for a Luxe London Getaway
One of the elements I love about the English is their sense of refined country living. Centuries of Earls and Countesses who once presided over sprawling shires have left behind an astounding collection of aristocratic country estates, replete with manors, farmhouses and castles each more idyllic than the last. Now updated into some of the coziest resorts in the world, what better way to getaway from London and connect with your inner Queen? Ahead, our top eight picks for an elegant English escape.
Calling all foodies: A gourmet getaway awaits in nearby Oxfordshire (home of Oxford University). Founded byChef Raymond Blanc, Le Manoir is a classic English country getaway with a focus on fresh, seasonal food and the land that grows it. You may spend the day strolling the impressive grounds, which include a mushroom valley and rambling orchards, a Japanese garden and an English water garden. After exploring, an in-room spa treatment will help you relax before dinner at the Restaurant, where Chef Blanc has held two Michelin Stars since 1984. Perhaps dinner is so good, you choose to stay an extra night and take a cooking class the next day. In any case your room, with its uniquely inspired decor and evocative name like Boticelli, Passion Flower or Bluebell, is just too cute to leave so fast.
From the creators of Soho House, London’s (and New York’s and LA’s) hottest member’s only enclave, comes a stylish Somerset escape that draws a creative crowd. With a hip take on the traditional English country look, the beautiful Babington House is warm, cozy and chic, with a variety of lovely spaces shared by guests of 32 rooms. Serving contemporary British food with Italian influences and using produce from their walled garden, the food and drink here is fresh and modern as you’d expect from Soho Group, while the quirky yet luxe Cowshed spa is your best bet for organic pampering.
Understated elegance creates a tranquil vibe at this exclusive manor that offers peace and quiet right in the center of the Medieval city of York. Amazingly, the house at Gray Courts is at least one thousand years old, with views of the famous York Minister and the ancient city walls. After spending the day exploring this fascinating and historic town founded by the Romans, you’ll love to come home to dinner at the delicious seasonal restaurant, which also happens to serve a very chic English breakfast and a delightful afternoon tea.
Welcome to Sussex, a gorgeous and historic county in Southeast England named for the ancient Kingdom it once was. Undoubtedly the best place to experience it, Amberley Castle is a one-of-a-kind luxury hotel housed in a magnificent 900-year-old castle. Here you’ll find an exclusive selection of just 19 bedrooms, all distinctly decorated in elegant English fashion. While sporting here includes golf, tennis and croquet, many visitors choose to simply amble the 12-acres of award-winning formal gardens contained within the castle walls. There, you’ll find medieval stonework, rose-covered arches, and an upper courtyard that invites you to stop and enjoy tea or aperitifs before heading back to a delicious dinner.
This stunning Oxfordshire property from Soho House has a rustic flavor with a luxury twist. For an overnight or a weekend, you may choose to stay in one of their stylishly appointed cabins, or go glamping in a chic bell tent. For those who’d prefer something sturdier (and we can’t blame you), the seven-bedroom Farmhouse or the idyllic Cottage may be more to your liking. Along with the unique lodgings, this members-only resort offers all the amenities and more. From hair care and fine dining, to horseback riding, boating and soccer, it’s a happening escape where you can expect to mix and mingle with a motivated community.
This charming modern pub and hotel in the lovely town of Marlow puts comfort and quality first and
foremost. With top notch dining options and a two star Michelin rating (the only pub to ever receive one!), luxe accommodations and even fab beauty treatments, the Hand and Flowers has everything you need for a relaxing getaway. When you arrive, you’ll have eight cottage rooms to choose from, each outfitted with a king sized bed, jacuzzi bath tub and marvelous upscale pub decor. Each room is located mere feet away from the pub, and is a quick five minute walk from the bustling Main Street where you’ll find plenty of dining, nightlife and shopping. When you’re back from town, be sure to treat yourself to a signature facial to get glam before indulging in a private dining experience with the impeccable chefs and staff.
Step into your Jane Austen fantasy at the Coworth Park Country House. This fabulously charming Georgian style manor is quintessential English chic. Whether you’re perusing the magnificent 240-acre grounds under the stars, having a refreshing dip in the luxury spa pool or partaking in a polo match at one of the House’s two polo fields, you’re guaranteed to have a practically perfect countryside escape. If you’re looking for a more intimate romantic experience (perhaps with a Mr. Darcy of your own), go for one of the private converted stable and cottage rooms. For dinner, look no further than the Restaurant Coworth Park, where you can imbibe on classic British country fare in a relaxed casual atmosphere.