Seeing summer out in the fanciest way possible…
It might be the passing of the last Bank Holiday weekend of the year (until Christmas, ugh), the ‘back to school’ signs everywhere – which make you both overjoyed that you won’t have to dodge children on your every outing but also dread the impending doom of Autumn – or just the fact that you’ve used up all your annual leave and you need to squeeze the last of the summer for, well, it’s wine and that essential tan before you fade back to being Casper the grumpy Londoner for the rest of the year.
It’s just as important to savour these last few remnants of the summer, as it is that we get excited about all that the colder seasons have to offer, so we’re embracing the magic that is a long weekend, UK edition.
It’s something that is both completely taboo, yet totally the hot ticket when it comes to planning your weekends in the UK – out is the idea that you have to stay in some miserable hotel in Blackpool where people are vomiting outside your window after a sordid night out, and in is the idea of the long luxurious weekend, where you basically feel transported to another place, a much more chic place – enter the No.131, Cheltenham.
Edging the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, for those who have never been, is a much more compact version of London, West London to be precise. Maybe not a place to visit for a rowdy weekend, what you’ll find on your visits here are more chic shopping, great restaurants and a generally pretty landscape to discover at your own pace – what we found at the centre of the whole shebang, was the 131.
Located on the promenade, in a redeveloped Georgian property, the 131 has recently expanded to include both the original property, and now ‘The House’ – ‘home to eight individually designed bedrooms, a sun terrace complete with Victorian-style glass house bar, and a number of unique event spaces’ as the website states, the property itself is pretty downright incredible. Each of the rooms are individually designed and start from cosy for something more intimate, to the sprawling ‘excellent rooms’, which are downright palatial (we obviously chose this option because we’re nothing but extra and lemme tell ya hun, it was worth it, we came out of that weekend feeling like we’d been personally hosted at Buckingham Palace).
When you’re done using the Bose sound system that’s installed in your room to blast Britney and dance around in your provided robes (obviously we’re not speaking from personal experience…), watching TV in a bed that could fit about 15 people (actually something we didn’t try, and what a shame) or draping yourself into the roll top bath and lathering with the Acqua Di Parma toiletries (recommended), then it’ll probably be time to head down for dinner.
The hotel’s restaurant describes itself as everything ‘from classic home-cooked favourites to modern European fare’ and whether you decide to sit out on the terrace overlooking the main square or in the beautifully art-lined restaurant (instagram-able moments aplenty), there’s just one thing you should all do… what’s that you ask? It’s order the cheese soufflé, because hot damn that stuff is good.
To be perfectly honest, you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu and as we sailed through the mains (with a perfectly paired wine and cocktail pairing thanks to our incredible waitress), it was time for dessert, which is a personal favourite course. Whilst we could be getting predictable with our love of a soufflé, we don’t really care because you really should have the chocolate one for dessert (again, banging).
For after dinner drinkies, you really don’t have to go far (or really anywhere at all if you just want to enjoy the bar in the restaurant), but if you take a trip downstairs you’ll find the spot you’ll want to let the rest of your summer fade away in, Gin & Juice. The hotel’s atmospheric old-timey bar opens up on to a sprawling Gin Terrace, which is pretty much the place you’ll want to be staying, weather permitting.
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