Love is in the air! The best local Valentine’s Day stays
Grab your fanciest pants and pack your suitcase - we've rustled up some seriously romantic Valentine's Day stays in Bucks, Oxon and beyond to get you in the mood for love.
In the mood for love? Of course you are! We’ve rounded up the best stays in Bucks & Oxon for the annual romance fest. Dig out the silky undies, practise your come-hither eyes and enjoy the most exciting five minutes of your month.
Stoke Park, Stoke Poges
What better place for a V-day stay than the very spot where Daniel Cleaver whisked Bridget away for a dirty weekend in Bridget Jones’ Diary? Pack your least grannyish pants for a romp at this plush five-star haunt just 20 minutes away from Beaconsfield, which also boasts a 3AA rosette fine dining restaurant, Humphry’s. The vibe here is luxe yet relaxed, and if you can tear yourself away from the award-winning spa long enough to change out of your robe, you could hit the 27-hole championship golf course or one of the whopping 13 tennis courts. Best of all, there’s a great Valentine’s Romantic Getaway on offer for 14-15 Feb this year, with prices starting at £684. You’ll get upgraded accommodation, a 55-minute spa treatment, 4-course gourmet dinner and late checkout – all the better to enjoy that rose-petal-scattered four-poster. stokepark.com
The Langley, Iver
If you’re going to swing on any chandeliers this Valentine’s Day, do it at The Langley in South Bucks – they have whoppers in almost every room. This five-star country pile, opened just last year, is a total knock-out, the 18th century former estate of the Duke of Marlborough spilling over with original features in a renovation that’s taken five years. With incredible views at every turn (no surprise there, it’s set in 150 acres of Capability Brown-designed grounds), there are 41 super-plush bedrooms to choose from, complete with frankly enormous in-room TVs, if you’re taking ‘Netflix and chill’ literally. Foodies will be in their element – I had a fantastic meal here when I reviewed, and it’s a very cool dining space, and it’s sacrilege to not visit the mammoth subterranean spa here, particularly the hammam, amethyst crystal steam room and infinity edge pool. Treat yourself to a couple’s massage and forget about the outside world for a bit. marriott.com
The Chesteron, Bicester
If your blood runs more city chic than country pile, then the sleek interiors of The Chesterton in Bicester will definitely appeal. Don’t be fooled by the quaint farmhouse exterior – the hotel’s owner and designer Kaven Gill completely revamped the property back in 2018, and now The Chesterton is dripping with deco details, botanical prints and black marble en suites. If you get bored of sipping cocktails in the lounge or snaffling afternoon teas in the dark and moody brasserie (one a day is totally acceptable, right?), The Chesterton is a stone’s throw from Bicester Village if you fancy a little designer shopping – maybe a dash into Agent Provocateur? In fact, the hotel is so close that they offer a Shop and Stay package for £190, which gets you bed and breakfast accommodation, a bottle of wine on arrival, VIP parking at Bicester Village and access to The Apartment, an appointment-only luxury space for dumping your bags and enjoying a little light refreshment. thechestertonhotel.com
Artist Residence, Witney
As quirky and quintessentially British as a bulldog wearing a natty bowtie, Artist Residence hotels are some of our favourites for a romantic getaway in the UK, but Oxfordshire has to take top spot (not that we’re biased – much). Their take on a traditional English inn set in the bucolic Oxfordshire Cotswolds near Witney, The Mason Arms has all the makings of a classic pub (eight comfy bedrooms, a hearty menu packed with all the favourites) with a whole load of extra AR flair. Neon signs and eccentric sculptures sit perfectly alongside the William Morris wallpapers, and you’ll want to nab the Farmhouse Suite for the cool copper bath tub. Downstairs in the restaurant, the food is hyper-locally sourced, with some ingredients plucked straight from the hotel’s herb and vegetable garden. Can’t face the trip all the way downstairs? Have your dinner delivered to your love pad instead. artistresidence.co.uk
The Kingham Plough, Kingham
Cozy up in this Cotswold bolthole for Valentine’s weekend and you’ll never want to leave, we guarantee it. With squishy leather sofas, crackling fires and vintage rugs downstairs, and duck down duvets, Egyptian cotton sheets and rolltop baths upstairs, you’ll be hard pressed to drag yourself away, even with Daylesford Organic Farm Shop and Burford on your doorstep. You might be able to make it all the way to the restaurant, and we strongly recommend you do – owners Matt and Katie have worked with the likes of Raymond Blanc and Jamie Oliver, and head chef Jonny Pons’ former stomping grounds include Slaughters Country Inn and The Feathered Nest. There are only six bedrooms though, so be snappy if you want to get in for Valentine’s Day weekend. thekinghamplough.co.uk
The Swan, Ascott-under-Wychwood
For low-key luxe meets country pub chic, you can’t beat The Swan near Chipping Norton with its idyllic village location and Insta-fodder decor. After its revamp last year it’s looking spic and span, and the each of the cozy eight bedrooms comes complete with quirky design features and designer smellies by owner Georgie’s own brand, 100 Acres Apothecary. While the Valentine’s Day weather might be a bit brisk to take advantage of the wisteria-covered courtyard garden, you can certainly prop up the bar and settle with the fabulous wine and cocktail list, which includes Aperol Spritz on tap (get in), or treat yourself to something off the hot chocolate menu – yes, they have one! – after a hearty walk along the River Evenlode. The restaurant is something to behold too, as head chef Adam Abbott (formerly of The Wild Rabbit and The Slaughters Manor House) has put together an absolute blinder of a menu. That’s the romantic dinner sorted, then. countrycreatures.com/the-swan
Minster Mill, Minster Lovell
Tucked alongside the Windrush riverbank between Witney and Burford, Minster Mill is a picturesque 15th century bolthole with 38 Scandi-chic bedrooms and plenty of romantic walks on its doorstep if you’re that way inclined. If you’d rather spend the weekend swaddled in a fluffy robe, The Garden Spa is the big draw, and the double treatment suite complete with walk-in double shower is ideal for couples’ treatments (plus, if you book a treatment you get access to the rest of the spa facilities for free). More of the foodie? The Valentine’s Day package will see you right – for £378 per room, you’ll get an overnight stay with breakfast, a whacking seven-course tasting menu and a glass of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé. You’ll hardly fit in your negligée afterwards – which is no bad thing, we suppose! minstermill.co.uk
The Castle at Edghill, Banbury
A miniature castle with its own tower bedrooms certainly beats your average hotel stay – especially when it has a 2AA Rosette restaurant throw into the mix. While the bedrooms aren’t the most luxe on this list, The Castle at Edghill is ideal for a more quirky Valentine’s Day escapism (especially as your knight will have to cross a wooden bridge to take you to two of the four rooms), and really the main thing here is the food. The award-winning kitchen team aim to put together seasonal menus with ingredients sourced within 30 miles of The Castle, and you can enjoy amazing panoramic views of the countryside while you scarf down the Valentine’s Day menu. Talk about the royal treatment. castleatedgehill.co.uk
Want to break out past the border? Go check out these gorgeous love pads.
The Porch House, Gloucestershire
For atmosphere in buckets, where better to spend a romantic weekend than England’s self-proclaimed oldest inn? Parts of The Porch House may date back to 947AD (mind-boggling when you think about it), but you’ll get considerably more up-to-date service here – especially considering they’ve just had a stylish makeover (doors reopen this Wednesday, FYI). There are thirteen rooms to choose from (the vibe is country cozy), including two dog-friendly suites in case you’re bringing Fido along on the jaunt, and the adjacent restaurant boasts rustic yet refined dishes. The Valentine’s Day menu looks absolutely mouth-watering, and includes three courses washed down with a glass Laurent-Perrier Rosé for £60pp. Staying overnight? Room packages start from £240 per room, which will include your Valentine’s meal and the entire bottle of champagne rather than just the glass. porch-house.co.uk
The Lygon Arms, Worcestershire
Broadway stunner The Lygon Arms is absolutely worth crossing the border for – after all, last year it made Condé Nast Traveler‘s list of the Top 35 hotels in the UK. More importantly it gets the Muddy seal of approval – see my review. Famous names in the guest book include Oliver Cromwell and Charles I (top tip – his namesake suite is romance manifest), and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton eloped here during their affair to snuggle up in the various dark, cozy corners – so what better place to escape to for a an amorous tryst this Valentine’s Day? The Broadway Romance package is ideal for this – prices start at £310 for two people, and includes overnight B&B accommodation, dinner for two in the Lygon Bar & Grill, a bottle of Prosecco and use of the spa. Get booking, folks. lygonarmshotel.co.uk