Five magical English Christmas getaways
Big gatherings are out this Christmas, so why not tuck in at one of these festive retreats?
The Goring, London
The Goring hotel in London’s upmarket Belgravia neighbourhood isn’t one to do things by halves, as guests checking in on Christmas Eve are bound to discover. They will find Champagne and chocolates waiting for them in their rooms and can look forward to gorging on Michelin-starred cuisine and traditional Christmas treats. Meanwhile, scarlet-coated footmen will be attending to every whim and fancy. Breakfast on the big day will be served in The Veranda, overlooking the manicured garden, but be sure to leave plenty of room for Christmas lunch, served in the crystal chandelier-bedecked dining room, where guests will receive a “Christmas gift” from the owner, Jeremy Goring. Choose from a one-, two- or three-night stay with prices starting from £1,043 per night, based on two sharing. See thegoring.com for more.
The Swan, Suffolk
The Swan at Lavenham Hotel and Spa in Suffolk comprises three Tudor houses plus the village of Lavenham’s historic Wool Hall. Oak-beamed interiors, roaring log fires, cosy nooks and delicious food make it the ideal spot for a winter warming three-night Christmas stay. Arriving on Christmas Eve, guests will enjoy festive cream teas and candlelit dinners, before waking up to a Christmas Day celebration with Champagne and canapés, followed by a five-course Christmas lunch. After all that the chances are you’ll still be feeling full the next day, so a guided walk around the medieval village is planned for Boxing Day. Prices start from £1,839 for two sharing for three nights, including meals and activities. See theswanatlavenham.co.uk for more.
Ashdown Park, East Sussex
Christmas Day at Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club, in Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, involves a smorgasbord lunch, festive jazz, a visit from Father Christmas and a four-course dinner in the two-AA Rosette Anderida Restaurant. For those seeking a more active Boxing Day, a host of country pursuits are available, including clay-pigeon shooting and archery. There will also be a “Cabaret Dinner” in the evening, with classic performances from the West End and Broadway. The property is set amid 186 acres of lakes, secret gardens and woodland trails. The suites are all named after tree species found in Ashdown Forest, which was the inspiration for the Hundred Acre Wood featured in Winnie-the-Pooh. Three nights from £1,015 per person, based on two sharing, or from £1,155 for four nights. See Ashdownpark.com for more.
Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire
Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa in Bedfordshire is a Grade I-listed mansion house hotel, where the Queen and Prince Philip spent part of their honeymoon. The hotel is set amid 1,000 acres of countryside, including gardens designed in the 18th century by Capability Brown. The property features 144 beautifully furnished bedrooms and suites – some with four-poster beds – while the facilities include tennis courts, a 50-acre lake, an 18-hole championship golf course, and a spa housed in the restored stable building. Christmas lunch at the two-AA Rosette Wernher Restaurant or Adam’s Brasserie promises to be a hearty four-course affair, which can be walked off with a stroll in the hotel’s opulent grounds. The Christmas House Party package starts from £915 per head, based on two sharing, for three nights and from £995 for four nights, arriving either 23 or 24 December. See Lutonhoo.co.uk.
The Yan, Lake District
Fashionable Lake District hotel The Yan is offering a “gourmet glamping” getaway for Christmas. Guests will be staying in luxury pods located at Broadrayne Farm, at the foot of the fells near the pretty village of Grasmere. The pods come complete with a wood-burning stove and underfloor heating, a fitted kitchen, lounge area, Bluetooth music system, dining table, and a double bed with an en-suite bathroom. On arrival on Christmas Eve, a welcome of homemade mince pies, mulled wine and eggnog by the fire awaits at The Yan. On the big day, guests can head out onto the fells and return in the late afternoon for a Christmas feast, or eat earlier and snooze the afternoon away in front of the stove. The three-night stay costs £470 per person, including meals. See theyan.co.uk for details.