So Christmas is over, New Year is over and what do we have left; dreary, wet, cold January! BUT! February brings Valentine’s Day and the promise of Spring. Despite feeling like I will be the eternal singleton, I’m also the eternal soppy romantic!
This got me thinking; just because I’m not going to be swept away to a beautiful hotel this Valentine’s Day, it doesn’t mean I can’t share my three favourites with you.
Boutique hotels are in abundance now and offer so much more in character, décor and ambience, in my opinion, than any of the big hotel chains.
Here are my top three that I have been lucky enough to visit…
Only an hour from central London and opened in 2008, the Crazy Bear made Conde Nast’s Hot List for best new hotels in the world. This fifteenth century coaching inn has been restored beyond anything its original owners could have ever imagined.
The hotel also consists of a townhouse which is separate to the main building (and offers décor which you could be forgiven for feeling is a throwback to a time when members of the upper class gentry would go looking for ‘entertainment’ away from their wives!) with black gloss walls, heavy drapes and ornate red lampshades.
Mirrored ceilings, velvet padded walls, giant giraffes, regency style bedrooms, padded floors and an almost communal washroom. This boutique hotel is an oasis of opulence and luxury that you really have to see to believe.
This place will blow your mind!
Stoke Place is a complete contrast to the Crazy Bear. Built as a family home by royal chef Patrick Lamb in 1690, you can’t fail to be wowed by its grandeur but it has such a relaxed atmosphere it feels like it could still be a home. This 17th century building has been extensively updated and is now a luxury 4 star hotel.
The rooms have all been tastefully decorated in neutrals and pale green tones to accentuate the beautiful views of the grounds. There’s plenty of room to unwind and read a book by the fireplace or go for a walk in the beautiful gardens.
They also offer the option of a romantic 3 course champagne picnic which can be enjoyed by the lake. If it’s still a bit chilly on February 14th then try afternoon tea in the restaurant. Still following the green theme the restaurant is bright and airy with a very modern feel.
If you’re looking for a wedding venue then take a look at Stoke Place, they have hosted some of the most stunning weddings.
Poets House is my favourite of the three. From the street it is very unassuming; you have no idea of the delights that lie within. For me this boutique hotel combines the quirkiness of the Crazy Bear with the elegance of Stoke Place.
The dark grey tones and the black doors used throughout the hotel create the feeling of opulence and grandeur.
The bar area is much brighter with floor to ceiling windows and I love the tufted bar and studded black velvet chairs.
The main restaurant is atmospheric with dark walls and art deco style chandeliers. The waiter there told me the owner of the hotel was very particular about the look he wanted to create for his hotel and for me, he got it just right.
These images are the very tip of the iceberg in terms of what these stunning hotels have to offer. If you’re looking for décor inspiration and a romantic valentine’s getaway, look no further!