Lifestyle Travel

Escape From London

Words by Keven Amfo

04 September 2020


Journey to the English countryside this autumn, uncovering some of the season’s best activities and cosiest spaces.

In celebration of the new season, falling leaves and cooler temperatures, we are craving getaways near London that maximise the season. Exploring the beautiful English countryside, enjoying classic British cuisine followed by leisurely walks and fireside drinks are what the season is all about.

Should you wish to get away, discover the three journeys below—each perfect for a two or three-night jaunt from the capital.

Bray Monkey Island Estate


Considered a foodie destination, Bray is a quintessentially English village in the Berkshire countryside, near Windsor. A quick trip from the capital, it feels worlds away with quaint shops, beautiful gardens and castles to explore. Make beautiful Monkey Island Estate your home base for the weekend—the contemporary rooms are individually decorated and cosy, ideal for a chilly autumn weekend. Should you be travelling with a group of friends, they have several beautifully-appointed private residences on offer as well. Their onsite spa is called The Floating Spa and is literally a boat floating in the Thames. Book a massage and let the gentle lull of the water further your relaxation.

Bray Monkey Island Estate2

Make the most of your time here by booking dinner at Waterside Inn. The Michelin-starred restaurant is set on the riverside and has a relaxed atmosphere. Expect seasonal dishes with French influence, all executed flawlessly. For a more low-key—but equally delicious—meal, visit Heston Blumenthal’s gastropub The Crown. The new heated garden will stay lovely well into the autumn months.

Bray Waterside Inn


Journey east to the Suffolk village of Hemingstone to Retreat East for the weekend. A converted 16th-century farm, the various buildings have been transformed into luxury accommodations for groups of any size. Cosy with thoughtful amenities, myriad activities and a comprehensive spa—with outdoor jacuzzi—you’ll be tempted to stay on the property for the entire weekend, especially after dining at the onsite restaurant. Featuring the best of their own produce, the menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner consist of everything you want to eat. Simple yet precise, there is something for everyone.

Retreat East

Do venture out, though, to visit The Unruly Pig in nearby Woodbridge. The Sunday lunch at the gastropub is classic, but so delicious, and typically sells out—head over early.

The Unruly Pig


Head to Devon’s Dartmoor National Park for a truly transportive escape from London. Stay at five-star Bovey Castle, which features many room choices from suites to private lodges. The historic estate is perfect for exploring, and activities include clay pigeon shooting, fly fishing, horseback riding, golf and more. Choose from two onsite dining options—we love award-winning Smith’s for easy British fare using the freshest produce—and maybe enjoy it in your room, tucked into the plush bed.

Bovey Castle

One evening, plan to dine at The Elephant Restaurant. Serving dishes made from primarily local ingredients, the charming seaside restaurant has held its Michelin star for 15 years and has a welcoming, informal environment that serves as an easy backdrop to the perfectly executed cuisine.

The Elephant food

To book one of these getaways, please contact the experts at Quintessentially Travel.

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