TASTE October 2018

London

The capital’s restaurant scene continues to buzz with new openings this autumn…and one trend we’re seeing is the number of exciting eateries opening in some of London’s top hotels. Renowned Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge has brought his culinary flair to the Corinthia Hotel London and opened his first London restaurant at the hotel in September, Kerridge’s Bar & Grill. You’ll find Tom’s take on Britain’s most celebrated dishes, a rotisserie, plus a set Sunday lunch menu and pre- and post-theatre dining.

When the new Bankside Hotel opens in mid-October, so will its new all-day dining restaurant and bar, the Art Yard Bar & Kitchen. Head Chef Lee Streeton’s menu uses seasonal British produce inspired by European cuisines. The menu will use produce sourced as locally as possible, including honey from their own beehives, fresh ingredients from London’s markets and a regularly changing menu of beers from breweries along the nearby Bermondsey Beer Mile.

Seasonal fare is also celebrated at Baluchi, the pan-Indian dining destination at luxury boutique hotel The LaLiT London and, to mark the return of Britain’s game season, Executive Chef Santosh Shah has launched an exclusive six-course tasting menu. Game such as grouse, partridge and venison will be given a twist using spice blends and traditional tandoor cooking.

Staying with innovations in Indian cuisine, the City of London has also welcomed new Indian barbecue restaurant Brigadiers London, a restaurant inspired by the army mess bars of India. You’ll find food cooked using different methods of Indian barbecue, such as tandoors, charcoal grills, rotisseries, wood ovens and classic Indian smokers.

The Latin American food invasion in the capital also continues to thrive, with the recently opened Zuaya; Spanish twins Alberto and Arian Zandi have opened a lively and contemporary restaurant on Kensington High Street. Head Chef Francisco Lafee’s menu is divided into eight sections: snacks, ceviche, tiraditos & tartars, salads, tacos, robata grills, stews and desserts, with dishes designed for sharing.

Italian favourites will be served at new all-day dining destination Harry’s Bar in Marylebone, close to Oxford Street, when it opens in October. Channelling mid-20th century Italian glamour, its menu will also include a signature weekend brunch and a special Cicchetti menu – small plates traditionally served in Venetian Bacari bars.

Champagne fan? Head to Marylebone-based boutique hotel The Arch London, which has just launched a ‘Champagne Flight Afternoon Tea’. Guests can sample seasonal cakes and sandwiches while sipping a trio of Taittinger Champagne selected to match each round of savouries and cakes. Champagne connoisseurs should also check out the recently opened bar at The Ned, where there are 30 Champagnes to choose from (also fun to try is its martini trolley, from which you can order your own bespoke blend).

And it’s been reported that Hollywood and TV star Idris Elba is opening a bar in London with Lee and Nicky Caulfield called The Parrot at the Waldorf Hilton. Details are limited but we do know it’s due to open in October, will be tropical themed, host live music every evening and will be the first bar to in London to offer its own chauffeur-driven car, in partnership with Aston Martin.

 

England

Manchester’s restaurant scene is booming as we head towards the end of 2018. The thriving neighbourhood of Ancoats and its growing foodie scene welcomed modern Portuguese restaurant Canto this month, with a menu inspired by Portugal’s culinary traditions. And Viet Shack has grown from a market food stall to a full-service restaurant in Ancoats, bringing Vietnamese flavours to its Viet wraps, Banh Mi, the ‘Viet Mac’ and peanut butter chicken ‘n’ chips.

Elsewhere in the city, Dishoom – the award-winning Indian café group, inspired by Bombay’s Irani colonial café scene and which has five venues in London – has secured a spot within Manchester Hall and looks set to open in winter 2018. And taking residence inside a four-storey, wooden-framed building in the centre of commercial district Spinningfields, The Ivy will bring to its café-style brasserie to Manchester this October, featuring an all-day dining menu of modern British and international dishes. Also launching the same month, as part of a multi-million-pound renovation of the historic Radisson Edwardian Hotel, the Peter Street Kitchen will be a destination restaurant dedicated to ‘shared dining’, with food consisting of small plates from contemporary Japanese and Mexican cuisines.

North-west England neighbour Liverpool, meanwhile, continues to witness a surge of independent food and drink establishments opening at the iconic Albert Dock. Recently adding to the historic site’s foodie scene are Catalan restaurant Lunyalita, vegan-friendly Peaberry Coffee House & Kitchen and artisan boutique bakery Rough Hand Made.

Liverpool has also welcomed an entire new foodie destination – the Grand Central Bazaar. Located in a stunning art nouveau building, this food hall is bursting with multiple stalls serving different cuisines, and retains many of the building’s original quirky features. Competing with it for most Instagrammable place to eat in Liverpool is the minimalist chic décor of Ropes and Twines on Bold Street, a ‘coffee and wine’ restaurant and gallery.

Birmingham has also witnessed growth in its foodie scene recently. A new ping pong bar – SERVE – opened last month, where guests can not only enjoy a match on one of its 17 ping pong tables, but also its creative menu where burgers are served in Chinese steamed charcoal marble bao buns and signature cocktails come with unique names such as Winner Winner Gin for Dinner. Meanwhile, in October, a new dining experience with the strapline ‘Meat. Bread. Beer’ will open in the city centre. Pint Shop will be located in a listed building dating back to 1860 in Birmingham’s former financial quarter, Bennett’s Hill, and will focus on a menu of seasonal British produce and local and national beers. And look out in 2019 for the third restaurant from top Birmingham chef Aktar Islam in the city.

An hour from London

There’s been a raft of new openings recently in the historic city of St Albans. As the vegan trend flourishes, the city has welcomed vegan café NoMooMoo, whose terrace overlooks the striking monument that is St Albans Cathedral. Enjoy local beers? Check out the new Reading Rooms, a cosy micropub opened by local brewery Farr Brew, or stop by for a delicious Sunday roast at The Plough Pub by Dylans, an independent free house in a rural setting.

Over in the university city of Cambridge a new restaurant has opened at the University Arms Cambridge hotel, the Parker’s Tavern, whose design mirrors the communal dining halls synonymous with Cambridge university colleges. Chef Tristan Welch has created a seasonally changing menu that is entirely British and highlights ingredients from Cambridge and East Anglian producers. Welch has brought back ancient British and local dishes and given them a modern twist, such as the Cambridge University classic Duke of Cambridge Tart.

Autumn Spotlight on: Norwich

A programme of unique culinary experiences is taking place in the city of Norwich, east England, this autumn. The inaugural Assembly House Food Festival (on from now until November) brings a mix of performance, dining and events to this city boutique B&B, restaurant, arts hub and cookery school. Visit for events such as a game masterclass or attend its School of Chocolate. New evening dining is launching at local deli Louis this autumn, running as a café by day and Les Garrigues by night, serving French food and wine, as two independent businesses join forces. Elsewhere, the Ivy Norwich has recently opened in the heart of the Norwich Lanes, where the cocktail menu includes new concoctions inspired by local stories. Foodie events to watch out for this autumn include a celebration of local produce at Porkstock on 13 October; the art of food science at the Norwich Science Festival (19 – 27 October); and the Norwich Beer Festival, (22 – 27 October), the largest provincial beer festival in the country.

Scotland

 

Edinburgh’s restaurant scene continues to grow this autumn with Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin set to open his fourth restaurant called Southside Scran in the neighbourhood of Bruntsfield in November. Looking for something super healthy? The city’s Leith neighbourhood has recently welcomed Kcal Kitchen, where the breakfast menu is packed with protein treats and the lunch and dinner menus ranging from super clean salads and vegan meatballs to muscle-builder burgers and clean Katsu curry.

Over in Glasgow, look out for the UK’s largest urban pancake house in October as Stack & Still opens to the hungry public. It will boast a pancake menu offering more than ten million possible combinations and including buckwheat, gluten-free, vegan, buttermilk, protein and sugar-free selections, plus Glasgow’s first-ever self-dispense drinks bar.

And the north Glasgow district of Maryhill welcomed the opening of The Botany this month. Diners feast a fresh ingredient-driven menu that includes its special Balmoral Pie, while sitting in a glasshouse conservatory overlooking gorgeous gardens.

 

Awards

The 50 best restaurants in the UK for 2019 were revealed this month in the latest Good Food Guide. Three restaurants scored a perfect ten in this year’s guide; Cornwall-based Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume in Cumbria, north-west England and Core by Clare Smyth in London’s Notting Hill.

Day trips from London – Oxford and Cambridge

Oxford and Cambridge – two of the most famous university cities in the world that should be on everyone’s bucket lists to visit. Fortunately, both are around 60 miles from London – an hour’s journey by train – which make them easy to visit in a day trip from the capital and summer is the perfect time to explore them when the students are on their summer break. How do you choose which one if you’ve got just the one day to spare? Here’s a handy guide to help you choose the first to visit…as you plan a return trip to Britain to visit the other!

 

History & Heritage

Oxford

Founded in 1096, this prestigious university is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. And, if you have a penchant for literature, it also boasts a strong connection with some of the world’s greatest authors; alumni include luminaries such as JRR Tolkien (Oxford was where he penned Lord of the Rings), CS Lewis and Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde, T.S. Eliot, Phillip Pullman, Graham Greene – the list goes on!

Cambridge

Cambridge is also centuries old…although this esteemed university can claim to be a little younger than Oxford, having been founded in 1209. The university is renowned for its science legends – Charles Darwin studied here (see his notebooks at the city’s Sedgwick Museum), plus it’s famously where scientists Francis Crick and James Watson discovered the structure of DNA, and where World War Two code breaker Alan Turing and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking studied.

 

The Universities

Oxford

The university made up of 38 independent colleges, which are dotted across Oxford, many of which you can visit and explore the college quads, gardens and chapels. They’re all worth a visit but Christ Church is probably one you already recognise – its grand hall was used as the setting for Hogwarts’ Great Hall in the Harry Potter films – and its home to Christ Church Cathedral, which contributes to the reason why Oxford is called the city of ‘dreaming spires’. Elsewhere, New College, which was also used in the Harry Potter films, has a gorgeous garden with the original city wall running around its boundaries and its Chapel is home to art such as a two-metre high sculpture of Lazarus. More stunning architecture can be found at Balliol College.

Cambridge

Cambridge University has 31 colleges, so a little smaller than Oxford but no less spectacular in its architecture and grounds. One of the best examples of gothic architecture can be found at the chapel at King’s College – you’ll discover incredible medieval stained-glass windows here as well as the largest fan-vaulted ceiling in the world. If you go along for Choral Evensong you’ll be captivated by some of the most beautiful sounds – the choir sings here most days and its free to visit. King’s College was founded by Henry VI, his queen Margaret of Anjou went on to found the equally beautiful Queen’s College, one of the oldest and largest at Cambridge. Trinity College, designed by Sir Christopher Wren (of St Paul’s Cathedral fame), boasts the incredible Wren Library and make sure you stop by the Corpus Clock at Corpus Christi College; this incredible monument doesn’t have hands or digital numbers and was designed to be beautiful yet disconcerting.

 

Activities

Oxford

Whether you’re in Oxford or Cambridge, a punt on the river is essential! A punt is a flat-bottomed boat, propelled by pushing off the river bed with a long pole. One of the biggest punt stations in Oxford is the Cherwell Boathouse (you can eat at its restaurant too), where you’ll punt down the River Cherwell, underneath low-slung bridges, past the city’s Botanic Gardens and the pretty Magdalen College.

A night at the theatre is also a must; the world-famous Sheldonian Theatre, the university’s official ceremonial venue, is a regular host of classical music performances. Head to the New Theatre Oxford for comedy and West End shows while the Oxford Playhouse is home to everything from family shows, drama, student and amateur shows to comedy, poetry and contemporary dance. And, with Oxford University blessed with so many famous authors among its alumni, it’s only fitting that every year the renowned Oxford Literary Festival takes place (March 30-7 April 2019).

In a city with such a profound history, you’ll also find a museum or two along the way! Everything from contemporary art to Egyptian mummies can be found at The Ashmolean, the university’s museum of art and archaeology, while Oxford Castle and Prison both relates 1,000 years of the murky side of the city’s history and hosts a packed events programme; for eight weeks this summer it’s home to Oxford’s Shakespeare Festival.

Looking for a gift to take home? There are plenty of university themed souvenirs at The University of Oxford Shop or head down to the Oxford Covered Market to browse the cute independent shops, while high-street treats can be found at the large-scale shopping mall Westgate Oxford.

Cambridge

Punting on the River Cam is an excellent way to enjoy the beautiful university colleges – either hire a punt to take out yourself or take a guided tour so you can absorb the city’s history in full along the way. You’ll pass by landmarks such as The Backs (of the colleges), the Bridge of Sighs, Trinity College’s Wren Library and the magnificent King’s College Chapel.

Discover more of the city’s past in its fantastic array of museums. Art and antiquities are on display at the Fitzwilliam Museum, modern and contemporary art can be found at the university’s Kettle’s Yard, or take a journey through 4.5 billion years of earth’s existence at the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences.

Cambridge also boasts significant theatrical and comedic connections – the famous Cambridge Footlights comedy troupe, which spawned great names including John Cleese and Emma Thompson, can be seen performing at the ADC Theatre. Great student theatre, as well as musical events such as free lunchtime concerts, can be found at the Mumford Theatre, the Cambridge Corn Exchange hosts comedy, musicals and concerts, while the Cambridge Arts Theatre offers audiences plays, comedy and musical theatre. And, every summer, al fresco music performances are the order of the day across the city’s green spaces during its Summer in the City event. Come in the autumn and treat yourself to the Cambridge Film Festival (25 October-1 November), which shows everything in the world of film, from shorts to documentaries to a children’s film festival, while its Movies on the Meadows, one of the UK’s largest outdoor cinema experiences, takes place at the end of August.

Shopping is a real pleasure in Cambridge; pick up treats among the stalls on the cobbled streets of Market Square, explore boutique stores and find artisan products and arts and crafts at Saturdays All Saints Garden Art and Craft Market opposite Trinity College. British high-street brands have their home in Grand Arcade and the Lion Yard Shopping Centre, and you can find bohemian-style restaurants and shops along Mill Road.

 

Film & TV locations

Oxford

Oxford was one of the film locations for the biggest film franchise in history; Harry Potter. As well as Christ Church College doubling up as the glorious Hogwarts dining hall, the Bodleian Library was also used and the Divinity School became the school’s infirmary in the fourth Potter film.

Detective drama Inspector Morse was set in the city and you can visit its locations on walking tours. Order a pint at the Morse Bar at the Macdonald Randolph Hotel, the place where Morse himself used to enjoy a drink.

Oxford University played an integral role in the story of Brideshead Revisited – it was where Charles Ryder met Lord Sebastian Flyte while they were students – and some of its colleges were used as film locations during the 2008 movie (author of the book, Evelyn Waugh, studied at Oxford). Wander around the cloisters of Magdalen College and the 750-year old Merton College, both used as locations in the film.

Twenty minutes from Oxford lies the magnificent Blenheim Palace, which has featured in so many films (The BFG, Cinderella, James Bond’s SPECTRE and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation to name a few,) it has its own film trail.

Cambridge

Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar and a BAFTA for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, and much of the film was shot on location in Cambridge, where Hawking studied. You can explore the city’s cobbled streets shown in the film, as well many of the university’s colleges, notably St John’s, which also played a starring role.

Outside the city, the Cambridgeshire countryside is regularly seen on the big and small screen. The Crown used Ely Cathedral (50 minutes from Cambridge) to depict Westminster Abbey, and movies such as The King's Speech, The Other Boleyn Girl and Elizabeth: The Golden Age were filmed on location in the Cambridgeshire countryside.

 

Accommodation

Oxford

A brilliant way to experience life as a university student – and a very cost-effective one – is to stay in one of the colleges outside of term time…you can also enjoy breakfast in their grand dining halls.

However, the city does have some fabulous hotels, each with their own unique history. Luxury five-star hotel The Macdonald Randolph boasts glorious gothic architecture and is also a lovely place to enjoy afternoon tea or a drink in its Cartoon Bar. The city is packed with heritage-style hotels; intimate and comfortable, the Bath Place Hotel is set across five 17th-century cottages near the historic Turf Tavern, while the chic 18th-century townhouse The Vanbrugh House Hotel neighbours the buildings of the university’s famous debating society, the Oxford Union. And for something a little quirky, why not summon up the courage to sleep in a converted prison cell at Oxford Castle?

Cambridge

You can stay in a historic Cambridge college outside of term time too – so you can really be in the heart of university life; eat in the college halls and stroll through the college gardens for a student experience without the studying!

There are also plenty of B&Bs and guesthouses dotted around, one of which is boutique B&B The Duke House; this cosy property is only a few minutes’ stroll from all the colleges. Boutique Hotel du Vin blends history with contemporary style. And visit the luxurious Varsity Hotel & Spa for panoramic views of the city from its rooftop restaurant and bar.

Explore Royal Britain

Britain just oozes with royalty with its roots dipped in rich history. Discover the UK’s castles, palaces, yachts and more. Explore our interactive map to discover royal attractions across Britain.

Royal things to do in Scotland

Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire

Balmoral Castle tells of Scottish history like no other, built in 1856 it served as the Queen’s countryside getaway in Aberdeenshire. This stately castle was also the setting for Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s honeymoon – romance is in the air!

 

Iona Abbey, Isle of Iona

This sacred site situated on the Isle of Iona traces all the way back to AD 563 and was a regular destination for Christian pilgrimages. Take the chance to soak in this spiritual haven first-hand.
 

Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh

It’s most famous resident monarch was Mary, Queen of Scots whose secretary and confident was assassinated on the premises. Visit the home of Scottish royal history and the Queen’s office residence in Scotland.

 

The Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh

With the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh, you’ll wonder which British royal hasn’t graced its elegant deck. From Her Majesty The Queen and Winston Churchill to Nelson Mandela and Rajiv Gandhi, notable figures have boarded this majestic vessel. All aboard the deck for stunning exhibitions!

 

Royal things to do in England

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

Indulge your inner artist with one of the UK’s largest private art collection and follow the footsteps of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Located in heart of the Peak District, you could roam the stunning greenery and lavish rooms at Chatsworth House for days.

 

Sandringham, Norfolk

Housing four generations of British monarchs Sandringham is the Queen’s countryside retreat! From coastal wetlands to beautiful woodlands, find out what makes it the perfect escape.

 

Warwick Castle, Warwickshire

Previously used as a medieval fortress, Warwick Castle has a long and varied history. Visit the well-preserved castle where Earl of Warwick enjoyed his leisure time in style.

 

The Althorp, Northampton

Once the home of the late Princess Diana, Althorp House is now her resting place. Roam around the tranquil cottages, beautiful woodland and farms surrounding the estate.

 

King’s College, Cambridge

Feel like royalty as you gaze up at the stunning architecture of Cambridge’s King’s College. Founded by Henry VI, pop in to see its chapel that took a whole century to complete.

 

Longdole Polo Club, Gloucester

Enter the depth of rural tranquillity in Gloucester and learn to play Polo with the best of them. Even Prince Charles, William and Harry made an appearance on the grounds.

 

Kensington Palace, London

Did you know that original Leonardo da Vinci drawings were found in the palace with no clues as to how they got there? Get the royal insight by visiting the London home of Queen Victoria, Princess Diana and Will and Kate.

 

Buckingham Palace, London

You can’t get much more royal than Buckingham Palace. With one of the best known balconies in the world, it’s where the Royal Family appear to the public after royal or national celebrations. Inside you’ll find stunning interiors and the finest art collection to marvel at.

 

Windsor Castle, Windsor

The largest inhabited castle in the world, this building is simply breathtaking. Soak up the history of the artefacts, staterooms and grounds of one of the Queen’s favourite palaces.

 

Highgrove House, Gloucestershire

For the finest greenery in all the land, Highgrove garden in Gloucestershire will supply you with more than just a spring walk. Indulge in your luxury tastes with the kind of fine living suitable for a prince and a duchess.

 

Osborne House, Isle of White

Queen Victoria spent her holidays on the Isle of White in the palatial Osborne House. Marvel at its ornate terrace gardens or take a dip in the sea at Osborne beach.

 

Wimbledon, London

The Royal Family have had their own box at the prestigious Wimbledon Championships since 1922. If tennis isn’t your thing, there’s a charming village, an 1140 acres common (with windmill) and classy boutiques to explore nearby.

 

Royal Pavilion, Brigthton

Inspired by lavish Indian, Chinese and Islamic architecture King George IV ordered its construction in 1787. From a royal residence and seaside getaway to a hospital for Indian soldiers – the enchanting Royal Pavilion stands tall to this day.

 

Royal things to do in Wales

Conwy Castle, Conwy

Did you know that Conwy Castle was part of Edward I’s plan to build an ‘iron ring of castles’ around Wales? Its grandiosity is not to be underrated. Venture to the battlements and immerse yourself in the conquest.

 

Anglesey

Pursue some romance on the captivating north coast of Wales where Kate and Prince William found their perfect hideaway residence. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Anglesey is the perfect place to fall in love.

 

Caerphilly Castle

Wales’ largest castle is a revolutionary masterpiece in its strategic military defence. It’s one of the first castles in Britain to have a concentric design (it has a surrounding wall) and has a rich and thrilling medieval history.

 

THESE ILLUSTRATIONS CAN BE USED FOR MEDIA PURPOSE.

MUST BE CREDITED TO NINA COSFORD.

www.ninacosford.com

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Accommodation Update - April 2018

Read on for the latest Accommodation Update, brought to you by VisitBritain's Destination PR team.

 

LONDON

New and upcoming openings

The Principal London
April 2018
The latest addition to PRINCIPAL hotel group will be The Principal London, in the former Hotel Russell on Bloomsbury’s Russell Square. The Grade II-listed building, which first opened in 1898, is being restored into a glamorous 334-bedroom hotel and hub for modern travellers and Londoners. The new hotel will have a top-notch neighbourhood restaurant, a hedonistic cocktail bar, and a coffeehouse that morphs into a wine bar by night. Artwork and accessories will tip a nod to the area’s rich literary and artistic heritage. PRINCIPAL also plans to open hotels in Birmingham and Liverpool in 2018.
www.phcompany.com/principal

 

Hotel Indigo London – 1 Leicester Square, London
April 2018
In the heart of London's West End, this new boutique hotel from the Indigo hotel group will feature rooms that evoke the glamour of the West End and views over Leicester Square. The venue will also have a rooftop pan-Asian restaurant that is inspired by 1920s Shanghai with oriental cocktails and sharing plates.
www.hotelindigo.com

 

Z Hotel Tottenham Court Road, London
April 2018
The newest addition from Z Hotels will be in the heart of Soho, within walking distance to local shopping and the new Crossrail station opening in December 2018. The rooms will offer a modern interior, complete with facilities such as a 40 inch TV with Sky, complimentary WiFi and air conditioning.
www.thezhotels.com/tcr

 

Vintry & Mercer hotel, London
Summer 2018
Vintry & Mercer will open in the City of London’s historic Vintry Ward, a two-minute walk from Cannon Street Station. The independent hotel takes its name and inspiration from the Vintry Guild (est. 1363), which traded wines in the area, and the Mercer Guild (est. 1304), which traded fine fabrics. In a nod to this rich past, the 92-bedroom hotel will blend references to these historic trades throughout its rooms, hallways and dining spaces, with bespoke fabrics, old trading maps and an evolving menu of wines. There will be a restaurant and wine bar, roof terrace and underground speakeasy cocktail bar too. Vintry & Mercer is part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
www.vintryandmercer.com

 

Long-lead

Refurbs & expansions

Renovation of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park complete, London
Summer 2018 (TBC)
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park hotel is undergoing a multi-million-pound renovation. The hotel remains open throughout the 18-month renovation, which will add two new luxurious penthouse suites, make the existing 181 rooms and suites even more luxurious, and refurbish the hotel’s restaurants and bar.
www.mandarinoriental.com/london

 

SOUTH AND SOUTH-EAST ENGLAND

New and upcoming openings

Seven, Essex
February 2018
Southend-on-Sea’s first boutique hotel has opened, on the cliffs of the town’s Clifton Conservation Area. Seven has 37 beautifully designed bedrooms, including five top-floor ‘Estuary’ suites (which make the most of the views of the iconic Southend Pier and the Thames Estuary), a cocktail bar with more than 30 types of gin, and an outdoor sun terrace. The hotel’s 70-seater restaurant, Aurum, is overseen by Simon Webb, who led England’s team at the 2018 Culinary World Cup, and emphasises modern, local food.
thesevenhotel.co.uk

 

The Libertines to launch The Albion Rooms hotel, Kent
Spring/summer 2018 (TBC)
The Libertines will open The Albion Rooms hotel, restaurant, bar and studio in Margate this summer. The hotel occupies a five-storey Victorian building overlooking the sea and Margate’s bandstand; it was formerly The Palm Court Hotel, which garnered terrible reviews on TripAdvisor. The band is currently ensconced in the building writing their fourth studio album, due for release this summer; The Albion Rooms’ individually designed guest rooms will open fully once the new album has been recorded. Until then, The Libertines have said that the public will be invited to take part in the creative process at the hotel…
www.thelibertines.com

 

New hotel, lodges and ecology island at Feldon Valley Golf Club, Cotswolds
October 2018
A boutique hotel is being created as part of an extensive, multi-million-pound development of Feldon Valley Golf Club at Lower Brailes near Shipston-on-Stour. The complete renovation will see the existing club redesigned, new external terraces overlooking the course and the construction of a new 13-bedroom hotel and four lodges. The refurbished golf course will also have an ‘ecology island’ to support wildlife.
www.feldonvalleygolf.co.uk

 

Long-lead

New The Pig at Bridge Place, Kent
Autumn 2018
The latest addition to the litter of Pigs across the country will be The Pig at Bridge Place, in a 16th-century manor house near Canterbury. The intriguing old building has hosted some legendary parties and gigs in its time – Led Zeppelin even played here in the 70s. The place has a wealth of period features including large fireplaces, secret stairways, panelled rooms and lots of nooks and crannies. The new hotel will have 28 bedrooms: seven bedrooms and numerous cosy bars and sitting areas in the main building; seven romantic ‘hop pickers’ huts’ on an island within the grounds; and two bedrooms in a newly restored gate lodge. Twelve more bedrooms will be in a new, carefully detailed Coach House, which will also feature a conservatory restaurant supplied by a kitchen garden and the best producers from within a 25-mile radius. A casual Kitchen Larder in a converted barn will serve wood-fired cooking.
www.thepighotel.com

 

Refurbs & expansions

The Fish hotel re-opens, Cotswolds
6 March 2018
This award-winning part boutique hotel, part adventure hideout on the 400-acre Farncombe Estate will re-open following an extensive, £4 million renovation. There will be a new seafood-inspired restaurant by Chef Martin Burge, three luxury treehouses (available from May), 10 new bedrooms in the Coach House (from June), and five hideaway huts (from July). There will also be a new cinema room, new bathrooms and improvements in all rooms and suites, a dog agility course and a woodland kids play area.
www.thefishhotel.co.uk

 

Goodleaf treetop camping, Isle of Wight
April/ May 2018 (exact date TBC)
Goodleaf on the Isle of Wight will be unveiling a new tree top experience in 2018. Taking place in the grounds of historic Jacobean manor house Northcourt, in Shorwell, Goodleaf Tree Climbing will offer Tree Top Camping for the very first time on the Isle of Wight. Sleeping in special ‘Tree Boats’ imported from the USA, climbers will learn the ropes with recreational tree climbing experts Goodleaf, before spending the night sleeping high in the canopy of a beautiful 15 metre beech tree in this beautiful location deep in the rural heart of the Island. Supper can be taken at the local pub The Crown Inn in Shorwell before ascending into the canopy, relaxing and enjoying a bird’s eye view from your “bed for the night”. Breakfast will be delivered to you in your hammock by the instructor. 
www.goodleaf.co.uk 

 

MIDLANDS AND EAST ENGLAND

Long-lead

New University Arms hotel, Cambridge
August 2018
Cambridge’s most historic hotel will relaunch following a two-year, £80-million refurbishment and design collaboration between architect John Simpson and interior designer Martin Brudnizki. The revamp will transform Cambridge’s landmark original hotel, which dates from 1834, into a world-class establishment. The 192-bedroom hotel will be quintessentially English in style, with the ambitious literary and academic spirit of Cambridge as one of its defining characteristics. The building’s 1960s and 1970s extensions will be replaced with a classically designed building, rooms and suites will be beautiful and ‘playfully’ designed, and there will be underground valet car parking, fitness facilities, and a library curated by leading London bookshop Heywood Hill. Parker’s Tavern, the hotel’s destination restaurant and bar, will pay homage to the communal dining halls of Cambridge colleges, with classic British dishes re-imagine using produce from fields, fens and sea.
www.universityarms.com   

 

Hotel Indigo, Stratford-upon-Avon
December 2018
An exciting new boutique hotel will open in Stratford-upon-Avon following a multi-million-pound restyling of the historic Falcon Hotel. The characterful Hotel Indigo Stratford-upon-Avon will have strong links to William Shakespeare. With parts of the building dating back to the 15th century, the hotel chain plans to retain much of the structure’s original charm while offering luxury accommodation. Guestrooms will include flat-screen TVs, rainfall showers, luxurious toiletries and free wifi. There will also be a new state-of-the-art kitchen and restaurant led by a celebrity chef, a sociable bar and lounge, and a new gym and meeting room.
www.ihg.com/hotelindigo

 

SOUTH-WEST ENGLAND

New and upcoming openings

Z Hotel, Bath
June 2018
Z Hotel will open its first property in the south-west of England. Following a £14 million development, Z Bath will offer 145 bedrooms with luxury bed linen on handcrafted beds, 40” LED TVs with Sky Sports and Movies at no extra cost, power showers and free high speed wifi throughout. The completed development will also include a Byron Burger and Zizzi.
www.theZhotels.com

 

Hotel Indigo Bath
June/ July 2018
The new Hotel Indigo Bath will be located in a Georgian terrace, close to Bath Spa train station on the site of the former Halcyon serviced apartments and Pratt's Hotel. The boutique hotel will have 166 bedrooms, a fitness centre, a private members club and a restaurant launched by celebrity chef Mike Robinson.
www.hotelindigo.com

 

Gara Rock, Devon
Summer 2018
The new Gara Rock promises to be one of the finest boutique retreats on the UK coastline when it re-opens under new ownership. It’s located on cliffs with fabulous views along the coast near Salcombe. The new Retreat will have new restaurant offerings, five new loft rooms and sea view apartments, new spa facilities and a new bar. The management team is made up of locals, many with strong links to the property and its history; Gara Rock used to be the site of cottages used by 19th century coastguards employed to help prevent illegal smuggling and watch for boats in difficulty. In fact, the coastguards’ old Lookout will be the new bar – and the only bar in Salcombe to capture such stunning sunset views.
www.gararock.com

 

Long-lead

Artist Residence, Bristol
November 2018 TBC)
A brand new eclectic boutique hotel is set to open in an old boot factory on Portland Square in late 2018. Artist Residence already has fun, eccentric hotels in London, Brighton, Oxford and Cornwall. Their arty interiors are created by artists in return for board. Rooms from £120 B&B.
www.artistresidence.co.uk

 

Refurbs & expansions

New ten treatment room destination spa at St Michael’s Hotel & Spa, Falmouth 
Opened early 2018
A ten treatment room destination spa, featuring a hydrotherapy pool, hammam, rasul and spa café has now opened at St Michael’s Hotel and Spa. Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth has recently expanded the resort, with a focus on wellbeing. A brand new Health Club opened in the summer of 2017, including a 17m indoor swimming pool, extensive gym and three studios. In addition, new beach house rooms and suites have been added, which offer spectacular views across Falmouth Bay and additional space for families. A new entrance and arrivals lounge, along with a refreshed restaurant will soon follow.
www.stmichaelshotel.co.uk  

 

Gwel an Mor opening, Cornwall
July 2018
The five-star resort of Gwel an Mor overlooking Portreath on the north Cornish coast will be home to a collection of super cosy, one-bedroom lakeside retreats from winter 2018. These perfectly formed bolt holes will offer couples a relaxing hideaway, with the satisfaction of having the facilities and activities of the wider resort on tap.
www.gwelanmor.com

 

New lodges and suites at Carbis Bay Hotel & Spa, Cornwall
July 2018
Carbis Bay Hotel is opening eight new lodges and seven suites including one super suite, introducing a new level of luxury to the sparkling shores of St Ives. The lodges and suites will offer guests a prime position on the award-winning Carbis Bay Beach with infinity views of the Atlantic Ocean. In conjunction with the suites, there will be a new state-of-the-art conference, restaurant and events venue. With impressive views across the ocean, the space will boast a large function suite with seating for up to 160 and a rooftop terrace with a retractable roof and access to the South West Coast Path.
www.carbisbayhotel.co.u

 

YORKSHIRE

Refurbs & expansions

Beverley Arms reopens, East Yorkshire
Autumn 2018 (TBC)
Located in the historic Georgian Quarter of the charming Minster town of Beverley, the Beverley Arms hotel will have 38 new high-quality bedrooms and a restaurant and bar with seating for around 150 people when it reopens after a £6 million redevelopment. The transformation includes the relocation of the bar and main staircase and the development of a smaller accommodation block, along with the creation of a new Georgian-style conservatory and courtyard dining area. Overall, there will be a total of 38 new high-quality bedrooms and a restaurant and bar with seating for around 150 people.
www.thwaites.co.uk

 

NORTH-EAST ENGLAND

New and upcoming openings

Ramside Hall Hotel to launch six luxury treehouses, Durham
June 2018
Visitors to County Durham will soon be able to stay in accommodation unlike anything else currently on offer in the region. Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa will launch three luxury treehouses in June, with another three to follow. Built on stilts behind one of the hotel’s golf courses, the two-bedroom treehouses will have private living rooms, state-of-the-art bathrooms with free-standing copper baths, and unrivalled views across the 18th fairway and green of the Prince Bishops golf course. The treehouses are the latest development in an ongoing multi-million-pound makeover of the family-owned hotel, which has also created an additional wing, a second championship golf course and an award-winning spa in recent years.
www.ramsidehallhotel.co.uk

 

Long lead

Maldron Hotel Newcastle
January 2019
A new four-star hotel will open in Newcastle city centre later this year. It will be part of the Newgate Street redevelopment and have 226 air-conditioned bedrooms, a bar, a restaurant and business centre facilities. 
www.maldronhotels.com

 

NORTH-WEST ENGLAND

Refurbs & expansions

Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester
October 2018
Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville are transforming Manchester’s old Stock Exchange building into a 39-room boutique hotel with two onsite restaurants operated by celebrity chef Michael O’Hare: The Man Who Fell to Earth and Are Friends Electric. Opening dates and details are sketchy at the moment, but there’s no doubt this will be one of the most interesting new hotels in Manchester in 2018.
www.stockexchangehotel.co.uk

 

WALES

Refurbs & expansions

The Exchange Hotel, Cardiff, South Wales
Early 2018
The Exchange Hotel has opened in Cardiff’s former Coal Exchange, where the world’s first million-pound business deal was struck. The building played a vital role in industrial Cardiff in the 19th Century and a multi-million pound renovation has transformed the building into a luxury 200-suite hotel with 2 unique and stunning meeting and conference venues with the capacity for up to 600 people.
www.exchangehotelcardiff.co.uk

 

The Swan at Hay relaunches after £1million makeover, Hay-on-Wye, Mid Wales
Early 2018
The Grade II listed Georgian hotel, located in the famous book town of Hay-on-Wye, has been fully refurbished and restored to its former glory. Expect 19 beautifully decorated en-suite bedrooms, banquet facilities for up to 120 people, and rooms equipped with characterful log-burning fires. Guests can now enjoy the Market Bar; complete with an Aneurin Jones original painting, the 1812 bar with informal dining area, and the Green Room, the hotel’s garden room restaurant.
www.swanathay.com

 

SCOTLAND

New and upcoming openings

Blervie House, Forres
Late 2017
Blervie is an exceptional Scottish Country House combining the best of a bygone era with best of today’s modern day conveniences.  Blervie sits in extensive private grounds surrounded by woodland in the middle of Malt Whisky Country. Guests staying at Blervie have many delightful rooms from which to relax and enjoy the superb garden and distant views of the Moray Firth and the Black Isle after they have been touring the many attractions in the area.
www.blervie.com

 

Radisson Red Hotel, Glasgow
Spring 2018
This new hotel philosophy connects with a millennial mindset through art, music and fashion. The Radisson Red hotel, located next to the SECC Hydro, will have an amazing 174 rooms to choose from. There will be a chance to enjoy great food, fine wine and craft beer in the rooftop bar, whilst taking in fantastic views of the river Clyde.
www.radissonred.com

 

The Fife Arms Hotel, Braemar
Summer 2018
This hotel is being restored to the splendour of its Victorian heyday. Situated in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, this historic hotel, will be reimaged as a globally acclaimed cultural destination, offering luxury accommodation across 46 bedrooms. There will be a spectacular restaurant with a wood fired grill, two bars, a fire room, library and cinema.
www.thefifearms.com

 

The Machrie Hotel, Isle of Islay
Summer 2018
Campbell Gray Hotels will be opening The Machrie, an exceptional hotel for the truly breathtaking Isle of Islay. Whether you’re just looking to explore this stunning island, home to some of the world’s finest whiskies, birdlife, seafood and dramatic coastal seascapes, or you’re taking on the challenge of the links, The Machrie will be the perfect place to start your stay.
www.campbellgrayhotels.com/machrie-islay-scotland

 

Fingal – The Royal Yacht Britannia’s Floating Hotel, Edinburgh
September 2018
Launching in spring 2018, this major investment by the Royal Yacht Britannia will provide the ultimate luxury experience: a floating hotel berthed at The Shore, Edinburgh. The 23 beautifully styled cabins, all named after Stevenson lighthouses, are inspired by Fingal’s rich maritime heritage. With a cabin for every occasion - guests will be able to choose their own private balcony, a duplex cabin or, for that special occasion the stunning presidential suite. All of this a short stroll from two Michelin starred restaurants in the vibrant Leith neighbourhood.
www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk

 

Innside by Melia, Glasgow
November 2018
The Spanish hotel company is bringing its sleek style to Glasgow with this new 175-room premium brand hotel.
www.melia.com

 

Motel One, Glasgow
November 2018
Motel One Group will open its new £22 million hotel next to Glasgow Central Station. It will have a One Lounge, which is the living room, breakfast café and bar all in one.
www.motel-one.com/en/hotels/glasgow