A staycation in the countryside was just what we both needed: nothing but the tranquility of our surroundings and, of course, each other’s company. It was wonderful in every sense. We swam, explored the grounds and ate delicious food, the warm fig and winter vegetable salad I still think about a week later. In the evening, we sampled the hotel’s gin selection and quietly blended into the background of the pleasant atmosphere. All in all, everything we love doing with the addition of a beautiful setting. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend our fourth anniversary together.
Even the weather was on our side: balmy, mild and with a hint of spring in the air. After a short stop in the pretty town of Bradford-on-Avon, we made our way to Widbrook Grange, nestled a short drive away in the peace and quiet of the nearby country fields. Approaching the long drive, neither of us expected to find a perfectly rustic farmhouse, full of whimsical touches around every corner and an air of quaint charm. A beautiful creaky staircase and a pile of guest Wellington boots greeted us as we stepped through the door of the main building to check in. The reception desk was tucked away in a pretty room to one side with a big Georgian sash window and a display of trinkets to take home: delicate gin glasses, doggie treats and luxurious, natural body care goodies. All of this added to the welcoming, enchanting climate.
Crunching our way through the gravel, we were taken to our room, a humble and sweet dwelling in the Piggery – a short stroll across from the main part of the hotel. Surrounded by lovely gardens and a pleasant warmth from the sun, it was just perfect for a night’s hideaway. After a refreshing swim in the indoor pool and a nap in our snug bed, we were ready for an early evening tipple with the sun now low in the sky. Taking our wine to one of the guest lounges, we perched in front of the open fire, watching the light slowly fade outside. With still some time before dinner and no early morning alarm the next day, it was time for another round, this time with what the hotel specialises in.
Hidden towards the back of the hotel, The Gin Bar is famously packed with over 120 varieties to try, most not even on the menu. The bartenders were all fluent in gin-speak, luckily, and happily recommended some delightful ones for us to sip on. Dinner was equally enjoyable, with a dedicated vegan menu that’s always a welcome gift for non-meat-eaters. Post dinner, the ambience in the hotel grew more lively, a friendly buzz flowing through each room: from the restaurant through to the guest lounges and the Gin Bar, enticing us for a digestif and one more occasion to absorb the eccentric décor. Retreating to our cosy room with a sticky toffee pudding in tow, we were ready for bed and an early rise to make the most of the next day.
Waking up to the grounds bathed in thick fog and a chill nipping at our fingers outside was a far cry from the anticipation of spring the previous afternoon. The hotel grounds somehow looked even more mesmerising through this layer of mist and we took in the beauty of it all with a slow stroll after breakfast, not quite ready to say goodbye to our time here. Soon it was time to leave and make our way back to reality, but not without a thoughtful souvenir to take home. With our new elegant gin glasses safely stowed in the boot, we took one last look at the charming main house and bade farewell, already planning to return one day.
You can book your own staycation through Booking.com with my referral link and enjoy £15 back – perfect for a round of gin and tonics!