Written by Christina Chrysostomou

Postcard from Hampton-in-Arden: a foodie-focused Great British staycation

International travel plans cancelled? We headed for a staycation to Hampton-in-Arden for the ultimate immersive food and drink. Here’s what we thought.

Image: Hampton Manor

2020 has been quite the year to remember, and the past few months juggling homeschooling, zoom-calling and news briefings have seldom allowed us to disconnect and take some time for ourselves. So we downed tools and experienced a 3-day stay at a country manor, just 15 mins from Birmingham City which focused on foodies that love craft, storytelling and meaningful connection. Here’s what we got up to and what you should do too..

Quaff sparkling wine and enjoy cream tea set in the Summer House

Nyetimber Summer House at Hampton Manor

Image: Hampton Manor

This year, the manor’s glass-roofed courtyard has been transformed into a pop-up space pouring with light and decked in roses and strawberry plants inspired and designed on ‘The Strawberry Thief’ by British textile designer William Morris and serving traditional teas throughout the afternoon and sparkling wine Nyetimber by the glass. If it’s a nice day, secure your spot on their 45 acres of land with a picnic basket full of quintessentially British sweet and savoury treats for the ultimate alfresco experience.

Dine inside a working greenhouse

Smoke Restaurant at Hampton Manor

Image: Hampton Manor

Dine in (or around) Smoke – the informal, rustic smokehouse set in a walled garden. To enable social distancing, the Manor has opened up their Victorian greenhouses for candlelight dinners under tomato vines. All meals are cooked on a wood-fired oven, including slow-roasted meats, foraged mushrooms and garden vegetables picked just yards away. Save room post-dessert as you’ll be toasting S’mores on the outdoor firepits!

Dine in their Michelin-starred and AA Wine Award England restaurant

Image: Hampton Manor

Ditch the stiff upper lip, white table cloths, dress code and hushed voices – Peel’s restautant isn’t fine dining as you know it. Instead, we found a young, creative team drawing on classical training to innovate fresh, seasonal ingredients we’re used to having on our own dinner table. For example cheese on toast took on a Manor makeover with Colston Bassett cheese on brioche loaf whilst our taste buds were tantalised by a tomato, smoked turbot roe, oregano consomme split with oil taken from the tomato vine. The decor equally tasteful with beautiful plasterwork, oak panelling and hand-painted Chinoiserie wallpaper.

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Experience a wine-tasting with a walled garden tour from the owners

James_Fjona Hill - Hampton Manor

Image: Hampton Manor

Thought you’d discovered your favourite type of wine? Think again. From finding out how sulphites contribute to a sore head, learning how temperature and terroir affect taste, and reaping the reward of wines from unrecognisable regions, sit down for an unstuffy, unintimidating tasting from owners James and Fjona Hill. Plus tour their garden and play pick-you-own with permission to take fruits and cuttings home.

Make their house your home

Image: Hampton Manor

Rooms are stocked with little extras like freshly-baked cookies, specialty coffee beans, a hand grinder, and co-owner Fjona’s guide to the local area. Prefer to stay in your room? Choose a book and sink into the rolltop bath, lathering in organic English garden scented bath soak. Outside of your room, curl up on sofa in the parlour, get competitive over a game of pool, discover innovative drinks at the Maker’s table or help yourself to a healthy free pour at the Honesty Bar, whilst playing your favourite song from a selection of vinyls. Rest assured you’ll be in reach of antibaterial wipes, sanitizer and even a UV light for your own spot-checks. Plus take a little bit of the manor home with you by borrowing one of their polaroid cameras to tell the story of your stay. They’ll even post them out to you and your family.

How to book


Video: Hampton Manor

Prices start from £360pp for 2 nights with dinner on both nights, B&B and a complimentary wine tasting.

Click here to book 


Has this article inspired you book a UK staycation? Let us know by tweeting @goodhomesmag or tagging us in your Instagram staycation pictures using the hashtag #thisgoodhome for your chance to be featured on our Instagram feed.



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