Hi folks! We are a happy couple from Belgium, who decided to leave our cozy home in Antwerp in favor of discovering the magic of faraway lands. Our thirst for adventure calls to us and we are always looking for new interesting places to visit.
Whether you want a stylish manor in the Cotswolds or a chic stay in the capital, here are the best places for a short break
1 Mimi’s Hotel, Soho, London
Down the road from Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, and popular with its performers, Mimi’s is a bijou new hotel with 58 boudoir-style rooms. This is a Soho crashpad with a louche edge; TVs in rooms include X-rated channels and the manager says: “We’re very open-minded.” The cocktail bar is run by Adrien Russotto, formerly of the Original Sin bar in Shoreditch.
Details Double rooms cost from 155 (020 8017 9100, mimishotelsoho.com)
2 Beaverbrook, near Leatherhead, Surrey
One of the most talked about new hotels of 2017, Beaverbrook is in a manor that once belonged to Lord Beaverbrook, the press baron. The first 11 rooms in the garden house are open, and the rooms in the neoclassical main building will take guests in the summer, when a spa with two 20m pools will also open. The garden house’s style is elegant yet down to earth: antiques, open fires and throw rugs.
Details Garden house doubles cost from 280 (01372 227670, beaverbrook.co.uk)
3 The Painswick, Gloucestershire
The designer Nicky Farquhar describes the style of this hip Cotswolds hideaway as “Covent Garden rather than Mayfair”. It’s all about tasteful art and pared-down decor, with 16 comfortable rooms hidden within the honey-stoned walls of this 18th-century former rectory. The hotel, which opened last year to rave reviews, has a candlelit bar and a little spa.
Details Doubles cost from 129 a night (01452 813688, thepainswick.co.uk)
4 The Ned, City of London
Perhaps the highest-profile hotel opening of the year (in April), the Ned is named after Sir Edwin “Ned” Lutyens, who designed this former Midland Bank headquarters. There will be various bars and restaurants, as well as 252 lavish rooms with vintage 1930s furniture. The Ned is a collaboration between Sydell Group, the American hotelier, and Soho House, the British private members’ club. There’s to be a spa and a rooftop pool.
Details Doubles cost from 250 (thened.com)
5 The Pig at Combe, Devon
Step through the entrance of this Elizabethan manor in the peaceful Otter Valley and you’ll find yourself in the cocktail bar, with a crackling fireplace. This sets the tone for a stay at the latest in the popular chain of Pig shabby-chic hotels. It’s all about indulgence, with a much-loved restaurant, a garden folly with a pizza oven and high-class rooms with decor made from reclaimed wood.
Details Doubles are from 155 (01404 540400, thepighotel.com)
6 Bristol Harbour Hotel
Based in the former office of the West of England and South Wales District Bank, this new hotel has fans of architecture and foodies beating a path to its door. One part of the hotel, dating from 1856, is a scaled-down replica of Jacopo Sansovino’s High Renaissance library in St Mark’s Square in Venice. The buzzy restaurant serves steaks and seafood. Rooms are bright and colourful.
Details B&B doubles cost from 125 (bristol-harbour-hotel.co.uk)
7 Hilly Huts at The Fish, Worcestershire
Fancy staying in a Scandi-chic hut on a remote hillside with a wood-burning stove and a hot-tub deck? If so, book one of the five new Hilly Huts at The Fish hotel on this 400-acre estate. It’s owned by a Danish family who have taken their native love for hygge (all things cosy) to new heights of hygge-ness, with this series of shepherd’s huts that have been done up with double beds and showers.
Details B&B huts are from 205 (01386 858000, thefishhotel.co.uk)
8 Soho Farmhouse, Great Trew, Oxfordshire
Stay in one of the super-stylish new bell tents – available for their first full year – with wood-burning stoves, ethnic rugs and whopping double beds. There are no en suite facilities, but guests can use the showers, bathrooms and saunas at the nearby spa. Or book one of the rustic-chic cabins at this private members’ club in the Cotswolds, which welcomes non-members who stay overnight. From your tent or cabin, stroll to the many hip bars and restaurants.
Details Studio cabins are from 330 (01608 691000, sohofarmhouse.com)
9 Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, London
Next to the hip Hoxton Hotel in Shoreditch (thehoxton.com), the Nobu will have 150 minimalist Asian-influenced rooms when it opens in the early summer. There will also be a spa and a restaurant with dishes by Nobu Matsuhisa, including his delicious trademark black cod miso.
Details Doubles are from 250 (nobuhotelshoreditch.com)
10 Albion House Ramsgate, Kent
The singer Neneh Cherry, the hip-hop band Jungle Brothers and the rapper Rebel MC have visited Albion House, which has quickly established a reputation as a cool hideaway in this seaside town. There are 14 minimalist rooms and a buzzy, living room-style bar.
Details B&B doubles cost from 100 (albionhouseramsgate.co.uk)
11 Monachyle MHOR, Perthshire
Each of the 14 rooms at this wonderful hideaway by Loch Voil is styled by the Scottish designer Fiona Denholm. Some rooms are pared down in muted colours, while others have a 1970s look. Food in the restaurant is memorable; expect dishes such as Isle of Skye crab panna cotta with chilli and roast wood pigeon.
Details B&B doubles cost from 185 (01877 384622, mhor.net)
12 G&V Royal Mile Hotel, Edinburgh
Adele has dropped by and the Stereophonics have stayed at this fashionista-friendly hotel. The arty reception leads to a cocktail bar with ambient dance music and a fancy Italian restaurant. Rooms are smart and decorated in shades of lilac.
Details Doubles cost from 180 (0131 2206666, gandvhotel.com)
13 The Grove of Narberth, Pembrokeshire
This stylish hotel is down a lane and comprises a series of cottages and a main building with a cosy cocktail bar. Service is first-rate and rooms come in mainly neutral colours mixed with retro furniture and brightly patterned wallpaper. The actors Bill Nighy and Kristen Stewart have stayed. Details B&B doubles cost from 190 (01834 860915, thegrove-narberth.co.uk)
14 Roch Castle Hotel, Pembrokeshire
The six rooms at this 12th-century castle on a rocky hill with great sea views look as though they could belong to a Manhattan boutique hotel. The local architect Keith Griffiths, whose Aedas architectural and design firm is based in Hong Kong, has gone to town converting the interior of the castle, which was built by a Norman knight. Rooms have big beds with high-quality linen, designer furniture and modern art.
Details B&B doubles cost from 220 (01437 725566, rochcastle.com)
15 Wheatsheaf Inn, Northleach, Gloucestershire
Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones and John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten, of the Sex Pistols), are among those who have enjoyed this lively inn, which has attracted a wide following. There are 14 stylish rooms and the restaurant serves Jersey oysters with Tabasco, crispy duck with red cabbage, lobster and steaks.
Details B&B doubles cost from 155 (cotswoldswheatsheaf.com)
16 The Merchant, Belfast
In the Cathedral Quarter, the Merchant is a warren of a building with bars, restaurants, a spa, a nightclub and 62 smart rooms. On one side of the ground floor is an American-style jazz joint with live acts, and there’s a rooftop hot tub. The dining room of the main restaurant is a sight to behold, with its Corinthian columns and massive crystal chandelier.
Details B&B doubles cost from 160 (02890 234888, themerchanthotel.com)
17 Padstow Townhouse, Cornwall
This is a superb six-room townhouse B&B with antiques and reclaimed-wood furniture, modern art by Tracey Emin and high-tech touches such as Apple televisions and iPod docking stations connected to Marshall speakers. The downstairs honesty pantry is packed with goodies, such as Ruinart champagne, ales, cheese and cake.
Details B&B doubles cost from 260 (padstowtownhouse.co.uk)
18 The Titanic Hotel, Liverpool
Based in a massive former rum warehouse by Stanley Dock, the Titanic Hotel comes with a rum bar, champagne room and a grill restaurant. Rooms are well proportioned and in neutral colours. Throughout the hotel are White Star Line posters – a nod towards Liverpool’s association with the Titanic, which was operated by the locally based company. Pop stars and footballers often visit.
Details Doubles cost from 105 (0151 5591444, titanichotelliverpool.com)
19 Salthouse Harbour Hotel, Ipswich
Overlooking Neptune Marina on Ipswich’s waterfront, this 70-room hotel is in a 19th-century renovated salt warehouse. The Manhattan loft-style rooms are spacious, with oatmeal-coloured sofas, exposed red-brick walls and steel support beams. Works by Banksy and Damien Hirst decorate the walls of the downstairs restaurant, which serves squid, hake, rainbow trout and juicy sirloin steaks.
Details Doubles cost from 135 (01473 226789, salthouseharbour.co.uk)
20 Yorebridge House, Bainbridge, North Yorkshire
French boudoir-style beds, chandeliers and exposed beams feature in the 11 plush rooms at this much-loved boutique hotel on the edge of the village of Bainbridge in the Yorkshire Dales. Some rooms have hot tubs in private gardens. There’s a chic little bar and a candlelit restaurant serving modern English food, with dishes including Wensleydale beef fillet, halibut and stone bass.
Details B&B doubles cost from 220 (01969 652060, yorebridgehouse.co.uk)