Hotels & Places to Stay

Audi A3 Cabriolet in front of Hotel Tresanton St MawesAudi A3 Cabriolet parked temporarily outside of Hotel Tresanton to have luggage unloaded by the ever efficient staff and then valet parked – now the relaxing can start!

A trip to Cornwall would not be complete without a visit to St. Mawes and the exemplary Tresanton Hotel. This is in no small part due to its owner, Olga Polizzi who was destined from birth to create beautiful places for people to stay, being the daughter of Lord Charles Forte.  Thankfully for all of us who have been fortunate to stay at Tresanton or Hotel Endsleigh (her country hotel at Milton Abbot near Tavistock), she is very good at it.

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Rick Stein The Seafood Restaurant glass frontIn the past year, the Rick Stein story has been turned up a notch as this well-known ‘Brand’ has been developed and promoted throughout the UK, as one  new restaurant after another has sprung up in every affluent town.

Our first encounter was at Sandbanks, notoriously known as having some of the most expensive real estate in the world, and then at what was ‘The Depot’ a well-loved riverside restaurant in Barnes, where it is now ‘bedding down’ nicely as a new Rick Stein.

Bearing in mind the extraordinary success of the Rick Stein brand, we thought we would go to where this empire was launched, the internationally recognised Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall.

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The Audi S5 Cabriolet driving through the grounds of Hotel Endsleigh

The Audi S5 Cabriolet driving through the grounds of Hotel Endsleigh at the height of Spring 

If you are seeking the peace and tranquillity of nature, shaped by the hand of man, and a temporary escape from the stresses and strains of the 21st century, then I can highly recommend a few days at Hotel Endsleigh, situated on a stunning stretch of the Tamar valley on the edge of Dartmoor.

The house and surrounding gardens and landscape, have all been substantially restored since Olga Polizzi first saw and fell in love with this special place, and bought it in 2004.

It first opened its doors to hotel guests in 2006, and has now established itself as highly desirable hotel surrounded by some of the most beautiful gardens and impressive scenery in Britain.

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Ockenden Manor Cuckfield West Sussex garden and manor house in sunshine

On first sight Ockenden Manor tucked away in the well-heeled commuter town of Cuckfield in Sussex, might appear to be just another traditional Country House Hotel.  It is all these things but it has a delightful surprise in its ultra modern box-like Spa complex that shouldn’t work architecturally, but just does.  It makes a startling contrast to the Elizabethan manor but provides all that one could want in the way of a Spa.

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Luton Hoo Hotel Golf Course and Spa

Luton Hoo is yet another example of a once powerful and influential family losing their wealth and being forced to sell the ‘family jewels’.   Luton Hoo was one of England’s grandest stately homes, and its sale marked the final episode in the sad story of the Phillips family, who inherited the Grade I listed mansion in 1977.

When staying there one is surrounded by the history of Luton Hoo which plays a major part of the whole guest experience. So it is worth learning a little of the background story to this home and to those who had once lived and loved here.

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The elegant exterior of The Gore Hotel 190 Queens Gate Kensington LondonThe Gore hotel in Kensington is the hotel of choice for a stay in London for many reasons, not least that The Gore is so conveniently placed for the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Palace, London’s Hyde Park and the Natural History, Victoria & Albert, and Science Museums, and is a stone’s throw for some serious retail therapy at Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

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Should you find yourself heading to Countable Country to immerse yourself in the stunning Suffolk/ Essex countryside that so inspired one of our greatest artists, The Vintage Magazine can thoroughly recommend staying at Maison Talbooth as a ‘base’ to explore the Dedham area.

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Maison Le Talbooth

I do like a grand entrance and there is none more impressive than the mile long avenue lined with four hundred lime and beech trees leading to the majestic Lucknam Park House.  Once your car has swept up to the classical portico entrance and you have entered the elegant hallway reception, your worries can be left at the door because from that moment all your needs will  be met in spectacular fashion.

Preparation for a few days at Lucknam Park perhaps could be the most arduous part of the process.  What to pack?

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Lucknam-Park-Drive-and-front-of-house