An Indian Summer Retreat
Determined to make one last summer foray..? We’ve scouted three options and Trevor Pickett suggests how to arrive with a little panache
We’re a restless lot. On average, every day more than eight million people fly and in 2015 1.3 billion trips were made by train. Never in human history has there been so much movement; never have there been so many travellers. With the thirst to travel comes the quandary of how best to travel. Here are three of remote countryside getaways to round off your summer travels, along with the expert assistance of Trevor Pickett. As the owner of the eponymous leather goods brand, Pickett, for almost 30 years, here he shares his top pieces to guarantee you always arrive in style.
Highbullen Hotel is an award-winning country house hotel set in 127 acres of beautiful parkland in North Devon. Having undergone a several million pound refurbishment, the hotel is equipped with everything you could wish for in country break. The hotel offers a wide range of activities across the estate, including seven all-weather tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, croquet, fishing, shooting and a fully equipped gym.
With views down the Mole Valley and across to Exmoor, Highbullen Hotel feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. In the summer, the stunning grounds come alive. As the autumn months creep in, the views are transformed with the landscape changing from greens to golds, reds and browns.
Highbullen has steadily become renowned as one of the foremost hotels in North Devon and have recently been awarded 4 stars and 2 AA rosettes for its Devon View Restaurant. Under the direction of head chef, Stephen Walker, the kitchen has been praised for its balanced selection of well-executed and imaginative dishes, outstanding presentation and fresh, locally sourced produce.
Rooms from £139 B&B
This luxurious garment bag, made from the softest calf leather, is a convenient travel partner that will ensure your outfits stay pristine for your visit to the award-winning Devon View Restaurant.
The White Horse is nestled at the foot of the stunning South Downs. Recognised as an area of outstanding beauty, the sloping hills and ancient woodlands of the South Downs National Park has long attracted walkers and ramblers with its promise of incredible changing landscapes and fascinating wildlife. Each of the rooms open out onto a private courtyard with a meticulously landscaped garden and rolling views of the Sussex countryside in every direction.
The White Horse boasts a private dining room and a superior wine cellar, sponsored by Baron Rothschild. Authentically British dishes are created by head chef Andy Rogers and made using made using only the freshest local ingredients. A welcoming atmosphere and an honest ‘field to fork’ menu has earned The White Horse a reputation as a classic country inn. Tom Kerridge, who carries two Michelin stars, attests that “The White Horse is a showcase for pubs as they should be: comfortable, relaxed and informal.”
Double Rooms from £140 (Fri-Sat) including breakfast
Handmade in England using a heavy grade waterproofed canvas trimmed with British bridle hide, this is a simple, slim but capacious rucksack. It’s the ideal companion for long walks across the South Downs.
Deep within the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, surrounded by fields and with the river Thames flowing at the end of the garden, menus make the most of fresh fish and local game whilst the cosy bar and boutique rooms are the perfect place for you to relax in classic Cotswold comfort. If you’re exploring the local area, the picturesque location hugging the bank of a peaceful part of The Thames makes the ideal base for a Cotswold countryside adventure. There are also a number of local chalkstreams for hooking yourself a prizewinning trout, just waiting to be explored. Even if you come home empty handed, there is always fresh fish on the menus. You can even drift from The Trout all the way to London, the pub has a number of moorings available – just hop off and make your way through the garden to refuel with an excellent dinner, or treat yourself to a cosy night ashore in the stunning rooms.
Double Rooms from £150 includes (Fri-Sat) including breakfast
Made using a heavy gauge waterproof canvas with contrasting leather trim, this medium wheeled holdall is a generous size but still lightweight easy to wheel travel bag – useful if you’re looking to extend your stay in the Cotswolds.