Hotel Review: The Welcombe, Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire
After weeks of sub-zero temperatures and a dusting of snow on the ground, mid-April finally saw the sunshine and the Mercury soar to 25C just in time for our weekend jaunt to Warwickshire and – more specifically – Hallmark Hotels’ jewel in the crown: The Welcombe.
In keeping with its name, the four-star hotel’s staff could not have been more welcoming and accommodating – not only to my husband and I but also our four-legged friend, Sammy, who wasn’t initially due to be travelling with us.
The sun was sinking on the hottest day of the year as we drove up the long, winding, tree-lined drive to the 18th century mansion. We were soon checked in and greeted by the hospitable and friendly manager, Shaun, who was a constant smile and source of information during our stay.
Staff quickly prepared us a table on the terrace for the evening so Sammy could stay by our sides. But, as the sun went in and the temperature dropped, they were cordially moving us inside into the bar so we could eat in comfort. The grand restaurant was busy and bustling with intimate dinners-for-two and laughing friends enjoying a golfing or spa weekend. While the restaurant is (quite rightly) not a place for dogs, we were very comfortable eating in the cosy bar area.
The Trevelyan Restaurant offers a menu of British classic dishes with a touch of style. We opted for light, summery starters – choosing the feta and beetroot salad and prawn cocktail. Both were refreshing, leaving plenty of room for the next course. I picked the beef wellington with a side of triple cooked chips with parmesan and truffle oil, while my husband went for the lamp rump with summer vegetables. With both dishes well in excess of £25, it’s a pricey place but the food was delicious. The icing on the cake was a sweet treat to complete the meal and I went for the chocolate delice while he went for a delectable platter of cheese, biscuits, grapes and chutney to finish off our bottle of red.
After that much food (and wine) there was only one place for us to head – bed! And our bed for the night was huge, comfortable and very ostentatious – a towering four-poster with heavy, pleated drapes. We were staying in the palatial, triple-aspect Hathaway Suite on the first floor. While the views left a little to be desired (a courtyard filled with overflowing bins to one side, the car park to the other), the interiors were beautiful – like stepping into Lady Mary’s Downton Abbey quarters. Deep, dark wood cabinets and a glass, crystal chandelier stood proud in the boldly decorated room and made a comfortable base for our stay.
The following morning we returned to the bar for breakfast – a buffet of cereals, continental and hot options were laid out in the restaurant, although some of the choices had started to run out and weren’t regularly replenished meaning we missed out on trying a little bit of everything. Following breakfast, we decided to explore the grounds in the morning sun and check out the hotel’s abundant facilities – from the white fluffy robes of the spa to the lush, greens of the golf course.
The Welcombe is surrounded by acres of beautiful woodland walks and rolling hills with meandering footpaths leading up to an imposing monument which towers over the roof of the Jacobean mansion. Far-reaching views from the terrace stretch off across the manicured gardens, glinting lake and undulating 18-hole golf course. We headed down to the clubhouse to while away an hour hitting golf balls and practicing our swings in the sunshine on the driving range.
The next stop was the health club and The Welcombe’s newly-renovated spa. I lounged by the 15m indoor pool, relaxed in the hot tub, soaked in the foot spa and sizzled in the sauna. The sleek and smart spa also boasts a suite of relaxation rooms, a steam room, an outside vitality pool, a health bar and a gym. There’s plenty to keep visitors entertained whether it’s for a little R&R break or a hen weekend – and it can all be done in style.
We finished our luxurious weekend break with a suitably tasty treat – a delicious afternoon tea al fresco on the sun-drenched terrace. We enjoyed a three-tiered tower of soft sandwiches filled with smoked salmon, cream cheese and ham, warm, crumbly scones with jam and clotted cream, and bite-size cakes to finish including a cream-filled, fruit-topped tart and chocolatey profiteroles.
The Welcombe is the perfect venue for guests whatever the occasion: whether it’s the wedding of your dreams, a spa weekend with the girls, golfing trips to reconnect with old friends, romantic getaways for special occasions and even business trips and networking events. Whether you’re looking for an intimate weekend away to escape the stresses of modern-day life or a base for exploring Stratford-upon-Avon’s abundance of historical sights and landmarks, The Welcombe will welcome you.
Rooms at The Welcombe are available from £107 per night.
Address: Warwick Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 0NR
Phone: 0330 028 3422