Steeped in history, superb for hospitality, this magnificent medieval market town bewitchingly encompasses all the delights of Elizabethan England in an array of cosy tea rooms, quaint cafés, traditional pubs, galleries and boutique hotels blended with exciting attractions chronicling the life of the town’s most famous son.
Nestled in the thick of it all is Hotel Indigo, our stylish base for an overnight stay, built overlooking Shakespeare’s last home and just a stone’s throw from his birthplace and other world famous heritage sites.Combining striking 16th century architecture with luxury amenities such as Hypnos beds, Egyptian cotton linen, spa-inspired bathrooms and flat screen TVs, each of the hotel’s luxurious 93 bedrooms is contemporary themed with a traditional twist, in honour of the Bard himself.
Delighted with the hotel’s prime position; just a five minute stroll from the grassy banks of the River Avon and the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre, famous for its live shows celebrating the playwright’s inspirational works, we spent the entire weekend exploring on foot, with everything we wanted to see and do situated right on our doorstep.
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Where to eat and drink
In awe of the trademark half-timbered buildings of the time period, we wandered the cobbles blessed with more sunshine than showers, drinking in the distinctive architecture before stopping off at Benson’s Restaurant and Tea Rooms for a delicious champagne afternoon tea then settling riverside to swan watch until sunset.
Early evening, enticed by an eclectic cocktail menu shaken for the connoisseur, we popped pre-dinner into The Falcon cocktail and whisky bar, the hotel’s intimate art deco drinks haven boasting interactive mixologists to help inspire the perfect night cap.
Duly impressed with the quirky nook, our explorations got only so far as an Old Fashioned – Woodford reserve bourbon, brown sugar and angostura bitters – before we were called for dinner in the Falcon’s chic sister restaurant, the Woodsman.
Renowned for delivering an exceptional dining experience in relaxed ambience, this elegant atmospheric restaurant and bar is independently run and owned by restaurateur Mike Robinson, and features a large wood-fired oven and charcoal grill, allowing guests to watch as the chefs work their culinary magic.
Whilst the Woodsman’s own huntsman delivers game from nearby estates, chefs source fresh seasonal produce from local farmers or the restaurant’s own botanical and herb garden, ensuring an original, seasonal menu bursting with flavour.
Spoilt for choice, our gastronomic journey began with crispy lamb sweetbreads with broad beans and Berkswell cheese to start, followed by wood fired halibut with Fowey mussels, cauliflower, capers and monk’s beard.Full to the brim, we were unable to resist the allure of dark chocolate baked Alaska, salted caramel parfait and toasted hazelnuts for dessert, the icing on the cake of a truly superb weekend.
How to book
Prices start at £195 based on two guests sharing on a bed and breakfast basis. To book call reservations on 0330 102 7244 or visit https://stratford.hotelindigo.com/