Towards the north of The Cotwolds you’ll find the medieval market town of Stratford-upon-Avon, well known as being the birthplace of Shakespeare. It’s a fascinating and charming town to explore and for accommodation to match, stay at The Townhouse in the very heart of the town housed in a 400 year old, Grade II Listed building.
You can’t get much more central than The Townhouse, in fact we kept coming upon it even when we weren’t trying to find it! Due to your overly central location, parking could be tricky but really isn’t. We phoned ahead, and even though it was much earlier than we had planned to arrive, they said to pull up outside, drop our bags and they would issue instructions; they have reserved spaces at a discount rate at an NCP car park which is literally a couple of minutes’ walk away and which all worked perfectly.
There is a huge amount to entertain you in Shakespeare’s England (and top tip, starting at the website by that very name is a really good bet when planning your time here). We started with a trip on the City Sightseeing hop-on hop-off open top bus tour – a really useful way to get your bearings, it takes you to 11 of the major sights around the town with an engaging and informative commentary. The town of Stratford-upon-Avon itself is a delight, there are plenty of independent shops, boutiques, markets and cafes and a small fortune was very enjoyably spent! We also loved the beautiful gardens and specially-commissioned artworks at Shakepeare’s New Place; his final place of residence in Stratford-upon-Avon. Another must-do in the town is a boat trip and the 40 minute tour from Avon Boating was the perfect relaxing way to see the sights from a whole other angle. We also enjoyed a re-fuelling lunch stop at The Stratford and a delicious cream tea in the gardens of Macdonald Alveston Manor Hotel.
Style & Character
The Townhouse reopened earlier this year after an extensive renovation and the result is fabulous; the original features of the ancient Grade II listed building shine through but the overall look is contemporary, chic and very smart.
Service & Facilities
The service was excellent, really friendly and warm and we felt as if nothing was too much trouble; it was also consistent from person to person which so often isn’t the case! There’s a separate reception desk which I do think makes a difference and really makes it feel like a boutique hotel. There is a lively bar area, a couple of very comfortable lounge rooms (which I found rather perfect for enjoying a late afternoon G&T!) and a restaurant with two relaxed dining spaces.
There are 12 rooms in this boutique hotel. Ours was roomy and the luxurious style matched the rest of the hotel. The little luxuries come in abundance here; there’s homemade biscuits, a decanter of port, complimentary still and sparkling mineral water, the toiletries are Temple Spa and there’s even a fridge which contains a pint of milk tucked in the wardrobe! The ensuite bathroom was a lovely surprise, from the outside it looked as though it was going to be a small room, then once inside you realise it’s almost the same size as the bedroom! With a huge freestanding rainfall shower and a beautiful roll top freestanding bath, even the floor added to the wow factor with stylish black and white tiles.
Food & Drink
Both the food and drink are exceptional and really made our stay, I can see why it’s often known as a restaurant with rooms here. I loved the G&T menu but wished I’d noticed the cocktail menu before I ordered as I rarely pass up the chance to enjoy an Espresso Martini! The food was delectable, from dinner (melt-in-your-mouth Soufflé followed by Lemon & Garlic Chicken – mine, and Beetroot & Goat’s Cheese Salad, then a rather special Battered Haddock & Triple Cooked Chips – his) through to breakfast where the Eggs Benedict was mouth-watering and I just had to pinch some fried bread from his Full English as it looked just too good to resist!