At every opportunity I jump on a plane to explore somewhere new…often forgetting that there are many amazing place right on my doorstep!
Stratford is one of them. It is only about 40 minutes from where we live and I have visited briefly a couple of times, but never with Will and we have talked about going together for a while. It is such a lovely place – obviously it is well known as Shakespeare’s birth place (and that in itself is pretty amazing) – but it is also a very quaint, very English town. It oozes history and charm, coupled with a great river, pretty countryside and a few nice shops (The White Company, Jo Malone, Mint Velvet to name a few of my favs there). It makes for a great UK-based romantic weekend!
So when Hotel Du Vin asked if I would like to stay in the new hotel they have recently opened there, I jumped at the chance.
Hotel Du Vin has in fact got a special place place in mine and Will’s hearts – our first ever break away together was to the Hotel Du Vin in Edinburgh for Valentine’s Day…over TEN YEARS AGO! That hotel was brand new then and Will surprised me with a room with a roll top bath in the bedroom. Neither of us had ever stayed in anything so amazing before and always remember how special it felt.
We have stayed a few HDV’s since then and have always loved the beautiful decor, good service and delicious Bistro.
Our stay at the Hotel Du Vin, Stratford
The hotel is in the heart of Stratford and was easy to find. We had a few jobs to do in the morning at home so arrived at the hotel for check in at 3pm.
As expected, the building is gorgeous and the interiors even better! It has been a registry office and a Gentleman’s Club previously – the latter has in part influenced the feel of the hotel. In true Du Vin style, they pull off bold colours and patterns with ease and it makes me want to be a bit braver in my own home!
All the rooms are named after champagne and we stayed in Perrier Jouet – it was INCREDIBLE! I have been lucky enough to stay in some pretty great hotels over my time but I think this was the biggest, everrrr! We had a hallway, a sitting room with dining room section, large bedroom complete with a roll tub bath (hoorah!), a bathroom and separate shower room!
I don’t think my pictures do the place justice but it was so stylish and cool. I loved it.
We settled ourselves in, pinched each other a few times to make sure it was real and headed out to explore the town.
Stratford at Christmas didn’t disappoint. They have gone all out with their decorations and the shops have decorated their windows and doors beautifully. It felt so festive and reminded me a bit of England in the film The Holiday (talking of which, I cannot wait to watch that again soon!).
We wandered about the shops, hand in hand soaking up the atmosphere and buying a few pieces here and there, before heading back to the hotel to get ready for dinner that evening.
Getting ready for a night out is often my favourite part of the night so I couldn’t resist jumping in the bath and popping open a bottle of bubbly. There is something so decadent about a bath isn’t there. Despite having a bath at home I really don’t use it that often so it was lovely to have a relaxing soak and enjoy the bubbles (both in the bath and my glass).
We headed downstairs to the restaurant to dinner and both ordered seasonal cocktails to sip whilst we perused the food menu. I went for a vodka and grapefruit one which I loved and Will for a gin based cocktail. They were both delicious.
Talking of the restaurant – the interiors are gorgeous. The restaurant had a very cool vibe with beautiful lighting, marble topped tables and a living wall.
I really do like the Bistros at the Du Vin hotels – you get good portions of very good food at a really good price point.
We ate very well.
Posh mushrooms on toast for me (SO good), and salt cod fritters for the gentleman.
Followed by steak with bearnaise sauce for him and fish stew for me.
Neither of us could fit desert in, although the menu did look good. We had a little walk around the courtyard and retreated to our suite to jump into our PJs and watch a film from the biggest, comfiest bed – such a luxury. We don’t have a TV in our bedroom as I would never get any sleeping done but in a hotel it feels so decadent to watch a film from bed.
In the morning we jumped out of bed eager for breakfast. Avo on toast for me and a full cooked for him.
Before heading out to explore a bit of Stratford in the daylight. We didn’t have much time but it doesn’t take long before you come across some lovely sights. I just love the architecture – nothing is straight!
Of course we had a stroll past Shakespeare’s birthplace! What a building!
And before we knew it, we had to dash off to meet some of Will’s friends who lived only a few miles out of the town in the beautiful countryside.
I can’t wait to go back to Stratford again and of course spend some more time in the Du Vin hotel!
A huge thank you to the Hotel Du Vin Stratford for inviting us to stay. We were guests of the hotel but I would only ever recommend somewhere that I truly loved.