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The Travel File: Where To Go For A Long Weekend

The Travel File: Where To Go For A Long Weekend

From the rolling hills of the English countryside to an ultra-exclusive Andalusian resort on the Spanish coast, these are the best places in Europe for a long weekend.

Image: Thyme, courtesy of Scott Ideas

One of the Cotswold stone cottages at Thyme with a large oak tree and green manicured lawns, and a picutre of a bedroom at the complex with a green velvet bedhead, crisp white sheets and green patterened wallpaper
One of the Cotswold stone cottages at Thyme with a large oak tree and green manicured lawns, and a picutre of a bedroom at the complex with a green velvet bedhead, crisp white sheets and green patterened wallpaper

THE COTSWOLDS, GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UK

Stay: A well-known bolthole for worn-out city-dwellers, boutique luxury escape Thyme still retains a sense of intimacy and privacy despite its landmark status. A collection of beautifully restored 17th century cottages in the warm local stone are surrounded by wild gardens, manicured lawns and working farmland. Equal parts rustic and luxurious, come here to relax and recharge in the blissfully tranquil English countryside.

Eat: The Cotswolds is a well-known foodie destination, but you needn’t venture far to sample some of the finest dining in the area. Thyme’s restaurant, The Ox Barn, serves up modern British fare using locally sourced ingredients – many of which are grown in the Thyme gardens just metres from the restaurant. Headed up by Chef Charlie Hibbert, signature dishes include roast Southrop lamb and leeks with fried Wiltshire truffled egg.

Do: Pack your wellies and walking boots and take a long amble around the beautiful countryside – the local pubs and nearby chocolate-box villages are picturesque and well worth a visit. After a day in the fresh air, indulge yourself with a trip to Meadow Spa where botanical treatments are tailored to your needs with Aurelia Probiotic Skincare.

Image: courtesy of Scott Ideas

A photograph of the salt water pool at Hotel Les Roches Rouges – cut into the rock, the waves of the Mediterannean sea lap over the edge of the pool
A photograph of the salt water pool at Hotel Les Roches Rouges – cut into the rock, the waves of the Mediterannean sea lap over the edge of the pool



SAINT RAPHAËL, CÔTE D’AZUR, FRANCE

Stay: Only a two hour flight from London, escape to Les Roches Rouges, a luxuriously understated boutique hotel perched on the edge of the Cote d’Azur’s blue waters. The jet-set meets a simple but pleasurable Provencal way of life between sun, sea and gardens with effortlessly chic rooms that open out onto views of the Med.

Eat: Dine à la provençal and eat your way along the coast, from coffee and pastries at a pavement café, to a casual lunch at a traditional bistro, to Michelin star dining in Cannes. The region’s gastronomy, from the freshest seafood to local specialities like pissaladière mean you will return home with fond memories and a sated appetite.

Do: Take a leisurely dip in the spectacular salt water swimming pool at Les Roches Rouges before drying off in the sun with views of the Ile d’Or. If you can drag yourself away from your sunbed, the history and glamour of the French Riviera is on your doorstep with Antibes, Cannes and Saint-Tropez just a short drive away along winding coastal roads.

Image: courtesy of Scott Ideas

The stylish, modern bar at Hotel Chapter Roma with colourful artwork on the walls and tall bar stools
The stylish, modern bar at Hotel Chapter Roma with colourful artwork on the walls and tall bar stools

ROME, ITALY



Stay: At Chapter Roma, a new breed of design hotel that combines gritty glamour with boutique luxury. A new opening for spring 2019, it promises to rock the boat of Italian hospitality with a contemporary aesthetic and youthful spirit set within the city’s buzzy and historic Regola neighbourhood.

Eat: Eating is an artform in Rome, perfected over millenia. When you’re out exploring, sample the capital’s abundant and delicious street food, served from steaming hatches set into ancient walls. From pizza al taglio, supplì and pannini to traditional trattorias and pizzerias, a roman holiday is all about the food.

Do: It goes without saying that Rome is one of the historical and cultural centres of Europe. Be a tourist and take in the famous sights, but leave some time to simply wander the cobbled streets and soak up the atmosphere. We’d recommend an afternoon spent amongst the ruins of Palatine Hill, where the secret gardens of Farnese are waiting to be discovered. When in Rome.

Image: courtesy of Purple

The victorian red brick Victoria Inn at Holkham in Norfolk, surrounded by hedgerows with green painted wooden windows
The victorian red brick Victoria Inn at Holkham in Norfolk, surrounded by hedgerows with green painted wooden windows

HOLKHAM, NORFOLK, UK



Stay: Nestled between the idyllic countryside and wild, wind-swept beaches of Norfolk, The Victoria Inn is a classic English inn a stone’s throw from the golden dunes of Holkham Beach. The Victoria has been in business since 1838 and its classically elegant rooms are full of original features and antiques, making it a chic and atmospheric place to enjoy your coastal retreat.

Eat: Norfolk’s food scene is thriving, with local produce and a community of sustainably-minded farmers and chefs making it a gourmet destination with a conscience. Dine at the Inn’s restaurant where the catch of the day includes lobster, mussels and crab.

Do: Holkham Beach is routinely voted one of the UK’s best. Vast and unspoilt, walk along the endless miles of golden sand and explore the indigenous flora and fauna of Holkham National Nature Reserve. Bring buckets and spades and a picnic from nearby Burnham Market to enjoy a day of space and seclusion in this magical spot.

Image: courtesy of Perowne International

The traditional spanish finca style hotel with white washed exterior walls and tiled roofs, and decadent painted interiors with plush sofas and antiques from around Europe, and large glass doors
The traditional spanish finca style hotel with white washed exterior walls and tiled roofs, and decadent painted interiors with plush sofas and antiques from around Europe, and large glass doors

ANDALUSIA, SPAIN



Stay: At one of Spain’s most sought-after hotels, Finca Cortesin, an independent luxury resort on Spain’s Andalusian coast. Designed in the style of a traditional Spanish finca with antique terracotta floors, painted tiles, salvaged woodwork and Moorish influences, the spaces have been designed to move seamlessly from interior to exterior. Indulge in the slower pace of a Mediterranean lifestyle at the hotel’s decadent poolside where attentive staff will serve you ice-cold drinks in the shade of a palm.

Eat: On the hotel’s spectacular sea-view terrace of the El Jardín de Lutz, where traditional Spanish dishes are given a modern update by the masterful head chef. For those looking for something truly extraordinary, Kabuki Raw is the hotel’s Michelin starred Japanese restaurant – a truly upmarket affair that seeks to combine local Andalusian flavours with creative Japanese cooking.

Do: Spend a day at the hotel’s exclusive beach club, a favourite of the fashion set with its relaxed but sophisticated vibe and luxuriously discreet service. Pick a spot on a Balinese bed and bask in the sun, breaking only for lunch at the beach restaurant. Linger over the mouth-watering seafood and Spanish wine pairings before taking a late afternoon dip in the ocean.

Image: courtesy of Perowne International