Spend a long weekend in a comfortable Chilterns village…
Other than being a perfect destination to explore the great outdoors from the Chilterns are also famed for their chocolate-box villages.
For many city-dwellers the prospect of escaping the hustle of their metropolis’ for the weekend is always tempting, however some urbanites may worry that they won’t be able to find restaurants or hotels to match the standard set by their urban establishments. City folk can rest easy though as, thanks to the Chilterns’ close proximity with London (just an hour away by train), many top chefs and businessmen have set up shop in the relative peace of the countryside, raising the bar for hospitality across the area.
If you’re thinking about trialling life in the Chilterns then why not stop off at one of our many stunning villages for the night and grab a bite to eat while you’re at it?
There are fewer villages in the UK that have received as much attention as Hambleden. Used as a shooting location for major movie productions and television series, the village made headlines a over a decade ago when the estate was sold for a reported £38 million. You might think that no single village could ever be worth that much money, but one visit will be enough to convince you otherwise.
Where to Stay? Recently renovated under the watchful eye of famed architect Ptolemy Dean, The Stag and Huntmsen encapsulates the very best of British pub culture whilst adding a dash of upper-class decency to the whole affair. The handful of rooms on offer are stylish yet suitably old-school and as there are no other places to stay in the village you’ll feel like you’re very much a part of an exclusive set.
Where to Eat? Hambleden is a small village, so unless you want to travel further afield you may as well stay put and grab a plate of posh grub at The Stag. Although you could accuse the chef of pandering to the tastes of meat-lovers, the sheer variety of well-presented classics on the menu is enough to make anyone’s mouth water – regardless of dietary requirements.
You don’t get much more secluded that the village of Stonor. Named for the stately home that has been the home of the Stonor family for over 850 years, this village has always existed as a part of the family’s estate. There are no pubs or inns on the land but you can still stay in the general vicinity and grant yourself a glimpse into what life as a tenant of the family might have been like – excellent for fans of Downton Abbey.
Where to Stay? White Pond Farm is made up of three buildings. Two historical cottages have been sympathetically converted, preserving original features whilst opening up the previously pokey spaces. The Farmhouse wing dates back to the 17th Century and is perfect for a family of four to spend a long weekend in.
Where to Eat? A 45-minute walk away from White Pond Farm is The Five Horseshoes, a well put together boozer that serves a great selection meaty mains with just a few token veggie dishes. Sunday Roast are exceptional and the ale is pretty decent too.
It might not have the most attractive of names, but Skirmett is by far one of the prettiest hamlets in the Chilterns area. Not much goes on this part of the world which suits the handful of residents and visitors just fine. Like many of the settlements in the area, the majority of the buildings are built with flint which are incredibly easy on the eyes. Whilst it may be a pretty quiet place to settle down for the weekend, you’re guaranteed to get a peaceful night’s sleep here.
Where to Stay? The Frog At Skirmett is the village’s only pub. Well kept but not too smart for its own good, the relaxed charm of this pub with rooms makes for a great base camp for a long weekend. Three pleasant rooms offer a non-fussy alternative to a hotel and includes a bang-up breakfast to boot.
Where to Eat? Although you might be able to pick up a decent meal at The Frog, if you fancy a change of scenery then you can hop over to the nearby Bull & Butcher for a great value lunch or dinner. Mains cost around £12-15 and are generous in their size.