No need to lament the end of summer – autumn brings with it many treats of its own, including the weekend break. Here are six weekend escapes that make the passing of summer that little bit easier to bear, from new luxury hotels and exclusive-hire homes to super-luxe London hotel suites
Luxury connoisseurs will love the Savoy Hotel‘s new master suites, which opened this month. With architecture courtesy of ReardonSmith and interior design from Pierre-Yves Rochon, they really do have the wow factor. And here’s a little-known fact: Monet painted the Thames while standing in the space that is now the Royal Suite. No London hotel has better views.
The perfect expression of its Italian-British owners, Grove Lodge is a handsome Georgian B&B on the edge of Bath, with three spacious suites (each with its own sitting room). Expect super-kingsize beds and down duvets, slipper baths and drench showers, marble mantelpieces and whimsical wallpapers. The owners provide a warm welcome, breakfasts fit for a prince, and flawless service – lifts from the station, the lowdown on Bath’s fabulous shopping, museums and restaurants. And let’s not forget the home-baked coconut macaroons and gianduja pralines.
Book the Farmhouse, a pretty restored thatched roof cottage with rooms straight off the pages of World of Interiors, on the Wilderness Reserve and you’ve got the perfect place to laze around and stare at the uninterrupted views across the Sibton Estate to the lake.
The Pig has swiftly become the hotel of choice for urbanites looking for a chic relaxing stay but don’t want the pomp often associated with hotels, and the most recent addition to its stable (or should that be sty?), is The Pig-at Combe, an Elizabethan gem of a house nestled in the Otter Valley near Honiton. Gone are the polished panelling, pelmets and fitted carpets of old; instead it’s stripped-back bare wood floors, restored shutters, cosy sitting rooms, open fires and great food.
Tower Bridge, London
This autumn sees the opening of the much-anticipated Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square – an exclusive, 100-room city hotel near Tower Bridge. The hotel’s creators have taken great pains to preserve the integrity of the original structure and when completed it looks set to become a new London landmark. The Rotunda Lounge will serve light and casual fare all day, The French restaurant will be under the direction of a Michelin-star chef, while the Asian restaurant will specialise in the creation of carefully curated Chinese and Japanese dishes.
If you fancy a change from the Cotswolds weekend break scene, how about a stay at Brooks County House – a 22-bedroom Georgian manor hotel between Ross-on-Wye and Hereford, which opened its doors in early July. With its own vineyard, outdoor swimming pool, bar, restaurant and private grounds, the hotel has been brought back to its original grandeur using quintessentially English decor (think Designers Guild fabrics, GP & J Baker and Cole & Son wallpaper and bold Graham and Green lighting). With a cool members’ club vibe, this is a country cousin for the group’s existing town house city siblings in Bristol, Bath and Edinburgh.
Main image: Grove Lodge