Category Archives: bespoke restaurants

Afternoon Tea — As English as Roses

There’s nothing that evokes old-world England quite like afternoon tea. In the 19th century, and well into the 20th, it united the aristocracy and working classes as the country came to a halt at four o’clock for sandwiches, scones, cakes — and, of course, tea made the old fashioned way. As the old popular song put it, “everything stops for tea”.

Today, we might throw a tea-bag into a cup, but most of us don’t have time to stop for a full afternoon tea. We still love it, though, whenever we have the opportunity indulge ourselves at a tea-room or hotel.

Bespoke - Risley Hall Hoetl

 

Afternoon Tea in Hotels

If you’re in London, tea at a hotel like Claridges or the Dorchester is a treat everyone no one should deny themselves, but a hotel doesn’t have to be that famous or expensive for the experience to be special. Properties up and down the country offer this service both to guests and non-guests.

If you’re staying there, a traditional tea can make your break extra special. Or, if you’re in the vicinity of the right hotel, you can pop in and enjoy the elegance just as it should be.

Afternoon Tea 1

Here are just a few of the hotels around the country that offer afternoon tea:

  • Hallmark Carlisle Hotel — In the heart of the historic city of Carlisle, the Hallmark offers a comprehensive tea menu in the bar or brasserie. It’s popular, though, so you’ll need to book.
  • Tigerlily — A chic hotel in the centre of Edinburgh, Tigerlily’s celebrated restaurant offers tea either cosily inside or at its pavement tables on George Street in summer.
  • Hotel Gotham — A listed art-deco building in mid-town Manchester, the Hotel Gotham serves tea at any time between 2.30pm and 6pm.
  • Inn on the Lake — By contrast, the Lake District’s Inn on the Lake offers stunning views over Ullswater while you take your tea in either the Lake View Lounge or the Orangery.
  • The Grosvenor Arms — Situated in the picturesque Dorset town of Shaftesbury, the Grosvenor Arms serves tea in its restaurant.
  • Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth West Cliff — This elegant hotel in the middle of one of Britain’s most popular seaside resorts offers both traditional and themed teas.Afternoon Tea in Your Area

    Of course, these are just a handful of the many hotels around the country serving afternoon tea. Whether you’re on holiday or a day out, or whether you’d like to treat yourself close to home, check out your area for hotels to visit.

London Hotels for your Trip

A visit to London is always special, whether you’re taking in traditional sights like the Tower or the Changing of the Guard, going to see a West End show or major sports event, or even closing a deal at a business meeting. Our great london hotels  match the experience.

While it’s true that no matter where you are based in London, almost everywhere else is easily accessible via tube, bus or taxi, London is also a collection of villages, each with its own identity. As such, your hotel will share the unique character of its surroundings, so allow us to present just a few of the many London hotels to match your ideal trip.

La Suite West

Bespoke hotels - la suite west

If you’re looking for high-fashion and glamorous style from your London hotel, you could scarcely do better than La Suite Westin the elegant streets near Hyde Park. Designed by Anouska Hempel, the hotel has a quiet Zen feel amidst the luxury of crafted four-poster beds and marble bathrooms in its 79 bedrooms and suites, alongside the American White Oak tables on the hotel’s private terrace.

The restaurant stresses healthy eating, with extensive vegan options and alcohol-free “mocktails” on offer. La Suite West is convenient both for the West End and the more bohemian Notting Hill and famed Portobello Market.

The Bermondsey Square Hotel

Bespoke hotels bermondsey square
Bermondsey Square Hotel

Situated in one of the most dynamic areas of London, just south of the Thames in full view of the spectacular Shard, the Bermondsey Square  will be familiar if you watched the Channel 4 show Hotel GB, starring Mary Portas and Gordon Ramsey, and was also recommended by Hip Hotels Group.  Its 90 designer bedrooms,  including 4 loft rooms with stunning views over London, are sumptuously furnished with facilities ranging from luxury beds to an 8-person rooftop hot tub.

The hotel is in the heart of Bermondsey, with a boutique cinema, an antiques market and trendy cafés around it, and it’s within easy reach of both the City and the West End, as well as attractions like The Tate Modern, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.

The Park Hotel

Bespoke hotels - the park hotel teddington
The Park Hotel

Great London hotels aren’t only in central London you know. The Park Hotel in Teddington is just 30 minutes by train from Waterloo, yet also gives easy access to West London attractions like Kew Gardens, Hampton Court and the home of England Rugby at Twickenham.

The Grade II listed building features 43 luxurious en-suite double rooms with all the facilities you’d expect in a high-class hotel. The Park Café Bar and Restaurant offers a wide-ranging menu, including both traditional and modern dishes all prepared from fresh ingredients. While the hotel also provides superb facilities for wedding receptions.

Whichever one of the above or our other London hotels you choose, you will be assured of a warm and friendly welcome, as well as convenient access to a wealth of activities across our capital.  To check availability of the hotel of your choice just click here >>>

Top Five Coastal Hotels in the UK to Visit in the Spring

Once you’ve fallen in love with the UK coastline it’s nigh on impossible to resist the draw of salt in the air, sand between your toes and the occasional spot of sunshine as well.  Long walks along the cliff tops, hearty meals with dramatic views, and a sense of adventure are staples of a British seaside break, as long as you know which coastal hotels to visit.  So here’s what we suggest…

The Lugger Hotel, Cornwall

Bespoke Hotels - The Lugger
Bespoke Hotels – The Lugger

In the little village of Portloe, known for its unrivalled, timeless beauty, The Lugger Hotel is the proud recipient of numerous accolades relating to its high standards of service and style.  Right on the water’s edge, coastal hotels are ideally located for pottering around by the sea, but the Lugger is also within easy reach of attractions like the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan.  Details including carefully attended fine linens and deluxe showers , while completing the experience is the restaurant, which proudly sports two AA Rosettes and serves locally-sourced food, and truly a joy to luxuriate over.

My Hotel Brighton, Brighton

A luxury hotel that looks more like the apartment you wish you had, My Hotel Brighton is a four star destination that hinges on sexy design and the spirituality of Feng Shui.  Yes, this is how to do Brighton if you’re not a student – ultra cool, super stylish, but with plenty of soul.  Local artisans have created opulent studios, and artwork is peppered throughout the hotel.  They also know how to stop you from feeling like just another face in the crowd, storing your personal preferences on record so that when you go back (and you will want to go back), your room will be ready and waiting just the way you like it!

The Dunollie Hotel, Isle of Skye

Bespoke Hotels - The Dunollie Hotel

In a serene waterside location on Broadford Bay, The Dunollie Hotel is all about escaping to homely comforts (and hopefully a lack of mobile phone signal as well).  At the foot of the mountains leading to the famed Cuillin Hills, the area is filled with history, not least the legend that Bonnie Prince Charlie gave the recipe for Drambuie to Clan MacKinnon at this very spot, to thank them for helping him to escape from France.  So why not drink a toast in the restaurant in the evening?  It would be rude not to!

BridgeHouse, Dorset

In a word, BridgeHouse in Dorset is simply magical.  With 700 years of history, it is quite literally a house on a bridge that once upon a time housed a dozen priests.  Today, everything from the walled garden to The Beaminster Brasserie is brimming with charm.  Food, including freshly caught fish is local and organic, and the whole atmosphere is one of unpretentious relaxation.  As good fortune would have it is also close to the Jurassic Coast, which, if you haven’t been, is a real treat for the senses and perfect for anyone who wants to get outside for a bracing spring walk.

Carnoustie Golf Hotel, Scotland

Bespoke Hotels - Carnoustie Hotel & Spa
Carnoustie Hotel & Spa

It’s up to you which view you prefer at the Carnoustie Hotel, from the local town to the golf course and the windswept, it’s all spectacular.  The golf course has hosted some of history’s greatest players in its time, and while the hotel has a wealth of health and spa facilities which really ought to be enjoyed while you’re here, we are partial to a stroll down to the water’s edge where the Angus coastline boasts some of the most magical beaches in Scotland.  If you fancy a day out, a trip to the late Queen Mum’s imposing childhood home Glamis Castle is a must, and we suggest you finish the day with Scottish fare in the hotel’s award-winning Dalhousie Restaurant.

Whichever one of the coastal hotels you choose ensure your booking dates are available at the best rates by clicking here >>>

Why Nothing Beats a Trip To a Pembrokeshire Country Hotel

According to National Geographic, the Pembrokeshire coastline ranks as the second best in the world… and if anyone knows about these things it’s National Geographic.

A magnet for walkers, nature lovers, foodies and families, this Western part of Wales has become a favourite amongst tourists, and for good reason. Take for example the city of St. David’s – with a population of less than 2,000 it is the smallest city in Britain and one of the prettiest too, with its 12th century cathedral dominating the skyline.

Lamphey Court country hotel
BW Lamphey Court Hotel

On the other hand the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park with its abundant flora and fauna is a sensory feast. Impossibly beautiful and breathtakingly dramatic, it’s one of those places that’s typifies all the reasons to travel around the UK in the summer time – surely there’s nowhere more beautiful?

For families, Oakwood theme park with its Megafobia rollercoaster is the place to go (proudly tipped as the best ride in Britain according to Visit Wales), and the Victorian seaside town of Tenby is renowned for the health-giving properties of its sea air.

In amongst the reasons to head to Pembrokeshire while the sun is shining however is Lamphey Court Hotel and Spa, a gracious country hotel. Set in beautiful grounds and within two miles of a collection of beaches and secluded coves near Tenby, the Georgian mansion dates back to 1823 and is nestled into the Pembrokeshire National Park.

view from a country hotel

Accommodation is divided between the original building (complete with confection like white columns and light pouring in through the sash windows) and a collection of courtyard rooms and studios, which all have an equally beautiful but very different vibe, so if you do choose to go then have a proper gander through the pictures to get a better idea of which one’s for you.

Despite the building’s history, the décor is contemporary, and nowhere is that more evident than in the spa and leisure facilities of this country hotel. There’s plenty to keep you entertained, from floodlit tennis courts to the 14-metre pool and herbal sauna, as well as Aromatherapy Associates and Cinq Mondes spa treatments – if you haven’t tried either brand, you’re in for a treat.

Conservatory at the country hotel
Lamphey Court Hotel Conservatory Restaurant

When you visit this hotel you absolutely must potter over to Lamphey Bishop’s Palace. Adjacent to the hotel, the palace is a National Trust site and the former retreat of medieval bishops seeking solace away from the everyday demands of Church and State. These days it’s a ruin, but the scale and proportions give you a hint of the decadence it promised these worldly men accustomed to power and status – something to contemplate over a picnic perhaps.

Tenby’s four beaches are also a must, all boasting a variety of environmental awards and beautiful views, perfect for a walk from this Georgian country hotel. From the cove that is Castle Beach it’s possible to walk out to St. Catharine’s island at low tide (just be careful that it doesn’t cut you off while you’re there), and Harbour Beach is a sheltered little spot at the rear of the bay offering a path back to the town and a walkway around to another sunbathing hotspot – North Beach, which welcomes the crowds in the summer months thanks to its large stretch of golden sand and easy access.

Bedroom at Lamphey Court country hotel
Lamphey Court Hotel Bedroom

Finally, after all that fun the food at Lamphey Court is an experience in its own right. Adhering to the Slow Food Movement, ingredients are locally sourced and the natural production process is interfered with as little as possible – all rather pleasant things to think about when tucking into that Sunday lunch after a bracing swim in the sea.