork, smoked haddock, battered cod and burgers. On Sundays there’s a nut roast beside the meat options. There’s also a handy kids’ menu. For lighter lunches warming sandwich choices include onion bhaji, grilled halloumi or cumberland sausage. Besides beers from Hall & Woodhouse the pub boasts a decent gin list.

snowdropinn.co.uk

 

The Crown Inn, Dial Post

This dog-friendly freehouse near Horsham has a Countryside Alliance award for its locally-sourced meat, fish and free-range eggs and the chef often forages himself for wild garlic, blackberries and more. An international flavour to the current menu includes Persian-style lamb, tapas and pork and apricot terrine as well as classics like steaks, burgers and fish and chips. Simpler lunches include sausage and mash and ham eggs and chips. Afterwards, perhaps you’ll opt for the sticky toffee pudding or a selection of local cheeses with a glass of port in front of the wood-burning stove in the snug. You can even stay over in a stable block.

crown-inn-dialpost.co.uk

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RUTLAND

Finch’s Arms, Rutland

Enjoy a walk by the lake before coming in and grabbing a seat by one of the roaring log fires – there’s two in the bar area and one in the main pub so it’s always warm and toasty inside. The food is terrific in this delightful rustic pub/restaurant, the service friendly and even if you didn’t last long on your walk, you can still admire views of the Rutland peninsula from the inside. Best of all? You can stay over in one of the rooms upstairs.

finchsarms.co.uk

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DEVON

Sunridge Lodge, nr Yealmpton

barn in snow with blue sky

Cosy on down at this beautiful stone built, self-catering barn conversion, which manages to brilliantly combine contemporary with snuggly and is kitted out with all you could need from a bucolic bolthole. Sunridge Lodge is located in the South Hams, close to South Devon’s prettiest country and coastal walks, nestled among woodland, along with its own private fishing lake. Sleeping up to 5, expect drench showers, Neff kitchen, glass-fronted log burner and underfloor heating, not to mention a cinema screen and projector.  Did we forget to drop in the hot tub? Go on, channel your inner Scandi vibe and go unwind in the woods, nobody’s looking!

sunridgelodge.co.uk

 

Paschoe House, Bow nr Crediton

afternoon tea fire logs

A glass of red and a roaring fire are a given at Paschoe House, a handsome historic home near Crediton, that’s been on the receiving end of a million pound restoration, transforming it into a first class boutique hotel. Its 9 rooms, glam bar, elegant lounge and intimate restaurant will appeal to couples seeking blissed out relaxation and guests who love wrapping up for long walks and country pursuits.  A major plus point is that dogs are welcome to come along for a ‘Paschoe Petaway’ experience and will be showered with cuddles; you may even meet Paschoe’s own gorgeous pooch, Truffle. Worth visiting for, alone.

paschoehouse.co.uk

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LEICESTERSHIRE

The George,  Coleorton

Tucked away in the heart of the National Forest, this traditional village pub serves hearty pub food in cosy surroundings. Inside expect beamed ceilings, log fires, cosy fireside chairs and decor with a slight modern touches. Enjoy local ales and pub classics like steak and ale pie, fish and chips alongside speciality dishes including braised pork belly and thai veg curry while you warm your tootsies up by the fire.

thegeorgecoleorton.com

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SURREY

The Mulberry Inn, Chiddingfold

Owned by Chris Evans and run by food and wine lovers, the Mulberry Inn is a welcoming and relaxed pub that ticks all the boxes. Big snuggly sofas. Two log fires. Bucketloads of character. Tick, tick, tick. But the best bit? There’s just a 30 second stagger to a boutique bedroom at the end of the night. Oh, and as you might expect of a pub owned and frequented by Chris Evans, The Mulberry Inn has seen its fair share of c’lebs over the year, including Paloma Faith and Gary Barlow. themulberryinn.co.uk

 

The Plough Inn, Coldharbour

This traditional country inn in the village of Coldharbour, near Dorking, has a warm, buzzy vibe, and with the log fire (see if you can’t nab one of those Queen Anne Chesterfields by the log burner) and bright decor, it’s just the place to while away a lazy Sunday afternoon. Leith Hill is not far, so you could work up an appetite with a wander up there first. The food is excellent, and – as there’s also a microbrewery on site – there’s a brilliant selection of real ales, as well as craft beers, plus wines and spirits. Plus, you can sleep over in one of six boutique rooms. 

ploughinn.com

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CORNWALL

St.Anthony-in-Roseland Cottages, The Roseland Peninsula

St Anthony in Roseland Cottages Cornwall

The remote Roseland Peninsula is one of Cornwall’s prettiest and sleepiest corners. And in winter, without the crowds, it’s even more magical. These four picture-perfect holiday cottages, sleeping between 2 and 9 people, on the historic Place Estate are the perfect base from which to explore – just across the bay from St Mawes and down the lane from Portscatho. Both of these pretty villages are replete with brilliant places to eat (especially if you like seafood) or enjoy a quiet drink overlooking the water. There are several quiet coves nearby, including my favourite, Molunnan Beach by St Anthony’s Lighthouse and there’s a slipway, moorings and dinghy park available, if you like getting out on the water. Dogs are welcome and all the cottages have open fires to curl up beside on chilly winter days.

roselandcottages.co.uk

 

Hutterly Beautiful, Bude

Hutterly Beautiful Glamping Shepherd's Hut Cornwall

I know what you’re thinking. A shepherd’s hut, in winter!?! Well this one comes complete with a hot tub, log burner, sheepskins and blankets galore and in Cornwall, the landscape is just as sensational in the colder months. Imagine star-gazing from that hot tub on a crystal clear winter night! Hutterly Beautiful, in the quiet countryside near Bude, offers a chance to switch off in every sense, with stunning views towards the Atlantic Ocean and Bodmin Moor. Just for couples and filled with special touches, you’ll find chilled prosecco and a Cornish cream tea awaiting your arrival.

hutterlybeautiful.co.uk

 

Fistral Beach Hotel & Spa, Newquay

Fistral Beach Hotel Spa Newquay Cornwall

Fancy cosying up for a spot of storm watching on the Cornish coast? This luxe adults-only hotel overlooks the UK’s best surf beach, so you’re guaranteed a spectacular show as the winter swells roll in. Surf lessons are available but I’d recommend retreating to the spa for some R&R before tucking into a Champagne tea or a glass of wine and some fresh Cornish seafood. There’s a range of rooms to choose from, the best of which boast giant beds, hot tubs, private balconies and ocean views and staff can arrange lots of little extras to make your stay even more special – from bubbles and artisan chocolates in your room to private yoga and a rather thoughtful hangover kit!

fistralbeachhotel.co.uk

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SOMERSET

The Langford, Fivehead, nr Taunton

Photo David Griffen Photography

Live like a lord and lady at Rebecca and Olly’s stunning 15th century manor house – stone mullions, stone fireplaces, wood-panelled walls and pargeted ceilings – in the heart of the Somerset Levels. Dine on freshly caught pheasant or something equally delicious (veggies aren’t left out) in an intimate dining room or take a seat at the kitchen table and watch chef Olly at work as you eat. The food is amazing: we’ve eaten there. Sleep in a four-poster bed and splosh around in a roll top bath. Tinkle the ivories (a Steinway, of course) and stroll in the beautiful grounds. As if to the manor born.  Room, 3-course dinner and full English breakfast for two, from £200.

langfordfivehead.co.uk

 

The Abbey Hotel, Bath

Forget a day on the slopes (there aren’t any in Bath, though there will be an outdoor ice rink come December) – just head straight for the Après-ski Bar and snuggle up in a blanket with cocktails or mulled wine. The ski lodge is at The Abbey Hotel, slap bang in the centre of things, just behind the Abbey (surprise, surprise) and close to where Bath’s Christmas Market takes place. With quirky decor – wine glasses hanging from the ceiling,  giant artworks – Marco Pierre White and Pierre Koffmann brasserie style grub and an ArtBar, this is a fun place to cosy up with mates. The Après-ski Bar is open from Weds 21 Nov to Sat 22 Dec. Double rooms from £129/night.

abbeyhotelbath.co.uk

 

The Queensberry Hotel, Bath

velvet sofas cast iron fire

Elegant Georgian townhouse hotel close to the Royal Crescent, slightly eccentric – and with a restaurant that’s just been awarded Bath’s only Michelin star. This is the perfect winter bolthole for foodies. The casual luxury gives the feeling of staying in the home of stylish friends (who just happen to have excellent staff).  A valet will take care of your car; your shoes will be polished overnight; they’ll even turn down your bed. Owners Laurence and Helen Beere came from Clivedon and The Savoy –’nuff said. Indulge in cocktails in the snug bar; coffee by the fire in drawing room. And that Michelin star? That’ll be chef Chris Cleghorn’s modern British menu in the The Olive Tree restaurant. Their Gourmet Getaway includes a seven-course menu and an overnight stay, Sun, Tues, Weds and Thurs. £149.50/person based on two sharing.

thequeensberry.co.uk

 

The Wheatsheaf, Combe Hay

This former 16th century farmhouse turned pub with restaurant and rooms ticks all the bolthole boxes. Set in terraced gardens overlooking the ancient village of Combe Hay near Bath, in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s perfect for peaceful perambulations. Real ales, local ciders, fine wine, top notch food made with home-grown produce to savour after that walk.  Rustic but not too rustic, so open log fires and flagstone floors in the pub but Egyptian cotton bed linen, rainwater showers, luxury toiletries, flat screen TV and wifi in the rooms. You can bring your dog. Rooms in The Shed from £120 (dogs allowed); The Wendy House, from £150 per room, both including breakfast.

wheatsheafcombehay.com

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NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

The Crown, Weston

The log burners and velvetty Sherlock style chairs are a win win combo for an escape from those chilly winter days. It’s a family-run gem and the owners really emphasize the quality of the food with the focus being on handmade food, fresh, and keeping it real. The Crown is the King of cosy and we couldn’t think of anything better than enjoying a rich red in front of the open fire – you can really embrace those winter vibes here. Their Delicious Sunday Lunches are a steal at 3 courses for £25, Wednesday’s Fresh Fish night is £20 for 2 courses and Lunches from Weds-Sat are a bargain, costing only £8 for 1 course, who knew luxury could also be low-cost? The rooms are beautifully decorated with both standard double rooms and deluxe king rooms on offer, they’re all ensuite and include a light contemporary breakfast for you to enjoy in the morning.

thecrownweston.co.uk

 

The Green Dragon, Brigstock

The Green Dragon is a proper country pub which serves real ales, fine wines, craft beer and cider. These can be enjoyed in front of the open fires and there’s private dining areas on offer too, if you fancy that extra bit of luxe. The five ensuite rooms have recently been refurbished and overlook either the village green or the garden. There’s two family rooms so there’s no need to worry about a babysitter as the littlies are welcomed here and can enjoy the cosy nature of the pub. The menu is full of local home-made food and has a great choice of both refined and unusual dishes as well as pub classics including their signature home-made pies. The passionate team created fresh, seasonal menus and prepare as much food in-house as possible, including their chutneys, stocks and desserts.

greendragonbrigstock.co.uk

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WILTSHIRE

Rollestone Manor, Shrewton

This beautiful grade II listed historic home rocks period-drama glamour on the outside but inside it is a gorgeously affordable, cosy and relaxed B&B – just what we’re after this winter! Close to the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge, Rollestone Manor has a glorious history going back to 1242 which resonates throughout the house and the seven ensuite bedrooms. A winter stay is perfect, with a warming log burner in the cosy lounge, four poster beds and roll-top baths. And you don’t need to stray far for your supper – their restaurant rustles up such deliciousness as oven baked snails in garlic butter, pan-fried tiger prawns and smoked Wiltshire ham. Just perfect.

rollestonemanor.com

 

The Bell, Ramsbury

This gorgeous country pub, slap bang in the oh-so-delightful village of Ramsbury, is a mere stiletto’s throw from Marlborough in a picture-perfect spot over the River Kennet. A 300 year old former coaching inn, it has  been voted AA Best Pub Award for 2017/18 for the whole of blooming England! But really, it’s the food that you come here for. Part of the Ramsbury Estate, they brew their own beer, press their own oils and grow their own veg. Fruit is hand selected by Head Chef Ollie Clarke, sausages and bacon come from The Bell’s smokehouse, dry aged beef from the Estate’s heard of cattle, and the lamb is reared right on the banks of the river. There’s a warm, welcoming bar, nine swish bedrooms and a fireplace and snug to cosy up in on those long winter nights.

thebellramsbury.com

 

The Bath Arms, Horningsham

A delightful country pub with accommodation in a stonkingly gorgeous location only a stone’s throw from the world-famous Longleat Estate, The Bath Arms is the perfect place to rest your weary head (and those of the Mudlets, of course) after a hard day of lion-spotting and rhino-racing at the Safari Park. But it is more than that – it’s also a lovely boutique retreat in the heart of the Wiltshire idyll, just the spot for those coming from further afield and looking for a posh pub with rooms in which to relax and unwind in front of a roaring fire during those blustery winter months. Muddy Newflash: the Bath Arms has made it into The Sunday Times Magazine’s Top 100 Best British Hotels & Top 100 Best British Family Hotels. Congrats!

batharms.co.uk

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BERKSHIRE

The Royal Oak, Yattendon

Period charm, an endless supply of scrummy locally-sourced food, delicious wines, two roaring fires, squishy beds and luxury linens. Book in at to the Muddy Award-winning Royal Oak in Yattendon and you’ll have died and gone to cosy heaven. The pub has not one but two log fires to warm your toes and occasionally a sleeping dog at your feet. The 10 bedrooms are kitted out with huggable mattresses, Josephine Home linens (loved by the Hollywood A list and rock stars) and soft wool or faux fur throws. There are country walks aplenty or pop next door for a hot stone massage… and relaaax. Rooms from£105 per night.

royaloakyattendon.co.uk

 

Bray Cottages, Bray

Bray House Bray Cottages Berkshire mink velvet chair and sofa exposed beams fire pace glass coffee table and orange cushions

Picture the scene: pretty period cottage in  the perfect riverside village, fire blazing on arrival, crystal carafes full of gin, whiskey and brandy to sample, basket of fresh local produce and home from home comforts aplenty. Not the opening scene of a Richard Curtis movie, but the five star cosiness of Bray Cottages. Each of the property is uniquely styled and within staggering distance of Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, Hind’s Head and The Crown, the Roux’s Waterside Inn and Caldesi de Campagna. A concierge service is available too, so reservations to the culinary crown jewels can be made, boat trips down the Thames, spa treatments and picnic baskets. From £325 per night.

braycottages.com

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