I’ve been hankering after visiting Stratford-upon-Avon for a while so was really pleased when we got the opportunity to stay at Billesley Manor Hotel and Spa. It was dark when we arrived at the hotel, but I think this might be the best time to arrive, as when we drove through the impressive looking gates and along the tree lined avenue the hotel was beautifully lit against the night sky. There were lots of parking spaces, so Mr W was happy and we were quickly through check-in and into our room.
All Saints Church at Billesley
The hotel itself is early 17th Century and is a truly stunning historic building. Not only did Shakespeare write the play As You Like It, here in the library, but the church in the grounds was where he married Anne Hathaway. We visited the church while we were there, you can call in and stand in the very place that Shakespeare and Anne plighted their troth (that’s ‘said their vows’ to you Mr W!).
The hotel is currently undergoing a £4.5 million re-model and I would love to return and see what it’s like when it’s finished. There is also a spa at the hotel, that I didn’t get chance to visit as this was a family trip, but the facilities include a modern gym, yoga hut, sauna, steam room, indoor swimming pool, and outside tennis courts.
The hotel has 11 acres of gardens including the Topiary Gardens which our rooms overlooked. We spent some time there the morning after our stay and, as you can imagine, the children loved the quirky manicured yew trees.
The Hotel Restaurant
There are several dining rooms within the hotel restaurant, all beautifully decorated in the style of the period with dark wood panelling to the walls.
We enjoyed our dinner in the restaurant, Miss H ordered from the kids’ menu and chose butternut squash soup followed by tomato pasta and garlic bread.
Master T chose the fish of the day which was sea bass (just look at that knife and fork ready to go!)
Mr W and I both chose the sirloin steak with triple cooked chips.
For dessert Mr W plumped for a spiced orange tart with a sorbet:
Miss H chose the fruit salad:
While I sampled my favourite – the cheese board! I do love a cheese board and this one didn’t disappoint.
Breakfast at Billesley
Breakfast was in the same place, we had a table in a lovely bay with stone mullion windows.
Tea and coffee could be ordered at the table, and then you were invited to attend the breakfast buffet. Here all manner of breakfast delights awaited from a full cooked English –
To pastries –
As well as cereal, toast, continental meats and cheeses and fruit –
Both meals were excellent and in beautiful and comfortable surroundings.
We had adjoining rooms in the main house. Our room came with a canopied seven foot bed, which felt very decadent. In the window was a cosy seating area, a flat screen TV and dressing table.
Large wardrobes hid the tea and coffee making facilities, iron and trouser press. There was also a mini fridge. The bathrooms were large with a shower over the bath and Gilchrist and Soames toiletries.
The rooms were large and comfortable and well appointed.
All in all, we had a lovely stay at Billesley Manor Hotel. A superb building and an absolutely ideal place to stay if you are visiting Stratford-upon-Avon to visit the Shakespeare homes. I’d recommend it even without the Shakespeare connection – but that made it really special for me.
We were invited to stay and review, but as always, all opinions expressed are my own.