A city of creamy-beige Regency townhouses, Bath was clearly created for weekends away, and nowhere is more romantic than quirky but luxurious The Queensberry, an elegantly polished stone’s throw from the famous Assembly Rooms. Originally four individual houses reworked into one hotel, The Queensberry is like Dr Who’s Tardis – understated on the outside but open the door to your sizeable suite and, well – wow!
The Queensberry – suite dreams
The cobbled streets may be from another age but inside The Queensberry is bijou with a capital B – all modern artwork, muted neutrals and suites that come with opulent bathrooms bigger than my first flat. Rooms start at £130 (Sunday-Thursday) with suites from £250, but look out for offers on the website offering packages throughout the year on rooms with dinner – all prettily presented in cosy restaurant The Olive Tree.
The Queensberry – bar talk
A sense of humour runs through the hotel that starts with The Queensberry Rules (Rule 4: The sign of a true gentleman, and a lady, is to know one’s limits) through to the Old Q Bar which is so quintessentially British it would be rude to order anything other than G&T. Behind the light-hearted façade, however, is a caring philosophy. The hotel is the previous winner of a Green Tourism Business Award and even offers discounts if you can go without a full linen change during your stay!
Bath – see the historical sights
Everything you want to see is within walking distance and you can’t miss the breathtaking ancient Baths – the most impressive Roman site in Britain. Open to the sky and built around a natural hot spring, the thoughtful signage and screens reconstructing what it looked like in all its glory is awesome. Allow a couple of hours at least to see everything. Back up at street level, you can even taste the famous water – don’t get too excited though. It’s warm, mineral-heavy and pretty vile.
Lucknam park – the spa
To relax, the ancient Romans of Bath liked to work up a sweat in the tepidarium, have a splash about in the frigidarium and finish off with a quick scrape of a strigil (a fearsome-looking curved bronze blade) to cleanse the skin. Frankly, the state-of-the-art spa at our next stop, country house hotel Lucknam Park, was much more to our taste with its tranquil amethyst cabin and aromatic steam room.
Lucknam park – luxe in the country
Lucknam Park, a few miles outside Bath, is a serene country house hotel with the obligatory sweeping drive and five-star welcome. It’s very grand, very quiet and very luxe. There’s an equestrian centre that caters for all riding abilities and beautiful parkland, if you prefer two legs to four. But above all, it’s home to Michelin-starred restaurant The Park, where everything sounds so tempting, making menu decisions tough – unlike the rib of beef that melted, literally, on the tongue.
Lucknam park – room for romance
Accommodation is understandably luxurious, starting at £315 for a standard room although special offers and packages are available throughout the year. The hotel is ideal for a romantic minimoon or even a first night. If you fancy holding your wedding here, you can hold a civil ceremony and an intimate wedding breakfast for 30 in The Music Room. Somehow, I think Elizabeth Bennett and Mr D would have approved!