Small, luxurious and tailored to you – these boutique hotels and serviced apartments are the best of the bunch for a weekend break.
Hampton Manor | Hampton-in-Arden, Solihull
Home to 15 individually designed rooms, a Michelin-starred restaurant and a professional clinic with a diverse range of advanced skin treatments, Hampton Manor ticks all the boxes. Just a short drive from Birmingham city centre and yet nestled in the heart of the countryside, Hampton Manor also takes pride in sourcing local produce and using ingredients from its very own kitchen garden.
Double rooms from £190 a night. Book here!
The Artist Residence | Regency Square, Brighton
With amazing sea views, two cocktails bars and a ping-pong room, this townhouse hotel, located in Brighton’s Regency Square, is a funky alternative to your typical hotel stay. If you’re feeling peckish, choose from a seasonal tasting menu at The Set or relaxed, smaller dishes at The Set Cafe. And if you book directly online, you’ll get a free breakfast!
Rooms from £95 for Bed and Breakfast. Book here!
Thyme | Southrop, The Cotswolds
Set across 150 acres of The Cotswolds, Thyme is a truly unique experience based around simple pleasures in life – family, friends and food. Take your pick from spending the night in a bedroom, house or cottage and soak up country life in the local pub or farm. This ‘quintessentially English destination’ also has an on-site cooking school, where visitors are invited to learn about sustainable, local ingredients in simple, friendly classes.
Midweek Rooms from £270 per night, Weekend Rooms from £385 per night. Book here!
Hipping Hall | Lancashire
Whether you’re staying in the main house, the cottage or the recently refurbished stable rooms, this stylish destination sits between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District and boasts a fine dining restaurant dating back to the 15th century. Hipping Hall has also recently started hosting creative break weekends, whereby visitors can undertake a course and leave having learned a brand new skill from the experts.
Rooms from £199 for Bed and Breakfast. Book here!
Fishmore Hall | Ludlow, Shropshire
If city life is getting the better of you, take some time out and discover Ludlow’s best-hidden gem, Fishmore Hall. Looking out on the glorious Shropshire countryside, the restored Georgian home is ideal for a weekend of relaxation in peaceful surroundings.
The attention to detail throughout Fishmore Hall is the first thing I noticed, from a pillow menu to ensure you get the best night’s sleep to rooms being stocked with small, luxury goodies for you to enjoy at your own pleasure. Each room has been tastefully designed with you in mind.
The brand new SPAshell™ facilities are a must for rejuvenating and de-stressing the body during your stay. With four treatment rooms, a steam room, sauna, outdoor wellness pool and oversized hammock, this sleek, technologically-advanced spa is just a stone’s throw from the hotel itself and offers a range of treatments tailored to you. For a seriously revitalising experience, the outdoor bucket drench shower will excite the senses and leave you feeling completely refreshed.
My chosen treatment was the ELEMIS Garden of England Rose Restore Massage, which was 55 minutes of pure bliss that left my skin feeling super smooth and hydrated as a result of the natural seed oils used.
For the foodies, you can dine in luxury at the hotel’s very own fine dining restaurant, Forelles, and take your pick from the three course, A la Carte menu or the Six Course Tasting Menu before retiring to the bedroom.
Standard rooms from £175. Book here!
The High Field Townhouse | Edgbaston
Words: Philip Ellis
There are 12 individually decorated rooms in the newly refurbished hotel. I was a guest in room six, a spacious room with a giant rolltop bathtub (easily big enough for two) and quite possibly the most comfortable super king bed I have ever slept in. At one point, when struggling to reach my phone on the bedside table, I found myself thinking “this bed is too big!” (A first world problem if ever there was one.)
Another lovely touch is The Honesty Bar in reception, where guests can help themselves to wine, spirits and snacks, and leave a note to have them charged to their room. If you did ever get bored of hanging out in your room, the reception doubles as a sitting room, complete with armchairs, coffee, and reading material.
After checking in and making the most of the complimentary self-service espresso machine in reception, I headed next door to The High Field gastropub for a gin and tonic on the patio, where giant sofas and a fire pit mean groups can enjoy the late afternoon sun and continue into the evening.
The High Field’s drinks menu is refreshing in its simplicity. Too often, cocktail selections and wine lists are pages and pages long, making it unnecessarily difficult to settle on what you want. There’s plenty of choice at The High Field, but not overwhelmingly so; there are recommended aperitifs for before dinner, and a handful of cocktail choices which will cater to most palettes. The wine list is more extensive but still user-friendly, breaking down the choices into sections like ‘light and fresh’ with recommendations for accompanying dishes. I like my wine, but am not an expert by any stretch, and I appreciate it when a venue eschews the usual snobbery and focuses on helping the customer find something they’ll love.
Breakfast at The High Field is an ideal mix of traditional and modern. Juice and cereal are laid out until 11am, and whether you fancy a full English, porridge, eggs benedict or pancakes with maple syrup, you’ll find something fresh and delicious on the menu. (The Rwandan filter coffee was so good I had to order another).
But delicious food and comfy beds aside, what makes The High Field so special is its friendly staff. From the moment you walk into the pub, you are made to feel at home, with bartenders who are only too happy to recommend their favourite cocktail or talk you through the wine list. During my stay, I was served both in the evening and at breakfast the next morning by Harry, who would go above and beyond to ensure that everything was just right. His warm, welcoming manner is The High Field in a nutshell. And the presence of an adorable black Labrador in the bar only serves to make it feel even more like a home away from home.
Rooms at The High Field Town House start from £120 per night based on two people sharing. Book your stay here!
No 8. Waterloo St. Apartments | Waterloo Street
Words: Andrew Riley
Nestled secretly a stone’s throw away from the Colmore Row district lies a stunning Grade II listed building, home to No.8 Waterloo St. Apartments.
Keep your eyes open, it’s easy to miss the entrance hidden behind Cosy Club, but this really is part of No 8’s charm and personality (it felt great and peaceful, seemingly hidden away here.) Stroll down the secluded secret path and through the impressive grand front door before being wowed by the beautifully detailed Art Deco-inspired reception area.
With minimal fuss you’ll be checked in, and unless you need anything in particular, you won’t even feel like you’re staying in a serviced apartment; this really is a home from home and the perfect base to explore the very best of Birmingham.
Comfort and relaxation are at the forefront at No 8, all 31 rooms are designed with a thoughtful mix of traditional and contemporary styles, with all the modern day amenities you’d expect including Wi-Fi and a huge flat screen TV, plus a kitchen with everything a cook would need.
Offering a vast variety of eateries and bars on your doorstep, you’ll have plenty to choose from. Socialise at Fumo, Gaucho or Gusto, or for something a little more casual try the vast food hall at Grand Central Birmingham, Wagamama on New Street or Buffalo & Rye and Bodega on Bennetts Hill.
For impressive cocktails just a short stroll from No 8, past the spectacular St Philips Cathedral you’ll find The Alchemist and Simon Cowell’s favourite hotel when he’s in the city, Hotel Du Vin or enjoy 2FOR1 cocktails all day every day at Las Iguanas on Temple Street, just around the corner from your home for the evening.
If there’s one thing Birmingham excels at it’s shopping. We love Selfridges at Bullring, John Lewis at Grand Central Birmingham and everything in-between. If you’re looking for exclusive brands pop to Mailbox, home to Harvey Nichols, Paul Smith and their most recent homewares additions which includes MADE.COM, Heals and BoConcept.
Birmingham’s massive Christmas market is also within touching distance of No 8; literally a one minute walk and you’ll be in the thick of it. While you’re there why not visit Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and their newest highly acclaimed exhibition Coming Out.
Birmingham is a city well on the up right now, it’s buzzing social scene, plus an evident mix of arts and culture endorse this, as does the opening of impressive new accommodation No.8 Waterloo St.
Stay at No. 8 from £100 a night for a Deluxe One Bedroom Apartment and £195 for a Luxury Two Bed Apartment. Book here!
Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms | Eglwys Fach, Machynlleth
Words: Mike Raven
Located just off the coast of mid-Wales on the edge of Snowdonia National Park sits a unique concept by Gareth Ward. Ynyshir, (pronounced In-i-shir), prefers to be described as a ‘Restaurant and Rooms’ and it definitely lives up to the hype.
With 10 rooms you have a choice to stay on the grounds in both the contemporary garden rooms overlooking the Cambrian Mountains, and the house rooms – some parts dating all the way back to the 1750’s. Expect a mix of modern and traditional through your whole stay from the accommodation all the way through to the food.
Ynyshir really is about the whole experience, which is why the term Restaurant and Rooms reflects what to expect so accurately. Holding both a Michelin Star and five AA rosettes, your evening at the restaurant will centre around truly outstanding seasonal tasting menu, prepared by a small passionate team, well respected for their expertise. The menus are slow food – much time and care is taken in ageing, pickling, foraging, salting, preserving and souring all on site, and it makes all the difference.
We visited Ynyshir to experience it for ourselves and were blown away. The food and service was truly outstanding. We counted more than 20 dishes across the evening, most of which were served with an accompanying wine, chosen to pair perfectly with the food. A personal favourite, the grouse with Elder and Chocolate, shows just how creative the kitchen is. Other stand out courses included the Welsh Wagyu beef (served in three parts); sourdough with cultured butter and welsh wagyu dripping and the white chocolate with black bean.
Dining packages with B&B start at £195pp, alternatively, if you’re looking for a great food with no stay the Ynyshir lunch and dinner tasting menus are £55pp/£110pp. Book here!
All prices are based on two adults sharing.