For the second night of our Stratford-upon-Avon staycation, we went deep into the countryside. (Well, as deep as 20 minutes in a cab could get away from the train station.) We booked at night at the Billesley Manor Hotel for some much-needed relaxation time.
Set in 11 acres of parkland, Billesley Manor is a stunning 16th-century Elizabethan manor house. Located just 3 miles from Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, this historic property is steeped in history and charm. Once referenced in the Domesday Book, the grounds feature an 11th-century church and an ornate topiary garden, which was planted 100 years ago to replicate a chess board.
How cute does that sound?!
“Bedrooms combine traditional character with 21st-century luxuries, options include a variety within the manor house or cedar barns.”
Our room was comfortable – but honestly, with the weather so glorious, a pool to splash in and an ancient topiary garden we spent very little time in there. (Well, me anyway – Mr Kiwi settled in to watch the afternoon Football World Cup match.)
Having trotted in the noon sunshine from Stratford-upon-Avon to Anne Hathway’s Cottage and missed lunch, we were thoroughly looking forward to our dinner.
The Stuart Restaurant and Great Hall offers dinner set-up with oak panelling and original fireplaces – and with fabulous service, we settled in for the early evening. By the time we’d finished our meal (we like to dine earlier rather than later) the room had a lovely buzz and most of the tables were full as twilight fell.
I started with fresh, local asparagus served with a slightly limp hollandaise and a gorgeously poached Clarence Court egg, and then enjoyed my pork belly main with gusto…
…before a rather good sticky toffee pudding served with ice cream.
There was one thing that left a bit of a sour taste – a sweet bottle of wine was left in our room, but when we asked to swap it out for a bottle of white wine (neither of us drink red) the concierge got a little funny about it, and then tried to palm off a warm bottle of white wine to us, on a one night stay, after we’d given them plenty of notice before dinner.
It was just small shame (note the ice.) But, first world problems!
Waking up to sunshine (this summer has been the best, hasn’t it?!) we repaired to the restaurant for a scrub up breakfast – this is the Mr’s repast…
…then we skipped off, taking pastries and coffee into the garden…
…enjoying our late check-out and last few hours in Billesley Manor.
Always a sap for history, I adored that Billesley Manor Hotel is where Shakespeare wrote ‘As You Like It’, and historians also believe the All Saints Church in the grounds is where Shakespeare married his wife, Anne Hathaway. We tried to choose between Billesley and Alveston Manor and couldn’t pick a favourite. Billesley is a lovely, grand retreat with a few rough edges, whereas Alveston Manor was less grand but perfectly placed near the centre of town. Both made for a lovely couples retreat.
To book your own stay (we paid for this in full) feel free to use the booking.com affiliate link here for your own dreamy Stratford-upon-Avon evening at Billesley Manor. We have booked our hotel nights via them for years.
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