British Travel Journal | Summer 2022
Those who recognise the view of Godrevy Lighthouse from our front cover won’t be surprised to hear our focus this edition is North Cornwall. We love to get the first scoop on exciting UK travel news here at British Travel Journal, so the launch of Una St Ives made it to the top of our travel agenda, as did one of our all-time favourite hotels, The Headland, Newquay – with the launch of their luxurious £10 million Aqua Club swimming and spa sanctuary. While in Cornwall's beautiful Carbis Bay we had the pleasure of meeting renowned British chef Adam Handling at his latest restaurant, Ugly Butterfly and chatted to him about cooking and his passion for zero-waste. Whether you want to go glamping, have a house to yourself or discover the latest hotels this summer, we tell you where to look in our Travel News and suggest ten incredible summer staycation ideas in our Unique Luxury Breaks. From new gardening, cycling and surf-school experiences to food, drink and vineyard tours we are spoilt for choice this year!
Those who recognise the view of Godrevy Lighthouse from our front cover won’t be surprised to hear our focus this edition is North Cornwall. We love to get the first scoop on exciting UK travel news here at British Travel Journal, so the launch of Una St Ives made it to the top of our travel agenda, as did one of our all-time favourite hotels, The Headland, Newquay – with the launch of their luxurious £10 million Aqua Club swimming and spa sanctuary.
While in Cornwall's beautiful Carbis Bay we had the pleasure of meeting renowned British chef Adam Handling at his latest restaurant, Ugly Butterfly and chatted to him about cooking and his passion for zero-waste. Whether you want to go glamping, have a house to yourself or discover the latest hotels this summer, we tell you where to look in our Travel News and suggest ten incredible summer staycation ideas in our Unique Luxury Breaks. From new gardening, cycling and surf-school experiences to food, drink and vineyard tours we are spoilt for choice this year!
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SUMMER 2022 | ISSUE 12
FROM CYCLING TOURS IN
SUSSEX TO FOREST BATHING
IN THE COTSWOLDS
BEAUTIFUL BEACHES AND
INSPIRING ART IN ST IVES
in a luxury
T E A !
A F T E R N OO N
+ TRAVEL NEWS | BEACHES | INTERVIEWS | HOTELS | SUMMER FESTIVALS
REDISCOVER TIME TO BE
Tresco is a unique, family-owned island at
the heart of the Isles of Scilly archipelago.
28 miles off the Cornish coast.
Somewhere else altogether.
A subtropical garden and a soul-soothing
spa; beachfront dining and awardwinning
accommodation; deserted bays
and aquamarine seas. Time to be.
ACCOMMODATION | DINING | GARDEN | SPA
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jessica Way
FEATURES EDITOR Samantha Rutherford
CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Angela Harding
HEAD OF DIGITAL Adrian Wilkinson
Chantal Borciani, Martin Dorey,
Sophie Farrah, Jane Knight, Sophie Minto,
Adrian Mourby, Karyn Noble, Natalie Paris
View of Godrevy Lighthouse in St Ives Bay
taken from the headland of Gwithian Beach
© Image Editor's own
Unit 6, Basepoint, Andersons Road,
Southampton, SO14 5FE
Those who recognise the view of
Godrevy Lighthouse from our front
cover won’t be surprised to hear our
focus this edition is on North Cornwall.
We love to get the first scoop on exciting UK
travel news here at British Travel Journal, so the
launch of Una St Ives (page 68) made it to the
top of our travel agenda, as did one of our all-time
favourite hotels, The Headland, Newquay (page 92) – with the
launch of their luxurious £10 million Aqua Club swimming and
While in Cornwall's beautiful Carbis Bay we had the
pleasure of meeting renowned British chef Adam Handling at
his latest restaurant, Ugly Butterfly (page 42) and chatted to
him about cooking and his passion for zero-waste.
Whether you want to go glamping, have a house to yourself
or discover the latest hotels this summer, we tell you where to
look in our Travel News (page 9) and suggest ten incredible
summer staycation ideas in our Unique Luxury Breaks (page 60).
From new gardening, cycling and surf-school experiences to
food, drink and vineyard tours we are spoilt for choice this year.
Have you heard of Boho Gelato, Treleavens or Ruby Violet?
Get a taste of these wonderful artisan ice-creams and gelati,
including where to find them and where to stay, in our Cream of
the Crop summer special (page 34).
Plus, don’t miss our adventures on The Northumberland
Coast (page 86), our interview with British hotelier Robin
Hutson – owner of the PIGs hotels (page 24) – and our Festivals
Calender (page 74). And finally, in celebration as you raise a
glass for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend this June, we
urge you to do so with a Great British Drink (page 76).
Phew! It’s going to be a buzzing summer – enjoy.
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original copyright holder. Reproduction in whole or part without
written permission is strictly prohibited. While every care is taken
prices and details are subject to change and Contista Media Ltd
take no responsibility for omissions or errors. Views expressed by
authors are not necessarily those of the publisher.
Glenapp Castle - Scotland
Discover the carefully curated collection of privately owned hotels and
experience the best places to eat, stay and unwind within the British Isles.
Pride of Britain Hotels
Call FREEPHONE: 0800 089 3929
Book online: www.prideofbritainhotels.com
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SUMMER 2022 | ISSUE 12
We look at new accommodation (everything from 13thcentury
castles to refurbished Georgian country inns) spanning
hotels, self-catering and glamping, as well as exciting activities
to enjoy this summer, whether it be a vodka school or a cliffside
PRIDE OF BRITAIN COMPETITION
32 There are four prizes up for grabs: enter for your chance
to win an indulgent Champagne afternoon tea for two at a
luxurious Pride of Britain hotel.
10 OF THE BEST UNIQUE LUXURY BREAKS
60 This is our pick of the ultimate summer experiences,
whether you fancy water sports in Cornwall, wine in
Buckinghamshire, forest bathing in the Cotswolds, or even a
Bridgerton-themed walking tour in Bath.
74 From summer-solstice-themed events to the world’s oldest
golf tournament, these festivals old and new are the cream of the
crop for summer.
GREAT BRITISH DRINKS
76 Need to stock the drinks cabinet for the Platinum Jubilee
celebrations or take an impressive bottle to a BBQ? We have four
delicious, very British, suggestions.
FOR YOUR JOURNEY
98 Our summer book recommendations for your beach bag,
as well as crossword fun.
CREAM OF THE CROP
This round-up of the best independent producers
of gelato and ice cream comes complete with nearby cool
getaway suggestions to make the most of your summer gourmet
WALKING TOUR IN BRISTOL
50 We take a stroll of Bristol’s Georgian port, uncovering the
city’s secrets, its historical glory and stately architecture, and
provide recommendations for where to eat and stay.
56 Head to Sussex for a tranquil getaway amid 35 acres
of countryside; Retreat East is the ultimate destination for
pampering and relaxation.
48 HOURS IN UNA ST IVES, CARBIS BAY
68 The new Una St Ives luxury resort is even more reason to
visit Cornwall; editor Jessica Way takes her family on a two-day
adventure by the beach.
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ANNE BOLEYN
78 Want to live like Anne Boleyn (without the unhappy
ending, obviously)? Step back in time to Kent’s Hever Castle and
the gardens where she spent childhood or to luxurious Thornbury
Castle in Gloucestershire and sleep in the Henry VIII suite she
once shared with her husband.
E D I T O R
L O V E S
The new signature Kew Gin and Tonic
and vodka-based Botanical Spritz,
made with the help of East London
Liquor Co, taste as fresh and delicious
as their colourful can suggests.
Ready to drink cocktail cans are
available in Kew’s shops, Kew in West
London and Kew's wild botanic garden in
Wakehurst, West Sussex, priced £4.50.
Launching this June, Terrein is the
world’s first hiking boot to react to
movement three times faster than the
human body to reduce ankle injury
– the perfect boot to wear on hiking
holidays, expeditions and adventures.
Terrein is available to purchase from 20
June 2022 for men and women, in two
striking colour ways, sand and turquoise,
We take a road trip to the underrated
Northumberland Coast and find beguiling
beauty and diversity, serene beaches and
48 HOURS IN THE HEADLAND
92 HOTEL AND SPA, NEWQUAY
With its exquisite clifftop setting and grand
Victorian architecture, the Headland Hotel
& Spa in Cornwall is one of Britain’s finest
destinations, and now with a new £10 million
swimming and wellbeing complex called The
Aqua Club, there are even more reasons to visit.
Renowned for THE PIG hotel empire,
Robin Hutson OBE has redefined British
staycations with his boutique country-garden
properties that champion local produce and
producers. He chats to us about his new book
and much-anticipated vineyard.
42 We take a trip to the sublime Carbis
Bay Hotel & Estate in Cornwall and chat to
Adam Handling, chef of its Ugly Butterfly
restaurant about his zero-waste policy and
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Interior Designers/ Trade & Hotel Enquiries: B2B@thewhitecompany.com
Step on board Cutty Sark and discover
the dramatic history of the fastest ship
of its time.
Greenwich (only 8 mins from London Bridge)
Whether you want to go glamping, have a house to yourself or
discover the latest hotels this summer, we tell you where to look
Text by Jane Knight
from page 10 from page 14
from page 18 from page 20
Hare and Hounds
They’ve had a lot of fun playing on the name
of this beautifully refurbished Georgian
coaching inn. Expect portraits of military
personnel with dogs’ heads, hares’ ears sticking
out from lampshades, plus hunting-themed
fabrics and wallpaper. The pub’s proximity
to Newbury explains the stable door in its
enormous timber-frame dining room, with
horse-head sculptures and bridle accessories.
Some of the 30 well-designed bedrooms
are in the real stables outside; all come with
complimentary gin and Bramley toiletries. And
if you want to visit Highclere, aka Downton
Abbey, it’s just ten minutes’ drive away. Rooms
from £120 a night, with breakfast. ◆
Possibly Scotland’s most unique restaurant with rooms, this 13thcentury
fortress is the place to enjoy chef patron Colin Nicholson’s
six-course tasting menu before retiring to one of four bedrooms.
Each named after a Scottish clan, they have hand-carved four
posters, one with a private battlement. From £360 with breakfast. ◆
Book one of the new Orchard Cabins at Congham and you get a
stylish summer base from which to visit nearby Sandringham, with
its exhibition on the royal family’s relationship with the house.
Rooms have an outdoor tub and a wall of windows. From £475
with dinner for two and breakfast. ◆
The Relais Cooden Beach
This summer sees the transformation of a 1930s beach resort to
become hotelier Grace Leo’s second Relais property. The first of
45 rooms are already redesigned in coastal blues, with the rest
finished by September. Rooms from £295 with breakfast.
You’re virtually sleeping on the steps of St Paul’s
at the latest Hilton Curio Collection property,
opening in July. Behind the Grade-II-listed
Creed Court building façade lie 145 rooms,
some with cathedral views. In keeping with
the name, the decor celebrates London’s lost
railway stations, historic fashion trends and old
city professions. The restaurant, called Found,
holds an eight-metre bright-blue resin bar and
a Murano glass chandelier featuring figurines
of extinct birds, which together form the shape
of a two-metre eagle in flight. Classic dishes
include prawn cocktail, roast duck breast and
Eton mess. Rooms from £170 with breakfast. ◆
Guesthouse No 1 York
If you love vinyls, this fun hotel is the place to
come, with a record library, turntables in the
rooms, and DJ Upside Your Mind playing every
Friday evening in the summer on the heated
terrace. A toy train runs through the bar, and
rooms have coffee machines hidden in dolls’
houses. Rooms from £165. ◆
It’s been a long time coming, but Richard
Branson’s first UK hotel opens near Edinburgh
Castle in June, seven years after Virgin’s first
hotel launched in Chicago. Delayed after
10th-century remains were found on the site,
it promises to be worth the wait. Some of the
222 rooms have views of the castle, which is
also on show from a rooftop sanctuary.
They all have Virgin Hotels’ signature
layout, with a dressing room and bathroom
rolled into one and a red Smeg fridge in the
bedroom. Downstairs is a members-style
social club and an all-day dining space.
Rooms from £330, with breakfast. ◆
Talbooth House and Spa
After adding a spa by its outdoor pool, the former Maison
Talbooth has rebranded itself to show its new focus on
wellness. Top-to-toe Elemis treatments are on offer, or you
can just lounge in the outdoor hot tub. Stay overnight in
one of 12 bedrooms from £300 with breakfast. ◆
The Georgian, Coppa Club
The all-day lifestyle ethos of Coppa Club has just arrived in the
market town of Haslemere. In a Grade-II-listed property, the
venue has spaces to work, eat, drink, and relax (with CBDinfused
cocktails). You can stay in one of 13 bedrooms, which
cost from £90 with breakfast. ◆
Royal Marine Hotel, Brora
Tartan fabrics and a stripped-back style give a Scandi-Scottish
feel to this hotel’s 21 rooms, following a multimillion pound refurb.
On the popular North Coast 500 coastal route, it’s just an hour
from Inverness. Rooms from £224 with breakfast.
The Michelin-starred menu created by chef
Jean Delport at Restaurant Interlude is up
to 21 courses. It’s good, then, that after
dishes such as pork with lobster and wild
garlic and brown choux with dandelion
and hazelnut you now only need to stagger
up the stairs at this 19th-century Italianate
mansion. Along a magnificent hallway and
galleried landing ten elegant rooms mix
antiques with contemporary art. Outside
are 240 acres of garden to walk off the
excesses of the night before, with a wallaby
enclosure, an ornamental rock garden, a
sculpture park and seven interlaced lakes.
Dinner £145pp, rooms from £350. ◆
Grove of Narbeth
This boutique bolthole near the Pembrokeshire coast
is looking fresh from a complete refurbishment, which
started in the public areas and finished in
April with the last of its bedrooms. A Pride of Britain
member, its rooms blend traditional styles and
textures with contemporary comforts, and are
from £260 with breakfast. ◆
Get back to nature at the 400-acre Kirnan
Estate on the west coast of Scotland, about
two hours from Glasgow. As well as two lochs
and a picturesque glen, Kirnan now has three
newly renovated cottages. Pick from one-bed
Torrnalaich Cottage; Chapel Cottage, with
two double bedrooms plus a third room for
four singles; or Kirnan Beg, a Scandi-inspired
wooden cabin. Then head off on one of the
many walks, try clay pigeon shooting, or fly
fishing on the River Add, which runs through
the estate. Yoga and wild swimming are on
offer too. From £200 a night for two. ◆
When you can enjoy views of a lighthouse from the
outdoor shower, from the table on the large terrace,
or from the master bedroom, you know your holiday
rental is going to be pretty special. At this chic beach
bolthole, it’s even more special, as the building on show
is Godrevy Lighthouse, which Virginia Woolf first visited
in 1892 and which inspired her novel To The Lighthouse.
Accommodation has clearly changed a lot since then.
This cedar-clad beach house with a wall of glass has
an open-plan kitchen/living area with wooden ladders
leading to further seating in two mezzanine areas. The
three bedrooms are stripped back and simple. The
master room has its own en suite while the other two
(one of which is a single) share a shower room.
The Lookout is just 100 metres from the beach, from
where you can take a boat trip to the lighthouse, as
Woolf did herself. Or try to catch a wave with the help
of one of the local surf schools. Just down the coast is
the blue flag beach at Carbis Bay, and walkers can join
the nearby South West Coast Path. Seven nights for five
people costs from £2,560. ◆
The Lakes by YOO at Cotswolds Waters
If you’ve always fancied owning a lakeside holiday home, take
a look at this development by the original Lakes by YOO estate.
Reservations are now open and estate tours are available to
book, with a show house opening later this year. Prices start from
£765,000 for a stunning two-bedroom lake-view apartment.
Joining the litter at The Wild Rabbit’s countrycottage
collection are two larger properties for
groups. With reclaimed timber beams, exposed
Cotswold stone walls, and country-chic
interiors, they are just as lovely as their smaller
siblings. Fowler’s House sleeps eight adults and
four children, with a wooden table for 12 in the
farmhouse kitchen, two spacious sitting rooms
and a sweeping rear terrace. It costs from
£7,000 a week. The 17th-century Old House
has four double bedrooms, is surrounded by its
own walled garden, and costs from £5,500 a
week. Guests also have access to the Bamford
Wellness Spa. ◆
It’s the ultimate romantic escape – the only bedroom in
a Norman castle with a four-poster bed and a bath for
two. Explore the grounds or book the escape room, then
retreat to the Royal Chamber at the top of the keep,
which costs £395, with Champagne and continental
breakfast. Opens July. ◆
Groups of two to 46 people can stay at Sawcliffe, which has just opened
the doors of its historic house and cottages to guests after a careful
restoration. Try axe throwing or hit the giant yurt for an on-site party.
Cottages from £150, manor for 24 from £1,500 a night.
Rosehill in Padstow
We’re not sure if Charles Dickens actually
stayed here when visiting his friend, who
owned the property, but we are sure of
Rosehill’s fantastic location. Within walking
distance of the beach and all the foodie
restaurants that Padstow has to offer, it
comes with its own parking space and
garden. Inside the Grade-II-listed building,
as well as a comfy living room and openplan
kitchen diner, there’s also an attic
room, ideal for a snug. It has the same
views of the Camel Estuary you get from the
master bedroom, one of five rooms. A week
for eight from £3,328. ◆
The Other House
Stay for a night or a year at this apartment-style
club with hotel services, opening on 5 July.
Book studios with kitchenettes from £270 or
Club Combos sleeping ten with their own front
door, from £1,500. There’s an all-day café,
two bars, and a gym with vitality pool and
wellbeing classes, too. ◆
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Dixie the Daydream
Think caravans are boring and old
fashioned? Then take a look at Dixie
Daydream, which has been beautifully done
out by two stylists using products from online
store Wayfair. Cassandra Doyle and Diana
Civil aka The Style Producers have totally
transformed the three-bedroom caravan at
Camber Sands, adding a copper sink and a
contemporary built-in fireplace along with
statement furniture and decor. If you like
the look, you can shop online for individual
elements. From £180 a night for six. ◆
Lake pods at Clawford Lakes
Fish from the deck of these lake pods on an 80-acre wildlife
haven that opened in April with a range of accommodation,
from floating cabins to lakeside lodges – close to two National
Parks and a spectacular coastline. A pool will open later this
summer. The pods sleep two from £340. ◆
The Little Cabin Dungeness
Twin railway carriages make a quirky new holiday retreat
amid the unique Dungeness Nature Reserve, with
uninterrupted views of the shingle beach. Created by artist Sara
Newman, The Log Cabin sleeps six in three bedrooms.
Three nights cost from £885. ◆
Airstream Dolly at the Eden Project
Vintage caravans, bell tents and pods make up the YHA’s new
glamping site at the Eden Project, where you can eat at The Hub
or cook for yourself on a BBQ firepit. Sleeping just two people,
Dolly costs from £59.
Bainland Lodge Retreats
Safari tents and shepherds’ huts already
abound at Bainland, a 45-acre country
estate near Woodhall Spa. Now, for the
perfect romantic break, they also have
a one-bedroom treehouse with lakeside
views and a hot tub on the deck. Cook in
the kitchen or use the new Copper Goose
delivery service, with food delivered to
the door by electric cart — you can even
order it by app from the hot tub. There are
plenty of activities on site, from cycling
to swimming; you can book the pool for
private use for £30 an hour. Stay three
nights in summer from £1,049. ◆
Pythouse Kitchen Garden
You’ve heard of restaurants with rooms – now we
bring you the restaurant with a glamping village.
Six bell tents and a cosy shepherds’ hut sit in an
orchard near this lunchtime-only restaurant.
They share showers, a cocktail area, a kitchen and a
dining area. Two nights for six people from
£950 on weekdays. ◆
Surf Wood for Good
Been to the beach and seen a discarded
broken bodyboard? More than 16,000
polystyrene bodyboards are left on UK
beaches each year, releasing myriad micro
polystyrene balls into the coastal ecosystem,
according to Keep Britain Tidy. Jamie
Johnstone from Dick Pearce Bellyboards
felt compelled to act after seeing the sheer
volume of snapped boards at his local beach.
He came up with a brilliant solution in the
form of the Surf Wood for Good campaign.
Through it, wooden boards can be hired
free of charge in 24 locations around the UK
coast, allowing everyone to enjoy sustainable
surf and seaside fun. ◆
Launch your own digital Sputnik, experience a meteor show or
try ‘driving’ a radio telescope at the interactive exhibition in the
observatory’s First Light Pavilion, which opens on 4 June. The
76-metre grass-topped dome mirrors the shape and scale of the
Lovell Telescope and will also feature planetarium-style shows. ◆
SUSSEX AND YORKSHIRE
Duck and puffin trails
Follow an art trail of 30 five-foot rubber duck sculptures
along the Sussex coast from Hastings to Bexhill from June.
Each has been painted by a local artist and will host a wellbeing
activity. In Yorkshire, look out for giant puffins from July,
with 40 sculptures placed along the coast. ◆
followthatduck.co.uk / puffinsgalore.co.uk
Racing at Newmarket
Go behind the scenes at the races before taking your seat in
the private enclosure during the Champions Lawn Race Day
Experience, with dates throughout the summer, for £65pp. Pay an
extra £10pp for the tour, evening racing and a top-name concert.
Sweat it out this summer in a sauna with a
view, looking out over beautiful Watergate
Bay. You can hire the Canadian cedarwood
cabin for your group of up to ten people or
join a communal session. Either way, there
is a range of complimentary essential oils to
enhance the experience, a freshwater rainfall
shower outside to cool down afterwards
and even cold-water immersion if you’re
feeling brave. A series of workshops are also
planned, dealing with breathwork, hot and
cold immersion and holistic health. From
£20pp for an 8am communal session or £95
for an hour’s private hire. ◆
Colwith Farm Distillery
Done your share of gin distilleries and want
something different? Then try a plough-to-bottle
vodka school, using Cornish potatoes. The
two-hour class (£79pp) looks at the history and
origins of vodka and then lets you try your hand at
blending botanicals to your own taste and filling
your own 70cl bottle. ◆
Matilda The Musical
THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
Make time for Matilda as part of your trip to London this summer
Matilda The Musical is the
from the Royal Shakespeare
Company which has
been performed in countries including
Australia, New Zealand, South Korea,
USA and more.
Adapted from the much-loved Roald
Dahl book, the globally acclaimed
musical has won 99 international awards
including 24 for Best Musical and has
been seen by more than 10 million people
across more than 90 cities worldwide.
Matilda The Musical premiered at the
RSC’s Courtyard Theatre in Stratfordupon-Avon
in November 2010, playing
to sold-out audiences before transferring
to London’s West End, opening at the
Cambridge Theatre on the corner of
Earlham Street facing Seven Dials in
October 2011, and is currently taking
bookings until the end of May 2023.
With book by Dennis Kelly and original
songs by Tim Minchin, Matilda The Musical
is the story of an extraordinary little girl,
armed with a vivid imagination and a
sharp mind, who dares to take a stand
Photos by Manual Harlan
and change her own destiny.
A tonic for audiences of all ages, this
anarchic production continues Roald Dahl's
theme of bravery and standing up for what
you believe in, inspiring young audiences
all over the world. The London production
has welcomed over 4 million audience
members to the Cambridge Theatre, where
it recently celebrated 10 years in the West
End. Your visit to London this summer just
isn’t complete without a trip to experience
Matilda The Musical. ◆
HOW TO BOOK TICKETS
Matilda The Musical is now
taking bookings until 28 May
2023 with excellent group rates
available midweek throughout
the summer holidays.
Tickets priced from £20.
Call 020 3925 2998 to book.
For the full performance
One of Britain’s most influential hoteliers, Robin Hutson
OBE, tells British Travel Journal about his renowned PIG hotels,
brand-new book, and much-anticipated vineyard
Text by Sophie Farrah | Images by Jake Eastham
They say that from little acorns great oaks
grow, but in the case of Robin Hutson, the
starting point was in fact a few weeds and a
couple of carrots.
After selling his hugely successful hotel chain Hotel
du Vin in 2004, Robin was ready to kick back and
relax, but a chance encounter in the New Forest quickly
changed all that.
“I was planning to put my feet up!” he laughs.
“Then I got a call from Jim Ratcliffe who asked me to
help him get Lime Wood (a five-star hotel in the New
Forest) open. I was looking at other bits of property
that the hotel owned; tidying things up, closing and
selling, and there was this little hotel in Brockenhurst
called Whitley Ridge…” he recalls. “I went there to have
it valued for sale, but when I walked into the kitchen
garden I had a lightbulb moment, I suppose. This small
but perfectly formed garden had two carrots and a
few weeds growing in it, and I just suddenly thought, I
wonder if there’s a way of bringing the kitchen garden
right to the fore of everything?”
And with that seed firmly sown, great hotels began
to grow. Robin and his wife Judy transformed Whitley
Ridge and in 2011 it reopened as THE PIG. Since then,
the litter has expanded considerably, and there are
now a further seven PIG hotels spread across every
county along the south coast of England. Today,
Robin, who earlier in 2022 was awarded an OBE for
services to the hospitality industry and philanthropy, is
one of the most influential hoteliers in the country. He
is deeply admired by his peers and, most importantly,
well-liked, and it’s easy to see why; when we speak, he
is full of warmth, sincerity and has a palpable sense of
fun, much like his hotels.
“Coming from a background of five-star properties, I
was aware that the country-house sector was peddling
an out-of-date concept, really. It was all rather formal
and stuffy – punters were scared to go up the drive,” he
“Not being too grand was central to what we
wanted to do. That’s really where the name THE PIG
comes from. I wanted it to have an agricultural
connotation because of the garden, but I also thought – it
sounds a bit like a pub, people aren’t scared of going to
pubs. It was never going to be ‘the something-something
grand manor hotel’, or anything that sounds too posh.”
Having weathered the recent pandemic storm, Robin’s
unique porcine properties have been at the forefront of the
UK hotel scene for over a decade now. Widely celebrated
for their laid-back ethos and distinctive sense of organic
style, THE PIG offers guests a luxurious, yet unpretentious
stay immersed in the bucolic British countryside, with
plenty of delicious sustenance on offer. This same recipe
for success (and the perfect weekend break) has now
been applied to PIGs in Somerset, Southampton, Dorset,
Devon, Kent, Cornwall and Sussex, but despite this
impressive expansion, much of what was first sown in the
New Forest way back when remains part of the glorious
experience today; the walled garden, the Potting Shed
Elizabethan manor, nestled in Devon’s green and pleasant
Otter Valley. Its bedrooms are characteristically PIG, with
rich and cosy fabrics, reclaimed textures and wood, rolltop
baths, locally stocked ‘larders’ and each one totally
unique. There are also three bountiful walled gardens, one
home to an old stone folly, now a scenic spot designed for
‘quaffing and troughing’, as is positively encouraged.
“I always say that the hotels are like kids and that you
can’t have a favourite, but there are certain ones that have
particular significance. Brockenhurst was the first, so that
makes it very special, and the last one you do is fresh in
your mind, as you live it night and day for so long,” Robin
“But Bridge Place (in Kent) is very special – Judy, my
wife, lived in the village of Bridge throughout her teenage
years, so we knew that beautiful building very well.”
Today, each hotel is undeniably shaped by the historic
There are common elements to all the hotels – the restaurants follow a theme,
but we allow the buildings themselves to dictate how we lay the rest out. We don’t
fight the building; we allow it to give us the clues as to what we should do.
treatment rooms, roaring open fires, upcycled furniture,
resident animals and the hotel’s highly acclaimed 25-mile
menus, which use ingredients sourced from within a 25-
mile radius alongside fresh, seasonal produce harvested
from the kitchen garden.
“We let the garden inform everything that we do, from
the menu to the design and decor and so on. I want it to
feel very natural, comfortable, friendly, not too designed,
and somewhere you can put your feet up on the table if
you want to and have fun,” Robin enthuses.
Ingeniously, while retaining the unique formula of the
first, each PIG also has its own distinct sense of identity.
They share the same handwriting, but each one has its
own unique signature. Because of this, most regular
guests are known to have a favourite, from THE PIG-on
the Beach, which overlooks the golden sands of Dorset's
sweeping Studland Bay, to THE PIG-at Harlyn Bay in
Cornwall, with its abundance of original features and
indulgent outdoor dining hotspot, The Lobster Shed.
I love THE PIG-at Coombe; a secluded, Grade-I-listed
property that it inhabits. These grand old buildings are
carefully hand-picked by Robin and Judy, who is also
responsible for the group’s celebrated interior design.
“We look at loads of properties all the time, and I get
a gut feeling. Sometimes I don’t even get out of the car,”
“There are common elements to all the hotels – the
restaurants follow a theme, but we allow the buildings
themselves to dictate how we lay the rest out. We don’t
fight the building; we allow it to give us the clues as to
what we should do,” he explains.
“And our design philosophy is very personal – Judy and
I just choose stuff that we like. Our dining room table at
home is always full of swatches and things, every surface is
covered. It drives me nuts sometimes!”
The couple’s latest transformation is THE PIG-in the
South Downs, a beautiful old dower house tucked away
near the ancient market town of Arundel in Sussex.
Much to Robin’s delight, it is home to THE PIG’s very first
“It’s my train set,” he says, grinning from
ear to ear.
“Wine is a bit of a passion of mine, I
am quite partial to the odd glass. So, it's
very exciting. All the team are involved
in the pruning and picking, and we’ve all
adopted a row.”
With Robin’s eyes firmly on the vines, it
is son Ollie who oversees THE PIG’s allimportant
kitchen gardens and has done
ever since their conception. Robin's other
son, tattoo artist Will, has also recently
made his distinctive mark by creating
striking treasure map-esque illustrations
that feature in the hotel group’s brand-new
book, THE PIG: 500 Miles of Food, Friends
and Local Legends (see page 98).
Released in May 2022, this lively and
energetic coffee-table compendium
celebrates the several counties that THE
PIGs now call home, shining a spotlight
on the unique produce and flavours
associated with each one and the cast of
characters that all play their part, from
scallop divers and surfers to farmers and
FIRST PAGE: ROBIN AND
JUDY HUTSON. PREVIOUS
PAGE CLOCKWISE FROM
TOP: BEDROOM AT THE
PIG-AT COMBE; WISTERIA
AT THE PIG-NEAR BATH;
RESIDENT PIGLETS; CHEFS
FORAGING AT THE
PIG-AT HARLYN BAY;
FROM LEFT: A MEAL
AT THE LOBSTER SHED
AT THE PIG-AT HARLYN
BAY FRESH EGGS
FOR BREAKFAST; THE
VINEYARD AT THE PIG-IN
THE SOUTH DOWNS;
HERB GARDEN AT THE PIG-
For those who prefer glamping there are
six brand-new shepherd huts, each with built-in stargazing roofs and wood
[The vineyard] is [like] my train set. Wine is a bit of a passion of mine, I am
quite partial to the odd glass. So, it’s very exciting. All the team are involved in
the pruning and picking, and we’ve all adopted a row.
“We like to work with people that we like to work
with, and I hope that comes through in the book. There
are some very interesting, wonderful characters,” Robin
As well as mouth-watering recipes and some handy
gardening tips, the book also provides a potted history
of each remarkable building, and some truly riveting and
often heart-warming stories and anecdotes of how Robin
and Judy are connected to each one, making THE PIG feel
even more personal than ever.
“We’ve opened three new hotels since the last book
(THE PIG: Tales and Recipes from the Kitchen Garden and
Beyond), and I felt it was time for an update. I was proud of
the first book, and I like it a lot, but I felt it was safe. It was
a bit 'John Constable' for me. A bit sweet! I felt that there
was more of a story to tell.” Indeed, there is. And how
about the next chapter? Before we part ways I ask if there
are plans afoot for further additions to the much-loved
piggy litter? “Yep,” says Robin, smiling. “And there could
be more vineyards too…”
Discover the Celtic Spirit in West Wales and Ireland’s Ancient East
You’ll find it in the land, the sea, and the sky. You’ll
find it in the people, their languages, and their
stories. And you’ll find it in the rivers, the trees, and
the stones. But what is it? We call it the Celtic Spirit.
It’s hard to describe, but if you travel to West Wales and Ireland’s
Ancient East, it’s easy to discover.
Recent years have been difficult for all of us. Now in 2022,
we are ready to discover new places. And for many it’s about
finding lands where we can feel closer to nature and history.
Places to restore a sense of balance and harmony in this
pressured and sometimes scary world. But there is no need to
travel a long way to feel a million miles away from the everyday.
Celtic Routes is a collection of authentic Celtic experiences.
They offer fresh ideas and inspiration to discover the counties
of Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow in South-East Ireland and
Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire in West Wales.
Celtic Routes encourage visitors to go beyond tourism
honeypots and take roads less travelled. In Wales,
Pembrokeshire is a popular destination but it’s still possible to
avoid the crowds and really get to know the county. In the Preseli
Hills you can walk ancient tracks through captivating prehistoric
landscapes – it’s known in Welsh as Gwlad Hud a Lledrith,
meaning ‘Land of Magic and Enchantment’. If you visit Pentre
Ifan Burial Chamber, particularly at dawn or dusk, you really
There is no need to travel a long
way to feel a million miles away from
the everyday... Celtic Routes encourage
visitors to go beyond tourism honeypots
and take roads less travelled.
have a sense of time of place. The hustle and bustle of modern
life will feel a world away.
North Pembrokeshire shares many characteristics with
Ceredigion, its neighbour to the north. A dramatic and beautiful
coastline, wild and wonderful uplands and a strong Welsh
culture. Visitors to Ceredigion who decide to leave the coast
and head for hills will be rewarded with an area of astounding
natural beauty, otherwise known as the Cambrian Mountains.
Here you will feel close to the land as you tread in the footsteps
of ancient pilgrims enroute to ruined Strata Florida Abbey. And
as you enjoy the tranquillity of the Teifi pools, you are more
likely to hear skylarks and the whistling call of Red Kites soaring
above, rather than the constant hum of traffic.
Carmarthenshire is farming country. Agriculture has
always been important, so you’ll find plenty of places serving
food and drink from the area, locally sourced, prepared
with care and presented with passion. Towns in the county
are blossoming, alive with independent shops and full of
products and stories connected to the county. You can also
find your lunch in the wild. On a foraging experience along the
Carmarthenshire coastline, you’ll learn how to find prawns,
mussels, cockles, wild samphire, sea anemones and scarlet elf
cup mushrooms. The reward for your efforts is your very own
zero-waste, organic lunch on the beach.
Southeast Ireland is less visited than some other parts.
But a visit to Ireland is not complete without venturing to this
corner known as Ireland’s Ancient East.
Visitors to Dublin can head to the nearby Wicklow
mountains to get a real sense of being in the “Emerald Isle”. In
the foothills lies scenic Blessington Lakes. As well as being the
main source of drinking water for Dublin, it’s a popular base
for water-based activities like fishing, boating and kayaking.
You can walk or cycle the Blessington Greenway along the
lakeshore and into natural woodland. Or drive the 26km
route around the valley. Novelist and poet Brendan Behan
described his trip to the area as a ‘journey to the jewel of
Perched on a green hill overlooking the River Bann in north
Wexford is a special place. Ferns is special because here, the
many strands of ancient stories which shape modern Ireland,
come together. In this Ancient Capital of Leinster, you can
trace the steps of Saints, Celts, Vikings, and Normans who
have all influenced the nation we know today. Stay in nearby
Enniscorthy and visit the castle which has played a key role in
Irelands turbulent history.
Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city and has attracted visited
for 1000’s of years. In 914 a fleet of Viking ships landed in
what is now Waterford City. They settled, forged alliances and
established trading routes and became an important part of
Ireland’s story. If you join The Epic Tour of the Viking Triangle,
you’ll discover six national monuments that date from 1190
AD to 1783. This is a wonderful way for visitors to get an
overview of Irish history in Waterford. ◆
If you are planning on visiting Ireland or Wales in 2022,
make sure you take a Celtic Route and truly discover the Celtic
PRIDE of BRITAIN
Enter our competition to win one of four indulgent
Champagne afternoon teas for two at a luxury hotel
In a year that celebrates Her Majesty becoming the
first British Monarch to reach the Platinum Jubilee
milestone of 70 years of service, there is even more
reason to indulge in a spot of tea or raise your
Champagne glass – and there is nothing quite like sitting
down for afternoon tea: the warming tea blends, sweet
and savoury treats.
British Travel Journal has teamed up with Pride of Britain
Hotels to offer you the opportunity to win one of four
Champagne afternoon teas in a luxury hotel with
Our fortunate winners will be hosted in one of four
gorgeous hotel settings: Mediterranean-inspired luxury
hideaway Feversham Arms in North Yorkshire; four acres
of English cottage garden at The Priory,
on the banks of the River Frome in Dorset;
the romantic restored 17th-century parterre,
lily pond and rose gardens of Bodysgallen
in North Wales; or the secluded three-acre
rose garden of Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa
in Newmarket, while looking out to one of
the world’s most famous racecourse and
Enjoy the tradition of Afternoon Tea at
The Priory, served in the relaxed comfort of
either The John Turner Restaurant or on The
River Terrace in the summertime. Afternoon
tea here includes a selection of traditional
finger sandwiches; delicious home-made
cakes, and scones, jam and clotted cream,
served with a pot of your choice of Hoogly
Tea blend. At Bodysgallen, afternoon tea is
served in their oak-panelled hall, library or
drawing room, or on warm summer days
outside on the terrace.
Bodysgallen’s Traditional Afternoon
Tea includes a selection of finger
sandwiches, freshly baked scones with
clotted cream and strawberry jam, cakes
and pastries and a choice of freshly
brewed teas. Afternoon tea at Bedford
Lodge Hotel & Spa, popularised by their
very own Anna Maria, The Duchess of
Bedford, is served daily and can be taken
in Squires Restaurant, Roxana Bar, or on
the sun terrace overlooking the stunning
lawns and rose gardens at the hotel – the
choice is yours. ◆
H O W T O E N T E R
ON OUR WEBSITE
Pride of Britain Hotels is a
collection made up of the finest
properties; each one unique and
characterful. With manor homes,
castles, woodland retreats,
elegant lodges and city boltholes
on offer, there is a special experience
awaiting every guest. Experience
the best places to eat, stay and
unwind within the British Isles.
Last entries August 31 2022.
Prize is to be taken before 20
From artisanal ices and locally churned velvety
scoops to family recipes dating back decades, Britain’s
top independent ice cream and gelato makers provide
the perfect accompaniment to a long, hot summer
Text by Chantal Borciani
Traditional gelato is said to be smoother,
creamier and carries less fat content
than ice cream. At Swoon it's made from
scratch and churned fresh using Somerset
milk. Set up by the latest generation in
a family of gelato makers going back
120 years, the first Swoon store opened
its doors on College Green in Bristol in
2016. The family-run company now has
outposts in Bath, Oxford, Selfridge’s in
London and will be opening its newest
swish set-up in Cardiff this summer.
Ingredients such as lemons, hazelnuts
and pistachio are sourced direct from Italy,
and Swoon offers ten traditional flavours
and six monthly changing seasonal
varieties, alongside a selection of gelato
cakes and artisan coffee from Naples.
Flavours on offer include pistachio, dark chocolate
sorbetto (vegan) and Bacio (chocolate and hazelnut) with
a selection of dairy free and vegan sorbetto options.
Visit: We love the decor and vibe of the Swoon store in
Bristol for an eat-in parlour experience but if you prefer
to head out into the sunshine with a towering cone, take
a rug and relax on College Green overlooking Bristol
Cathedral or pile a tub high and chill out in Bath’s Green
Park overlooking the Avon.
Stay: The Aspiring Cook is the newest addition to a clutch
of luxury self-catering boltholes in Bath renovated by The
Curated Collection. A short walk from the city centre,
this cosy flat is perfect for a couple and sits among a
handsome row of classic Georgian terrace houses, built
around 1790 by Thomas Baldwin.
Visit: While it seems churlish to not enjoy at least one
scoop on Brighton’s famous pebble beach, why not also
take a picnic out of town and head for the Devil’s Dyke,
a 100-metre-deep V-shaped valley on the South Downs
laced with beautiful walking trails offering incredible views
of the Sussex countryside.
Stay: The Garden Room sleeps two and is set at the foot
of the South Downs – meaning guests can enjoy the best
of countryside and coast in one vacation. Exquisitely
appointed, the romantic hideaway features a secluded
garden complete with hot tub.
Boho Gelato has been producing Italian-style ice cream,
sorbet and vegan gelato on site in Brighton for 12 years.
Gelatiere Seb Cole and his team use Sussex-produced milk
and cream as well as ingredients from around the world
(such as Sicilian DOP Bronte pistachio and Indian alfonso
mangoes) to make 24 ever-changing flavours daily. All
flavours are suitable for vegetarians and Boho also offers a
selection of gluten-free and vegan scoops.
Now with outposts in Weymouth and Worthing, the
award-winning gelato producer has created more than 500
flavours over the years. Some cool new additions include
malted miso choc nougat, coconut cocoa nib, strawberry,
basil and black pepper, and hazelnut custard pie.
Having started as a small enterprise in Looe, Cornwall,
Treleavens ice cream is now made in a custom-built
premises on Tretoil Farm in the north Cornish countryside.
Keeping things local is still key – all of Treleavens’ dairy
ice creams have a base of Rodda’s clotted cream and
ingredients are sourced locally as much as possible,
including Cornish sea salt for its moreish salted caramel
ice cream. Treleavens dairy ice creams are made with
Trewithen Dairy milk – sourced from 25 farms within 25
miles. The award-winning ice cream maker has around 50
flavours in total with a few new vegan flavours launched
recently, including mint choc chip, Biscoff, salted caramel
and raspberry ripple. Small theatre tubs of vegan vanilla
and a vegan chocolate are also available.
Visit: St Ives Coffee and Ice Cream nestled in the pictureperfect
Cornish harbour town incorporates Treleavens’ ice
cream into milkshakes, crepes, and epic sundaes.
Or hit the surf off Watergate Bay and head shoreside to
the coastal bolthole hotel for an ice cream.
Stay: Molesworth Manor is an exquisitely restored 17thcentury
manor house just a short walk from Padstow on
the north Cornwall coast. Sleeping 14 guests in seven ensuite
bedrooms, this Cornish hideaway is complete with a
games room, a garden room, a banqueting hall, two cedar
clad six-seater hot tubs and a cinema room – perfect for a
film and your favourite scoops.
Baboo Gelato was set up in 2015 by Annie Hanbury, a
trained gelatiere, who wanted to combine her passion for
ice cream with the glut of fabulous ripe fruit she found
at her new home’s overflowing and abandoned market
garden near the Dorset town of Bridport. Today, Baboo’s
artisanal gelato is still handmade using fresh, seasonal
fruit and local organic milk. A lot of the fruit is still sourced
locally, whether it is plums from North Perrott Fruit Farm,
pears from Ellwell Farm, elderflowers from the local
hedgerows, or gooseberries from Forde Abbey.
The artisanal gelato comes in scoops, tubs, or chocolatecoated
ice cream ‘Baboos’ bites. All Baboo ice creams are
suitable for vegetarians and all its sorbets are suitable for
vegans. Visitors can head to the Baboo Gelato kiosks in
West Bay, Weymouth, Morcombelake and Lyme Regis.
Doggy Doggy Yum Yum
Baboo’s fabulous doggy offshoot is its Doggy Doggy Yum
Yum – a frozen treat made with bananas, coconut yogurt,
agave syrup and 100% peanut butter.
Made for dogs who want a cool treat in the summer
heat, Doggy Doggy Yum Yum is 100% organic and uses
no artificial flavours or refined sugars. It is also suitable for
vegetarian and vegan pups.
Visit: Ice cream lovers can head to the Baboo Gelato
kiosks in West Bay, Weymouth, Morcombelake and Lyme
Regis, with their canine pals in tow of course.
Don’t miss a spot of fossil hunting at Monmouth
beach (particularly for ammonites), and East Cliff beach
between Lyme Regis and Charmouth.
Stay: The Beach House is perfectly located for exploring
the Jurassic coastline and has been renovated with
a sublime coastal palette running through the guest
areas. The captivating family homestay sleeps four and
sits between Lyme Bay and West Bay – ideal for beach
New Forest Ice Cream
Born and bred in the New Forest and a family-run business
to this day, New Forest Ice Cream was founded over
36 years ago, with the velvety ice cream now sold to
restaurants, pubs, cafés and kiosks across the UK and
beyond. Of course, you can’t venture far in Hampshire’s
spectacular New Forest without seeing a sign for its velvety
ice cream. Since 2012, New Forest Ice Cream has received
at least one new gold star for a product every year in the
prestigious Great Taste Awards, with a total of 17 product
awards to date. Winners include the company’s vanilla ice
cream, liquorice ice cream and sambuca sorbet.
Visit: A stone’s throw from New Forest Ice Cream’s HQ,
the bunting-lined harbour town of Lymington has cobbled
streets, a pretty quayside and a breakwater walking trail
with far-reaching views across the Solent. The town is also
home to a host of ice cream parlours and cafes, selling
locally churned New Forest Ice Cream.
Stay: The sublimely romantic Undercastle Cottage in
the heart of the New Forest has magnificent views with
gardens that gently roll down to the river's edge.
The three-bedroom oak-framed cottage is also home to
half a mile of exclusive private fishing.
Weymouth’s Rossi’s Ice Cream was established in 1937 by
Fioravanti Figliolini and is currently run by his grandson
Fulvio Figliolini. All the ice cream is still handmade using
the same traditional method and uses the same closely
guarded family recipe.
Rossi’s doesn’t use vanilla of any kind – saying that
its natural ice cream creates its own flavour while being
cooked. Other flavours include chocolate, coffee, banana,
peppermint & dark chocolate, mango, and more.
In addition to tubs, cones, and sundaes, Rossi’s serves
up pancakes, waffles and cream teas and is a fantastic
spot right on Weymouth’s Western Esplanade.
Visit: Weymouth beach is literally on Rossi’s doorstep
while the famed Chesil Beach lies around the headland.
Against the backdrop
of a renowned collection
Rossetti’s experience Portraits
9 January of
The contemporary Tudors: Passion, art, lectures, Power
& concerts, Politics
28 events January or indulge to 8 May in 2022
A Corner of a Foreign Field
Against the backdrop
of a renowned Édouard Vuillard collection
experience The Poetry critically of the Everyday acclaimed
exhibitions Lauren of Child historical and
The Art of Illustration
contemporary art, lectures,
concerts, workshops and
A Life in Print
events or indulge in our
Master of Line
Great Pulteney George Street, Shaw
Bath BA2 4DB
www.holburne.org A Corner of a Foreign Field
The Poetry of the Everyday
The Art of Illustration
A Life in Print
Master of Line
Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DB
Biscuit-themed Events, Exhibitions and more:
Official Travel Partner
For a quieter day out head for the captivating water-lily
ponds, adorned gazebos and Monet-style bridges of the
eight-acre Bennetts Water Gardens.
Stay: A spectacular barn conversion ensconced in the Dorset
countryside, Merry Hill Barn is a wonderful jumping-off point
to explore the Jurassic coast – well positioned for Weymouth,
Chesil Beach and West Bay and features exposed stone
walls, original beams and contemporary flair.
What started as a culinary passion project has grown to a
famed London ice cream name with a devoted following.
Named after her maternal grandmother – who loved a
choc ice – Julie Fisher started Ruby Violet from her kitchen.
Currently the capital is home to just one Ruby Violet
parlour, in King’s Cross – though there are plans for it to
reopen a second in North London.
Visit: Head to Ruby Violet’s King’s Cross parlour for its
unique afternoon tea experience. Alongside savoury
treats, the menu serves up an array of tasty morsels
including mini Genovese sponge ice cream sandwiches,
Belgian chocolate shells, raspberry rosewater and
Prosecco lollipops, rounded off with a three-tiered ice
cream cake and ice cream chocolates.
Stay: Put your feet up just around the corner at one of
London’s most recognisable hotels.
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel originally opened in 1873
and following its extensive renovation now marries historic
finery with modern luxury.
Sustainable cooking has never looked – or tasted
– this good. We speak to chef Adam Handling on
taking eco to new heights in Cornwall's Carbis Bay
and catering for presidents and prime ministers
Text by Chantal Borciani
Winding down the hill towards Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate, it’s
hard to picture a more perfect Cornish setting. The emerald
bay, glinting in warm shimmering sunshine, dominates the
vista as the horizon reveals itself like blue-green pages of a
book falling open. The steep valley sides are dotted with white-washed homes
and verdant foliage and Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate sits snug right in the
centre of this cosiest of Cornish nooks.
A presidential enclave
Privacy is one of the hotel’s calling cards, not least because the luxury coastal
boutique hotel hosted the2021 G7 Summit. The presidential motorcades were
quite the sight as they rumbled into the quiet Cornish hamlet last summer yet
it’s easy to see why the estate was selected as the venue to showcase to the
world the beauty of Cornwall.
We, like Macron, Merkel, Johnson and friends, stayed in the extraordinary
beachfront lodges. The chic, neutral-toned desirable residences wisely makes
the most of the sea views at every opportunity, spanning three sweeping
floors. The hot tubs and roof terraces overlook the surf, and spiral stone
staircases lead down to sumptuous bedrooms where you can laze and
When you walk into the restaurant, you have that
view, which is a million dollars,” says Adam. “I don’t
think there’s a more beautiful place in the world.
listen to the waves from your bed. A capacious open-plan living space with full
kitchen, a fireplace, a grand dining table, and a private garden leads down to the
butter-coloured sand. While the main hotel building has a traditional luxurious
appeal, and was built by celebrated Cornish architect Silvanus Trevail, the newly
built lodges are more modern-Scandinavian in style than seaside bolthole, offering
exclusive living with only the best roll-top baths and sea views. High-quality natural
materials used throughout lend a soothing quality to the swoon-worthy decor.
The spectacular living room features floor-to-ceiling sliding doors so, from sunrise
to sunset, the captivating light from the water fills the space. Light again cascades
into the bedrooms where yet more floor-to-ceiling glass frames the uninterrupted
sea view. Two of our three bedrooms feature a wide connecting balcony, bringing
the picturesque shore even closer. The balcony proved a perfect spot for a morning
coffee overlooking the rolling waves. A lodge concierge is on hand for everything –
aperitifs and signature canapes at sundown, bountiful breakfast hampers served at
a time of your choice with the finest of Cornish ingredients and oven-warm bread,
dinner reservations and turn-down services.
Alongside the hamlet of Carbis Bay’s luxury beach lodges, and just steps from the
main house, is the Ugly Butterfly. The new restaurant on the estate is the brainchild
of revered chef, Adam Handling. Ugly Butterfly opened in August 2021 and sits
elevated above the beach with uninterrupted views of the ocean so breathtaking
that walking in feels like a cinematic experience in itself. Full-height windows
run the entire length of the vast restaurant and bar space, filling the view to the
metaphorical brim with sand, sea, surf and sky. This is one restaurant to book for
lunch or an early dinner so your jaw can suitably drop.
“When you walk into the restaurant, you have that view, which is a million
dollars,” says Adam. “I don’t think there’s a more beautiful place in the world.”
Ugly Butterfly embodies three crucial elements for Adam: sustainable, local and
luxurious. The restaurant focus on sustainability means using every ingredient,
creating food that is both artistic and theatrical. “We only use items sourced in
Cornwall. We hope to look after and work with the locals, because if it isn’t in
Cornwall we aren’t using it.”
Adam says he strives to make menus that are delectable and the highest culinary
experience, in spite of them being zero-waste.
“I love luxury. I love to eat really good food. And I like to drink
really good wine. And I like to know that I'm doing something good
for the environment and good for the planet. But lazy chefs just put
fermented food on everything and call it sustainable, because all
they know how to do is ferment it.”
During the G7, Adam and his team oversaw all the presidential
requests, including private lunches and breakfasts for the delegates.
“It's always exciting, it's always nerve-wracking, it's always scary.
But it was great to be able to showcase that sustainable can be
luxurious,” he says.
“I wanted to utilise as much zero-waste as possible, but in a way
where it's still luxury enough and tasty enough to serve to world
leaders. Sitting down and speaking to the leaders about that sort of
stuff, and them enjoying it was really quite really special.”
Hero of zero
Ugly Butterfly is Adam’s newest restaurant, he also has Frog in Covent Garden and
The Loch & The Tyne in Windsor. “We lost four restaurants in the group during the
lockdown,” Adam continues. “When it came to reopening, I went down a different
route. Everyone with a passion thinks they're invincible but nowadays, learning from
the mistakes of the past, we said instead of opening a lot of restaurants quickly, we're
just going to strip it back. I want each of my restaurants to have its own identity,
rather than having a number two of a number one restaurant.”
“I don't want people to think, ‘oh, he just put his name on another luxury property
and popped off’. I have a house in Cornwall and a house in London and I split my
time 50/50. We spent months finding the right Cornish suppliers. This isn’t just a
concept, it’s years of experimenting coming to the fore.”
The chef’s favourite dish on the menu is the ‘lobster, beef fat’, a dish that hails
from another of Adam’s restaurants. “Many years ago, I bought a whole Wagyu cow
from Highland Wagyu in Scotland. This dish was created because these 1,300 kilo
animals have a lot of fat and one of the challenges was what we could do to utilise all
The solution was to use the Wagyu fat to cook the fresh lobster. “Here, we now
use a Cornish dairy that’s around five minutes from the doorstep.” The lobsters, we
are told by our excellent waiter, are caught under the lighthouse we can see in the
distance through the window of the restaurant.
I don't want
he just put
“It's just really wonderful to build up such a
relationship with suppliers, a stone's throw away from
the restaurant door, and use wonderful things from
what they're doing in imaginative ways that they
hadn't thought of doing either.
So you excite both the supplier, the chef, and
fundamentally of course you excite the guests, because
they feel like ‘this is so cool’. But it's cool in a way where
you’re actually having a great experience. It doesn't
taste like garbage, and it's been sustainable.
People think I'm a
bit bizarre because
I'm a chef yet I'm
focused because, for
me, it's all about how
a guest is made to
feel as soon as they
walk in this place.
And I say that doesn't taste like garbage quite literally,
because I can't stand bowls of fermented foods. I
understand it's zero-waste but when I'm spending a lot of
money, I want a delicious mouth-watering meal. I don't
want to just be eating sour fermented stuff because it's
saving the planet, I still need the experience, I still want the
We can attest that nothing tastes dodgy or sour at the
Ugly Butterfly. Fresh, local and zero-waste – the philosophy
runs deep and works – even the fantastical cocktail menu
features takes on classics but uses ‘waste’ from the kitchen:
herbs, shrubs, peels and ingredients that infuse and produce
the most wonderful distillates and flavours.
Luxury and connections
The food is also a spectacular journey full of real standout
moments. The ‘snacks’ – a table laden with achingly
pretty and elegantly precise dishes is a triumph and sets
the bar exceedingly high for the tasting menu proper,
featuring tastes Adam loves, including a crisp duck and
plum sauce, a flavour bomb cheese doughnut, and a
punchy beef and kimchi roll.
The tasting menu is one of a kind – if you’re going
to invest in a special meal, this is where ours would be.
The execution is elevated and intricate, while the food is
unpretentious and delicious. The ‘Bread, chicken butter’
dish is inspired by Adam’s fussy eater sister resolving only
ever to eat roast chicken for Sunday lunch when they were
The deliciously salty bowls of yellow butter topped with
crispy chicken skin and IPA-infused sourdough arrives
with a note that reads: ‘But Mondays were my favourite.
Leftover chicken in a white floury Scottish bap with loads
of salty butter. This is my take on the happy memories of
that Monday morning roast chicken sandwich.’
Cornish crab with apple and jasmine is the prettiest
plate – light and with a taste of both the sea and Cornish
orchards tangy Victoria plum, beetroot and luxuriant
English truffle accompanies salt-aged duck with crisp
skin; while playful heart-shaped waffles top local salmon
“Nostalgia, relatability, connection with dishes – it’s so
important,” says Adam. “I think the way that you're made
to feel in a restaurant is equally as important as how the
food tastes. If you have great food somewhere but you’re
treated like dirt, it’s never going to be a good experience.
I want the diners to have a very one-to-one intimate
experience at the Ugly Butterfly. For it to be memorable.
People think I'm a bit bizarre because I'm a chef yet I'm
more front-of-house focused because, for me, it's all about
how a guest is made to feel as soon as they walk in this
place.” Fortunately, it’s clear his team are imbued with the
same passion and ethos, keenly sharing titbits of Adam’s
stories, menu revelations and details of the ingredients
FIRST PAGE: ADAM HANDLING.
SECOND PAGE FROM TOP:
ADAM HANDLING WITH HEAD
CHEF JAMIE PARK; BEACH
LODGE. PREVIOUS PAGE
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT:
SEAFOOD PLATTER FROM
THE BEACH CLUB; CHICKEN
& CHIPS, COURGETTE, BASIL;
SMOKED COD; BEEF AND
KIMCHI; SPA AND OUTDOOR
POOL; CORNISH CRAB TART;
DISPLAY OF DISHES INCLUDING
CRAB CORONATION, CHEESE
DOUGHNUTS AND MORE;
PICTURED LEFT TO RIGHT: THE
UGLY BUTTERFLY BAR; THE
UGLY BUTTERFLY DINING
without it being forced, laboured or overbearing.
Following a belt-busting meal, the hotel has a host of relaxing offerings for
guests to enjoy. A beautiful seafront orangery and patio is perfect for morning
coffees and afternoon teas, while the hotel’s C-Bay Spa is recently renovated and
features a spine-soothing infinity pool and open air Jacuzzi, with tiered decking
offering private hideouts from which to drink in the glorious views.
The South West Coast Path passes across the hotel grounds – ideal for avid
walkers. St Ives, with its mix of tea shops, galleries and shops, is an easy mile
and a half (2.5km) hike along the breathtaking hills or eight minutes by the
equally charming branch-line train that chugs into the Carbis Bay station just
up the hill from the hotel.
All told, for a slice of Cornwall and one of the most innovative restaurants in
Britain to date, Carbis Bay is a perfect seafront escape.
WALKING TOUR IN THE CITY OF...
From the imposing heights of
Clifton Gorge down to this city's lovely
reclaimed harbours, Bristol is a beautiful
Georgian port full of energy and colour.
Join us for a stroll around its streets
Text by Adrian Mourby | Illustrations by Sophie Minto
of 19th-century buildings that gaze out at the bridge. First
comes the old Clifton Rock Railway, a funicular that used
to drop tourists down to the Hotwells volcanic springs
on the banks of the River Avon. Next is the Avon Gorge
Hotel, which opened in 1896 as the Grand Clifton Spa and
Hydropathic Institution, using water pumped up from those
wells to provide an efficacious Turkish bath for guests.
START IN ONE of England’s grandest suburbs at
the Clifton Observatory, a former windmill that
was converted into a camera obscura in 1828.
From here, there are impressive views across the
Avon Gorge (300 feet deep at this point) and of
Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge that has spanned it since
1864. Taking the path down Sion Hill, you pass a complex
These buildings form one end of a 19th-century terrace
that was intended to rival Bath’s Royal Crescent. It was
named Prince’s Buildings but was left incomplete. Today,
single-storey extensions fill the gaps between grand town
One of them displays a coat of arms depicting St
George killing a dragon under the Prince of Wales’ feathers,
confirming that the prince in question was indeed the Prince
Regent, England’s future George IV.
At the end of Prince’s Buildings on the right-hand side
there is a lovely crescent, almost hidden from passers-by.
It’s known as The Paragon and, like many houses in Clifton,
it enjoys wonderful views across Bristol and its harbours.
This row of houses is also remarkable for its unusual semicircular
vestibules with their different coloured doors. It was
At the end of Prince’s Buildings on the
right-hand side there is a lovely crescent,
almost hidden from passers-by.
constructed between 1809–1814 during the Napoleonic
Wars. The builder John Drew went bankrupt halfway
through the project, something that happened to many
speculators in those turbulent times.
The same fate befell the builder of Royal York Terrace,
which branches off from the left-hand side of Prince’s
Buildings. Begun in 1791 as the longest terrace in Europe,
this graceful stretch of Regency town houses was designed
by Bristol architect William Paty and stands on a huge
plinth that had to be constructed first to mitigate against
the steep slopes of Clifton. Only completed in 1820, Royal
York Terrace was where novelist Angela Carter lived (at No
38) during the Swinging Sixties.
At the end of this terrace turn right into Regent Street,
where Victorian Bristol suddenly appears in a series of
closely packed Clifton shops. When they end, at Clifton
WHERE TO STAY
AVON GORGE BY HOTEL DU VIN
High above the Avon Gorge stands this 78-bedroom hotel with
the best views of Clifton’s Suspension Bridge from its dining room.
Opened in 1896, the Avon Gorge is now run by Hotel du Vin,
which means that the interiors have the HdV signature features
we’ve come to love: dark walls with bright downlighters, moody
bedrooms with white-tiled bathrooms and lots of irreverent art.
MARRIOTT ROYAL HOTEL
Bristol’s grandest 19th-century hotel opened in 1868 on College
Green, overlooking the Floating Harbour. For many years, the
Royal was hotel of choice for visiting celebrities like Laurel and
Hardy, Gracie Fields, Winston Churchill and Cary Grant. Closed
for decades, the hotel only recently reopened with its original
Palm Court majestically restored. A four-storey car park dug into
the ground beneath the property is one of the many
modern conveniences of this 241-room hotel.
THE BERKELEY SQUARE HOTEL
In a dignified square between Cabot Tower and Bristol University’s
Wills Building stands the Berkeley Square Hotel, an amalgam of two
Georgian town houses that was once the home of Sir Frank Wills,
the man whose family endowed so much of the university. It’s a lively,
modern hotel with a commitment to modern art and a kitchen that
serves excellent food. Leave your windows open at night and you’ll
hear 'Big George' tolling in the university's bell tower.
WHERE TO EAT
Fishers is a Clifton original, founded by Alison Brown in 2001.
If you like fish and seafood, head here for an unforgettable meal.
From the outside, it’s a small, unremarkable whitewashed building
with blue awnings. Inside it’s low-key too, with small tables and
some touches of nautical decor but superb food and wine.
If you fancy a picnic ask about the Fishers’ Champagne &
Oyster Hamper Box (£59).
High up on Whiteladies Road and down on the quayside at Welsh
Back are two outlets of this family-run mini-chain of cheery West
Country restaurants. Aqua was founded in 1998 by Richard
Smithson and is now run by his son, Ben. Monday to Friday there
is a great three-course lunch menu for £18 that extends till 7pm –
ideal if you are catching a show. There are also two-for-one
Bellinis available from 12pm till 7pm.
COPPA CLUB CLIFTON VILLAGE
Taking over an old Clifton department store, the Coppa Club's
huge plate-glass windows look out on to Regent Street while inside
a modern mezzanine floor has comfortable sofas for sitting with
your laptop. The Coppa ethos is to combine a bar, a restaurant, a
workspace, and café in one welcoming space. The all-day menu
focuses on uncomplicated dishes, from Coppa Vegan Burger to
Lamb Rump and Flash Steaks plus excellent cocktails.
Road, the street curves east with Cabot Tower in the far
distance. Bristol consists of a number of hills of which
Clifton is the tallest. Cabot Tower, which commemorates
John Cabot’s journey to Canada from Bristol in 1497, stands
across a valley on nearby Brandon Hill. To get to it from
Clifton it’s necessary to walk down Constitution Hill – one of
the steepest in the city – to cross Jacob’s Well Road and then
climb up through Brandon Park.
Georgian House Museum. It was built in 1790 for a sugar
merchant and plantation owner in the West Indies. Many
believe that it was here that the poets William Wordsworth
and Samuel Taylor Coleridge first met in 1795.
From Great George Street turn right down Whiteladies
Road, another steep hill where no two shops have rooflines
at the same height. The road gets its name from the White
Ladies public house that once stood on this major route
between Clifton and Bristol docks. Look left up the hill and
you’ll see the monumental bell tower of Bristol University,
completed in 1925. It’s 223 feet high and was the last neo-
Gothic structure erected in Britain. Walking downhill to the
right brings you to College Green and Bristol’s Cathedral.
But first at the top of Constitution Hill stands Goldney
Hall, which was built in the 1860s by a Quaker family who,
among other ventures, financed the voyage that rescued
Alexander Selkirk (the original Robinson Crusoe) from his
desert island. Starting down the hill, there’s a sprinkling of
pretty 18th-century cottages that reflect how rural Clifton
was before the Regency building spree.
On the other side of busy Jacob’s Well Road, Brandon
Hill has been kept as a large, inner-city nature reserve. It’s
topped by Cabot Tower, a 105-foot monument built in 1897
with panoramic views from its Venetian-style balcony. After
visiting, leave the park by walking down Charlotte Street to
Great George Street, which contains some very imposing
houses from the reign of George III. One of these is now the
Because it was successively built, destroyed, and rebuilt
from Norman times right up until the Bristol Blitz of 1942,
this cathedral seems to contain every style and period of
English architecture, although it was all cleverly knitted
together in the 19th century.
Take a while to look inside. It’s a perfect place to rest
your feet after all those hills.
Next Issue: We take a walk around the medieval walls of York,
a city that combines Roman, Viking and Georgian architecture
with one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Britain.
Hidden London Tours
Are you bored of visiting the same old places on days
out? Are you on the hunt to explore somewhere new?
If so, why not take a look at the Hidden London tour
programme run by London Transport Museum
Hidden London tours are
a fascinating collection
of tours run by London
Transport Museum giving
guests exclusive access to disused and
abandoned Tube stations and sites
across the London Underground. Many
people are unaware that behind many
inconspicuous doors and vents there are
often secret passageways and tunnels
from bygone eras just waiting to be
explored with the Museum’s expert team.
Many of these unique sites have
remained untouched for decades. Down
Street station, situated between Hyde
Park Corner and Green Park stations,
had a short life a as working station from
1907 to 1932.
However, it became critical to winning
the Second World War when it was
covertly transformed into the Railway
Executive Committee’s bomb-proof
headquarters where Prime Minister
Winston Churchill secretly took refuge
during the height of the Blitz.
Think you’re familiar with Charing
Cross station? Think again. On a Hidden
London tour, you can go behind the
scenes to see exclusive disused areas
of the station normally off-limits to
the public, including the chance to walk
underneath Trafalgar Square! As part of
a tour, you will get to explore the Jubilee
line platforms at Charing Cross that
have been closed to the public since 1999
which are now frequently used for filming
purposes, including blockbuster movies
such as Skyfall and Paddington Bear.
Other tour locations include Aldwych,
Clapham South, Euston, Moorgate and
Piccadilly Circus stations and Kingsway
Tram Tunnel. Each group has a limited
number of people per tour so you will get
to see these spaces without the crowds.
Tours are lead by the Museum's expert
guides telling you all you want to know
about the history and design used to
create these iconic spaces.
As well as in-person tours, London
Transport Museum runs a variety of
virtual tours too, meaning you can join
a tour from the comfort of your home
anywhere in the world. Conducted over
Zoom, guides will talk to you about secret
stations including King William Street and
Brompton Road stations through a gallery
of contemporary photos, archival images
and never before seen footage.
Access to many sites on the virtual
tour roster are so restricted that in-person
Hidden London tours will never be
possible, making these virtual experiences
For any transport fans, Hidden London
tours include a number of locations
featured on UKTV’s popular Secrets of
the London Underground series. Fans
of the show can follow in the footsteps
of presenters Siddy Holloway and Tim
Dunn to explore these special sites for
themselves. The much anticipated second
series of the hit documentary returns to
Yesterday channel on Thursday 5 May at
8PM, and on catch-up at UKTV Play. ◆
Tickets for all Hidden London tours
are on sale now. To book head to
Quiet and secluded, Retreat East offers a
tranquil experience, both day and night. Spend
some time enjoying this à la mode Suffolk
hideaway and you are guaranteed to leave
feeling both pampered and restored
Text by Jessica Way
Easily accessible from London, Retreat East is situated in the heart
of Suffolk, surrounded by 35 acres of pristine British countryside.
It is no wonder it has quickly gained popularity with celebrities
– from football freestyler Jeremy Lynch to reality TV star Millie
Mackintosh, who recently celebrated her 30th birthday at the
retreat. Previously a working 16th-century farm, the site has been converted
into a luxurious spa resort with 15 beautifully appointed eco-conscious
barns, including their first barns to have private outdoor baths under
canopies with sun loungers (launched this summer), and a further eight
coming soon, some with their own wood-burning fires and four-poster
king-size beds. Ranging from cosy sleeps for two, such as The Piggery, a
large romantic barn with a fantastic sculptural bath and private sunny and
sheltered courtyard twice the size as the barn itself, to four-bed farmhouses
like the Cow House, the oldest barn with enormous kitchen and dining area
and a luxurious double shower with underfloor heated pebbles – the barn
stays are eco-luxury at its finest.
Retreat East was the vision of Dominic Richards who,
20 years ago, bought a house in the beautiful Suffolk
countryside. His home became incredibly popular with the
friends he had left behind in the London Spitalfields area.
It was the countryside residence they all wanted to visit
as it offered them an opportunity to recharge, enjoy the
clear skies, fresh air and artisan seasonal food.
This gave Dominic an idea, and when a nearby
redundant dairy farm came up for sale he immediately
identified its potential as a retreat for more sapped
Londoners. The farm had certainly seen better days; its
16th-century farmhouse, historic barns and surrounding
fields needed a lot of work, but the challenge was not
enough to deter Dominic – he was determined and had
already identified the potential with urbanites looking to
get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Guests check-in at the reception area, which doubles up
as Retreat East’s farm and coffee shop, selling delicious
farmyard essentials and locally made gifts such as
Loggigue candles, Framlingham soaps, Pump Street
chocolate and Tiptree cakes.
On the accommodation side, in the heart of the retreat
is the historic picturesque four-bedroom farmhouse.
Perfect for multigenerational family stays, group stays
and weddings, the timber-framed property has its own
private garden and is packed with character.
We stayed in The Granary, an authentic eco-luxurious
converted dairy barn with its own private terrace
overlooking the Suffolk meadows. Luxury touches
include a heated floor throughout, a wood burner, a
stylish farmhouse-style kitchen complete with SMEG
fridge, a Nespresso coffee machine and, in the bathroom,
a state-of-the-art walk-in shower. The interiors are
homely. Think laid-back woven rugs, rustic brickwork
and wooden beams throughout (dividing the otherwise
open-plan living spaces), pretty throws and cushions,
modern artwork and contemporary furnishings. Natural
light floods in from the Velux window above and there’s a
spacious dining room with patio doors out to the terrace.
Offering a very warm welcome to guests and locals
alike, the triple-height Great Barn restaurant is a fabulous
foodie experience. Seasonal menus feature an array
of beautiful dishes, prepared using ingredients from
local artisan producers. Choose from chicken liver pâté,
scallops, organic rainbow chard, fennel, smoked scallop
roe or green curry. Take your time to savour, leaving
some space for dessert; on the menu during our visit was
banana and spiced rum baked Alaska with caramelised
pecans and smoked caramel sauce – the flavour was
divine. The Great Barn is open for breakfast, lunch and
dinner (including Sunday lunch). You might visit to simply
enjoy a cocktail, one made with Suffolk Distillery gin
perhaps – and you can choose to wine or dine al fresco on
the south-facing terrace while sipping some bubbles and
watching the sun go down.
Talking of bubbles, the south-facing terrace is also
where you will find the retreat's outdoor hot tub and spa
facilities – and watch this space, as the retreat has plans
to extend the spa area. Unwind and experience a tranquil
moment of pure relaxation with a treatment. I opted for
their Five Element Aroma signature massage and felt the
home-baked cakes, and exploring the stunning Shrubland
Park. There are plenty of walking-route maps for you to
enjoy during your stay from the front desk, and bike hire is
complimentary to guests.
Retreat East is pooch friendly throughout, including
in the restaurant, with all properties allowing up to two
dogs (other than The Little Warren & The Little Hive).
There is even an impressive doggy shower for muddy dogs
returning from their countryside walks. Plus, they sell local
dog products from Pooches and Sniffe & Likket in their
Prices from £130 for Little Hive & Little Warren barn
rooms, £225 for a one-bedroom barn and £325 for a
two-bedroom barn; retreateast.co.uk
tension in my shoulders melt away. An in-barn massage
service is also available.
Take a tour of the wild flower meadow, farm and the
kitchen gardens that supply organic produce for use in
their restaurant. Little ones will love meeting the ducks by
the pond, stroking the farm chickens and watching the
bees at work in their hive. Guests can also take part in clay
pigeon shooting, axe throwing, archery, yoga, floristry
classes, meditation, and chocolate making.
Popular local footpaths pass through the retreat
grounds. Favoured walks include strolling the fields to the
pretty village of Coddenham for a cup of tea and some
Whether you're looking to get out and about and
explore by road or by foot, there are some must-visit
places within very easy reach.
Ipswich Ipswich is just under 20 minutes' drive
away from Retreat East. With direct rail links from
London, it's a great option if you're travelling to
Retreat East by train.
Woodbridge Woodbridge is a pretty market town
that sits along the River Deben. It'll take you around
25 minutes to get there, but it is more than worth the
Southwold A quaint and pretty little seaside town,
home to the famous Adnams Brewery. Southwold is
ideal for beer, wine and spirits lovers to take a tour of
Adnams Brewery brewing and distillery plants, or to
enjoy a walk along the beach.
Aldeburgh The drive is around 40 minutes but a visit
to Aldeburgh is worth it. Perfect open beaches for
a nice long dog walk and some of the best seafood
10 OF THE BEST
Need inspiration for a short break? We bring you the most interesting
experiences to book now, for exploration that is more memorable this summer
Text by Natalie Paris
WATERSPORTS IN WATERGATE BAY
Perfectly positioned on a two-mile beach in
northern Cornwall and a firm favourite with
families, the Watergate Bay Hotel is well-known for
its surf school. This summer, however, there is even
more to tempt water-sports enthusiasts. A recent
expansion means that hotel guests can add everything
from paddleboarding to beach yoga and outdoor fitness
sessions to their active break. These are run by local
Wavehunters instructors who take pride in knowing the
sea here really well. They recommend the big, sandy
break as being gentle, so great for beginner surfers.
Both private and group lessons are available. Time
away from the beach can be spent watching the rollers
from one of the varied hotel restaurants or from the
glass-fronted indoor pool. Alternatively, have a soak in a
clifftop hot tub or enjoy a hot rocks massage or pedicure.
Two nights from £250 per person
A SPARKLING TIME IN
English wine has enjoyed a vintage few years,
with certain winemakers growing in stature and
producing bottles to really treasure. For an insight
into the creation of award-winning English
wine, head to Horwood House in the Buckinghamshire
countryside. The hotel is a 20-minute drive from the familyrun
23-acre Chafor wine estate, where guests who book
a Grape Escapes experience are welcomed with a glass of
Chafor’s top-rated Vintage Cuvée Sparkling Wine.
They are then taken on a tour of the vineyard and winery,
wandering among the rows of gnarled vines while listening
to head winemaker Tim Chafor talk about the estate’s
history, his grapes and the winery’s signature style.
A tasting and cheeseboard follows, after which guests
can retreat to the hotel to try its new spa, with a swimming
pool, a sauna and steam rooms. Dinner at the hotel
restaurant is also included.
One night from £325 per person
Idyllic escapes in the heart of Suffolk
Nestled amongst 35 acres of rambling countryside Retreat East is the ultimate
escape. Savour the moments with wildflower walks, hot tub dips, tranquil
treatments, delicious dinners and cosy nights in your character barn...
SLEEP | EAT | RETREAT
Have a four
We are a dog friendly
hotel so you are
welcome to bring
WWW.RETREATEAST.CO.UK 01449 760480
menus Experience by Executive the new Chef
Ricki menus Weston by Executive and his Chef team
Ricki Weston and his team
Bursting Bursting with flavour. with flavour. Choose Choose either either the
Michelin-starred Michelin-starred restaurant ‘The Dining Room’,
Grey’s or Brasserie.
restaurant ‘The Dining Room’,
or Grey’s Brasserie.
joy a Enjoy one-night a one-night break break with dinner in
Grey’s Brasserie from £449.
Enjoy a one-night break with dinner in
Grey’s Brasserie from £449.
Or the Michelin star experience with
dinner in The Dining Room from £784.
Or the Michelin star experience with
dinner in The Dining Room from £784.
Book online whatleymanor.com
ok online whatleymanor.com
or call reservations on 01666 822 888
or call reservations Book online whatleymanor.com
01666 822 888
or call reservations on 01666 822 888
Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa Easton Grey Malmesbury SN16 0RB
3ELECTRIC CYCLING THROUGH
A gentle way of exploring the rambling Sussex
countryside, from hills to coast, is offered by
Ockenden Manor and Bailiffscourt hotels,
who invite guests to take electric bicycles
out on a new, well-planned route. The starting point at
Ockenden Manor, a hotel with a spa and Michelin-star
restaurant in the High Weald, has guests on the ‘Cycling
for Softies’ tour will riding to Climping, which is the
location of Bailiffscourt, a second spa hotel on the coast
(40 miles). The route then continues onto the South
Downs and The Spread Eagle, another historic hotel in
the charming market town of Midhurst, for the final night
(25 miles). The journey wheels along country lanes, river
and coastal paths. Pedalling is a breeze on these bikes,
with GPS routes included for ease and a luggage transfer
service provided between each night’s accommodation.
Three nights from £1,034 per person
‘FOREST BATHING’ IN THE
The summer months are a great time to explore
the patchwork of fields and rolling hills that
make up the Cotswolds. The region’s impossibly
pretty villages are a highlight, built from
honeyed stone and hiding quaint teahouses and oak-beamed
pubs up quiet, cobbled lanes. Guests at Whatley Manor on
a ‘Cotswold Explorer’ break can enjoy a genteel, end-ofthe-week
stay that includes afternoon tea. It also offers the
chance to indulge in the British equivalent of forest bathing,
by including two entrance tickets to Westonbirt, the National
Arboretum. Here, visitors can stroll between 2,500 different
species of tree, grown all over the world.
The hotel, set a short drive from the arboretum on
the edge of the Cotswolds, also has a newly appointed
Executive Chef who has been awarded a Michelin star
for The Dining Room restaurant, which guests can book
separately for another night if they wish.
Two nights from £456 per person
A SUMMER FESTIVAL WITH
As camper vans combine freedom with little
luxuries, they make a savvy choice for a
music festival. In fact, some say the campervan
field is where the real fun happens when
the stage lights dim. Highlights for the forthcoming
festival season include Bigfoot, in Buckinghamshire,
where the artisan drinks and food are as important as
the music, or Wilderness in Oxfordshire, where revellers
relax in a lakeside spa in between acts. Alternatively,
a weekend at Latitude – known for its strong spoken
word programme – can be combined with a few days
exploring sand dunes along the Suffolk coast. The
smart vans from new, Dorset-based company OTBT,
for example, are stylishly put together, containing tiled
kitchens with leather cupboard handles and oiled wood
surfaces, as well as a cleverly hidden away boot area,
solar panels and a hammock swing.
Three nights from £468 in OTBT’s Maya van
THE WONDERS OF LOCH NESS
Those whose knowledge of Loch Ness
is limited to the legend of a waterborne
monster might be surprised to learn
that this Scottish beauty has many more
secrets. From castles and battlefields
to standing stones and tumbling waterfalls, the
best way to explore this enigmatic body of water is
by going on a day tour of the lake with an expert.
It is not all walking either, with picturesque drives
included, as well as a boat cruise across the deep,
mysterious water. Ness Walk is a five-star hotel
located in Inverness, not far from the loch. Its
‘Wonders of Loch Ness’ break includes a picnic lunch
and visits to Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns,
Urquhart Castle and Divach Falls, which is where J
M Barrie wrote Peter Pan. Round off the day in fine
style with a dram or two of local whisky back at the
hotel, which sits on the banks of the River Ness and
was once a 19th-century house.
Three nights from £735 per person
SCOTTISH FOOD AND DRINK
From whisky to lobster, it’s possible to
sample some of the best of Scotland’s
culinary treasures on a luxury tour that
uses a private chauffeur. Guests of both
the Edinburgh hotel Prestonfield and The Witchery by
the Castle – an oak-panelled restaurant with suites –
can be driven to destinations within two hours of the
city as part of a new Taste of Scotland trail. Locations
visited include Dunbar Harbour, to see the seafood
catch arrive and learn about sustainable fishing from
Belhaven Lobster; East Lothian for a distillery tasting
and a foraged-food-pairing workshop with Buck
& Birch; Old Leckie farm for a quad-bike or tractor
tour and Scotland’s oldest working distillery, The
Glenturret. Here guests can expect a tour and lunch at
Michelin-starred The Glenturret Lalique Restaurant.
Dinner back at the accommodation will feature plenty
of the day’s produce.
Two nights from £1,720 per person
A JUBILEE VIEWING OF THE
What could be better during Her
Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
celebrations than a private tour to
marvel at the Crown Jewels, travelling in
a chauffeur-driven Daimler car that once belonged
to the Queen Mother? This very exclusive luxury
break has been masterminded by London’s Hotel
Café Royal to provide an unforgettable experience
for guests who check into the two-bedroom Royal
Suite. On arrival at the Tower of London, a tour is
conducted by a Beefeater, before a private viewing
of the Crown Jewels and Royal Collection takes
Those who visit during the weekend of 4 or 5 June
will not only get to enjoy being inside a Royal Palace
during the jubilee celebrations but will also receive
a Champagne reception on arrival and the chance
to extend the visit by booking dinner afterwards in a
private dining room at the Tower.
One night from £6,147 per person
9BE A GARDENER AND CHEF
AT THE NEWT
The gardens at Hadspen House, first
designed by Penelope Hobhouse, have
been transformed by luxury hotel The Newt
into one of the south’s must-visit estates.
With an apple-tree maze, a 'beezantium', deer quietly
milling about in the woods and an interactive gardening
museum, not only is there much to see on the average
day here but the hotel is offering gastronomes an extra
treat this summer.
Taking a tour of the edible garden area, guests can,
with the help of the estate’s head chef and a head
gardener, pick their own lunch. They can then take their
produce-laden trugs up to a spot above the wildflower
meadow, where a fire will be lit. Under chef’s guidance,
guests can create dishes and then help cook their finds,
for a slap-up picnic lunch that is as inventive as it is fresh.
Two nights from £720 per person
IMAGE © LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX / VISITBRITAIN/ANDREW WELSHER
GEORGIAN SPLENDOUR IN
The television drama Bridgerton has
gripped the nation recently, stirring
up interest in the lives of high society
during the Regency period. There is
nowhere better to imagine the whirlwind of balls and
park strolls loved by characters from Bridgerton than in
Bath, with its dashing Georgian buildings that were used
as a backdrop during filming. To spot key sites from the
show, and to learn about this Unesco-heritage city at the
same time, the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa is offering
guests a private Bridgerton-themed walking tour, plus a
Champagne afternoon tea as part of a package called
‘Promenade like a Bridgerton’. The hotel is located at
the heart of the sweeping Royal Crescent, the city’s bestknown
Two nights from £260 per person
Indigo Barn, Norfolk
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48 HOURS IN
Coastal walks, sandy beaches, surfing and art galleries: there’s
many reasons to visit St Ives, north of Penzance. With the
opening of Una St Ives luxury resort it is now easier than ever
to plan your perfect trip to this much-loved destination
Text by Jessica Way
Situated on the north coast of Cornwall within
easy reach of the white sands of Carbis Bay
and buzz of St Ives town, Una St Ives is an
idyllic holiday village delivering laid-back
indulgence in one of the county's most desirable hot
spots. British Travel Journal first wrote about Una St
Ives in our Spring 2021 edition, featuring the resort
as one of the most exciting new coastal launches
in the UK. It is no surprise then, that given the first
opportunity to stay in one of their brand-new luxury
lodges, we had our suitcases packed.
Named ‘Una’ after the first boat to win the
Cornish Gig Rowing Championships and built with
beautiful Cornish stone amid stunning landscaped
grounds, the resort has taken its Cornish heritage and
artistic influences to heart. The design is consistent
throughout the lodges, leisure facilities, restaurants
and spa, with spacious and creative spaces and
contemporary furnishings, inspiring coastal living.
Packing is made easy as your home-from-home lodge
is kitted out with items you might need, including a
washer/dryer and all your bathroom luxuries. It is
so easy to put down your bags and let your holiday
begin, whether by making yourself a cuppa in the
kitchen, relaxing in the dining area, putting your feet
up on the sofa, or unwinding on your private terrace.
The Scandi-influenced ecolodges, using solar
panels and lamb's wool insulation, range from one-,
two-, three- and four-bedroom properties. The
exciting next phase of development will see a further
27 high-end two- and three-bedroom villas with private
hot tubs, a 20-metre heated outdoor lido with an
additional kids’ pool, an outdoor kitchen, a bar and
restaurant serving barbequed burritos, rotisserie chicken
and flat iron steaks prepared al fresco over charcoal to
create a street-food-festival vibe by the pool, along with
a games room and padel-tennis courts. Plus, there's a
55-bedroom apartment–hotel with its own central piazza,
bar, restaurant and further leisure facilities in the pipeline
– in total there will be 93 new luxury villas to be completed
by the end of 2023, making it the largest luxury resort in the
south-west and a spectacular jewel in Cornwall’s crown.
Yet, even with just the newly completed lodges and
Atrium (home to the the leisure club and Una Kitchen
restaurant), and some construction work taking place
around us, it was already a fabulous resort – far exceeding
our expectations. (The new villas are also available to
purchase under a holiday-home-ownership scheme.)
After a restorative night’s sleep in the super-comfortable
beds, the tranquility and calm continued through the
morning, helped largely by a stocked fridge following our
pre-arranged supermarket delivery the night before. It was
weekend breakfast-as-usual only in a much brighter, more
uplifting setting than our usual Hampshire abode.
It had been such a long time since I had been to a spa
(due to COVID-19) that I was delighted to kick-start my
holiday wellness with an ELEMIS bespoke deep-tissue
body massage while my husband and daughters enjoyed
the swimming pool, sauna and steam rooms. Following a
Cornish coffee espresso and slice of home-made banana
cake from Una Kitchen we jumped in a taxi to St Ives (to
avoid parking on a Saturday – it costs around £5 for the
journey), excited to explore the picturesque town.
One of Cornwall’s best-loved and most
visited places, St Ives is famed for the artists,
past and present, who have visited and
Perched above the town, Tate St Ives looks
over Porthmeor Beach. Part of the famous Tate
family, with siblings Tate Britain, Tate Modern
and Tate Liverpool, this landmark is recognised as
an international showcase for modern art, with a
permanent collection and regular contemporary
exhibitions. It epitomises the unique culture of St
Ives, celebrating the artists associated with the
town, including Barbara Hepworth, Naum Gabo,
Alfred Wallis and Mark Rothko. Join in one of the
guided tours or stop for a light lunch while enjoying
the sea views and activity below.
Contrasting with the space and openness of
Tate St Ives is the intimacy of the neighbouring
former home and studio of Barbara Hepworth (one
of Britain’s most recognised 20th-century artists)
known as the Barbara Hepworth Museum and
Sculpture Garden. Here you can wander among
the stunning sculptures, perfectly placed in their
garden setting, take time to sit and reflect and feel
yourself getting to know and understand the great
sculptor. The shade, solitude and sheer beauty of
the garden is there to inspire, refresh and enliven
any art lover or green-fingered visitor.
Just a short journey from this buzzing art scene is
another of Cornwall’s top tourist attractions: The
Minack Theatre. In 11931, local Rowena Cade, who
lived at Minack House, felt that the cliffs she saw
One of Cornwall’s best-loved and most-visited places, St Ives
is famed for the artists, past and present, who have visited and
settled here. This isn’t surprising given its natural charm and beauty
and, important to any painter, its crystal-clear light. Hugging the
shore is the town itself, with higgledy-piggledy lanes presenting no
end of treasures. Around every corner, a tiny workshop, gallery or
studio beckons, and there are many independent boutiques selling
fashionable seaside clothing brands, handmade gifts, chocolates
and other artisan creations.
We wandered down the cobbled streets before stumbling upon
Noall Square, a pretty courtyard with coloured flags, a rock shop, a
record shop, and a tea room where we had some lunch.
By the time we arrived at the picturesque harbourside it was
time for an ice cream, which we enjoyed on Town Beach before
meandering back through town to the opposite coastline to discover
Tate St Ives – the world-renowned must-visit attraction.
...if you like your sea-to-fork fish dishes,
the Una Kitchen Seafood Chowder is tasty
enough to give Rick Stein a good run for
from her garden would be the perfect setting for a
production of The Tempest. After that performance,
the theatre was established and today attracts
audiences from all over the world. There's no better
backdrop for any play or musical performance than
a sun-kissed shore, a Cornish sunset and distant
For us, though, it was time to get back to Una
St Ives for our dinner reservation at Una Kitchen.
Led by multiple AA-Rosette-winning Cornish chef
Glenn Gatland, Una Kitchen’s Mediterraneaninspired
seasonal menus have been quick to
impress. So much so, that at the recent Cornwall
Tourism Awards they were declared the winners
of the highly acclaimed Restaurant of the Year
award. Starters include much-loved favourites
like sticky chicken wings and salt & pepper squid,
and for the mains, if you like your sea-to-fork fish
dishes, the Una Kitchen Seafood Chowder is tasty
enough to give Rick Stein a good run for his money,
while children are likely to be fans of their woodfired
Gozney-oven-cooked pizzas. To finish off we
devoured some chocolate ganache and strawberry
and cream pavlova.
Guests are also welcome in the evening to enjoy
the bar, which offers a wide selection of wines,
local beers and handcrafted cocktails with Cornish
Orchards Gold cider, Alba IPA or Hella Pale Ale
from St Ives Brewery, and St Ives Blood Orange gin.
Eager to explore the many beautiful beaches,
including Gwithian, Hayle, Porthmister and
Porthmeor, all within easy reach of Una St Ives,
we got dressed into our wetsuits. Together with
our beach bags and our Dick Pearce wooden
bellyboards from Newquay, (see my article on page
92) we were ready for a day of wave riding. We had
been told by one of the locals about The Towans
(Cornish for ‘dune’) – a three-mile stretch of sand
linking Godrevy Beach at the eastern tip of St Ives
Bay to Gwithian Beach, all the way to Hayle Sands.
We headed to Gwithian and couldn’t believe our
luck: white sand, turquoise water, dramatic cliffs,
glistening rockpools and rolling dunes.
FIRST PAGE: UNA ST IVES LODGE. PREVIOUS PAGE LEFT TO
RIGHT: TOWN BEACH, ST IVES; TATE ST IVES; THE MINACK
THEATRE. PICTURED CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: UNA
KITCHEN SEAFOOD CHOWDER; GODREVY LIGHTHOUSE;
JESSICA HEADS TO GWITHIAN BEACH; UNA KITCHEN
The sun was shining and we hit the surf under the
backdrop of Godrevy Lighthouse – the inspiration for
Virginia Woolf’s seminal novel To the Lighthouse.
There were a few dog walkers and surfers, but for one
of Cornwall’s best-loved and most visited coastlines it was
surprisingly uncrowded. We might have been lucky due to
the time of year (it was late April), but possibly it is the vast
natural wilderness and expansive coastline that helps keep
it so peaceful. We weren’t lucky enough, but you might
see dolphins in the waves here, and seals are frequently
spotted in the rocky shallows.
For lunch or light snacks there’s the Sunset Surf Cafe
adjacent to the Gwithian Beach car park, or if you fancy
a wild clifftop walk, head towards Godrevy on the South
West Coast Path in search of The Rockpool (20 to 25
minutes). Both beach cafes have a laid-back and rustic
vibe, catering for surfers, wild swimmers and dogs, while
the kitchens serve great, fresh Cornish food with both
indoor and outdoor seating, and incredible beach views.
For wild sea swimming you just can’t beat the glistening
waters of Carbis Bay, an absolutely gorgeous spot, with
golden sand surrounded by subtropical plants, just 15
minutes by foot or five minutes by car from the villas. In
complete contrast to The Towans beaches we had visited
earlier in the day, the coastline here rarely has big waves,
so, rather than attracting adrenaline-seeking surfers,
families and sunbathers come here in search of relaxation
– and we were happy to leave our bellyboards behind.
I urge all Una St Ives guests to feel the sand here
between their toes – it comes as no surprise that this
stunning beach is listed as one of the world’s best by
the Most Beautiful Bays in the World organisation. You
know you have arrived as you hear or see a train pulling
into the picturesque railway station, and you cross the
line over a pretty bridge to a convenient coastal path
taking you down onto the golden sands. It wasn't quite
yet summer and the water was cold, but knowing the hot
tub was bubbling away back at the ranch gave me the
encouragement to fully submerge, in true Wim Hof style.
At low tide you can walk across to Porthkidney Sands,
where you’ll find an RSPB bird sanctuary, an important
habitat for seabirds.
If an afternoon walk is more your scene than swimming
in the Atlantic Ocean, there are many excellent hikes from
Una St Ives too, including winding your way to Trencrom
Hill where you are rewarded for your effort by the farreaching
vistas across to St Ives Bay in one direction and St
Michaels Mount in the other. Or, another local favourite is
the path to Porthkidney Beach, the former home of artist
John Miller, famous for his series of beach landscapes.
Una St Ives certainly lived up to my expectation
and was the wellness break I had needed; memorable,
rejuvenating and life-affirming.
Prices to stay self-catering in a one-bedroom lodge at
Una St Ives from £180 per night for a three-night break,
including leisure club access; unastives.co.uk
With music, art, cars, yoga – and a goat, Britain is celebrating this
summer in glorious style. So pack shorts or tuxedos and join us on
our journey from Edinburgh to Cornwall to find the best festivals
This Summer Solstice at
the Birch, Hertfordshire
there's a brand new and
summer festival with
live music and DJs,
incredible food feasts,
chefs, producers, pool
and a comfy bed to lay
your head on at the
end of the night.
RHS HAMPTON COURT PALACE
Nursery exhibits, workshops
and talks, rare and wild world
plants and exotic living spaces.
HENLEY FESTIVAL, RIVER THAMES
Don a black tie and tux or slinky
maxi dress for this year's headliners,
including The Script and Tom Jones.
150TH OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Celebrate the 150th anniversary of
the world’s oldest golf tournament
at The Open in St Andrews, Scotland.
Set in 5,000 acres, the wellness,
sporting, themes and food lineup
is as strong as the music.
BMX bike riding
on Fistral Beach
Beach along with
gigs up the coast
at Watergate Bay,
with shuttle buses
between the two.
GREEN MAN FESTIVAL IN THE
Nestled in the picturesque
South Wales’ National Park.
JUPITER RISING FESTIVAL,
Rock around the
installations at the
in Jupiter Artland, the
park. Focusing on
highlights include the
Durban duo, Destruction
Boyz, who bring their
Gqom music (electronic
dance with repetitive
sounds and heavy base
beats) to Scotland,
and don't miss Antony
Gormley’s 1019 steel
balls or Anish Kapoor’s
caged metal chute.
There are going to be big celebrations of the Queen’s Platinum
Jubilee during the weekend of 2 to 5 June, so here's a range of
delicious Great British drinks from Scotland, Ireland, Wales and
England for when you are raising your glass for a toast
HIGH POINT RUBY
The world’s first premium nonalcoholic
made with natural ingredients
from the surrounding Cornish
Gin is bursting with
fruity notes of jammy
and fresh citrus, leaving
a delicious taste of
smooth vanilla ice
Produced at the Isle of Wight
Distillery, the first and only
distillery on the island, a small
batch, beach-to-bottle London
Dry Gin with a hint of sea air, £38.
THE GLADSTONE AXE
Created in honour of William
Gladstone, four-times Prime
Minister during the reign of
Queen Victoria. There are two
whiskies in the range, from £32.
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF
Enjoy exclusive access in the gardens where the Tudor queen grew up
when you stay the night in the Tudor Village at Kent’s Hever Castle, and
spend an evening in the same room where she slept with Henry VIII at
Thornbury Castle in Gloucestershire
Text by Jane Knight
night at Hever Castle get exclusive use of the grounds
before they open to the public and after everyone else
has gone home.
It’s a delicious feeling having all this history to
yourself, imagining Anne strolling along with Henry
VIII, the Tudor king she so enraptured that he broke
with Rome and set up the Church of England just so
he could marry her. The story might not have ended
It’s so quiet as I stroll along Anne Boleyn’s walk that
I fancy I can hear the swish of her skirt skimming
the grass. To my left is the fairy-tale castle where
she grew up and the formal Italian garden; ahead
lies the lake, with its pleasant hour-long circuit by the
water. The only person I meet on my early-morning
perambulations is a gardener; guests staying the
enamoured pair may have promenaded, two of the illfated
Queen’s prayer books, one exhorting the reader
to ‘remember me when you doth pray’, and the room
believed to have been slept in by the Tudor king.
I wouldn’t mind curling up in the four poster there,
but visitors to Hever can’t stay in the castle. Instead,
well – Anne was one of Henry’s two wives who were
beheaded – but it still never fails to entrance me.
At opening time, I’m first through the door of her
crenelated, moated home, where the door to the great
hall with its huge fireplace, wood ceiling and minstrels’
gallery still has the lock Henry brought with him to
ensure his safety. Upstairs is the long gallery where the
FIRST PAGE TOP RIGHT: FEATURE
ROOM AT HEVER CASTLE.
BELOW: KING HENRY VIII SUITE AT
I’m just next door, in the Tudor Village
(now called the Astor Wing) created
for guests of its 20th-century owner
William Waldorf Astor. It’s a long way
from slumming it – Astor really did things
properly when he ploughed some of
his vast fortune into restoring Hever,
landscaping its gardens and creating the
lake. Insisting on only using materials and
methods current in 16th-century Britain,
his guest extension featured rooms with
half-timbered or elaborate plastered
ceilings that have welcomed everyone
from Winston Churchill and Arthur
Conan Doyle to Elizabeth Taylor and
Grace Kelly. Even the least expensive of
the 28 rooms are beautifully done out.
Henry VIII himself would have surely
felt at home in the Tudor Village’s dining
room with its enormous fireplace, brocade
curtains, oak panelling and ribbed wood
vaulted ceiling. While they don’t serve
dinner here (for that you need to stroll to
the Henry VIII pub through the grounds
or drive further afield), the breakfasts are
particularly impressive. After consuming
what feels like my body weight of fresh
fruit, yogurt with granola, cheese, pastries
and avocado on sourdough, I feel a bit
like bluff king Hal myself.
So much for eating like a king, but if
you want to truly live like one you need to
drive west for three hours to Thornbury
Castle in Gloucestershire, the only Tudor
castle that operates as a luxury hotel, and
is now a member of the prestigious Relais
& Châteaux group.
Here, I hit the jackpot and sleep in
the very room that Anne Boleyn shared
with Henry for ten days during their
royal progress in 1535. Up a spiral stone
staircase with steps worn deep by the
imprint of footsteps over the centuries,
the Henry VIII suite is magnificent,
Here, I hit the jackpot and sleep in the very room that Anne Boleyn
shared with Henry for ten days during their royal progress in 1535.
with an ornate ceiling, a four-poster bed and the
original garderobe toilet (thankfully now with
plumbing). When the royal couple visited, Henry was
already beginning to tire of his second wife – he had
her beheaded in 1536 and married Jane Seymour, who
didn’t stay at Thornbury but still has a room named
after her, just beneath this one in the octagonal stone
Right at the top of the tower, up a dizzying 77 steps,
lies the most opulent suite of all, named after Henry’s
first wife, Catherine of Aragon. The enormous tenfoot
by six-foot bed here is surely big enough for all of
Henry’s six wives beneath its canopy of 24-carat inlay,
while the capacious bathroom could have held all their
ladies in waiting too.
You don’t need to pay a king’s ransom to stay here
though; even the least expensive of the 26 rooms have
a regal feel, some with four posters or a seating area in
the oriel window area. Like the rest of the castle, they
are fresh from a multimillion-pound facelift after the
Emirati Khamas group bought it in 2019. Under the
watchful eye of English Heritage, it has been restored
sympathetically, adding contemporary comfort
to the Tudor trappings. Carpets have been peeled
back to reveal Tudor flagstones, Victorian tiling and
floorboards; furnishings were overhauled, plumbing
and electricity upgraded, and discreet modern frescoes
You certainly get a lot of history with your hotel
here. Thornbury was one of the last castles to be built
before firearms rendered them obsolete, so while it has
the traditional crenelated walls, turrets and arrow slits,
there is a distinct palatial side to it, with 12-foot red
brick chimneys and luxurious apartments.
The most lavish of all is the double-height drawing
room, its elaborate oriel windows framed by crimsonand-gold
curtains. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy
pre-dinner canapes and cocktails, and although its
twinkling chandeliers wouldn’t have been around in
Tudor times, they certainly add to the atmosphere.
Carved into the ornate arched doorway and the
enormous fireplace surrounds I can make out the Stafford
knot, the emblem of Edward Stafford, the third Duke of
Buckingham. It was Stafford’s pretensions to grandeur
and probably the throne (he was a descendant of Edward
III) that led to his downfall. Fearing for his throne, and
fancying the castle for himself, Henry effectively cried
“off with his head” by signing the duke’s death warrant
before nabbing Thornbury. After he visited with Anne, his
daughter, Mary Tudor, spent part of her childhood there.
Moving from the drawing room into the woodpanelled
restaurant, the arrow slit in the four-foot castle
walls by my table reminds me that I’m still in a castle,
albeit a palatial one. It’s a lovely place to savour the sixcourse
tasting menu, which becomes quite ceremonial
with a succession of perfectly cooked dishes along with
a matching flight of wines.
BELOW: THE LOUNGE AT
IMAGE © VISITENGLAND/SUDELEY
Daytime brings the chance to explore other Tudor
castles nearby. Berkeley Castle, which also belonged to
Henry, is just nine miles away. While the king and Anne
probably didn’t stay here, their daughter, Elizabeth I
did – and left behind her bedspread when she stormed
off after a row about hunting. An hour’s drive from
Thornbury takes you to Sudeley Castle, which Henry
and Anne visited, but which is better known as the
home and resting place of Henry’s last wife,
Catherine Parr, the Queen who outlived him.
Back at Thornbury, there is falconry and archery on
offer by way of regal pursuits, or afternoon tea beneath
the minstrels’ gallery. Here, too, are gorgeous gardens,
with ancient yew hedges, sections for roses and herbs
and a particularly pretty walled garden. In Tudor times,
its creeper-clad walls were topped by a timber gallery,
allowing the duke to walk from his rooms to his pew in
the adjacent St Mary’s church without mixing with the
Now, as I walk at ground level around a flower bed
carefully planted in the shape of the Stafford knot, my
thoughts turn to Anne again. She too must have walked
here, probably aware that she was losing the king’s favour.
Her story doesn’t end at Thornbury, but at the Tower
of London, where she was taken by barge, passing
through the shudder-inducing Traitors Gate. It’s no
surprise that after she was executed on Tower Green and
buried in the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula that
people frequently report seeing her ghost there.
I prefer to think of it at Hever instead, running
around in the garden, happy and smiling outside her
Rooms at Hever Castle cost from £175, B&B,
including access to the castle and grounds during the
stay; hevercastle.co.uk. Thornbury Castle rooms start
from £249, B&B, with the Henry VIII suite from £559;
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Author Martin Dorey headed north in search of solitude
on a road trip to England’s least-populated county and
a coastline that’s beautiful and often overlooked.
Between the summer crowds he found just what he was
looking for and more. And that can only mean one thing:
a bracing dip in the North Sea
Text and Images by Martin Dorey
We parked the van at Beadnell
Bay, a long, sandy bay to the
south of Seahouses, in a little
car park behind the dunes.
We were looking for solitude, in a year when
solitude was hard to find; seeking out the
kind of places where most people don’t go.
I wanted to prove that it is still possible to
get ‘off the beaten track’ in England in 2021,
the year we all stayed at home. Happily, it is.
Northumberland, by many standards,
is one of those places where the majority of
people don’t go. It has the lowest population
density of any English county and remains
resolutely off the radar for many, despite a
coastline that’s sparsely populated, rugged,
diverse and often achingly beautiful. Between
the hotspots of Holy Island, Bamburgh,
Seahouses and Amble, there is still plenty
of space, especially when you compare it to
other places: Northumberland welcomed
10 million visitors in 2018 compared with 47
million for the Lake District (on the wetter,
western side of England). The county might
not have the lakes or the mountains but it
more than makes up for it with castles,
ancient sites, beaches, puffins and dark skies.
And did I mention the beaches? A drive up the
coast from Whitley Bay to Berwick will take
you to them all. Give yourself time and dawdle.
Lizzy took off her shoes to walk through the
dunes to the beach. It was a warm day, with
thin, wispy cloud and little wind.
When we emerged from the tall marram
grasses we looked out at a low-tide beach with
maybe three or four people on it. Most of them
were walking. Lizzy led me off to the south to
show me a beach she had wanted to explore.
We let the coast path take us around a
low headland of rocks, across cool, still-damp
sand, and through more marram, to another
small arc of beach with a rocky reef in the
middle and points on either side. Below the
tideline, and between the rocks, flat sand.
The beach was deserted, save for a few
gulls pecking at seaweed. A couple walked
along the coast path, away from us and
around to the next bay. A few small waves
broke on the sand in a small clean swell.
If ever there was a time to embrace the
North Sea this was it. The water, though chilly,
was bearable. I blew out as I submerged to
avoid the risk of cold-water shock – something
to remember – and allowed my breathing to
slow back to normal.
The beach was gently shelving so it took
us a while to get deep enough to dive in and
swim. My skin fizzed as I got used to the cold
and swam a few strokes out into the bay.
We swam a little more and then, once back
in our dry clothes, walked back up the beach
hand in hand, feeling the warmth from the sun
on our backs. With the beach to ourselves it
was a good sign we were, truly, off the beaten
track, especially considering it was August.
PREVIOUS PAGE LEFT
TO RIGHT: LIZZY AT
BEADNELL BAY; ST
MARTIN HEADING FOR
SURF AT COCKLAWBURN.
TOP LEFT: SNIPE AT
ABBEY AND CASTLE,
HOLY ISLAND; WILD
TEASEL; LIZZY SWIMS AT
SNOOK. NEXT PAGE LEFT
TO RIGHT: THE RIVER
TWEED; BEACH HUTS AT
AMBLE; NORHAM CASTLE
ON THE RIVER TWEED.
I loved the wildness and the fact that, with a little effort, we could find a
slice of heaven to ourselves. That’s a rare quality. And it made me feel truly
alive and happy at a time when so much was uncertain.
This experience was the
peak of my time exploring the
Northumberland coast: I loved
the wildness and the fact that,
with a little effort, we could find
a slice of heaven to ourselves.
That’s a rare quality. And it
made me feel truly alive and
happy at a time when so much
I have been to
Northumberland in the depths
of winter and found it to be
beguiling even then. But in
summer it was truly lovely.
We surfed on a tiny beach
behind the railway lines near
Cocklawburn while a few
walkers trudged up the sands
and a woman played in the
waves with her children. We
bought kippers in Craster. We
strolled through Amble. We
got ‘that picture’ of Bamburgh
Castle reflected in the
We strolled on empty sands and
swam in empty seas. We cycled in
Kielder Forest and got completely lost
in the vast nothing of the Otterburn
Ranges. What more could you ask of
a road trip?
When it came to visiting Holy
Island – the hugely popular island of
Lindisfarne – we employed a tactic
divulged to us by a fellow camper: he
waited for a day with a midday high
tide. This meant that any visitors to
the island would have been cut off all
day by the tidal causeway, unable to
return to the mainland until the water
receded in the evening. Waiting on
the mainland for the tide to ebb away,
he drove across to Lindisfarne when
everyone else was leaving. It worked
for us too. We arrived at about six
o’clock on a clear, sunny evening. Sure
enough, idling on the island side, we
found a queue of cars.
As they streamed off the island, we
cruised on, enjoying a quiet evening of
spiritual wandering as the sun set.
Our final stop, Berwick, was as
surprising as the rest of it. We found
the lovely beach at Spittal by accident
while trying to find the (brilliantly
located) Caravan and Motorhome
Club Site. It is a quiet, sandy beach,
backed by beautiful, elegant stone
houses and terraces of neat cottages.
Some had gardens that led onto the
promenade. Bound by the railway
and cliffs, Spittal is a dead end kept
quiet by a lack of through traffic. I
fell in love with its wide, quiet streets
MARTIN IS ALSO
THE AUTHOR OF
THE TAKE THE
SLOW ROAD SERIES,
CAMPER VAN AND
straight away. There were probably no more than
20 people on the sand. It passed the ‘I could live
here’ test. And that’s a big ask: I live in Cornwall.
Sadly, Berwick was as far as we’d get on this
trip. It didn’t really matter that we’d stopped short
Northumberland was wild enough without
heading for the NC500, the Trossachs or the
And with all the driving we’d save, there was
always time for one last cool swim. Breathe out as
Off the Beaten Track:
England and Wales
Off the Beaten Track:
England and Wales is a book
about getting away from it
all. Martin drove the length
and breadth of England and
Wales to find places that are
forgotten, overlooked or simply dropped off the
map. With sections on how to do it the hard way
or the easy way, Martin kayaked the Tweed, hiked
river valleys to the sea, cycled up mountains and
fished remote wilderness lakes in search of that
rarest of commodities: solitude. Did he find it? You
bet he did.
Martin Dorey is the author of Off the Beaten Track:
England and Wales and The Camper Van Bible: The
Glovebox Edition, published by Conway and out now.
CHECK IT OUT ON THE WAY
The home of the Craster Kipper is a
must! Go early. Parking is easier – and
pick up a freshly smoked kipper from the
quayside. There's a great coastal walk to
Dunstanburgh Castle too.
There are many good reasons to amble
around the fishing town of Amble. The
harbour village prides itself on being
the ‘friendliest port in England’, and its
annual puffin festival, brightly coloured
beach huts and seafood shacks are just a
few of its quirks.
Stunning castle on a bend in the river,
owned by the National Trust. View the
awe-inspiring keep as you wander around
the nearly intact circuit of towered wall.
Experience a different level of
Northumberland at England's finest
fortress, home of the real Last Kingdom of
Bebbanburg. Great views, overlooking a
beautiful, white sand beach.
48 HOURS IN NEWQUAY
HOTEL AND SPA
Set on an exclusive clifftop overlooking the famous sands of
Fistral Beach, The Headland is, without doubt, one of the
grandest and finest hotels in the British Isles. Although you
don’t need a reason to stay here, the brand new £10 million
Aqua Club could be your motivation to check-in this summer
Text by Jessica Way
Dramatic, unapologetic and
authentic, The Headland Hotel &
Spa is an Victorian architectural
masterpiece, made famous by
Roald Dahl’s movie The Witches.
The striking red-brick façade and imposing
peninsula position on Fistral Bay’s rugged cliffs
simply demands attention.
It was in June 1900 when the first guests stayed
in this beautiful Duchy of Cornwall landmark,
when the hotel was at the height of luxury for its
time, with lavishly decorated rooms, hot and cold
running water and electric lights.
Fast forward 122 years with the opening of a
brand new state-of-the-art Aqua Club, and we
are seeing history repeating itself, as this awardwinning,
much-loved five-star hotel once again
raises the bar high.
It has been far from straightforward, however.
The Headland’s owners, John and Carolyn
Armstrong, have invested over £45 million since
taking on the hotel in 1979.
Despite joyful beginnings that lasted through
the fruitful twenties, the combination of postwar
rationing and owners unable to invest in the
property, left it neglected, creaky and dilapidated.
Despite its run-down state, peeling paint and
rotting wood, John and Carolyn were ready to take
on the challenge, which included a serious amount
of structural work and interior refurbishment.
The phenomenal husband-and-wife
team still own the hotel today, and
have stopped at nothing to reinvent
The Headland as a modern, luxurious
destination of distinction.
Their labour of love, making
improvements and restoring the hotel
might have taken four decades, but it
has now paid off. The Headland Hotel
& Spa is now a multi-award-winning,
five-star 88-bedroom property, with
a state-of-the-art gym, a five-bubble
spa, a six-pool wellness centre, three
restaurants and the best sea views in
If you want to impress your kids,
book hotel rooms 223, 227 or 205,
as these were used in the bedroom
scenes of The Witches. Or for a special
occasion, you might want to stay in
a Fistral suite, Ocean suite or Best
suite. We struck it lucky in room 210,
an absolutely beautiful suite with its
own private balcony, separate lounge
with electric fireplace, an exquisite
bathroom and spectacular sea views.
If you would prefer something more
private, in 2020 the hotel launched
their ultra-stylish exclusive guest village
with a selection of contempary one-,
FIRST PAGE: FISTRAL BEACH. CLOCKWISE
FROM LEFT: THE HEADLAND HOTEL & SPA;
AQUA CLUB; JESSICA IN HER HOTEL SUITE
two- and three-bedroom self-catering
cottages and apartments. Whether in
one of the cottages, apartments or the
hotel itself, all guests are welcome to
enjoy the hotel's new Aqua Club.
Three years in the making, the
eagerly anticipated Aqua Club is a
no-luxury-spared swimming and wellbeing
complex situated adjacent to the
hotel. The new facility has six stunning
pools (both indoor and outdoor), a
sun terrace overlooking the ocean, and
a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant
named The Deck.
Outside on the sun terrace, there
is a heated sunset spa encircled by
an infinity-edge pool. There is also a
heated outdoor vitality pool that has a
Cornish granite menhir at its centre –
the perfect spot to let go of the stresses
and strains of everyday life.
Don’t disregard The Headland’s
original spa sanctuary located inside
the heart of the hotel, however,
where there’s a sumptuous relaxation
suite and further treatment rooms, a
Rhassoul mud chamber, a Swedish
sauna, a Cornish salt steam room,
aromatherapy showers, hydrotherapy
pool and a state-of-the-art gym.
In celebration of the Queen’s
incredible 70 years of service this
summer, you might also enjoy
devouring a decadent Platinum
Jubilee afternoon tea. The Headland
chefs have created a menu of
quintessentially British treats and
light bites, including cucumber,
cream cheese and coronation
chicken sandwiches and The Queen's
There are not many hotels in the world that can claim this level of enchantment
for their guests, and this makes The Headland a very special hotel indeed...
With an old-fashioned charm and
attentive staff throughout the hotel's
restaurants, you are made to feel like
royality wherever you are, from double-
A-Rosette-awarded dining in The
Samphire restaurant to sampling the
Mediterranean-inspired menu in The
Deck and enjoying sundown cocktails
on The Terrace. Menus change with the
seasons, reflecting the best regional
produce with a selection of fresh local
seafood, chargrilled cuts of the finest
meats and irresistible daily specials,
along with expertly mixed cocktails.
The Headland is remarkable in
how it has maintained a traditional
service and charisma from the early
1900s, when royals King Edward VII
and Queen Alexandra stayed at the
hotel, and it is no surprise that the
current Prince of Wales and Princess
Royal have also enjoyed several visits
in recent years, along with celebrity
royalty George Clooney.
To really appreciate the history of
the place, take some time out to dwell
in the sitting room, where vintage
photos, hotel memorabilia and press
cuttings from days gone by adorn the
walls and antique furniture.
You acquire a sense of timeless
connection to those who have stepped
the same footprint before you at The
Headland, from standing on the
balcony sharing the same mesmerising
experience of losing yourself in the
LEFT TO RIGHT: THE HEADLAND HOTEL
BEDROOM SUITE; JESSICA RIDES THE WAVES
OF FISTRAL BEACH WITH WORLD BELLYBOARD
CHAMPION, JAMIE JOHNSTONE
sights and sounds of the perpetual
waves to the glamorous feeling of
gracefully winding your way down the
grand sweeping staircase.
You know that, while this is your
moment to enjoy the charm of the
hotel, it comes with the familiarity
of these ageless qualities, the
breathtaking views and preserved
architectural beauty, having been
enjoyed for over a century by others
There are not many hotels in the
world that can claim this level of
enchantment for their guests, and this
makes The Headland a very special
hotel indeed, especially when you
consider its remarkable achievement
of modernising the hotel with à la
mode luxuries without compromising
this exceptional quality. And if this
historical significance isn’t spinetingling
enough for you, the hotel's
unrivalled location just a stone’s throw
from the golden sands of Fistral Beach,
offers every reason to brace the sea
and enjoy the waves.
Head down to the Surf Sanctuary
to get kitted out – introductory surf
classes, equipment hire and private
lessons, as well as all you need for
coasteering, kite surfing and standup
paddleboarding; it's all available
here. And, Fistral, although positively
popular with the surf professionals,
is extremely welcoming to everyone,
no matter your level of experience or
confidence in the water.
We picked up one of Dick Pearce's
bellyboards, loaned to hotel guests on
a complimentary basis. Founder and
World Bellyboard Champion, Jamie
Johnstone and his team make the ecoconscious
handmade boards at their
workshop just a short stroll from the
hotel in Hope’s Yard. Take some time
to visit the two-storey studio and surf
shop to see the sanding, smoothing,
varnishing and painting, and to treat
yourself to a gift or two. As well as
selling the surfboards, at the shop
you'll find fashionable artwork prints,
t-shirts, blankets, books and more.
(Read all about Jamie’s Surf Wood
for Good campaign in our Travel
News, page 20.)
If surfing and wave-riding has left
you feeling hungry on the sand dunes,
a delicious Cornish pasty from the
Fistral Beach Pasty Shack should hit
the spot, or for Rick Stein’s famous fish
& chips there’s a laid-back restaurant
with the option to take-away.
The Headland Hotel & Spa really
does have it all: the spas, the sea,
and the incredible hospitality. But
transcending its glitz and glamour, for
me, it has become more than just a
hotel. It's a place that makes you feel
so special during your stay, giving you
such a sense of place in all its alluring
history that your memories become
even more magical. In a similar way
to cherishing an heirloom, you feel a
desire to savour these moments and to
enjoy The Headland with your family,
who will hopefully continue to pass the
tradition down, perhaps even sharing
their family holiday memories with
their own children – from generation to
generation – in the same spot, and with
the same ocean view as you.
Jessica Way was hosted by The
Headland Hotel, a member of Pride
of Britain Hotels, a very fine collection
of hotels dotted around the British
Isles. The carefully curated collection
includes privately owned properties,
each one unique and characterful.
Prices for an overnight stay start from
£210 per night based on two people
sharing, including breakfast. Contact
Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089
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