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The Five Arrows, Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire
Situated at the gates of Waddesdon Manor, this Grade II-listed hotel offers a very comfortable country escape, with comfortable guest rooms, a rather swish bar and restaurant area - and impressive dishes - and lovely walks on the doorstep. The building, manor and village were built by the Rothschild family, and there are lots of references to them, such as artwork for their wines in the restaurant and family emblems on display. Their neo-Tudor style of architecture is striking, and the Five Arrows includes such features as half timbering, turrets, wrought ironwork and fabulously elaborate chimney stacks. It was originally constructed to house the artisans, architects and craftspeople working on the manor.
There are walks on the doorstep, in and near the manor grounds, such as footpaths to Windmill Hill - with great views of the Eythrope Estate - where Baron Rothchild lives.
The hotel is at the gates of Waddesdon Manor, while Bicester Village is 20 minutes and Blenheim Palace, 30 minutes by car.
By car: 45 minutes from Oxford, 1 hour 45 minutes from London and under 2 hours from Bristol and Birmingham. Free parking on-site.
By train: London Marylebone to Aylesbury takes under an hour. The hotel is a 15-minute drive from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Lots of Londoners visit, escaping the city, and National Trust members. The typical age is between 40 and 60, although there are younger guests as well as small groups. The Rothchild style of architecture is very distinctive, including some fantastically fancifully-patterned brick chimneys.
Service & Facilities
The staff are very friendly and welcoming, exemplified by Sandy Bullivant in the restaurant and manager Adam Parsons, who know the history of the manor and pub well.
Some rooms are dog-friendly and they are welcome everywhere except the restaurant. Biscuits, bowls and beds are provided.
The Junior Suite has a bedroom with a large comfortable bed, a lounge area with a sofa and desk and a bathroom with brown marble tiling, and a shower over the bath. We loved the comfortable furnishings and adequate space of the room.
Single, Classic Double, Deluxe Double, Junior Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with The White Company toiletries, hairdryer Nespresso machine, tickets to Waddesdon Manor (in season), TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
Some dishes feature rather unusual combinations, such as mussels with chorizo, which was pretty good. The venison was very tasty.
The Restaurant: 2 AA Rosette restaurant, locally sourced ingredients, seasonal menus. Dishes include Waddesdon estate lamb, roasted pheasant and whole grilled bream. Open Wed-Sat for lunch and dinner, Sun for lunch only.