PUBLISHED: 11:01 16 January 2013 | UPDATED: 22:37 20 February 2013
You don't have to travel for miles to fing a romantic getaway from the everyday humdrum, here are 12 idyllic escapes within easy reach of Essex.
Words by Rob Hutchins
Milsom Hotels & Restaurants
Gun Hill, Dedham
February is the month of romance, so why not treat yourself to a stay at any Milsom Hotel this February and enjoy one of the ever-popular Valentine breaks? Romance will be in the air at Maison Talbooth and Milsoms in Dedham, The Pier at Harwich and Milsoms Kesgrave Hall, just over the border in Suffolk. Each hotel is offering an extra special break which includes overnight accommodation, full English breakfast, a delicious three-course dinner with free choice from the a la carte menu, red roses, chocolates and a bottle of Champagne on arrival. Prices start at 105 per person. For more information visit www.milsomhotels.com
The Saracens Head Hotel
Romance is guaranteed at The Saracens Head Hotel, with 31 beautifully designed rooms, including three large suites where decadence is at your fingertips. Dark wood furniture and sumptuous soft furnishings adorn rooms with dramatic exposed oak and for added luxury, ornate free-standing baths set the romantic stage for a perfect Valentines treat. The dining follows suit with an extensive menu to please the palette with seasonal foods and carefully selected wines, great ingredients for the perfect Valentines.
Down Hall Country House Hotel
Nr Bishops Stortford
01279 731 441
Absorb the romance of this Italianate mansion, filled with poetic history and luxurious interiors that will ignite a passion like the lounges crackling fire. The Grill Room sets the dining mood perfectly with Italian flooring, dark wood tables and stunning red leather seating, serving a seasonally-changing menu to tantalise all tastes. Visit the cocktail bar before retiring to your room overlooking the elegant Hatfield Heath, exuding charm and romance for the ideal Valentine treat.
The Pheasant at Gestingthorpe
Wake up to the stunning views of rolling hills and elegant countryside from this charismatic boutique hotel. Inspired by local historical icons, each of The Pheasants five rooms offers a unique and romantic experience. Succumb to the temptation of the Essex Life Pub of the Years seductive Valentines menu, with fresh produce hand-picked by devoted award-winning chef, James Donoghue. In the pub, the restaurant and the hotel, an intimate atmosphere guarantees the perfect romantic weekend.
Prince Charles Avenue
A stunning, luxury hotel, Orsett Hall is set within 12 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens ideal for long romantic walks. Experience modern opulence in any of the 35 bedrooms including three breathtaking bridal suites, or for a truly intimate getaway, nestle into one of the three charming apartments on the hotel grounds. Spoil yourselves on Valentines with a day in the spa then tease your taste-buds with a sumptuous seven-course menu in the Garden Restaurant.
Experience romance at Wivenhoe House; on the edge of picturesque Constable Country. It is the perfect country house hotel for a romantic spring getaway with the chance to stay in one of the 16 elegant bedrooms in the historic house or in a balcony room in the contemporary garden wing. Savour an intimate meal in Signatures fine dining restaurant or indulge in a delicious afternoon tea perhaps with a glass of Champagne. You will enjoy an unforgettable break at an idyllic hotel.
Seckford Hall Hotel
Experience a fairy-tale romance beneath the Tudor arches of this majestic country house. With 520 years of history, treat yourselves to luxurious modern day comforts steeped in Elizabethan splendour. Wander within 34 acres of private countryside, returning to the hotels evening glow and stunning garden lake. Dine in personal luxury in your bedroom, at the bar or in the garden; or savour an intimate a la carte menu in the romance of the hotels two rosette restaurant.
The White Hart Inn
Away from the hustle of city life, this beautiful old pub rests among an expanse of graceful countryside, a prime location for romantic rambles. Lined with real cask ales, the bar and tap room will seduce you into an idyllic weekend you wont forget. Savour the taste of outstanding traditional pub food, then relax beside a wood-burning stove, before settling into an inviting country-boutique room upstairs.
The Cherry Tree
The Cherry Tree pub delivers the romance of rustic charm met with the luxury of a stylish bed and breakfast, perfect for a romantic weekend getaway. Savour a delectable menu inspired by the beautiful country surroundings and fresh fish sourced from the nearby Essex Marina. Enjoy a weekend break special with a three-course meal for two, a bottle of wine and breakfast after an unforgettable stay in a luxurious double bedroom.
The Roslin Beach Hotel
Stunning views, sea air and luxurious suites, imbue the passions of an idyllic weekend break at The Roslin Hotel. At the heart of the hotel, savour the intimacy of an AA rosette restaurant with deliciously fresh menus accompanied by fine wines or even a glass of Champagne. With an indulgence evening and extravagant romance packages in the New Year, February is not the only chance to spoil your Valentine at this ideal getaway.
Having welcomed overnight guests since the 15th century, The Starr is situated in the heart of the charming market town of Great Dunmow. Within the historical walls awaits an atmosphere of intimacy and romance characterised by beautifully exposed oak beams and seductive lighting, making for an idyllic dining experience. Indulge in an extensive menu of local produce and the finest wines, then retire to one of eight unique rooms, each exemplifying a perfect den of luxury.
Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa
Discover luxury in your own perfecthideaway among the romance of Constable Country.Stoke by Nayland Country Lodges offer exquisite open-plan interiors with stunning views, all matchedwith the spa and award-winning dining experience of Stoke by Nayland Hotel. Let candlelit dinners and a floodlit lake bewitch you at the Lakes Restaurant or lock yourselves away with a cordon bleu menu in the comfort of your own lodge. Enjoy the scenery, the wine and each other on this perfect romantic escape.