Traditional English places to stay

With more people than ever holidaying at home this year (see our report on British holidays in this week’s Country Life, March 25), Miller’s Collection offers the most quintessentially English experience at their classic inns.

Miller’s Collection was established in 2005 by top chefs Andy Clark and Lucy Townsend. The Anchor in Hampshire and The Peat Spade and The Queen’s Arms in Berkshire all offer the experience of a bygone era, aiming to make guests feel at home.

The Anchor, which is in the village of Little Froyle, four miles from Farnham, has five luxurious bedrooms named after British war heroes and filled with historic books and iconic photographs. Executive chef Andy Clark devises seasonal menus that you locally sourced produce.

The Peat Spade, in Longstock, is the perfect fishermen’s refuge. As well as excellent fly-fishing on the River Test, the inn offers seven beautiful bedrooms and hearty meals cooked by executive chef Chris Mackett.

Set in the Lambourn Valley, The Queen’s Arms is a haven for those who enjoy all things English, from horse riding to fly-fishing. This Royal Berkshire rooming house has a traditional English menu, and the rooms are sponsored by leading home brands, including Purdy, Fishpond, Hunter and Holland & Holland.

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Ashley Levett, the controlling shareholder and owner of the inns, says: ‘The English holiday experience is really appealing because it’s easy and far less stressful than going abroad; many of us have felt that pre-holiday stress when going through security at airports, only to find that the flight is delayed or cancelled. The current weakness of the pound makes it cheaper to stay in England than visit the majority of the Euro zone.

‘What we are offering is a little slice of England as it was—at our inns, people can feel like they’ve gone back in time. This makes for complete relaxation and a welcome escape from the credit crunch.

‘We wanted to recapture the essence of the great English inn—many breweries seem to be ruining wonderful historic buildings in the countryside. Some are converted into branded eateries and beautiful oak-panelled bars being replaced with formica and chrome.

‘I love to shoot and fish in the countryside, and it’s becoming difficult to find inns with the warmth and comfort of old. It’s also important to be eating and staying somewhere that has the right values, as well as a landlord who knows that “wild game” is a must on the dinner menu.’

The inns are financially backed by Abervale Holdings, the controlling shareholder behind the Hotel du Vin group, and the Miller’s Collection portfolio is set to grow in future to include a further five properties.

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