TO THE MANOR BORN
Throw away your Christmas shopping list and slip of f to one of these luxurious bolt-holes…
When festive frazzle threatens to overcome you, there is always the option of taking an indulgent break at a grand hotel where you’ll be unashamedly pampered.
Claridge’s in London’s Mayfair of fers ever ything that a traditional Xmas should include, with stockings for ever y guest, Christmas Eve stor ytelling and a horse-drawn carriage ride around London as you sip hot chocolate and eat marshmallows. The place exudes timeless elegance and makes you feel extremely cosseted. This is a stay wor th saving for – pick up a limited edition Claridge’s Christmas pudding as a souvenir.
If a countr y pile is more your thing, visit The Feathers in the pretty market town of Woodstock, Oxfordshire. There’s nothing like carol singing in the Cotswolds and you’re just next door to Blenheim Palace, where you can walk in the grounds. Bicester Village is close at hand for Boxing Day shopping.
Stratford-upon-Avon is a charming winter destination and Shakespeare buffs will adore The White Swan Hotel’s rustic yet luxurious ambience. The main theatres are just a pleasant, ten-minute stroll.
A dose of sea air can be just what you need to blow any seasonal stress away. The Car y Arms in Torquay, Devon is a mar vellous place to spoil yourself, nestled in a spectacular location by the beach, surrounded by
Claridge’s Hotel Mayfair, London, from £900 per night www.claridges.co.uk
clif fs. Think walk-in showers, the poshest of toiletries and complimentar y sloe gin, all set on the English Riviera.
Head for the Highlands with a restorative trip to Crieff Hydro, where the landed gentr y took the waters in days gone by. Crief f is famous for its whisky and histor y of cattle droving. The Hydro is a delightfully decked with twinkly floor-to-ceiling trees and of fers ever ything the wear y traveller could want, from free babysitting to an in-house cinema. Don’t leave without a trip to the awesome Victorian Spa – the frescoed ceiling is a masterpiece.
Whichever venue you choose this yuletide, do make sure to put your feet up and enjoy!
White Swan HotelStratford-upon-Avon, West Midlands, from £143 per nightwww.white-swan-stratford.co.uk Crieff HydroPerthshire, Scotland, from £918 for a three-night Xmas breakwww.crieffhydro.com
The Cary ArmsTorquay, Devon, from £245 per nightwww.caryarms.co.uk
The FeathersWoodstock, Oxfordshire, from £799 for a three-night Xmas breakwww.feathers.co.uk