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Lainston House, Winchester, Hampshire
A country house hotel set in an imposing red-brick building that dates back to the 17th century. In front of the house, an avenue of limes stretches as far as the eye can see; the Georgian answer to an Instagrammable backdrop. Take advantage of the Hunter wellies lined up in the hall and explore the surrounding countryside, or make the most of the hotel's close proximity to Winchester to do some shopping and sightseeing. The in-house falconer will introduce you to their owls and falcons or you can brush up on your kitchen skills at the Season cookery school. You'll want to dress for dinner in the glamorous wood-panelled Avenue restaurant, after which you can kick back to sample rare whisky in the Cedar bar.
There is so much to discover when walking in the grounds: the remains of a 12th-century chapel, a sundial and a walled Victorian kitchen garden.
By car: around 1 hour 45 minutes from Bristol, 2 hours from London and 4 hours from Manchester. There is free parking on site.
By train: there are direct trains to Winchester station from Southampton Central (20 minutes) London Waterloo (1 hour) and Manchester Picadilly (4 hours). The hotel is a 10-minute taxi ride from Winchester station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Lainston House is perfect for those who aren't fussed by spas and swimming pools and want to enjoy the great outdoors. The Avenue restaurant with its polished wood paneling, picture windows and extravagant chandelier makes every meal feel like an occasion.
Service & Facilities
A few hours spent with head falconer Judith Wrighte and her birds is hugely inspirational.
- Cookery school
- In-house falconer
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free parking
The hotel has a selection of dog-friendly rooms where you can stay with your pet for a small additional charge.
A nice touch is the pillow library - a choice of four different style pillows so you can find the perfect place to rest your head. Our favourite room is the Walnut junior suite, with its finely carved walnut four-poster bed and bright turquoise upholstery.
Cosy, Smart, Plush bedrooms; Traditional, Family, Four-Poster junior suites; Garden, Chapel, Wolvesey, Delft suites
Facilities include: king or queen-size bed with handmade mattress, seating area, underfloor heating, tea and coffee facilities
Food & Drink
The Avenue is smart without being stuffy; white tablecloths have been removed to reveal bare wood tables. The starter of chicken wing with slow-cooked hen egg, sweetcorn and truffle is bursting with flavour.
The Avenue: elegant fine dining, modern British cuisine. Open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Two courses £48, three courses £60, six course tasting menu £80.
The Cedar Bar: ornate but comfortable, small plates and sandwiches. Food served 12-10pm. Plates from £9.50.