OFFER: The Red Lion, Hampshire
WHAT? Beautifully styled bedrooms with crisp white linen and heavenly power showers placed oh-so-conveniently above a rustic pub in the historic village of Odiham.
Serving hearty breakfasts and locally sourced, seasonal food throughout the day, it’s a gorgeous spot to stop off anytime – but we’d highly recommend booking to stay overnight, so as to fully enjoy the novelty of stumbling just a few metres to your bed after a few G&Ts. A litany of Espa products invite you to wash away the stresses of the day, a flat-screen TV and coffee facilities providing everything you need to relax into the weekend.
WHY GO? For all the reasons we’re about to list – plus, we’re offering a complimentary bottle of Chateau Carbonneau Wine when booking a BB or DBB package – just quote the code ‘Fashionbite’.*
WHERE? A short taxi from Hook train station (a quick hop from London Waterloo), The Red Lion pub is a warm and welcoming place to begin a weekend in the country.
Not far from Basingstoke and the stunning New Forest by car or train, you can easily explore a few different areas across a couple of days with this place as your base. Winchester Cathedral and Marwell Zoo are good days out for families, and for thrill seekers, there’s Thorpe Park and the Bombay Sapphire distillery.
Whichever you choose, start off with a pint of local beer or ale, chatting to locals (any excuse to pet the beautiful dogs snoozing by the bar) and wandering about the neighboring antique shops. If you’re peckish, you can pick from the usual pub fare (fish and chips, pies and steak) cooked beautifully with fresh ingredients. The pub is buzzy but not too loud, any noise that does carry upstairs to your room dying out by around 11.30pm.
We thoroughly enjoyed a tempura tiger prawns with Secretts’ salad and sweet chilli sauce, followed by an 8oz sirloin steak with chunky chips, home-dried plum tomatoes, grilled mushrooms and pepper sauce. Elsewhere on the menu are classic homemade desserts like a sticky toffee pudding (perfectly unctuous, slathered in butterscotch sauce and homemade vanilla ice cream) and pecan and maple tart (a sweet tooth’s dream).
If you find yourself with any room to eat the next day, breakfast takes in everything from English muffins topped with smoked salmon and poached eggs to a gigantic Full English and fruit compote-topped yoghurt.
HOW MUCH? Prices start at £95 per guest for one night’s bed & breakfast in a beautiful double room.
*Validinclusive. Valid on bookings for stays /25018 excludes inclusive.