The Boundary, London
Housed in a converted Victorian warehouse in Shoreditch, The Boundary is one of East London’s most stylish hotels. Day guests can take in spectaculars view of the city at The Rooftop Bar & Grill which has a heated glass Orangery inside, and an outdoor seating area for socially-distanced alfresco dining. During the winter, the restaurant has a menu inspired by the Alps – think cheese fondue, melting raclette and hot cocktails – while the Albion café on the ground floor serves a selection of seasonal British dishes. The hotel’s Wilder bar is also a great spot for evening drinks – the champagne and oysters are a must-order.
Just over an hour’s drive from London to Cheshunt, The Birch is a stylish Georgian hotel set in 55 acres of beautiful woodland. Spend the day taking a cookery class at the on-site bakery, reading in The Hub – a relaxed lounge area – and sampling delicious food at the restaurants and bars. Located in the hotel’s old stables, the Zebra Riding Club restaurant serves a selection of contemporary dishes made with locally sourced produce, while Links Bar offers a selection of tasty snacks alongside an extensive cocktail menu.
Careys Manor Hotel, New Forest
Nestled between the New Forest National Park and the Solent, Careys Manor Hotel can be reached in a two-hour drive from London, or a 90-minute train from London Waterloo to Brockenhurst. Book a spa day at the SenSpa to make use of the hotel’s world-class hydrotherapy facilities and relax with a Thai-inspired treatment. During the summer months, day guests can request a ‘picnic to go’ or enjoy an afternoon tea served in the gardens. For fine dining, make reservations at the Cambium Restaurant which has one of the largest collections of English wine in the UK, or head to the French brasserie, Le Blaireau, for something a little more relaxed.
Chewton Glen, New Forest
A sister property to Cliveden House, Chewton Glen in the New Forest offers day guests a chance to explore the stunning hotel and grounds. Home to a world-class spa, guests can book a ‘Twilight Spa Evening’ or a tailormade package to make use of the hydrotherapy pool, heated outdoor pool, aromatherapy saunas and crystal steam rooms. Elsewhere, visitors can cook up a storm at a masterclass at TV chef James Martin’s on-site cookery school, as well as explore the beautiful estate and wall gardens. Enjoy dinner at The Dining Room, or a more casual experience at The Kitchen – the latter of which serves excellent seafood dishes.
The Laslett, London
Set in a Victorian townhouse, The Laslett is a boutique hotel in Notting Hill. A lovely afternoon can be spent reading a book in the library or relaxing in the lounge, before heading on a walk of the local area. The Henderson Bar, named after one of the founders of Notting Hill Carnival, serves a great all-day breakfast, and has an extensive selection of spirits and cocktails. For a weekend treat, enjoy an afternoon tea for two, or head to the bar on the last Thursday of every month for an oyster tasting evening.
The Lygon Arms, Cotswolds
Located in the quaint Cotswolds village of Broadway, The Lygon Arms is a beautiful country hotel steeped in history. The main coaching inn, which dates back to Tudor times and once welcomed Oliver Cromwell and King Charles I, is now home to two restaurants and a spa. Enjoy a festive, or seasonal, afternoon tea with a glass of champagne, sample delicious local produce at the Lygon Grill & Bar, or simply relax with a drink in one of the lounges. In the surrounding area, visitors can explore the picturesque Cotswolds countryside and embark on one of the many local walking trails.
The Athenaeum, London
For a day of five-star luxury, head to The Athenaeum in Mayfair. This contemporary hotel offers guests the use of a room for the day – a great option if you want to experience the beautiful bedrooms without paying for an overnight stay. For the perfect ‘daycation’, indulge in a bespoke REN treatment at the on-site spa, or book a 90-minute cocktail masterclass hosted by their in-house mixologist. The Athenaeum also has several dining options – enjoy fine British cuisine at 116 Restaurant, have a bottomless afternoon tea with free-flowing prosecco, or cosy up on a plush sofa at The Bar for a delicious cocktail (or two).
The Newt, Somerset
For a special day out, head to The Newt in Somerset. A direct train from London Paddington to Castle Cary followed by an eight-minute drive will transport you to one of the most stylish hotels in the country. Book a luxury spa day in the converted cow barn to use the heated outdoor hydrotherapy pool, salt steam room, rasul mud chamber and ultra-modern gym. Or, opt for a bespoke massage, detox wrap, or a signature hammam steam bath – the perfect remedy for overworked muscles. There’s something for everyone at The Newt – day guests can feast on wood-fired estate meats and vegetables at The Botanical Room, have a drink at the bar, book a wine tasting experience, go on a cyder tasting tour, and walk around the beautiful gardens.
The Grove, Hertfordshire
Set in 300 acres of stunning Hertfordshire countryside, The Grove makes for the ultimate day out. The hotel can be reached in a 20-minute train journey from London Euston to Watford Junction followed by a ten-minute taxi journey and is just over an hour’s drive from London. A day at The Grove is best spent exploring the beautiful 300-acre gardens, woodlands and wetlands, dining at the many restaurants, and relaxing at the spa. Day guests can enjoy afternoon tea in the lounge, opt for à la carte dining at The Glasshouse restaurant, or indulge in a cheese fondue and other French dishes at The Stables. For a luxury spa day, the hotel’s newly renovated Sequoia spa has a hydrotherapy pool, fitness studio, and several treatment rooms with heated massage tables.
The Mitre, Hampton Court
Situated on the banks of the River Thames, overlooking Hampton Court Palace, The Mitre is a charming boutique hotel that has recently undergone an extensive makeover. During the summer, a day is best spent riverside with a signature Mitre picnic hamper, or with a glass of wine at the exclusive Whispering Angel Bar on-site, while guests can book ice skating at Hampton Court Ice Rink and an afternoon tea for two during the winter. The Mitre also has several dining options to choose from – the all-day café and wine bar Coppernose does a great Sunday roast, while the 1665 Riverside Brasserie serves delicious seafood starters.
Whatley Manor, Cotswolds
For a luxury day trip to the Cotswolds, head to Whatley Manor. Located in the historic hamlet of Easton Grey, the hotel has everything you need for a luxury day trip. Day guests can explore the 12 acres of rolling countryside and manicured lawns, unwind at the award-winning Aquarius Spa, and dine at the two restaurants on site. The spa is a particular highlight at Whatley Manor, featuring an indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy pool, thermal Cabins, salt scrub showers, and a tepidarium (a warm room in a Roman bath). Make use of the facilities and book a bespoke massage or facial. From Thursday to Sunday, the two Michelin-starred restaurant The Dining Room offers a fine dining dinner experience, while a traditional afternoon tea can be requested in Grey’s Brasserie – add a glass of champagne or English sparkling wine for a treat.
The Mayfair Townhouse, London
From the team behind Cliveden House and Chewton Glen, The Mayfair Townhouse is one of London’s most exciting openings this year. Having just opened its doors this week, the hotel is the ideal place to relax after an afternoon of Christmas shopping or sightseeing. With a range of all-day dining options, day guests will be spoilt for choice at the on-site restaurant, The Dandy Bar, where the dimly lit interiors create a wonderfully cosy atmosphere for breakfast, coffee, lunch or evening drinks. Look out for playful interior touches throughout the hotel – including the house’s mischievous motif, the fox.
Heckfield Place, Hampshire
Just over an hour from London near Hook in Hampshire, Heckfield Place is a 400-acre family estate. Set in a beautiful Georgian building, the hotel has a beautiful contemporary feel and is a great place from which to explore the surrounding countryside. Guests visiting for the day can book a three-course dining experience in one of the restaurants, or visit the Glass House for afternoon tea. The Moon Bar is the place to go for late-night drinks, while The Cellar hosts a series of wine tasting events throughout the year. To simply relax, indulge in a spa day at The Little Bothy which uses botanical-rich products from the hotel’s own Wildsmith Skin range in its treatments.
Just over an hour’s drive from London, and ten minutes south of the M25, Beaverbrook is a stunning Victorian mansion, which has been reinvented as a glamorous country house hotel. For a special day out, book a spa day at the newly renovated Coach House, which boasts a thermal spa, sauna, and ice fountain, an outdoor pool, a relaxation lounge, and six treatment rooms including a couple’s suite. After an afternoon of bliss, head to one of Beaverbrook’s restaurants – The Japanese Grill is an SL favourite – have a drink at Sir Frank’s art-deco bar, or enjoy an elegant afternoon tea in The Dining Room or on the terrace overlooking the gardens. Beaverbrook also has its own cookery school, as well as offering cocktail masterclasses and wine tastings.
Lime Wood Hotel, New Forest
Take the two-hour car or train journey to Brockenhurst in the New Forest to visit Lime Wood Hotel for the day. Book a spa day at the Herb House to use the indoor and outdoor pools, hydrotherapy suite and sauna, or bring your partner and relax in the private Bath House – the perfect spot for couples. Visitors can also book a wellness retreat lead by nutritional therapist Amelia Freer, or a group cookery class led by the ‘backstage’ team. Lime Wood’s restaurant, Hartnett Holder & Co, serves hearty Italian plates, such as parmesan risotto, duck bolognaise gnocchi, and pork belly, while champagne afternoon tea is served daily from 2-4pm in The Courtyard.