Country Living Lansdown Grove HotelPosted on: 17 March 2020 by Michael Edwards
Staying in the pages of Country Living magazine, Michael Edwards visits a hotel where magazine glamour comes to life.
Country Living couldn’t have chosen a better debut location than Bath for their innovative project. There can be few cities more elegant than Bath with its crescents of honey-stoned Regency houses and picturesque bridges over the River Avon - all surrounded by green Somerset countryside. Already, with a classic Regency facade, this decidedly comfortable hotel, is a success. Now, as well, there is a Country Living St George Hotel in Harrogate. Apparently, the concept matches well with gracious spa towns.
Designers at the Country Living Lansdown Grove Hotel have brought to life the spirit of one of Britain’s top-selling lifestyle magazines in a spacious, sometimes rambling hotel, overlooking Somerset’s hills and valleys. Spending a few days of magazine living has a powerful pull. Prints of birds nests, sheaves of wheat and rural landscapes - along with generously sized country kitchen mugs for the coffee-maker - pull country living into the city.
To be honest, many of the hotel’s guests book in as much for an exquisite education in interior design as for the chance to take in Bath’s charms. Appropriately, the Country Living aesthetic looks back to Regency style with ornate plasterwork cornices and Gainsborough style landscapes.
Daring designers also delve into design bibles from different eras. Boundaries are pushed in bedrooms with dark slate grey feature walls whilst outsize bronze lanterns in the public areas, with their exposed raw filaments, are surprisingly avant-garde. Black telephones and alarm clocks, both out of Heartbeat’s props store, add retro notes while a fluffy duvet and throw are both welcome comforters.
Once checked in - and after a short stroll downhill - guests discover that there is far more to the city than museums, Jane Austen’s legacy and the Roman Baths. Walcot Street takes artisanal shopping, with its boutiques and stalls, to another level. Landrace bakery, where the grain obsessed owners are restoring Britain’s bread heritage, providing cakes and sandwiches from a bygone era, makes for a great lunch stop.
Another different destination is Magalleria which is a showcase for an immense range of international magazines. It’s an opportunity to drink in design trends, read about food foraging in Denmark or wistfully browse through some uber-stylish travel magazines. If you are still in need of inspiration there are also interior design shops and artists’ galleries along Milsom Street.
Remember that Country Living Hotel’s mantra is “An escape from the everyday life”, so there’s a welcome absence of gym and swimming pool at both hotels. You would never have seen Jane Austen, in leotard, at the gym. Instead, at the Lansdown Grove there’s a peaceful library of leather-bound books, wingback chairs and welcoming sofas that invite periods of restorative relaxation. There are more sumptuous sofas in the spacious bar too.
The duck-egg blue restaurant continues the theme of classical elegance meets Art School creativity. Framed butterfly collections appear to date from perhaps Victorian days but in fact they are artfully created from antiquarian maps. There’s a menu for all appetites and for all tastes from a delicate starter of cauliflower tempura to a hearty sirloin steak and triple cooked chips, from whitebait to roast pork. Even the look of the waiting staff - a light oatmeal check running through sage green waistcoats slightly dressed down by functional blue jeans - is a carefully curated stylish statement.
Although parts of the Grade 2 listed building date back to the 18th century, the hotel was given an extensive refurbishment in 2018 by the Country Living team. Sat on one of Bath’s seven hills, it over looks a UNESCO World Heritage City that has much to offer for either a long weekend or a week’s stay.
Find out more about Country Living Hotels at countrylivinghotels.com
Photo credit: Visit Bath
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