Shar­ing is Car­ing (and De­li­cious)

SLOW Magazine - - Contents - Text: Wil­liam Smook Im­ages © Pix­abay

The United King­dom of­fers a mas­sive va­ri­ety of ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions, and there are also plenty of bolt-holes for lov­ing cou­ples look­ing for an in­ti­mate get­away. Sue Petrie, Bri­tish Air­ways’ Com­mer­cial Man­ager for South­ern Africa, of­fers some ideas for quirky, lux­u­ri­ous, and achingly ro­man­tic spots…

Su­per­nova is a con­verted chapel on the Isle of Skye in the Scot­tish High­lands, over­look­ing Loch Har­port and with the ma­jes­tic Cullin Moun­tains as a back­drop. The self-cater­ing cot­tage has its liv­ing-room up­stairs to cap­i­talise on the views, and there’s a tele­scope for stargaz­ing. Petrie sug­gests a day out that in­cludes ex­plor­ing 80 km of serene wa­ter, walk­ing to the Rubh’ an Dù­nain out­crop in the pri­mal, snow-capped, 60-mil­lion-year-old moun­tains, where you can see fos­sils and di­nosaur foot­prints, and a visit to the fa­mous Talisker Dis­tillery. Then re­turn to Su­per­nova with Scotch and some of the fa­mous Isle of Skye fudge, and warm up in the sauna and the dou­ble-ended bath for two. For more info, visit www.unique­home­s­tays.com.

The Abbey Gate­house has guarded the en­trance to the Tewkes­bury Abbey since 1500, but the lit­tle apart­ment over the gate wel­comes guests with a fire­place and a dou­ble bed in the small gallery above. Nearby are the rolling Cotswolds, pic­turesque, his­toric vil­lages built with honey-coloured lo­cal stone, and count­less walk­ing-trails. For starters, take a stroll between the vil­lages of Up­per and Lower Slaugh­ter, the name de­rived from the An­glo-saxon word for “mud”, rather than any­thing blood­ier. Fur­ther afield, the vil­lage of Broad­way looks like it be­longs on a bis­cuit-tin, and its Crown and Trum­pet pub is famed for lo­cally pro­duced, sea­sonal food and its own beer, like the award-win­ning Wiz­ard Brew. The Cotswolds’ agrar­ian her­itage shines through in its food, from Glouces­ter cheese to Glouces­ter­shire Old Spot pork, trout and fresh pro­duce. The Feath­ered Nest Inn of­fers both pub grub and fine din­ing with a view. For more info, visit www.land­mark­trust.org.uk and search for The Abbey Gate­house.

The Look­out at the Pig on the Beach Ho­tel in Devon is a dou­ble-storey dove­cote over­look­ing the ho­tel’s vast kitchen gar­den and the coast. The room has a dou­ble bed, free-stand­ing bath and mon­soon shower. The restau­rant takes pride in lo­cal, “mi­crosea­sonal” food, with a menu that in­cludes haunch of Purbeck veni­son, crispy Juras­sic Coast gurnard and braised pork cheek, and choco­late gin­ger­bread and smoked-chili-choco­late sauce. There’s an im­pres­sive wine list too. Take your spe­cial some­one on a lit­tle break to one of the loveli­est re­gions in the UK – you’ll be in the good books for a while. For more info, visit www.thep­igho­tel.com.

Love in the Round is a cop­per-roofed round­house on the edge of a vast meadow of wild flow­ers in a Corn­wall for­est of an­cient oaks. Nearby is a shep­herd’s hut with a shower for two, a fire pit for bar­be­ques, and a stream for cool­ing wine from the hon­esty bas­ket. If you’re look­ing for sim­plic­ity and seclu­sion, you have 11 acres of flora and fauna as com­pany, along with your plus one, and with glow worms and stars in­stead of bright city lights at night. If it all feels like the ru­ral idyll of the Hob­bits’ Shire, it’s be­cause the hut was de­signed by of the set crew from the Lord of the Rings tril­ogy, and built on the base of a 100-year-old Roma Gypsy wagon. For more info, visit www. canopy­and­stars.co.uk and search for “love in the round”.

Fi­nally, if you want to es­cape Eng­land’s green and pleas­ant coun­try­side for one of the world’s great ci­ties, book into the One

Ald­wych Ho­tel in Covent Gar­den, Lon­don. It’s close to Lon­don’s the­atre dis­trict, the Vic­to­ria Em­bank­ment and Water­loo Bridge, just right for strolls or evenings at the the­atre with your spe­cial some­one. The ho­tel has more than 300 con­tem­po­rary art­works, sev­eral restau­rants, and the Lobby Bar cel­e­brates the ho­tel’s cov­eted lo­ca­tion in the West End with a cock­tail menu di­vided into come­dies, mu­si­cals, satire, dra­mas and back­stage. Com­pared to some other ho­tels in Lon­don, it of­fers value for money and com­fort­able rooms, which keep dé­cor to a taste­ful min­i­mum that es­tate agents would de­scribe as “sump­tu­ous re­straint”. More in­for­ma­tion is avail­able on­line at www.oneald­wych.com.

You may not think that Bri­tain has much to of­fer in terms of ro­man­tic hide­aways, but you couldn’t be more wrong. The rolling hills of Corn­wall will put love on any­one’s mind, as will the stun­ning views on the Ilse of Skye. Head off to cos­mopoli­tan Lon­don for a taste of life in the fast lane, head to Glouces­ter­shire for a lit­tle rest and re­lax­ation, or en­joy the sea in Devon. Don’t save your next ro­man­tic ges­ture for Valen­tine’s Day, and get a head start with one of these beau­ti­ful week­end es­capes.

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