A mini break – brought to public prominence in Bridget Jones when Bridge and Daniel Cleever a la Hugh Grant, sauntered off to the Cotswolds in a sports car, silk scarf in hand, for a weekend of mischief. I find that minibreaks IRL involve far more traffic, tricky trains and service stations. About Time has an easy solution: Hampton Manor.

With no sports car and sadly no Hugh, but a direct train from Euston to Hampton in Arden – a five minute walk will lead you to this stylish country home hotel.

Hampton Manor: The Lowdown

This is no forgettable staid country inn, this 19th century gothic house has presence; high ceilings, sparkling chandeliers and impeccable design. It’s rare to find a country house hotel so eclectic – you half expect it to show at the Clerkenwell Design Week, with a merge of the old and the new, and the always wonderfully rich William Morris designs. We were in one of the 15 bedrooms; it was a room full of nooks and crannies, a room to explore from carefully left out books and interesting quotes and even your own coffee beans to grind. The bathroom was something to Facetime friends home about, with a standalone Victorian style bath and an extremely powerful shower complete with Hampton Manor specially designed products which all smelt like a lavender garden.

The staff dressed in chinos and tweed waistcoats make you feel very safe, like you’d gone back in time to a world of cream teas, but also miraculously frothy soya caps. The only thing to note is Birmingham International Airport is only two miles away, so make sure to take earplugs if you don’t want to be woken early by Ryanair flights zooming over at dawn.

Hampton Manor: The Food

Peels restaurant, named after Sir Frederick Peel the once family owner of the Manor is a well renowned restaurant. And such a treat for a guest to have it only 20 strides from their bedroom. It’s not everyday you can visit a Michelin star restaurant, albeit with a gluten and dairy allergy.

Inventiveness can be a challenge with these restrictions and I often find myself eating bland pieces of dry chicken. Good new fellow dairy-free babes, I had no problems here. You either choose from the two options of four course meals or opt for the seven. We opted for the four course accompanied by crusty homemade bread with the option of fat to garnish it with. Our highlights were the foamy moreish leek and potato soup with high-end rice krispy style garnish, and the splendidly soft slivers of wagyu beef. For drinks, order a few cocktails featuring herbs and ingredients grown in  the kitchen garden.

Hampton Manor: The Verdict 

Hampton Manor is a real special gem. Easily accessible to London, interesting, delicious food, stylishy glamorous rooms, and thoughtful service. Visit for the weekend, and make sure to explore the grounds and walled garden. Who says the country can’t be hip?!