Take 5: elegant escapes

Want to push the boat out on an elegant escape which also delivers an exceptional dining experience? Check out these five hotels in the South West which ooze glamour and gourmet thrills

Lucknam Park

Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Wiltshire

Wind your way up the tree‑lined driveway that runs through the 500 acres surrounding Lucknam Park to discover one of England’s most astonishingly beautiful country house hotels.

Elegance is the watchword at this Palladian mansion, yet the experience isn’t pretentious. Contemporary elements such as the luxury spa and a relaxed brasserie provide an alternative to the decadent dining experience at Restaurant Hywel Jones.

The latter is the reason Lucknam has retained a Michelin star for 17 consecutive years and why gourmets flock to this Wiltshire gem. The best way to experience Hywel’s star-quality cooking? Plump for his seasonal tasting menu.

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Alexandra Hotel gardens

Alexandra Hotel and Restaurant, Dorset

Alexandra Hotel and Restaurant sits high on the hill above Lyme Regis. The setting is so lush and escapist that, in summer, diners find themselves inexorably drawn to a postprandial stroll through the gardens to take in the astonishing seascape below.

The views and mature gardens are complemented by smart interiors designed in eclectic country style. There’s something interesting to catch the eye on every shelf and wall – especially in the maritime‑themed sitting room. However, beyond all these attractions, foodies favour the 18th‑century hotel for its contemporary British cooking.

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The Slaughters Manor House, Cheltenham bar luxury splurge

The Slaughters Manor House, Gloucestershire

This beautiful 17th-century manor house in the heart of a Cotswold village combines authentic tradition with creative modernity.

Feast on head chef Nik Chappell’s artful creations amid crisp white table linen and original stonework in the contemporary orangery‑style restaurant. Nik and team use their menus to celebrate the finest Cotswold produce, and mix up the use of regionally farmed and reared ingredients with foraged finds from the surrounding countryside.

Lunch, dinner and afternoon tea are all pleasures to be experienced – the latter a wonderful way to combine an English tradition with a wander round the elegant gardens.

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Buckland Manor, Worcestershire

A stay at Buckland Manor is like visiting the home of good friends, albeit chums who are exceptional hosts and primed to pamper you with afternoon tea on a whim, ply you with fine tipples before dinner, suggest on‑point wine pairings and won’t mind a jot if you have a long lie‑in before breakfast.

That’s because the warm reception to be found at this English manor house, a member of the Andrew Brownsword Hotels collection, is an integral part of its elegant country house appeal. Tucked away in a tranquil corner of the Cotswold village of Buckland amid ten acres of grounds, it’s the very definition of timeless tranquillity.

At the heart of this impeccable hospitality are award‑winning menus crafted by head chef Mark Potts. Along with his hardworking team, he provides guests with a memorable culinary experience which stays true to its Cotswold location.

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The Riviera Hotel and Restaurant, Sidmouth

The Riviera Hotel and Restaurant, Devon

This imposing establishment on Sidmouth’s esplanade offers charming English seaside views and smart two AA rosette dining.

Attention to detail is the defining characteristic of chef Patrice Bouffaut’s modern British menus, while the hotel’s heritage adds traditional appeal. The Riviera has been run by the Wharton family for over four decades, and the seafood on its menu is supplied by a third‑generation local fishing family.

If you opt for a gourmet break, glorious sea views are enjoyed from many of the hotel’s tastefully furnished rooms and you’ll be impeccably well looked after. The establishment is known for its genuine welcome, traditional hospitality and excellent service.

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Enjoyed Take 5: elegant escapes? Check out our round-up of gourmet getaways in Somerset here.


april, 2024


Restaurant Hywel Jones, near Bath

Restaurant Hywel Jones

The thought of splashing £200 plus on dinner for two might make you wince, but every penny is well accounted for in the uber luxe Lucknam Park experience.

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