You know when you just need a night away from home - not because home life isn’t OK, and not even because it’s been forever ago since you’ve been anywhere different, but just because you want some pretty surroundings, somewhere new to look about, and no big time restraint to rush home – well I’ve been feeling that feeling for a couple of weeks. I'm pretty sure Gemma has too.
This weekend just past, Gemma and I didn’t have anything planned for the weekend, and no dull commitments needed to be stayed home for, so we decided last week to make a hotel booking for Sunday night, and get away for the night.
Our destination – Stratford-upon-Avon.
I’ve never been, but have fancied going there for ages. I know it’s a small enough town for an easy wander about, without feeling like you’re missing out by not staying longer. Also, it’s under two hours drive from home which makes it about as far as I wanna sit in the car for just one night away.
I’m not going to try and write some tourist guide post on Stratford, there’s much better places to find that kind of info. Also, I barely scratched the surface of exploring the town, as we simply spent our time wandering the streets and riverside, taking photos, holding hands and watching the swans. But I’ll just write of the town itself, it was an absolutely gorgeous little town, with a buzzing river side, bucket loads of tourists, beautiful old buildings that make you mighty proud to live in a country with such history and many a cute independent style shop all over the place. Also, the glorious weather, which allowed us to sit outside and have that noteworthy first outdoors glass of wine of the year, was just an added bonus of gorgeous!
Anyway, to what I am going to try and write about, the hotel we stayed in. I've never tried to write something about a hotel before, but I personally love reading recommendations of where to stay, and I'm forever asking friends, family, strangers in the cafe etc, where they've been, stayed and enjoyed, so I guess this blog could be a further outlet of that.
I was looking for a hotel that included breakfast, a pretty room, and all for not too much cash... because whilst I love splurging on a night away with the trimmings to go with it, I need a hotel room to come in under the £100 mark for my own personal budget.
After a bit of googling, and looking through the usual online booking sites, I booked The Townhouse on Church Street. And I am so glad I did, as this little hotel was a real treat to stay in for the night.
First impressions of the room: comfortable, stylish, and warm, with enough small details to think why can't my home look/feel like this, but without so many that anything is unnecessary.
Aren't they the exact reasons you go off to stay in a hotel for the night?
The double bed was totally hotel-plump, big soft pillows, quality white bedding, and a warm throw. There were two bedside lamps, a well thought out desk of facilities (kettle, coffee maker, sturdy make-up mirror), and chair, and a super big, beautiful, vintage-style wardrobe, cleverly hiding the mini fridge and other conveniences, most usefully a teapot! Who knew how lovely the addition of a teapot in a hotel room could be?
The other really charming aspect of the room was the window seat looking out onto the street. The large Georgian window, made for a great vantage point, and I seriously enjoyed sitting looking out. I have now added "window seat" to the I've-made-it-when-my-house-has-these-features list, the other items on this small list are tiled hallway, and kitchen island, just in case you wanted to know!
The carpet must be mentioned, bizarre I know, but it felt like it must have been about three inches thick, and it was beautiful to walk on. You know the kind of carpet that makes you think you definitely do need to speed up that at-home carpet purchase you're keen to make?
The bathroom was simple but all looking eat-off clean; a big step-in rainfall shower, toilet and sink, all clad in white metro tiles (I know they're everywhere now, but I'm a total sucker for them!) There were plenty of the usual lovely big white towels too, though no face cloth sized ones? The bathroom toiletries were better than the usual freebie affair also, though I didn't try the hair conditioner and isn't that always the give away for how decent the complimentary products are?
Two little things, beyond that dreamy carpet and availabilty of a teapot, that really stood out in the room were the unopened carton of fresh milk waiting in the fridge and the complimentary half size decanter of port. These two little things made the already sumptious and well thought out room, become very customer pleasure focused for me, and I praise the hotel for thinking of such small but gratefully received things.
The rest of The Townhouse was equally pleasurable too. Downstairs, thank god, there wasn't a super stiff hotel lobby and bar - I'm not a fan of such hotel requisites! Instead there was a bar and restaurant, with similar styling to the rooms and corridors. This was a real welcome bar for some pre-dinner cocktails, due to the lovely looking environment, and the live pianist performing. All only helped by the Sunday offering of two for one cocktails on offer after 4pm. Needless to say, I therefore sampled four from the menu between pre-dinner drinks and returning back to the hotel drinks...
The relaxed restaurant area was where we ate breakfast the next morning, served gratefully all the way from 8am until 11am. It comprised of a cold help yourself affair, and a hot made-to-order menu. All tasty, plentiful and with more good attentive service. Just what you want from a hotel breakfast.
I'm lucky to feel able to say I've stayed in a real range of hotels, price and style wise, and for me, The Townhouse offered up really great value for money. After speaking with the lovely staff there I believe they have recently finished a huge refurbishment, of the whole place; rooms, bar and restaurant included. And this shows. The rooms are modern but with thought for what the tourist on a night away really wants and needs, and the rooms offer great comfort.
The Townhouse certainly delivered for me, and I will definitely return when I need a fix of a night away, in a cultural little town, and great cocktails galore!
The Townhouse, Stratford-upon-Avon... it's a 5 out of 5 from me!