Glass enjoys a festive getaway at the Billesley Manor Hotel, Warwickshire

NESTLED deep between acres of rolling countryside is the Billesley Manor Hotel and Spa. Decked out for the holiday season, the Tudor style residence has transformed into a wonderland of fir garlands and metallic baubles, bringing a traditional sense of luxury festivities to the heart of Warwickshire.

Gazing upon the hotel as I approach the doorway, it’s as if I have stepped back in time, the twinkling fairy lights and candlelit windows beckoning me inside from the cold. Though the exterior has kept its distinctive historical allure, the inside decor is the perfect balance of traditional and modern, not in a way that feels stuffy or pretentious but rather warm and homely. Christmas music quietly echoes through the halls, and though I can’t falter the classics of Bing Crosby and Eartha Kitt, the inclusion of Mariah Carey and Destiny’s Child was definitely welcomed. 

Billesley Manor Christmas

Billesley Manor ChristmasBillesley Manor Hotel and Spa

The Christmas spirit is certainly present at Billesley. Perhaps it is the old stone walls that enhance the decor further or the smiley nature of the staff, but nonetheless its hard not to become enamoured with a seasonal excitement while visiting. This is furthered by a wreath making workshop I attend soon after my arrival, one example of how the hotel is translating the festive season to their visitors. Other annual activities include festive afternoon teas which run throughout December as well as lunch dates with Father Christmas. 

At dinner in The Stuart Restaurant, I am presented with a menu that boasts British country classics with an elegant twist. The promotion of comfort food did not go amiss, especially when accompanied by a glass of Shakespeare Distillery Gin, which is brewed no more than 10 minutes down the road. 

Billesley Manor ChristmasThe Stuart Restaurant at Billesley Manor

Billesley Manor ChristmasManor House Four Poster Suite

With a close proximity to the Shakespearean hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Roman market town of Alcester, visitors will be delighted with the surrounding amenities. You can journey to the local Christmas markets and watch the streets of Stratford illuminate in gold Christmas lights, or just take a walk along the river Avon with an obnoxiously large hot chocolate – anything which gets you in the spirit. 

My day was completed in a king bed of sheer comfort. I felt the urge to watch The Holiday or another festive rom-com of some sort, but it wasn’t long before I had drifted into a deep nights sleep, waking up to the view of sun rising over the frost-covered topiary garden in the morning.

by Ben Sanderson 

Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa rates start from £160 per night B&B based on two people sharing, subject to availability.

For more information about Billesley Manor Hotel and to book a stay, please visit Billesley Manor or call 01789 279955