I have found weekend heaven and it is called Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa. Walking into the foyer, the well-stocked rooms spill off to the lefthand side, lined with books, flowers, beautifully sturdy antiques and the low hum of happy guests.
I was in the Camillia Suite, directly above the reception desk, a lovely clutch of rooms complete with two flatscreens (great for the kids), multiple sofas (great for us all) and a pre-prepared real fire (divine had it been winter). With windows looking down to the front we could see the elegant beech and lime-tree lined drive and a many of the 43 horses that are stabled at the hotel. These immaculate 500 acres invite you to horse-ride, cycle or simply stroll.
The staff? Well, they were faultless. The 17th century building itself is arranged around a pretty courtyard, meaning you have to walk outside to reach the first rate spa giving the whole place a continental feel.
The casual Brasserie seems to be a magnet to the locals, and with the glass walls pushed open to the fragile British summer sun, the nearby lavender hedges encouraged wasps and butterflies to hover over tables. But dinner at Michelin star restaurant The Park was superlative. The only word for it!
A Standard Room costs from £295 per room per night on a room only basis. A minimum two night stay is required at weekends
For bookings please call 01225 742 777 or visit lucknampark.co.uk