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Best winter weekend getaways

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Pubs and restaurants with rooms can make the perfect winter weekend getaway. We've picked our favourites for enjoying great food, cosy interiors and roaring fires.

The George Townhouse, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire
Best for... Modern country living, distillery devotees

The George Townhouse

This charming, dog-friendly townhouse sits front and centre on the small-town high street of Shipston-on-Stour. Take a leisurely wander around the centre and visit Mrs Brown's Tea Room or try the Black Horse Inn if you're in the mood for a pint. You could even treat yourself to a play at the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company, a 20-minute drive away in Stratford-upon-Avon. Afterwards, retire to your cosy Cotswold bolthole at The George Townhouse. The modern farmhouse-style parlour serves up locally reared meats, countryside produce and hearty seasonal dishes. The menu is a mix of robust staples with a modern twist. Small plates include whisky and chicken liver parfait with brandy cherries, and tempura-fried broccoli with kimchi (morsels and small plates from £3.50). Mains (from £11) include 10oz sirloin steak with triple-cooked chips, slow-roasted garlic and truffle mushrooms, and vegan Thai vegetable curry with bamboo and coconut milk – so you won't be going hungry. For dessert, try the treacle tart with raspberry compote or the local cheeseboard.


Where to eat & drink nearby

Visit the Cotswolds Distillery for a dram of whisky or a tour of their production area. If beer is more your thing, visit the Wychwood Brewery, home of Hobgoblin. Nip into the local delicatessen, Taste of the Country, for local treats.

How to do it

Deluxe rooms from £110 per night for two, breakfast included, at The George Townhouse.

The Corner House, Canterbury, Kent
Best for... Historic setting, local drinks

Corner House

When it comes to British food to warm the heart and soul, savvy foodies should step just beyond Canterbury’s old city walls to a 16th-century pub that was once Charles Dickens’ stomping ground. Revamped by the father-son team from the award-winning The Corner House in nearby Minster, this delightfully crooked, Grade-II-listed coach house now has three smart rooms, where centuries-old wood floors and beams contrast with modish Scandinavian greys and blues and industrial light fittings.

Each has lavishly proportioned bathrooms, most notably the attic room, which is the best bet for light sleepers as it's set furthest from the ring road below (all rooms are double-glazed). Downstairs, the restaurant offers great-value menus drawn from Kentish farms and breweries, with leading local gin, cider, beer and wine makers all well represented. Sharing plates (from £20) are the thing here – the Stour Valley pheasant sharer features roast breast, braised leg, mashed potato and buttered kale – and mains (from £15) on offer include Welsh rarebit baked cod loin and braised ox cheek. Delicate suet puddings, including chicken, ham hock & rabbit, are a winter must-eat, as is the homemade brown bread ice cream: this is comfort food par excellence.

Where to eat & drink nearby

The Goods Shed, a farmers' market-cum-foodhall-and-restaurant adjacent to the railway, offers standout spiced chutneys, Kentish lamb and cider, plus breakfast, lunch, dinner and banquets in a rustic, shabby-chic setting. It also includes a fishmonger, wines, cheeses and tasty Italian bites. Elsewhere in town, eat superb pulled pork rolls at Pork & Co.

How to do it

Double rooms from £175 per night; £10pp extra for a hearty English breakfast at The Corner House Canterbury.

The Howard Arms, Ilmington, Warwickshire
Best for... Comfort food & laid-back charm

The Howard Arms

Take a stroll around this smart, sleepy village – complete with pretty restored stone cottages, an 11th-century church, delightful post office, stores and two pubs – then relax: you’re in Ilmington and there isn’t much else to do. Unlike some of the Cotswolds’ newly refurbished pubs, all decked out in pale wood and heritage green paint, The Howard Arms is delightfully dark and cosy. There’s an open fire, the hearth often home to a dozing dog, plus battered leather armchairs, dark wooden furniture and lots of paintings depicting country pursuits.

The food also has comfort in mind, with starters (from £5.70) such as ham hock terrine with cranberry compote, candied walnut, crostini and watercress, and Evesham asparagus with poached egg and herb oil. Mains (from £14) range from classics such as fish and chips to modern dishes such as grilled lamb leg steak with bok choi. British cheeses are served with celery, chutney and quince (£8) and the pudding menu includes a trio of dessert wines and brandy.

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Where to eat & drink nearby

Nearby Mabels Farm sells fresh milk and eggs. For seasonal local beer, visit North Cotswold Brewery.

How to do it

Rooms from £110-£130, based on two sharing, including three-course breakfast, at The Howard Arms.

The Kilberry Inn, Kilberry, Argyll
Best for... A festive, foodie Scottish escape

The Bilberry Inn

The journey along the coastline of Scotland’s Knapdale peninsula (with views of Jura, if you’re lucky) is part of the fun of a trip to Kilberry – as is the surprise when you arrive. This single-storey, whitewashed inn with its red tin roof looks more like a fisherman’s cottage than a gourmet bolthole. But don’t be deceived; this is just the snug bar-restaurant, and tucked behind it are five elegant rooms, each named after a local island. The coast dictates much of what chef Clare Johnson offers in the restaurant: queenie scallops from nearby Loch Fyne, Gigha halibut and locally caught mussels might appear on the menu.

The inn is famed, too, for its top-notch desserts; try the treacle tart with homemade lemon and mascarpone sorbet. But it’s not just the food that satisfies here. Clare’s partner David Wilson is wonderfully welcoming as front of house, and only too happy to fix you a negroni or acquaint you with the local whiskies. It's the perfect antidote to the frenetic Christmas season.

Where to eat & drink nearby

Head to the Starfish Seafood Restaurant in Tarbert, or join whisky tours at the Glen Scotia (tasting sessions from £15) and Springbank (tours from £7 or £12 for both sites) distilleries in Campbeltown.

How to do it

Rooms from £235, including dinner and breakfast for two, at The Kilberry Inn. Open Friday/Saturday only in December.

Accommodation for this feature was provided by The Corner House.

Where's your favourite winter getaway destination? Let us know in the comments below...

All recommendations have been reviewed and approved as of October 2018 and will be checked and updated annually. If you think there is any incorrect or out of date information in this guide please e-mail us at


Travellers are advised to read the FCO travel advice for the country they are travelling to.

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