Opening in September, this countryside retreat in Northamptonshire is aimed at those who need "rest and renewal" – anyone who’s been home-schooling during lockdown, for starters. Its bedrooms are pared-back and thoughtfully designed: gently rounded leather chairs and bathtubs, earthy palettes and a bespoke selection of books, music and podcasts for each guest. The restaurant promises to dish up feel-good yet refined food, much of it harvested on the idyllic 11,000-acre estate. And with pure peace, nature-filled walks and a wealth of other well-being planned, this promises everything we’re craving right now.
Tip for the area: the Castle Ashby Estate is home to the 7th Marquess of Northampton. You can visit her 35 acres of formal gardens, which include an orangery, romantic Italian gardens and an arboretum. Book The Falcon, Castle Ashby
The latest offering from The Pig Stable (should that be sty?), this glorious hotel is set in a Grade II-listed house overlooking the sea. It’s an easy stroll from golden Cornish beaches and a 10-minute drive from Padstow, home to the Rick Stein empire – but save your appetite for the hotel restaurant. Expect the likes of fennel risotto and lemon-thyme mackerel tartare, with ingredients plucked from their extensive kitchen gardens or fresh from the ocean. Various-sized rooms are full of quirk and serious comfort; shabby chic at its best. Pick of the litter are the Garden Wagons, hidden away in the grounds with field views and alfresco showers. So romantic.
Tip for the area: take a surf lesson with Harlyn Surf School in the bay; great for beginners. Not your thing? They also hire out SUPs and kayaks. Book The Pig at Harlyn Bay
This Georgian townhouse and medieval forge is home to the most delightful small hotel in the creative little Somerset town of Bruton. There are just 12 rooms – choose from exposed 15th Century beams and quarry-tiled floors in the ‘cottage rooms’ or elegant wood panelling and a smarter feel in the ‘townhouse rooms’, all offset by wool rugs, quirky objets and William Morris textiles. Guests are welcomed with local Cheddar cheese and cider, and its little restaurant, Osip, is run by chef Merlin Labron-Johnson, who won a Michelin star aged just 24. His divine food is an ode to seasonal ingredients and local producers – think treacle and ale sourdough with rich potted pheasant followed by a glossy pie of mallard, pork shoulder and Swiss chard. Best enjoyed after a riverside stroll or longer walk; the town is cradled by green countryside.
Tip for the area: Nearby Hauser & Wirth is a world-renowned contemporary arts gallery, framed by extraordinarily beautiful gardens. Book Number One Bruton
Perfect for London hipsters looking to escape the Big Smoke, this cool new concept hotel promises rest, work and play space for its members-only guests. Just a 40-minute zip by train into Hertfordshire, the hotel’s 140 bedrooms, three restaurants, heated lido and hot-desk hub are housed in an elegant Georgian façade. Interiors are bang on-trend in the communal areas, yet the bedrooms have a surprisingly playful, arty feel. But where Birch really excels is the experiences it offers those who stay. From an interactive bakery to glass blowing, pottery and foraging, you can come on a skills learning minibreak or just jam solo in the music room. "It looks like a hotel but feels like a festival", they say.
Tip for the area: there are film screenings twice a day; first come, first seated in the seaside deckchairs. No 5am towel-bagysing allowed. Book Birch, Hertfordshire
The opening date is yet to be confirmed, but this laid-back luxe hotel in north Norfolk is set to be a smasher. Just inland from Blakeney, it was once a glass-blowing factory but new life has been breathed into the flint barns, creating a pleasing mix of rough-hewn and refined. Rustic wood four-posters, velvet Chesterfields, local pottery, a five-course tasting menu… you get the idea. Stays here will be all about rejuvenation. There’s a peaceful spa, various quiet corners warmed by wood-burners, and a Games Den for Monopoly on rainy days. But I’d spend every day walking along the vast sweep of beach, regardless of the weather; it’s where I spent every summer as a child. Blasts of sea air and sand in your shoes, building up a huge appetite for just-caught sea bream served with Norfolk samphire.
Tip for the area: Blakeney Point is home to England’s largest grey seal colony. Visit them via a ferry from Morston Quay. Find out more about The Harper