With Christmas just weeks away, we’ve rounded up our top picks for a luxurious, stress-free December. From wintry walks in the Cairngorms to roaring fires in the Cotswolds and a wellness escape on the Cornish coast, make this festive season one to remember.
London comes alive at Christmas and this year will be no different. Experience the magic of the holiday season with the chance to shop at the capital’s flagship stores and independent boutiques. From the beautifully decked out Covent Garden market with its 60-foot Christmas tree, adorned with over 30,000 lights to the Choose Love charity-inspired lights of Carnaby Street, it simply is the most wonderful time of the year.
Equally as dazzling, One Aldwych’s Lobby Bar has been transformed with a glittering tree and the elegant, golden-edged entrance warmly welcomes visitors. The exclusive Love London Christmas package includes a delicious Christmas cocktail or warming glass of mulled wine with a homemade mince pie, as well as a luxurious gift from local perfumery, Floral Street, to take home. Festive stays are made even better with an indulgent full English breakfast, a guaranteed upgrade, early check-in, leisurely late check-out, use of the Health Club with 18-metre swimming pool and 24-hour gym, and complimentary car parking.
THE FIFE ARMS
This winter, The Fife Arms is bringing the swiss Alps to Braemar, transforming into an alpine inspired winter wonderland with a Scottish twist. For the ultimate alpine experience, guests can head to Glenshee, a 3,540ft mountain that beckons skiers and snowboarders alike. The Fife Arms Courtyard will be beautifully decorated with Christmas garlands and lit with firepits, for guests to sit cosily and enjoy festive gluhwein with roasted chestnuts. Traditional fondue’s will be served in The Fog House, The Clunie Dining Room will be transformed into a festive tearoom, serving a Swiss inspired afternoon tea featuring Christmas Stollen and gingerbread ‘Ghillies’, (we are in Scotland after all) and in The Library, delicious Sprungli chocolate will be paired with a dram of whisky. Overflowing with festive cheer, the pop-up Beer Tent on Invercauld Green will be illuminated by fire torches and dressed with tartan blankets and sheepskin throws, where guests can share stories with the locals over a warm mug of gluhwein or pint of beer.
On New Year’s Eve, guests can indulge in champagne and canapes, followed by a four course dinner in The Clunie Dining Room and a New Year’s Eve piping performance in the garden, all rounded off with fireworks at midnight.
Deep in the rolling Hertfordshire hills, with crackling open fires, twinkling lights and trees laden with glittering baubles, Sopwell House is offering guests a luxurious home-away-from-home for the holidays. Capturing the true magic of Christmas, the Traditional Residential Package ensures guests never go hungry, from delicious treats prepared by the talented pastry chefs to gastronomic delights served in the restaurants, and entertainment to amuse the whole family. Ring in the New Year in style with the Traditional New Year’s Package, a spectacular 7-course feast with wine pairing, Champagne, and a live DJ in the St Albans Suite. For an extra special celebration, the Indulgent New Year’s Package invites guests to a formal 7-course dinner in the elegant Restaurant, accompanied by a live duet performing throughout the evening and full access to The Club at Cottonmill’s state-of-the-art facilities.
CALCOT HOTEL & SPA
For a family-friendly Christmas, Calcot Hotel & Spa is the ideal Cotswold getaway. Offering three days packed full of festivities including champagne and mince pies on arrival, a champagne breakfast on Christmas morning, traditional Christmas lunch and walks around the 220 acres of beautiful green fields and rewilded meadowlands. At Calcot, New Year is a relaxed country house party with fine food, champagne and excellent wines. Relax at the Spa, curl up by the fire, or explore the countryside. On arrival, indulge in a delicious Afternoon Tea before taking a brisk walk in the grounds or hunker down with a good book. On New Year’s Eve, usher in a hopeful and happier 2021 with a delicious feast created by Executive Chef Richard Davies and his team and a glass or two of something bubbly. Spend New Year’s Day relaxing in the Spa or head out for a walk and dose of fresh air.
A picture-perfect 18th century Palladian pile in the Cotswolds, The Painswick is the perfect place for a snug countryside escape. Its 16 sweet and stylish bedrooms enjoy stunning valley views and the buzzing bar serves creative cocktails and a bold restaurant menu packed with local produce. This Christmas, guests are invited to stay for a three-night break, with freshly baked cakes, a cup of tea and glass of Champagne on arrival. Waking up bright and early on Christmas morning, breakfast will be served with a glass of Bucks Fizz to start the day in style. Following an indulgent five-course Christmas Day feast, the Queen’s Speech will be shown in the Games room, to honour tradition. Spend the afternoon playing family-favourite board games or relax in the lounge with a G&T. On Boxing Day, enjoy a leisurely lie in and devour a delicious brunch. Later that evening, dine like royalty with a three-course dinner and glass of Champagne, with Chef’s specialities in abundance. Happily bid farewell to 2020 with an unforgettable night at The Painswick. Begin the evening with Champagne and canapes followed by a palate pleasing five-course feast with live entertainment from a jazz trio – toe tapping is encouraged but no dancing on tables this year. On New Year’s Day, indulge in a hearty hangover curing breakfast, go for a stroll to take advantage of the fresh Cotswold air and kick back and relax in one of the cosy lounges.
ST MICHAELS RESORT
Escape to the coast this winter for a blissful seaside break. St Michaels Resort, Falmouth is a luxurious spa resort with the South West’s largest hydrothermal pool and the world’s only Cornish sea-salt steam room. Beyond the pool, the south-facing Spa Gardens are complete with a red cedar hot tub and Finnish barrel sauna. Burn off the Christmas treats with a bracing walk from Gyllyngvase to Maenporth Beach, take a revitalising sea-swim (something of a yuletide tradition in Cornwall!), enjoy a spot of shopping on Falmouth’s historic harbourside streets or kick back, relax and unwind in the luxury Cornish spa.
For those looking to recharge after the Holiday excitement, a Twixmas Break is the perfect opportunity to unwind for a night or two before the New Year, as well as an excuse to keep feasting, relaxing and enjoying all things merry and bright. The generous and cosy breaks include accommodation, complimentary swim and Health Club access, a full Cornish breakfast and 3-course dinner each day with views of Falmouth Bay in Brasserie on the Bay.
Ring in the New Year with a fabulous five-course tasting menu and copious amounts of fizz on New Year’s Eve before relaxing into the luxurious surroundings of the resort on New Year’s Day. Banish the cobwebs with a stroll along one of Falmouth’s beautiful beaches or rejuvenating trip to the spa before indulging in a legendary Roast Lunch with seaside views.