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The best restaurants, spas and fun things to do at UK hotels before May 17

Hotels in England are not able to reopen until May 17 at the earliest, but all is not lost until then. With other parts of hospitality back in action from April 12, many are seizing the opportunity to offer ‘hotel-lite’ experiences in the intervening five weeks, from restaurants to self-catering pivots and even spas. Here are some of the best; enjoy!

Note that Wales and Scotland have their own timelines for reopening hospitality. See here for more information, and if hotels in these countries are able to reopen facilities in advance of full reopening, we will include them below.

The Pigs, England

Restaurants may open for outdoor dining from April 12, and this includes those at hotels. The Pig will be offering a three-course set lunch menu on terraces and in tents at all its properties, most of which are set in vast grounds with gorgeous kitchen gardens. Called “The Big Outdoor Lunch”, their pop-up restaurants will feature spring harvest produce from the kitchen garden, and meats from local farmers and fish from nearby ports – to the tune of £50 per head ( Heaters, blankets and fire-pits will also be available. The new and popular Lobster Shed at The Pig at Harlyn will even have a retractable cover for rainy dates (but note they have their own menu, not the set one). 

Read more: The Pig at Harlyn Bay, Cornwall

The Lobster Shed at The Pig at Harlyn Bay will continue with its normal menu

University Arms, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

In Cambridge, Parker’s Tavern at the boutique University Arms will reopen Parker’s on the Piece, an al fresco restaurant set on one of the city’s most famous greens (where the rules of football were invented). A new menu will feature seafood platters from nearby Norfolk, plus sourdough pizzas with spring toppings, while old favourites such as the Wiltshire truffle and cream cheese and the lobster and garlic butter pizzas will return to the menu ( 

Read the full hotel review: University Arms, Cambridge

University Arms is the oldest hotel in Cambridge, built as a coaching inn alongside the city common, Parker’s Piece, in 1834

Homewood, Bath, Somerset

Self-catering properties may reopen to guests from April 12, and happily this includes those in the grounds of hotels. In Bath, Homewood will open two self-catering lodges, Waterlily and Manuka, sleeping two to four, in their own private gardens with hot tubs (from £350 per night; Breakfast hampers will be available, plus al fresco dinner Sunday-Thursday. Though saunas and steam rooms will remain closed in hotels until May, on-site spas may reopen from April 12 – so pools, hot tubs, gyms, and hair, beauty and holistic therapies will be back. Guests staying in Homewood’s self-catering lodges may avail of its spa facilities.

Read the full hotel review: Homewood, Bath

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Homewood will open two self-catering lodges, Waterlily and Manuka

The Newt, Castle Carey, Somerset

If you’re near The Newt in Castle Cary, be sure to pop by for a picnic. The Gelataria will be serving seasonally changing buffalo milk gelato and sorbet from March 8, along with takeaway coffees and food available to pre-order from the Cyder Bar, daily. Homemade cakes from the Tea & Treats Van can be picked up, and there are plans to launch a weekend series of barbecues with flame-grilled meats and fish, and produce from the kitchen garden. From April 12, the Garden Café terrace will reopen for tables up to six people, every day of the week. High Tea will also be served on the hotel terrace, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (

Read the full hotel review: The Newt, Somerset

The Newt will be offering takeaway picnic treats 

Heckfield Place, Hook, Hampshire

Hampshire hotspot Heckfield Place will open an outdoor restaurant, Marle on the Italian Terrace, from Wednesday, April 14, until May 9. Diners can enjoy lunch and afternoon tea Wednesday to Sunday, with a five-course dinner available on Friday and Saturday evenings. The terrace has views over the grounds, woodlands and upper lake and will be suitable for all weathers with a canopy, blankets, fire pits and sheepskins available (

Read the full hotel review: Heckfield Place, Hampshire

Marle on the Italian Terrace at Heckfield Place will be suitable for all weathers

The Marylebone, Marylebone, London

The capital will be getting in on the act too; 108 Brasserie at The Marylebone will reopen its heated outdoor terrace for brunch, lunch and dinner. Think chicken Milanese with rocket, caper, lemon and shaved parmesan, and classic vanilla creme brûlée with sun-blushed apricots, amaretto and pistachios (

Read the full hotel review: The Marylebone, London

108 Brasserie at The Marylebone will reopen its heated outdoor terrace for brunch, lunch and dinner

11 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea, London

At 11 Cadogan Gardens, city sister hotel of Cliveden, the terrace of Hans’ Bar & Grill will stretch along Pavilion Road, near Sloane Square, while six new self-catering apartments will also open. The one, two or three-bedroom apartment suites – the first by Iconic Luxury Hotels – will feature high ceilings, modern décor and views over the gardens (which guest can access). Guests will be able to enjoy full hotel services including housekeeping, room service, the gym, lounges, and concierge, or opt for complete privacy (

Read the full hotel review: 11 Cadogan Gardens, London

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11 Cadogan Gardens is opening the terrace of Hans’ Bar & Grill and its new self-catering apartments

Chewton Glen, New Forest, Hampshire

For the first time ever, Chewton Glen will be opening up its 14 treehouse suites as self-catering escapes. The suites are suspended on stilts 35 feet above ground, meaning views of the canopy from floor-to-ceiling windows are fantastic. Each has a private deck, wood-burning stove and access to a kitchen, should they tire of food deliveries, picnic hampers or pizzas from the Walled Garden. What’s more, The Kitchen restaurant, led by celebrity chef James Martin, will open its outside dining space, serving the likes of tapas-style grazing dishes, wood-fired pizzas, gourmet burgers and superfood salads. Treehouses from £1,350 per night ( 

Read the full hotel review: Chewton Glen, Hampshire

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Chewton Glen will be opening up its 14 treehouse suites as self-catering escapes

The Hari, Belgravia, London

Dreaming of the gentle clink of ice in Aperol as you laze in dappled Mediterranean sunshine? No dice, unfortunately (well, not until mid-May at least) – but with a raft of London’s best hotel bars poised to launch destination-themed terraces on Monday, you’ll soon be able to fool your senses into thinking you’ve hopped a plane to sunnier climes. If it’s la dolce vita your heart desires, head for Belgravia’s the Hari, where Sorrento lemon martinis and panuozzi with Neapolitan sausage, wild turnip tops and smoked provolone conjure the pastel-hued fishing villages and sweeping bougainvillea of the Amalfi Coast (

If it’s la dolce vita your heart desires, head for Belgravia’s the Hari for Amalfi-inspired cocktails and bites

The Hoxton, Southwark, London

Perhaps you’re pining for the fiery Iberian Peninsula? A leisurely afternoon on the 14th floor of the Hoxton Southwark should set you right, thanks to the Seabird terrace’s whitewashed floors and scalloped Mediterranean tiles, generous servings of Spanish and Portuguese fare (think octopus roll with padron pepper and smoked aioli) and exotic cocktails crafted by William Elliott, bar director of Brooklyn’s much-lauded Maison Premiere (

Read the full review: The Hoxton, London

Expect good views and generous servings of Spanish and Portuguese fare at Hoxton Southwark 

Sunborn London, Canary Wharf

French Riviera more your style? Your (almost) very own superyacht beckons, as the Royal Victoria Dock’s Sunborn Yacht Hotel reopens its three magnificent sundecks, complete with peaches-and-cream deckchairs and plenty of Laurent-Perrier, as well as heaters and awnings to see off any evening breezes. Well, even St Tropez gets chilly after sunset (

Read the full review: Sunborn London

Royal Victoria Dock’s Sunborn Yacht Hotel will reopen its three magnificent sundecks

Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire

This National Trust property is reopening its aptly name Spring Cottage. Seclusion is the name of the game. Not only is the three-bedroom hideaway on the banks of the Thames, but it’s surrounded by wildflowers and tangled greenery. Kenneth Grahame wrote The Wind in the Willows in 1908 in the grounds beside it, and Queen Victoria would alight here from her boat when taking tea at Cliveden. Open fireplaces, a countrified kitchen and soft furnishings add style and comfort (from £2,250 per night; In other news, The Astor Grill, in the former stables where Lord Astor once kept his horses, is opening up for 30-60 covers a day (outside). 

Read the full hotel review: Cliveden House, Berkshire

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Spring Cottage on Cliveden’s estate is right on the banks of the Thames

Lympstone Manor, Exmouth, Devon

Down in Devon, Lympstone’s Manor’s stylish new Shepherd’s Huts, which sleep between two and five people, will offer outdoor decks, hot tubs, outdoor and indoor showers, wood-burning stoves, kitchenettes and free-standing bath tubs (from £409 per night; Food  including breakfast hampers in the mornings, picnics for lunch, and “takeaway” dinners  is delivered from the main house. ​

Read the full hotel review: Lympstone Manor, Devon

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Lympstone Manor’s Shepherds huts may look small but they have everything you need for a self-catering stay

South Lodge Hotel, Horsham, West Sussex

This 19th-century neo-Jacobean beauty in West Sussex will be opening The Bothy Cottage in April. Not only does it feature four en-suite bedrooms, a full kitchen, sitting room with wood burning stove, dining room, private parking and secluded garden with sun loungers and seating area, but for £4,550 the price includes access to the spa. Those who are not staying over, but fancy a lockdown-busting pamper can also book the spa. Between April 12 and May 16, it will be offering “mini spa days unlocked”. This includes five hours’ access to the gym and indoor, wild and vitality pools, plus a 60-minute treatment – perhaps a bamboo massage, or a bespoke facial incorporating a scalp, hand and foot rub (from £130 per person;

Read the full hotel review: South Lodge Hotel, West Sussex

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Bothy Cottage at South Lodge, bookable to stay in from April 12

Lygon Arms, Broadway, Worcestershire

Over in the Cotswolds, the historic Lygon Arms will also be focusing on the local and seasonal in its courtyard. The Lygon Bar & Grill will reopen on a first-come-first-serve basis, and offer the likes of fully plant-based beet burgers and bubble and squeak to twice-baked Emmental cheese souffle and beef Wellington for two (

Read the full hotel review: Lygon Arms, Cotswolds

The historic Lygon Arms will also be focusing on the local and seasonal in its courtyard

Rockliffe Hall, Hurworth-on-Tees, County Durham

In Durham, visitors can enjoy Rockliffe Hall‘s spa, which is just a short walk for those staying at the hotel’s Armstrong House Apartment Suites and included in price ​(from £310 per night; Breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea hampers can be delivered to guests if required. Rockliffe Hall’s spa experience begins at hand sanitisation, when a therapist will guide spa-goers through some light pressure-point therapy and breathwork before their treatment. Manicures, massages, body scrubs and wraps will be available to book, and the outdoor spa garden with its dreamy infinity-edge pool will be open. 

Read the full hotel review: Rockliffe Hall, County Durham

Manicures, massages, body scrubs and wraps will be available to book at Rockliffe Hall’s spa

The Manor House, Castle Combe, Wiltshire 

From £2,450 for seven nights, people looking for a Cotswold village escape in Castle Combe can book  The Manor House‘s Ludlow Cottage from April 12 ( Expect high-beamed bedrooms with super king-sized beds, a large lounge with oak panelling, an open fire place and stained glass windows, and a bathroom with whirlpool bath and walk-in shower. There is also access to a small garden at the rear of the cottage. 

Read the full hotel review: The Manor House, Wiltshire

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Expect high-beamed bedrooms with super king-sized beds and period features at Manor House’s Ludlow Cottage

Lucknam Park, nr Colerne, Wiltshire

This family favourite will be welcoming guests for ‘days out’ from April 12 (£170 pp). These packages will include an al fresco lunch and come in spa and equine forms, as well as offering a range of outdoor activities that children will love such as archery. In addition, the hotel’s three luxury cottages will open for self-catering stays (from £1,300).

Read the full hotel review: Lucknam Park, Wiltshire

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Enjoy a day out at Lucknam Park

The Coniston Hotel Country Estate & Spa, nr Skipton, Yorkshire 

Up in Yorkshire, The Coniston’s two private cottages – The Fogga and Thack – will both be available from 12 April. The Fogga sleeps 12 in six bedrooms, and has a wood-burning stove in the living room plus an outdoor hot tub boasting views across the Dales (from £1,650 per week; The Thack sleeps 10 and resembles a country farmhouse (from £1,665 per week). It also has a large hot tub.

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The Coniston’s Fogga cottage sleeps 12 in six bedrooms and has an outdoor hot tub boasting views across the Dales

Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon

The Pavilion at Gidleigh Park is a thatched cottage that sits within woodland in the hotel’s 107-acre estate. It will be open from April 12, giving guests exclusive access to Gidleigh Park. The cottage sleeps up to four, with two bedrooms and bathrooms, an open-plan panelled sitting room with kitchen diner and a private veranda overlooking the croquet lawns. A breakfast hamper will be delivered, and guests can use the grounds and tennis courts. From £846 pn with a two-night minimum stay (

Read the full hotel review: Gidleigh Park, Devon

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The Pavilion will give exclusive access to Gidleigh Park

The Slaughters Country Inn, Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire

The six cottages at The Slaughters Country Inn will open from April 12, sleeping up to four, along with six self-contained garden suites sleeping two. Guests will have access to the inn’s pretty riverside gardens, and there’s plenty to explore in the picturesque Cotswold village of Lower Slaughter. From £202 pn with a two-night minimum stay (

Read the full hotel review: The Slaughters Country Inn, Cotswolds

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Stay in the picturesque Cotswold village of Lower Slaughter

Claridge’s, The Connaught and the Berkeley, London

The Claridge’s bar as well as its Davies and Brook restaurant will be opening terraces (expect classic Flapper cocktails and seafood platters). At The Connaught, The Terrace at Jean-Gorges will be serving up the likes of black truffle and fontina pizza and crispy salmon sushi. Meanwhile The Berkeley will be opening its rainbow coloured Berkeley Beach Huts, inspired by the seafront staples of Whitstable and Southwold. The beach hut menu will offer whole grilled lobster and chips, freshly shucked oysters, five-star scampi, and octopus, as well as gourmet 99s and ice cream sandwiches.

The Connaught’s Terrace at Jean-Gorges will be serving up al fresco pizzas 

Sidmouth Harbour Hotel, Sidmouth, Devon

Yearning for a jaunt to the Jurassic Coast? Sidmouth Harbour Hotel & Spa will be opening its 20 Courtyard rooms from April 12 (from £141 per night including breakfast). The rooms offer the perks of a hotel – think Nespresso machines, 400-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, complimentary gin and sherry and toiletries by The White Company – but occupy a separate building with a private entrance. Those on the top floor will benefit from large balconies, while those without can make the most of the coastal views from the Upper Deck terrace restaurant, open 12pm-9pm, as they tuck into freshly caught crab, moules mariniere or bouillabaisse fish soup in an al fresco setting. Breakfast will be delivered to doors and room service will be available. Guests will also be able to use the two pools (one inside, one outside) or scramble to the shore with crabbing lines, nets, buckets and picnic hampers provided by the hotel (

Read the full hotel review: Sidmouth Harbour Hotel & Spa, Devon

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The pools will also be open at Sidmouth Harbour Hotel & Spa, Devon

At the Chapel, Bruton, Somerset

This west country restaurant with rooms will be opening the terrace for outdoor dining, complete with covers, heaters and blankets. Open from 8am, booked-in diners will be able to order breakfast, lunch and dinner from a spring menu offering dishes from the grill, pizzas from a wood-fired oven, and salads and puddings. The hotel is situated on the high street of arty Bruton, where design and antique shops mingle with stone houses traditional to the area ( 

Read the full hotel review: At the Chapel 

At the Chapel’s terrace will open for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, Winchfield

The Hampshire outpost of the Four Seasons group has created three “daycation” packages for those seeking a spot of spa therapy after April 12. A “Day Pass”, from £55 per adult and £35 per child, allows guests to enjoy the leisure facilities such as the gym, vitality pool, Sharkie’s Reef and fitness classes. A “Lite Spa Day”, from £130 per adult, adds 60 minutes of treatments. And on top of this, “Serenity Spa Day”, from £155 per adult, and you’ll get a two-course light lunch at the Café Santé outdoor terrace (if the weather allows) or a takeaway lunch box (

Read the full hotel review: Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire

Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire has created three spa day packages

Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, Marylebone, London

After the success of  its temporary pop-ups on the terrace, this Churchill-inspired five-star has decided to make it permanent. From April 12, the popular al fresco spot will launch as The Montagu Kitchen Summer Terrace – and evolve with the seasons. Guests can look forward to fresh seafood and chilled wines in a setting that aims to resemble a tranquil British marina. 

Read the full hotel review: Hyatt Regency London  The Churchill, London

The Terrace at Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill will launch on April 12 as The new Montagu Kitchen Summer Terrace

Sofitel London St James, Piccadilly, London

From April 16, guests seeking a pamper and picnic can book this Piccadilly palace’s new  “Health in the City” package (running until August 31). The experience starts with either a 60-minute coaching session with Huguette Lelong, the hotel’s nutritionist, or a 60-minute personal training session with COACH, a health, wellness and performance club in St James. Following one of these sessions is an hour’s massage or facial and a picnic in the park. While you explore Hyde Park on bikes borrowed from the hotel (optional), your private butler will pick a spot in St James Park and set the spread – which includes a selection of sandwiches, salami, cheese, scones and pastries. The experience costs from £269 per person (minimum two people), or for the picnic it’s just £119 for two, bookable from April 12 (

Read the full hotel review: Sofitel London St James, London

Pamper and picnic at the park with Sofitel London St James’ new packages

St James Court, a Taj Hotel, Victoria, London

The Taj in London’s Victoria will be reopening its Jiva Spa. From April 12, choose from four signature Jiva experiences (£180) including “Vishuddi”, which involves exfoliation using silk gloves followed by a traditional Indian herb wrap; and “Sushupti” which combines an aromatic foot bath, scalp massage and warm raw-milk bath with rose essence and petals, plus a face massage. For fans of Temple Spa, six facials (from £145) and a selection of body treatments will also be available (

Read the full review: St James Court, a Taj Hotel, London

The Taj in London’s Victoria will be reopening its Jiva Spa

Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Though the main hotel will remain closed until May, a selection of rooms with separate entrances, plus outdoor dining and some facilities including the heated outdoor pool and some spa treatments will be available. So guests can expect an almost full experience. The self-contained Mews Rooms all come with four-poster beds while some offer private gardens or a patio, and are dog-friendly, so Fido can come too. Pooches even get their own welcome wagons with a muffin, dog toy, bone, bed, blanket, bowls, torch and dog towels. Outdoor dining will take place on the Terrace and, from April 23, in five new heated and covered Carriages, which seat between four and six people for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner (

Read the full hotel review: Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham

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Ellenborough Park’s heated outdoor pool and some spa treatments will be available from April

Gravetye Manor, East Grinstead, Sussex

Surrounded by 1,000 acres of grounds created by revered gardener William Robinson in 1885, people looking for an al fresco afternoon tea experience won’t be disappointed by Gravetye Manor in East Grinstead. Think: saffron egg mayonnaise sandwiches and pistachio and rhubarb Battenburg with Sussex sparkling wine and the usual jam and scone staples, from £50 per person (

Read the full hotel review: Gravetye Manor, Sussex

An alfresco afternoon tea experience will be available at Gravetye Manor in East Grinstead

Bulgari Hotel London, Knightsbridge

This sleek Knightsbridge landmark hotel is reopening its spa with a rejuvenating full makeover package. The “B.Beautiful Daycation” will include access to the spa’s facilities and gym, a facial, a full body Smooth and Glow treatment, a manicure and pedicure and cut and blow dry. Guests will also take home a gift by skincare brand 111SKIN. The experience, which costs £680 per person, is available until the end of the year and once the hotel is open in May, will be offered as part of a staycation deal. What’s more, 10 per cent of the proceeds will go to the Virus Free Fund (

Read the full hotel review:  Bulgari Hotel London, Knightsbridge

Bvlgari Hotel London is reopening its spa with a rejuvenating full makeover package

Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, Marylebone

Nobu’s brand-new-for-2021 London hotel, which occupies the site of the former Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, will be opening its outdoor terrace on April 12. Expect cocktails with a local twist and a menu with Nobu classics including seafood ceviche, yellowtail jalapeño, and black cod miso. The hotel itself will be welcoming guests to stay in its 249  rooms and suites from May 17 (

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Expect cocktails with a local twist and a menu with the classics at Nobu Potland Square’s terrace

Sea Containers London, South Bank

The restaurant at South Bank’s iconic design hotel, Sea Containers London, is opening its outdoor terrace on April 16. Aside from river views and pretty city surrounds, guests can expect seasonal menus and as many Bloody Marys, glasses of prosecco or Champagne as they want if booking the bottomless brunch. The terrace will be open at select times from Friday to Sunday, but if you can’t wait until the weekend for a dose of hotel-lite life, the agua spa reopens on Monday, April 12 (

Read the full hotel review: Sea Containers London

Bottomless brunch is back at Sea Containers London

Calcot & Spa, Tetbury, Gloucestershire

This classic Cotswolds country house hotel will be opening its “Farmhouse Boltholes”. Guests can expect self-contained lodgings with their own entrances, fully stocked pantries, and dining areas/lounges (in some)  as well as  use of the indoor and outdoor gym, indoor pool, treatment rooms and spa courtyard. Between 12-2pm and 6-8pm, the hotel’s al fresco offering, “Surf & Turf at The Barn”, will serve the likes of British seafood, woodfired pizzas, lobster thermidor and roast chicken under the covered terrace and courtyard (with blankets and heaters). Afternoon tea is also on the menu from 3-5pm. 

Read the full hotel review: Calcot & Spa, Cotswolds

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Outdoor dining, spa facilities and self-contained accommodation await at Calcot & Spa

Sopwell House, St Albans, Hertfordshire

Members and day guests will be pleased to know that Sopwell House‘s spa (and the club) will be reopening in April with new half/full-day packages and outdoor dining area. For instance, “The Refresh” experience will allow use of The Club at Cottonmill’s spa facilities, a 60-minute treatment and afternoon tea in the Spa Garden (from £180 per person) starting April 12. Later on in the month, from April 26, the new “Secluded Getaway” experience (from £249 per person per night), will offer guests the opportunity to stay in one of the 16 Mews Suites  think feature fireplaces, four-poster beds, roll-top baths, kitchenettes and private hot tubs. Access to the spa is included in the stay and guests can order food to be delivered to suites. Or arrange to have a barbecue on the private terrace.

Read the full hotel review: Sopwell House, Hertfordshire

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Members and day guests will be pleased to know that Sopwell House’s The Cottonmill Spa and The Club at Cottonmill will be reopening

Barnsley House, Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Barnsley House’s 12 self-contained Hideaway suites are set around the garden and stable yard area (from £778 per night based on two sharing; Aside from a well-stocked pantry, breakfast hampers will be delivered to the door every day and guests will be able to book afternoon tea on The Potager terrace from 12-6pm, Friday to Sunday. If pork and fennel sausage rolls, pate en croute with red wine jelly, quail scotch egg and garden pickles don’t make your mouth water, head across the road to The Village Pub where an “al fresco” menu will be served on the terrace. Think: twice-baked Gloucester cheese souffle, IPA battered fish and chunky chips and burgers. Spa access is also included with overnight stays.

Read the full hotel review: Barnsley House, Cotswolds

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Barnsley House’s 12 self-contained Hideaway suites are set around the garden and stable yard area

Lord Crewe Arms, Blanchland, County Durham

On the Northumberland-County Durham border, in the tiny hamlet of Blanchland which is surrounded by moors, rivers and woodland, is pub-with-rooms Lord Crewe Arms. The property will be opening a garden terrace serving the likes of pies, fresh scones, cakes and sandwiches from the Bar Bait menu, with blankets, heaters and covers in case of inclement April weather ( 

Read the full review: Lord Crewe Arms, Durham

Lord Crewe’s garden terrace with winning views of the surrounding forest and fells will reopen from 12th April

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