Ten Great Foodie Weekends

Who doesn’t like a weekend away somewhere nice in the country, where you can not only enjoy a comfortable room but also great food, drink and hospitality too? Our friends at the UK accommodation specialist Cool Places have come up with a list of their favourite hotels, pubs and restaurants with rooms where you can do just that.

The Montagu Arms, Hampshire

One of the best things about this Hampshire hotel is that you can leave your car keys in your pocket while you’re here – it’s perfectly based for exploring the New Forest on long walks and cycle rides during the day and collapsing into the arms of the hotel in the evening, where the cosy bar and very highly-rated Terrace Restaurant will make your country weekend complete. The Montagu Arms feels a bit special while still being suitably relaxed and informal, with well-appointed rooms that come with a complimentary decanter of gin! But many people come just for the Terrace Restaurant, whose Modern British food is only excelled by the superb service you’ll receive. You can also dine al fresco in the lovely gardens if the weather is warm enough.

Bull, Oxfordshire

Decorated with the considerable art collection of owner Matthew Freud, Bull is a revamp of an old coaching inn in the pretty Cotswolds town of Burford, Oxfordshire. Its guest rooms are starkly chic and very comfortable, and the hotel has loads of food options so it’s worth making a long weekend of it. Choose between Hiro, a 10-seater Japanese omakase restaurant where former Nobu head chef Hiromi will choose your 10-course menu for you; Wild,– where your dinner will be grilled in front of you on an open fire; or Horn, which serves an admirably simple yet delicious a la carte menu. They also offer a selection of homemade flatbreads, burgers and street-food-ish snacks in their cosy bar or on their garden terrace. If that’s too much all one trip, you’ll just have to return for a second visit!

Whatley Manor, Wiltshire

This beautiful Wiltshire manor house with its extensive grounds and gardens would be a highly desirable place to stay in anyone’s book. But its Michelin-starred restaurant makes it a must-visit for any self-respecting food-lover; it also holds a ‘green star’ for sustainable gastronomy so you can feel both smug and well-fed at the same time! The hotel’s 23 elegant guest rooms and suites are predictably, plus there’s a private cinema and spa for good measure. And you’re not only near one of north Wiltshire’s most alluring towns in Malmesbury, you’re also well placed to enjoy the best of the nearby Cotswolds.

The Suffolk, Suffolk

Originally a lockdown pop-up started by one of the owners of London’s legendary L’Escargot, The Suffolk is probably the best place to eat in this well-heeled East Coast resort. Why? Because it sticks to what it knows and zeroes in on the best ingredients, which means local fish and seafood, cooked to perfection by a talented young chef. Enjoy an aperitif before dinner on their roof terrace, and stay overnight in one of their 6 simply but elegantly furnished guest rooms, right on Aldeburgh’s buzzy high street.

The New Inn, Herefordshire

The latest owners of this 16th-century coaching inn have given it a new lease of life, making the most of its winning combination of old-fashioned beams and plaster but also adding some very chic and comfortable guest rooms and cooking up a storm with some fabulous food. A warm and friendly place, set in breathtaking Herefordshire countryside just outside Ross-on-Wye, it serves a 3-AA-rosette menu, in a contemporary yet rustic dining room. They offer à la carte, a set lunch option, two tasting menus, and lighter dishes at the informal bar. They also have a brilliant selection of wines by the glass and an enormous list of gins – including plenty of local specialities!

Morston Hall, Norfolk

One of just four Michelin-starred Norfolk restaurants, Morston Hall is the domain of local chef Galton Blackiston, who has been here for 30 years and has held his Michelin star for almost as long. It’s a calm and nourishing place to stay in every way, surrounded by lush gardens, including your host’s fertile vegetable patch, close to the Norfolk Coast Path and with an array of very comfortable guest rooms to choose from, split between the main house and a purpose-built garden annexe. They serve a seven-course dinner menu which changes every evening according to what’s available, and an afternoon tea to die for every afternoon. Make sure you leave room for breakfast too, which Galton cooks himself so he can come and chat to guests and find out what they thought of their dinner the night before.

The Duncombe Arms, Staffordshire

This formerly derelict pub was taken over a few years ago by a local couple who couldn’t bear to see it fall into ruin, and not only have they created a landmark dining destination, they have also added 10 boutique guest rooms in a separate building next door. The pub has the feel of a village local but it’s mostly about the food, with a menu that features both pub classics and more refined dishes, all using seasonal produce that includes game and meat from nearby farms eand other local goodies They also serve their own Duncombe Ale and have an extensive wine list – plus almost 30 different varieties of gin!

The Cartford Inn, Lancashire

Situated by the river Wyre in deepest rural Lancashire, the Cartford Inn is a perfect example of entente-cordiale – the brainchild of an Anglo-French couple who have not only turned this ancient inn into one of the best places to eat in the area, but also added a selection of funkily decorated and very cosy rooms for overnight stays. Stay in one of their beautiful cabins overlooking the river, eat in their fabulous restaurant, and top the whole weekend off with a visit to their deli, where you can stock up on all manner of produce and the Inn’s own-label products (gin, chocolates, jam, you name it…). It’s the ultimate foodie weekend.

The Whittling House, Northumberland

The Northumberland coast is something special, nowhere more so than the seaside town of Alnmouth, where the Whittling House restaurant offers comfortable overnight stays in its 10 boutique upstairs rooms, and morning and evening culinary delights too, with hearty breakfasts that set you up for exploring the multiple delights of the region, from nearby Bamburgh Castle to the nearby Alnwick (whose own castle may be recognisable as Harry Potter’s Hogwarts). In the evening eat local fish and seafood, from Lindisfarne oysters to locally-caught lobster, or superb fish and chips, steaks or rare-breed pork.

The Angel at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

The picturesque and appealing Welsh town of Abergavenny is perhaps the ultimate foodie escape, home to a famous annual food festival and a good assortment of pubs and restaurants, of which the long-established Angel is perhaps the best, sister property to the renowned Michelin-starred Walnut Tree nearby. The beautifully designed guest rooms offer a chic twist on coaching inn style and feature designer fabrics and bathrooms and high-quality bed linen, while breakfasts are superb, with everything from French toast to smoked haddock and bread and pastries from their own bakery. As for dinner, they offer a gorgeous seasonal menu based on fine Welsh produce, including succulent lamb and a showstopper seafood platter.