If there’s one thing in life I love, it’s a weekend getaway with great friends and good food.
With one of my close girlfriends due to bring a ‘mini me’ into the world come the summer, it seemed only right to whisk her away for an overnight pampering treat. After researching into West Midlands-based rural retreats that offer overnight stays, plus dinner and spa facilities, one of my resourceful pals came across the Welcombe Hotel Spa & Golf Club. The relaxing girlie weekend was a go!
Found in the sprawling Stratford-Upon-Avon countryside, the 19th century former country mansion house is like something from a romantic novel. Apparently it’s a very popular setting for weddings, and upon arrival it’s easy to see why. The Grade II-listed hotel is rather lovely once we’re through the doors too. Jacobean style influences the decor throughout, and the communal areas ooze elegance.
Less than a mile and a half from Stratford-upon-Avon, this is a beautiful place for a relaxing weekend getaway. On further exploration the expansive grounds and hotel itself are attractive, with standout internal features like sweeping staircases and enormous fireplaces ensuring a memorable visit.
Being that we wanted to book a getaway for 3 (notoriously a bit of a nightmare) we were recommended an apartment instead of a basic room. Located in a converted coach house, the apartments are actually adjacent to the main hotel building, and have a more contemporary aesthetic. Our one bedroom apartment, named Romeo, was generous in size and space to say the least, offering a separate kitchen and lounge with a spiral staircase leading us to the two bedrooms. Lovely views of the expansive gardens too.
Food & drink
Meals are primarily taken in the Trevelyan Restaurant; our first visit was for an intimate dinner. In keeping the grand Jacobean style decor, the restaurant is decked with gold framed paintings, plush, heavy curtains and dark wood furnishings.
The menu’s a little dated, with an emphasis on British classics (circa 1980) rather than the Gastropub feel the website pushes. The menu I sourced online prior to visiting wasn’t the same as the restaurant menu which was a bit odd, but plenty of choice nonetheless. We booked a table in advance for 7:30pm, finding the restaurant itself gently buzzing when we arrived.
I decided to embrace the retro vibes with a starter of Prawn Cocktail (£6.50). Presented neatly, the sauce was creamy as hoped with a generous amount of prawns. My main of Monkfish with Pak Choi (£24) was quite obscure compared to the other mains available (fish pie, steak, chicken supreme etc). Although a nice piece of flavourful fish, the squid rings were on the chewy side and I was totally confused by the pomegranate seeds. Dessert took form in the shape of 3 Cheese Board (£8) including cheddar, goats cheese, and Brie. For fans of 80’s desserts, try the Black Forrest Gateaux.
What overnight retreat is complete without a visit to the spa? Hidden within the main hotel, the bright relaxation area (free to use for all hotel guests) has very recently been renovated and offers everything you could need for a peaceful visit. As well as a swimming pool, we found a sauna, steam room, various thermal rooms, and rainforest showers.
As well as using the facilities we booked some relaxing spa treatments. My friends had facials while I enjoyed a Back, Neck and Shoulder Massage (£50) from the Indulgent Spa Menu. Asking my therapist to focus on my shoulders during the half hour treatment she dutifully worked that area well, managing to shift a knot I’d had for a week. The complimentary fluffy white robes and comfy slippers are a nice bonus (the little extras really do make the difference) it’s just unfortunate that the spa’s main receptionist seemed to dislike her job that day. The spa service generally was a bit haphazard, it must be said.
I don’t post much about the world outside of Brum, but this overall was an experience I wanted to share. Mega love to my friends for planning this amazing weekend.
Do you have any recommendations for Midlands-based retreats with great food? Let me know in the comments.
Welcombe Hotel Spa & Golf Club, Warwick Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 0NR