Travel Notes: August
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BOOK A WEEKEND HERE: The Farm At Avebury
Whether you’re looking for a last-minute summer staycation spot, or gathering ideas for later, put The Farm at Avebury at the top of your list. Located in the Wiltshire countryside, the farm, which has been owned by generations of the Hues family, has just opened its doors to guests after an extensive renovation. There are six new stables to stay in, from couples’ retreats to larger houses that sleep up to six, all of which have cooking and dining facilities and are surrounded by a beautifully landscaped courtyard. The interiors are seriously chic – think colourful Farrow & Ball shades, Pooky lamps and Fermoie fabrics, while the pastel bathrooms contain luxury Bramley toiletries. Guests can also hire two event spaces on site for weddings and other special events – The Barn seats up to 42 guests and has a fully-equipped adjoining kitchen.
ESCAPE TO PROVENCE: Le Moulin de Lourmarin
Now that France is back on the amber list, it’s a great time to soak up the last of the summer sunshine in one of its most beautiful regions, Provence. Le Moulin, a beautiful hotel in Lourmarin, has just reopened its doors after an extensive renovation. The hotel is only a few steps from the historic Lourmarin Castle and makes a great base from which to explore the surrounding area. Inside, expect elegant rooms that reflect the area’s architecture, with yellow and ochre colours throughout, plush decorative accents and wicker furniture – the Superior and Family rooms are particularly beautiful. Sample local cuisine at the on-site restaurant and explore the old mill which has been transformed into the village grocery.
GO ON A FOODIE RETREAT: Pensons
Michelin-starred restaurant Pensons has just opened two beautiful rooms in its courtyard garden. Set within the grounds of the Netherwood estate in Herefordshire, the rooms are available to book with an inclusive dinner and breakfast from Wednesday to Saturday nights. Both rooms have super king-size beds and luxurious en-suite bathrooms with views across the courtyard to the restaurant, housed in a 16th-century converted barn. Each room is individually decorated and features beautiful textures and natural wood, in keeping with Penson’s sustainable approach – think eco-friendly paint and textiles made by local craftsmen. Guests will be encouraged to explore the gardens before tucking into a five-course meal, with dishes like cured salmon on asparagus and sourdough; lamb with peas, little gems and green sauce; plaice, cauliflower and leeks with a fennel and crab butter sauce; and strawberries served with vanilla mousse, meringue and almonds.
BRING A PIECE OF ITALY HOME: Le Sirenuse Launch Online Shop
Le Sirenuse in Positano, one of the most beautiful and Instagrammable hotels in the world, has just launched an online shop. Look out for a small collection of lifestyle pieces made with New York-based brand Tombolo – linen totes, branded Le Sirenuse caps and t-shirts, bathrobes, and other hotel souvenirs all capture that much-missed sense of a chic Italian getaway. The shop also has a wide range of womenswear – think linen dresses, printed skirts and matching two-pieces – as well as beautiful homeware including a collection with Luke Edward Hall.
EXPERIENCE PURE LUXURY: Pan Pacific London
Pan Pacific is one of London’s most exciting openings this year. Set to welcome guests from 1st September, it’s the first European outpost of Pan Pacific Hotels Group (which owns over 50 hotels across Australia and Asia) so we’re expecting big things. Located in Bishopsgate Plaza opposite Liverpool Street Station, it’s within easy reach of Spitalfields market and Shoreditch, ideal for post-work dinner and drinks. The hotel itself has 237 guestrooms, including 43 suites, as well as a wellness floor that includes an 18.5m infinity pool, gong therapy room and state-of-the-art gym. Design duo George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg are behind the interiors, while the restaurants and lounges have been inspired by Singaporean culture – think drinks with Asian influences and afternoon tea with a twist. We can’t wait to visit when it opens next month.
GET HOLIDAY READY: Boots Covid-19 PCR Swab Test Kits
As well as packing your passport, travel miniatures and other important documents, arranging a Covid-19 test pre- and post-departure is another essential we all have to think about now. Luckily, Boots has made that even easier thanks to its new Covid-19 home testing kits. Available to purchase from Boots.com, simply activate your kit online, follow the instruction to complete the test and send your sample back on the same day to receive your results within 24-48 hours. Results will be emailed to you and can be created into a ‘Fit to Fly’ certificate, ready to show at the airport or at your chosen destination. Ideal if you haven’t got time to visit a test centre.
HEAD TO CORNWALL FOR: Rick Stein Shepherd's Huts
The Rick Stein group has opened six new shepherd huts at its pub in Padstow, The Cornish Arms. Taking bookings now, the huts are situated in the hills above Padstow harbour and have been designed by Jill and Ed Stein, joining the rest of the family’s hotel portfolio. Each cabin has a bright living and dining area, a double bed with meadow views, a compact shower en-suite, and a kitchenette. Guests can head straight to the pub for a full English or something a little lighter, all made using local produce from nearby farmers, bakers and producers. Dinner is also available at the pub – simple, British fare with Rick Stein flair, or wood-fired pizzas served in the beer garden.
BE INSPIRED: Adventure Revolution By Belinda Kirk
Ready to be inspired? For the past 25 years, Belinda Kirk's life has revolved around adventure. She's seen it change people firsthand: turning the timid into the confident, the addicted into the recovering, and the lost into the intentionally wandering. This book will take you around the world, with Belinda sharing her insights on what her travels have taught her and why packing in your day job can be thrilling and terrifying in equal measures. From managing anxiety and overcoming fear, to finding self-worth and building connections, to being happier, healthier, and more playful, this book brings together Belinda’s experience on travelling the world for the last two decades. Expect great recommendations and serious wanderlust.
PLAN A BUCKET-LIST HOLIDAY: Six Senses Shaharut
We’re always intrigued when a new Six Senses hotel opens, but we were particularly excited to hear that the luxury group has just opened its first resort in Israel. Six Senses Shaharut is a stunning desert retreat where guests can relax, unwind and explore traditional Middle Eastern culture. Set on a dramatic cliff with panoramic views of the Negev Desert, guests can choose to stay in one of 60 villas and suites, including a three-bedroom retreat spread across the lunar-line landscape. You can relax at the spa, experience stargazing sessions under nightfall, head on a camel trek through the Negev, and learn about rich Nabatean history. The resort also has its very own camel stables, surprisingly lush gardens, and an open-air amphitheatre where you can watch performances beneath the stars. We can’t think of a better bucket list holiday to start planning now.
BRING THE FAMILY HERE: Blyford Manor Farm
If you’re looking for a great countryside property for a family holiday or group trip, try Blyford Manor Farm in the quaint Suffolk village of Blyford, just a five-minute drive from Wilderness Reserve. Recently renovated and now open to guests, the 16th-century Grade II-listed house sleeps up to 12 across six bedrooms. There are also four bathrooms, a fully equipped country kitchen and an open-plan living area with cosy original features like exposed wooden beams. Groups can dine al fresco on the private terrace while taking in views of the peaceful countryside, or head to the charming local pub. Local hotspots Aldeburgh and Southwold are short drives away.
*DISCLAIMER: Travel restrictions are changing daily, so please check the latest government advice before you book anything. Visit Gov.uk for more information.
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