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Beat the winter blues

PUBLISHED: 10:19 21 October 2014 | UPDATED: 10:19 21 October 2014




With so many beautiful places to visit across Essex and on its doorstep, why not take the chance to escape to a dream destination this winter

Strattons Hotel

Ash Close, Swaffham

Norfolk PE37 7NH

01760 723845

Strattons is a small, independent, family-run boutique hotel, restaurant and cafe deli secluded in the historic market town of Swaffham, once a favourite with the Nelson family and home to Howard Carter who famously discovered Tutankhamen’s tomb. The hotel is an all inclusive venue offering accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as traditional Norfolk afternoon tea, while also boasting pet friendly, child friendly and family friendly bedrooms.

Wakes Hall Lodges

Wakes Colne

Colchester CO6 2DY

01206 563222

Relax and Unwind in your own beautifully secluded, luxury lodge. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just fancy a few days away from the hustle and bustle, unwind in the tranquil beauty of the Colne Valley. Enjoy the privacy of your own self-catered luxury one or two-bedroom holiday lodge, surrounded by 500 acres, complete with your own outside hot tub with views of the delightful countryside. Treat yourself to a glass of Champagne, soothe your muscles, lay back and relax in style.

The Angel Inn

Polstead Street

Stoke by Nayland

Suffolk CO6 4SA

01206 263245

The Angel Inn, nestled in the heart of Constable Country, is ideally located to help you make the most of the surrounding countryside. With six, beautifully designed boutique bedrooms and a restaurant and bar area that is packed with original features, this 16th century, Grade II listed building oozes a special charm you can’t help but fall for. The Angel has recently been awarded 5 Star accreditation for its bedrooms and a rosette for the restaurant by the AA. To celebrate the award there is a great offer of discounted room rates combined with a complimentary bottle of Champagne for guests. Book direct with The Angel Inn on 01206 263245 for any bedroom though November from Sunday to Thursday (classic rooms at £95 and luxury rooms at £125) and you will receive a complimentary bottle of Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label Champagne in your room or with dinner (offer based on a couple sharing and dining in the restaurant). The price also includes complimentary homemade fudge in the bedroom and an award-winning breakfast prior to departure.

The Pheasant at Gestingthorpe

Gestingthorpe, Essex CO9 3AU

01787 461196

The Pheasant at Gestingthorpe was recently awarded AA Pub of the Year for England 2014/15. The winners of this prestigious award stand out as truly excellent all-round pubs or inns. They successfully combine the provision of enjoyable food, comfortable accommodation, a great pub atmosphere and a warm welcome with a high standard of management. Nestled on the Essex/Suffolk border, with views over the surrounding countryside, The Pheasant at Gestingthorpe features new, stylish hotel rooms named after local notable people to celebrate East Anglia’s heritage. Guests arriving for a refreshing drink, delicious dinner or a peaceful overnight stay soon see that comfort and quality are served as standard. The warm and inviting restaurant features open fires and serves freshly-prepared, locally-sourced regional food every day of the week.

Pontlands Park

West Hanningfield Road

Great Baddow, Chelmsford

Essex CM2 8HR

01245 478300

Pontlands Park provides a unique combination of homely comfort and exceptional service, where period architecture is perfectly balanced with luxurious and contemporary design following a £2million refurbishment. The Lounge has a comfortable and friendly atmosphere and is the perfect place for a get together for coffee or drinks, to enjoy a light lunch or afternoon tea. The Restaurant offers a wide choice of freshly-prepared dishes using local and seasonal ingredients. During December Pontlands Park will be hosting a number of Christmas Party nights, some with live entertainment. If you don’t fancy the washing up, why not make a date for Christmas Day or Boxing Day for a fabulous family lunch, or, for a great way to end the year, try the New Year’s Eve event.

Down Hall Country House Hotel

Matching Road, Hatfield Heath

Bishop’s Stortford

Hertfordshire CM22 7AS

01279 732125

Escape this winter with a relaxing break at Down Hall! You will be welcomed with a warming Winter Pimms and a delicious apple pie in the bar or lounge. Enjoy all of Down Hall’s facilities and the fabulous grounds before sitting down to a delicious three-course dinner in the stylish Grill Room Restaurant. Relax with a luxury treatment in the Eden Spa and revive in the new gym, sauna and steam room facility. Settle down for a restful night’s sleep before tucking into a full English breakfast after which you check out feeling relaxed and refreshed.

The Ship at Dunwich

St James Street, Dunwich

Nr Southwold, Suffolk IP17 3DT

01728 648219

Once a haunt of smugglers, The Ship at Dunwich, nestled in between Southwold and Aldeburgh in Suffolk, isn’t just a great place to eat, drink, relax and get away from it all — it is also part of a great story. Now a quiet, idyllic village, surrounded by nature reserves, heathland and beach, only the romantic ruins of Dunwich monastery remain to hint at the fate of this once thriving medieval port claimed by the waves during a terrible storm. And The Ship is the perfect place from which to explore, especially this winter with 50% off winter stays. In December and January, enjoy 50% off published room rates with rooms from £56.25 per night per room, including breakfast and VAT. Conditions apply. Quote The Oldie when booking. Oh, and The Ship is dog friendly, so do not forget to bring your four-legged friends!

Tuddenham Mill

High Street, Tuddenham

Nr Newmarket, Suffolk IP28 6SQ

01638 713552

Years of history and the chic yet sympathetic refurbishment of a traditional watermill combine to offer this exceptional experience in the Suffolk countryside. Tuddenham Mill, set in between Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge in Suffolk, offers a unique environment, a genuine passion for great food and wine, the ultimate in bedroom comforts and discreet yet attentive service. Stay from £199 per couple per room, including a £30 food allocation per person, breakfast and VAT. Available for stays Sunday to Thursday.

Ufford Park Woodbridge Hotel, Golf & Spa

Yarmouth Road, Melton

Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1QW

0844 847 9468

Take a break this Winter and escape at Ufford Park Woodbridge, ideal for a couples’ get away or family retreat. Set within the trees in 120 acres, overlooking the Deben Valley and only 30 minutes away from the heritage coast, it is the perfect destination to explore all that Suffolk has to offer. Ufford Park is home to an award-winning Top Winter 18-hole, par 71 golf course, that is generally regarded as an enjoyable, yet stern test of golf. You can ‘warm-up’ in the luxury thermal suite spa with its central hydropool and surrounding steam and sauna experiences. Why not combine the excitement of Christmas with an unforgettable break here this festive season or take advantage of one of the Winter Break Packages?

The Victory at Mersea

Coast Road, Mersea Island CO5 8LS

01206 382907

Enjoy a winter break on the coast at The Victory at Mersea and get three nights, 4 Star rated accommodation for the price of two from Sunday to Thursday. Discover a great menu of award-winning food with a traditional pub foundation, with fantastic views over the Blackwater estuary. As we move towards the festive season, come and enjoy the personal service of the winners of the Best Bar Team in the Star Pub and Great British Pub awards. Book now for that pre-Christmas celebration.

Milsom Hotels and Restaurants

Gun Hill, Dedham

Colchester, Essex 

01206 323150

Who could resist a break this autumn and winter at a Milsom Hotel, either in Dedham or Harwich? Quite simply, there are plenty of delicious offers to tempt everyone from an overnight dinner, bed and breakfast by the sea at The Pier in Harwich to a luxurious two-night spa break at Maison Talbooth in Dedham. The outdoor pool at the Maison is heated all year round to a sizzling 85˚C, so don’t forget to pack your costume!

The County Hotel

Rainsford Road, Chelmsford CM1 2PZ

01245 455700

Just 10 minutes away from tranquil parks and rivers, or the bustling shopping centre of Chelmsford, The County Hotel is perfectly placed for that last-minute getaway. With an AA Rosette restaurant, the temptation is there to enjoy a fabulous meal before snuggling down into one of the beautiful bedrooms with all that you would expect from a first class hotel. Enjoy dinner, bed and breakfast from £120 per couple on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night with a £25 pp allowance to use in the restaurant. Mention Essex Life when booking for this offer.

Osea Island

Manor House, Maldon, Essex CM9 8UH

0207 384 6403

With autumn well and truly on its way, why not give yourself something to look forward to and book a stay on your very own private Island? Osea is an enchanting island, located surprisingly close to central London. It boasts 400 acres of idyllic countryside and four miles of its own beaches and coastline, so there is plenty to explore. There is a variety of accommodation, including grand coastal houses, beach cottages, village cottages and courtyard apartments, with buildings dating back 300 years or more. The interiors are rich in individual character, with open fires, roll top baths and four-poster beds, perfect for getting cosy after wintery walks.


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