The Best Hotels for Romance in the UK

Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.

Ernest Hemingway

Chin, chin to that, sir. With Hemingway's cautionary words ringing in our ears, thoughts of a romantic weekend away is an exciting albeit slightly faith-led idea. Whether booking your first romantic break or hoping to find a new favourite getaway, we've compiled our list of nine of the cosiest hotels across the UK for romance and relaxation.

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The Pig at Combe

Devon

The Pig at Combe in Devon - the group's fifth outpost - is arguably the best of the litter. Quintessentially British with a modern twist, Robin Hutson's shabby-chic country house retreats are heaven sent. Nestled in the Otter Valley, this secluded spot stretches some 3,500 acres. Inside the Grade I-listed Elizabethan manor, flagstone flooring, stained-glass windows and comfortable beds provide sumptuous quarters in which to cosy down. Treat yourself to a "piggy massage" at the Potting Shed spa and follow with dinner at the Folly, a restored dining room with original features serving wood-fired pizza (which can be eaten in bed).

Address

Gittisham Honiton Devon EX14 3AD

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At the Chapel

Somerset

Formerly a 17th-century chapel, this boutique residence consists of eight contemporary bedrooms to squirrel away in. In the morning, fresh croissants are brought straight to your room from the on-site bakery; your nose will preempt the knock at your door. Breakfast aside, the food is plate-scrapingly good across the board, with a relaxed Mediterranean approach to British ingredients. Art lovers should note that the guest house is just five minutes from Hauser & Wirth in Bruton, which supplies the hotel with a rotating selection of art.

Address

28 High Street, BA10 0AE

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Killiehuntly Farmhouse

Highland

Killiehuntly, a decidedly slick Nordic retreat near Inverness, seems something of an oxymoron. The hybrid design coined as "Scandi-Scot" incorporates minimal Danish with Scottish farmhouse traditions. Located on a working farm, which dates back to around 1850, every inch of the 4,000 acre estate is considered and well-cared for. Located on a working farm, which dates back to around 1850, you can rest assured the food at Killiehuntly is fresh, organic and wholesome.

Address

Kingussie PH21 1NZ

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No38 The Park

Cheltenham

Part of the Lucky Onion group - other properties include The Wheatsheaf Inn and 131 in Cheltenham's centre - this Georgian mansion houses one particularly stylish B&B. An art-filled haven, No38 richly coloured wallpaper and stucco ceilings provide the perfect backdrop to prized works by British artists including David Hockney and Sir Peter Blake. Individually decorated bedrooms carry through similar artistic notes and guests can expect cosy quarters plus en suites complete with claw-foot bathtubs. Enjoy a generous breakfast spread in the atrium and grab a green bench seat by the folding glass doors to catch the morning light.

Address

38 Evesham Rd Cheltenham GL52 2AH

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Artist Residence, Oxford

Oxfordshire

This 16th-century inn has five luxurious bedrooms nestled under its homely thatch. Choose from the "Rabbit Hole" or the spacious "Barn Suite" with all rooms finished with a trademark mix of antiquary and bohemian styling. Downstairs, Mr Hanbury's Mason Arms, designed in collaboration with artists The Connor Brothers, is a welcoming country pub. While we can't imagine ever wanting to leave this place, Artist Residence is conveniently located near Blenheim Palace, Bicester Village and Daylesford cookery school, should the notion take you.

Address

Station Road South Leigh Witney OX29 6XN

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Beaverbrook

Surrey

Purchased by Lord Beaverbrook - a great friend of Winston Churchill - in 1910, this historic property was sold in 2002 and reopened in 2007 following a £90 million makeover. Located in the heart of the rolling Surrey Hills, Beaverbrook seems to have it all. Complete with home cinema, sleek hotel bar and Japanese restaurant, there is also a real sense of fun about the place. Stately rooms are offset with modern pieces, injecting spontaneity into an otherwise classical aesthetic. Generously sized bedrooms named after illustrious guests such as Ian Fleming and Elizabeth Taylor are pure folly - and the bathrooms are large enough to run laps in.

Address

Reigate Rd Leatherhead KT22 8QX

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The Reading Rooms

Margate

Less than five-minutes walk to the beach and Turner Contemporary, it's no wonder The Reading Rooms is a popular posting among a hip crowd. Margate's magnetism fluctuates from season to season but this cosy Georgian townhouse is welcoming year-round. Built in the 1760s, the house's original architectural features have been preserved. The three spacious guest rooms, each covering an entire floor, with windows overlooking the tree-lined Georgian square offer guests sedate surroundings in which to truly unwind. Breakfast is served in-room on a large antique butler tray; eat it in bed or by the window with views over the square.

Address

31 Hawley Square Margate CT9 1PH

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Blakes Hotel

London

Converted from a set of Victorian townhouses, Blakes is proof that you don't need to leave London for a romantic getaway. The Chelsea institution, known for its distinctive design and impeccable service, is a wild-card choice for a steamy staycation. Now in its 40th year, Blakes cachet is far-reaching, attracting musicians, actors and the majority of the fashion crowd. From the understated white "Corfu suite" to the Chinoiserie wallpapered lounge, every corner of the hotel is luxuriating. Couples staying for the weekend should make the most of the hotel's ties to the South Kensington Club and its amenities; massages for two booked and confirmed.

Address

33 Roland Gardens SW7 3PF

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Shepherd House

Kent

The family-run Shepherd House is a beautiful, zanily decorated Georgian townhouse in Faversham. Bold yet tasteful colour combinations overrun the premises; guests are likely to find an assorted palette of delicate pink walls paired with dinosaur etchings, monochrome bath tiles and mandarin-coloured upholstery. For a seaside weekend away, Shepherd House is a solid choice, with the option of an evening walk along the beach at Whitstable followed by a shellfish dinner at the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company.

Address

56 Preston St Faversham ME13 8PG

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The Newt, Somerset

If you and your beau typically prefer clean lines and urban buzz over majestic pomp, The Newt in Somerset might just be the perfect country-house romantic break for you. Checking in to The Newt is like checking out of modern civilisation and into a romantic novel from time past - one with extensive modcons, we should add. At this Georgian country pile, oil paintings hang above modernist sofas and big contemporary glassy structures are set beside old Palladian mouldings. The mansion was recently revamped by Karen Roos, former editor of Elle Decoration South Africa and one half of the brains behind South Africa's eminently stylish farm hotel, Babylonstoren.

Address

Hadspen BA7 7NG

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The Fife Arms, Scottish Highlands

More is more at this exuberant Highlands hotel. Every room is plastered with whimsical arts-and-crafts wallpaper and hung with the contemporary art world's most weird and wonderful outpourings. It's the love child of the Swiss gallerists behind Hauser & Wirth, and not far from the higgledy-piggledy village of Braemar which is teeming with history. Some might find it dizzying, most will find it a sumptuous, romantic retreat.

Address

Mar Road Ballater AB35 5YN

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Pensons, Worcestershire

Located in the secluded farmland on the Herefordshire-Worcestershire border, Pensons is a Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms rather than a full-blown hotel. To be clear, Pensons is actually the name of the restaurant which takes fruit and veg grown in its extensive kitchen garden and refashions it by some form of culinary alchemy into exquisite dishes - an approach it calls "estate to plate". From this intimate restaurant, it's a short roll to your bed in the Grade II-listed medieval hall lodgings located just behind. It's a terribly exclusive set-up so you'll need to call to arrange a stay.

Address

Pensons Yard Tenbury Wells WR15 8RT