TO THE MANOR BORN

Throw away your Christ­mas shop­ping list and slip of f to one of these lux­u­ri­ous bolt-holes…

My Weekly Special - - | Money -

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

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