Because this is a safe, honest corner of the internet, I’m going to level with you. I didn’t quite realise just how special The Belfry Hotel and Resort was until my husband and brother-in-law found out where we were going for a girls weekend. [Disclosure: we were guests of the Belfry but all argyle diamond knitwear clad enthusings are very much my own.]
The Belfry is an award-winning hotel and resort with a modern spa in Sutton Coldfield – a short drive from Birmingham International Airport (trains from London taking about 1 hour 20 minutes) or central Birmingham.
I’ve sipped cocktails at Wentworth (where my young nephews often hung out with Gary Player at his annual tournament), I’ve wandered lost through the edges of more golf courses that I care to admit (hello Denham Golf Course) and seem to stay at hotels with golf courses (hello Bovey Castle, Tewkesbury Park, the Goodwood Hotel and Marrakech), but by and large, I tend to aprés rather than golf (much like skiing.) Fun unrelated note: in researching some of the names I’ve forgotten over the years, I discovered a golf course a 12-minute walk from my house.
I’ve been known to play the odd game of mini-golf (most recently on a docked cruise ship) and have quite enjoyed the occasional evening at a driving range with my brother. But that’s kind of it. My Dad is a pretty keen golfer, he loves to clear the fairway(?) but even I admit that’s a pretty tenuous link.
I do like the jumpers though.
Look, sorry, I digress*.
I suspect that most of my readers either send their better halves away to play golf with their friends, or accompany them and enjoy the spa like I would, so let’s chat all things four-star hotel break**.
The Belfry has a rather special history – it’s the only venue to have hosted the Ryder Cup four times, it’s the PGA U.K. headquarters, in 2013 was named “best venue – the ultimate UK golf experience”. and, er, now it has been graced with the presence of 3 mischievous bloggers who left their husbands at home***, to drink champagne and generally enjoy the hotel****.
We slipped for lunch into their informal bar, before sitting down to do a little business (the joy of running my own social media business). I found a lovely little spot to sit and catch-up with clients. The hotel bar was abuzz with afternoon teas, catch-ups and even has a business suite of mini offices.
Checking into our suites after lunch, we just let the worry of the world drift from our shoulders. And then unpacked.
Our suites were well appointed – they’ve been redecorated recently – with a comfortable sitting area (including a table/pouffe combo that I need to buy for my own home)…
… a lovely balcony overlooking tree boughs and the fairway, not to mention generous bedrooms…
…there’s a huge rainfall shower and a showstopping bath tub that just cried out to be enjoyed.
This happened (both the awkward posing, and the pop of champagne) – I mean it’s a girl’s trip. It’s the law that we have to sit and enjoy a few glasses of bubbles…
…and then a bit of relaxation in the spa.
We had dinner booked in The Ryder Grill, a AA Rosette Restaurant – but there’s also Rocca’s, a family-friendly Italian restaurant open on the weekend, Sam’s Clubhouse a sports bar where we had lunch amidst a slew of actual golfers, afternoon tea & bar snacks available in the Brabazon Bar (pictured below after curfew), and if you fancy skipping the light fantastic, the Bel Air nightclub at the other end of the resort.
It was a hearty menu – I enjoyed my tomato salad started and the popular braised beef cheek – not to mention the beautifully baked bread with salted butter.
We managed to pop into the Brabazon Bar for dessert and cocktails, rounding out the evening on a sweet note. Well, before retiring to our rooms for a few more glasses of bubbly and a lot of world straightening.
Breakfast is served in The Ryder Grill…
…a hearty English breakfast which we walked off with a brisk walk around the hotel grounds – keeping to the paths as to not disturb the golfers. The team serve at the table to make sure that everything is done in as sociallay distant a manner as possible.
Oh, did I mention the entrance chandelier made from golf clubs? Pure design genius.
Leaving this was quite hard…
Staying at the Belfry Hotel and Resort was a breath of fresh air.
* Just remember, it’s the journey that often matters in storytelling as much as the ending…
** For the golfers, to my inexperienced eye, the greens looked absolutely wonderful.
*** Who were probably quite relieved to watch sport on TV in peace.
**** Who were definitely quite enjoying some well deserved girly time, with fluted glasses in hand.