Evening Standard - ES Magazine


Why brave those airport queues with kids in tow? The ES team selects three child-friendly British breaks



If it’s Cotswolds for kids you’re looking for, the answer is Calcot, which has just added ‘The Cottage’ to its first-class array of rooms and suites. Split over two floors, with two well-sized en-suite bedrooms, Scandi-chic lounge, pantry (the fresh sourdough’s a lovely welcome) and courtyard garden with your very own fire pit, it’s the perfect family home from home.

Everyone is made to feel welcome by the hotel, and the Playbarn boasts a treasure chest of toys and entertainm­ent for babies right up to teenagers. Nannies are on hand to give parents a break, too. But it’s the outside that’s most appealing: the teepee in the meadow offers games, there’s Frisbee golf, mountain bike trails and a charming kids’ playground with mud kitchen.

The immaculate spa isn’t just for grownups, either. Centred on the courtyard hot tub, there’s a fire and two stunning swimming pools (one indoor, one out), plus a baby pool for little splashers.

The Conservato­ry offers imaginativ­e meals from breakfast through dinner, with classic pub grub at the family-friendly Gumstool Inn. And the baby-listening service or pre-booked sitters mean there’s no need to rush that cheese course. Ben Turner The Cottage at Calcot Manor starts at £924 per night on a B&B basis (calcot.co)


City staycation­s with children can often be a hot mess, which is why it’s best left to the experts at The Berkeley to keep things cool, calm and collected. Guests have exclusive use of the hotel’s glass-fronted rooftop pool but there’s also kids’ yoga on request, Berkeley Bikes to ride through Hyde Park and haute patisserie courtesy of Cédric Grolet for the little ones. Smart touches in rooms further enhance your stay — from Berkeley teddies to the requisite milk and cookies at bedtime — and a concierge team that can field requests with greater prowess than Mary Poppins. Can’t quite get to the hotel? Try the Berkeley Breakfast in Bed delivery service: a five-star, hotelstyle breakfast with all the trimmings is delivered to your door, lovingly packaged in brown paper bags with handwritte­n tags. Practicall­y perfect in every way. Dipal Acharya Rooms from £990 (the-berkeley.co.uk)


My recipe for the perfect holiday is simple: moderate heat, water, a sun lounger and a pile of books. Sleep, swimming and silence in between. Then Wilfie arrived — very loud, very fast, sometimes furious. Holidays as we knew them were out. After our first trip, a disastrous week of sleepless nights and days wrangling an alabaster-skinned baby from the sun, sea and off restaurant tables, we vowed never again.

A year passed and we felt sufficient­ly brave to try once more. This time to Cabü: 20 luxury cabins on Kent’s Romney Marsh, highly recommende­d by numerous friends with numerous children. It was perfect. Charming, spotless, well-appointed cabins, blackout blinds (if you know you know), a pool, outdoor kitchen with pizza oven and barbecues, a sauna, hot tub and tiny shop bursting with delicious food and drink, all within reach of the baby monitor and steps from the beach. We’ll be back. Rose Beer From £310 for two nights, for two guests (holidays.cabu.co.uk)

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 ?? ?? Kidding around: clockwise from left, The Berkeley rooftop pool; Rose’s son takes to the beach by Cabü; Ben’s little ones catch some late rays at Calcot Manor
Kidding around: clockwise from left, The Berkeley rooftop pool; Rose’s son takes to the beach by Cabü; Ben’s little ones catch some late rays at Calcot Manor

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