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Blog 6/4/2020

Virtual Journeys: From Coast to Countryside in England

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This week we are closer to the home of Quintessentially Travel headquarters and are taking you on a virtual journey to England. As we look forward to a time when overnight stays become available once again in the UK, plus further down the track longer trips for those coming from overseas, we want to take this opportunity to celebrate some of the wonderful destinations and properties available in England. Moving out of the cities (we will revisit those in the future) we want to focus on the beautiful countryside of Hampshire, The Cotswolds, Dorset and Berkshire. We will venture down to the coast - taking in the glorious county of Devon before heading to the north of the country to the rugged countryside of the Yorkshire Moors and the pretty Yorkshire Dales. We'll journey to the east of the country with a look at Suffolk which offers both stunning coast plus wonderful countryside. We've already noticed that interest in England's green and pleasant land is booming, so let us whet your appetite further.


Cotswolds

Spanning five counties this is the largest designated area of outstanding natural beauty in England and Wales and is famous for classically English market villages all fashioned from honey coloured stone. It’s bucolic settings are legion and is perfect for walking, hiking, cycling or just relaxing and enjoying the beautiful hill views. Check out these two options below – one offers stand alone cottages and the other a more traditional hotel (but which also offers a stand alone cottage to hire, too).



Barnsley House – A chic country hotel in a Cotswold honey stoned village also featuring a cottage option too.


Daylesford Cottages – Beautifully restored Cotswolds cottages featuring oak beams and exposed walls.

To Read...

Cider with Rosie – Laurie Lee

This 1959 novel chronicles traditional life in a Cotswolds Village from a child’s view seen some years later. The first in a trilogy series the book delightfully reminisces about a time before cars or electricity and a village on the brink of change. This is a wonderfully evocative look at a village childhood from the past.


Hampshire

Forming the perfect blend of countryside, city and coast, Hampshire sits on the south coast of England, and features numerous National Parks, coastal beauty spots and buzzing cities, including the ancient capital of England, Winchester. Walk the Titanic trail in Southampton, follow the footsteps of Jane Austen in the South Downs National Park, and meet hundreds of wild ponies in the New Forest, this country has something for everyone. Experience Hampshire at its finest at both the below properties, which exude equal measures of British charm and elegance and offer a plethora of countryside pursuits.



Chewton Glen – A country house hotel in the heart of Hampshire also featuring several stand alone Treehouse suites which are ever popular.


Farleigh Wallop – A 4000 acre country estate available for private hire as your home away from home.

To Read...

Watership Down – Richard Adams

This 1972 novel is set in Hampshire and focuses on a group of rabbits and various threats to their lives. It follows them as they escape from their destroyed warren in search of a new home. At first glance a children’s novel, it hints at adult and universal themes and captures the evergreen and fragile majesty of the English countryside. 


Devon

Offering picturesque villages, remote rural landscapes, sandy beaches, fossil cliffs and wild moors, Devon is British countryside at its best. With this spectacular variation of scenery, it’s the ideal spot for country and coastal pursuits such as horse-riding, cycling, walking, fishing and surfing. A gastronomic destination in its own right, the local cuisine focuses on home-grown ingredients and farm-to-table dining, and of course, you can’t miss an afternoon tea of scones with Devonshire clotted cream. We recommend a stay at two of Devon’s gems; ultra-chic south coast hotel Gara Rock or the multi award winning lifestyle retreat, Yeotown.


Gara Rock – A cliff top property in Salcombe, Devon offering stupendous views and a selection of rooms and suites.


Yeotown – This North Devon country retreat is now available for exclusive use and is an idyllic bolthole.

To Read...

Tarka the Otter – Henry Williamson

Follow the story of otter cub Tarka in this novel from 1927. Enjoy reading about Tarka as he grows up learning to catch and fish and fear the hunter in the wilds of North Devon. This is set in River Taw and River Torridge and avidly describes the details of this natural habitat.


Suffolk

A jewel in the Eastern coast of England, as you leave behind the city bustle of London - the flat plains expand out in-front of you. Bordered by neighbouring Norfolk, Suffolk has a laid back charm and East Anglian history aplenty. From the quaint sea-side town of Southwold, with its microbrewery and chic boutiques to the meandering broads with over 125km of waterways - take your pick on where to spend your days. We love the exclusivity of Retreat East or the boutique sea-side hideaway of The Swan at Southwold.


The Swan – Located 2 minutes’ walk from the beach, this charming hotel is in the Suffolk village of Southwold.


Retreat East – Perfect for a rejuvenating break, this offers stand-alone cabin options in the Suffolk countryside.

To Watch...

Injustice - (TV drama – Amazon Prime)

Looks can be deceiving: set on the Suffolk plains watch as success and the legal system collide to unveil a traumatic past. 


Dorset

One of the South West's most beautiful counties, Dorset is home to rolling hills, deep history and some of the country’s best beaches. Perhaps less well known to the neighbouring Devon and Cornwall, Dorset holds a special charm of its own. With quaint villages and thatched lined houses, spend your days exploring the green fields, before sampling the farm to table style food at some of the greatest local pubs. With great cathedrals in Sherbourne and the iconic Durdle Door, Summer Lodge set in the heart of one of Thomas Hardy's famous novels is the perfect start and end to any day exploring.



Summer Lodge Country House Hotel – Located in the charming village of Evershot, Dorset this hotel also benefits from 4 acres of pretty gardens.

To Watch...

Broadchurch - (TV Series – Amazon Prime)

This gripping murder drama is set along the beautiful English Jurassic Coast, Dorset and showcases the area to stunning effect.


Berkshire

Home to Windsor Castle, Royal Ascot, and Newbury Racecourse, the Royal county of Berkshire is located just west of London in the South East of England. The county offers numerous riverside walks along the Thames, as well as an abundance of significant spots in England’s history, including literary Pangbourne, The Savill Garden and Eton College. Being so close to London whilst also offering British countryside and historic towns, this home county is monumental to England’s majestic past. The following country house retreat gives you the opportunity to escape London life in less than an hour to enjoy Berkshire at its best. 



Coworth Park – This country manor house hotel property in Ascot is set in 240 acres of lovely Berkshire parklands.

To Eat...

Michelin starred executive chef Adam Smith of the Dorchester collection’s classic Egg and Cress finger sandwich recipe;

Ingredients:

8 slices of your chosen bread

Butter

8 free range eggs

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 small banana shallot

Watercress

Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Place the eggs into a saucepan and cover in cold water, make sure the eggs are flat on the bottom and not stacked
  2. Place onto a high heat and bring to the boil as quickly as you can and cook for 8 minutes
  3. Remove the eggs and place into ice cold water
  4. Once cold, peel the shell and rinse the eggs
  5. Chop the eggs with a knife (which gives a better texture than grating)
  6. Peel and finely dice the shallot
  7. Add the shallot to the chopped egg, along with the mayonnaise
  8. Season generously with salt and pepper
  9. Butter your preferred bread
  10. Generously spread on the egg mixture and cover with the washed and picked watercress to taste
  11. Cut into triangles or rectangles and savour


Yorkshire

Heading North, straight up the A1 and the rural fields of Yorkshire begin to unfold. The backdrop to many famous films, the scenery really speaks for itself. The rich Roman and Viking heritage is dotted through the sheep filled fields and expansive national parks, perfect for exploring by foot or bike. For a cultural adventure, York is the gem of Northern England with a 13th century cathedral and the streets lined with chic shops and delis. Staying at Grantley Hall, rest, relax and indulge after a day on the moors.



Grantley Hall – A country house hotel located in North Yorkshire, you’ll enjoy stunning gardens and proximity to the Yorkshire Dales.

To Watch...

My Summer of Love - (Film, 2004)

A true story of friendship through hardship, watch as two worlds collide set with the dramatic Yorkshire backdrop. 

Happy Valley - (TV drama - Netflix, 2014)

From personal pain, watch as Sergeant Catherine Cawood rises up to lead the West Yorkshire force on their path to defeat crime. 

To Listen...

Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush, 1978 (Song)

Kate Bush is one of the UK’s most beloved recording artists and this song is one of her most well-known. This song is based on the 1847 novel of the same name by Emily Bronte and featured on Bush’s debut album ‘The Kick inside’. It is her most popular single and is unforgettable in it’s haunting and atmospheric tones.

Country House – Blur, 1995 (Song)

This is the lead single from Blur’s fourth album ‘The Great Escape’ and focuses on the tale of man living a mundane life in an English countryside mansion.

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