Hotel Breaks in Stratford-upon-Avon
Last week we went to Stratford-Upon-Avon and didn’t go to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Well we did, but not to see a play, just to have a look round the shop for potential mother’s day presents – she likes a but of theatre does mum!
This short break was a spa break at the Macdonald Alveston Hotel – a 16th century hotel (or at least partly 16thC) just across the river from the theatre: so perfect if you did want to see a play. But the moment of complete calm that usually hits me around half way through the 4th act of a Shakespearian play was provided the spa at the hotel halfway through a delightful back and scalp massage.
In fact the whole weekend break was relaxing. We got there on Friday afternoon and were welcomed by a bottle of Champagne and a small plate of chocolate truffles. We took it slow because we wanted to use the gym and the pool before our preprandial walk through the town centre. Fortunately it was raining after our swim so the walk was cut short and we were able to return to the hotel and finish off the bottle of Champagne without haste whilst we dressed for dinner.
Behind the ancient facade lies several modern accommodation blocks and the spa again in a more modern building enablig this hotel to mix old age charm with modern facilities but the bar and the restaurant are in the old section offering characterful surroundings for aperetifs and dinner.
The menu was fairly varied (we always judge menus by the number of options my vegetarian wife has to chose from) and the balance between the number of choices that we can’t afford and those that we can. Fortunately the package that we were on gave us the full run of the menu with ony a few items attracting a modest supplement. The wine list was acceptable too and having asked the waitress to nail her colours to a particular bottle we were pleased to trust her.
And so to a good night’s sleep (hardly surprising after a bottle of Champagne, an aperetife and a bottle of wine between the two of us!
The next morning saw the sun come out over Stratford-Upon-Avon and we took the opportunity to wander its streets and it was here that we got our fill of William Shakespeare and all things theatrical (and we only passed by one of the five Shakespeare properties that bring Shakespeare’s life and times alive so effectively).
As we meandered past pubs called The Garrick and The Encore, cafes called Act V and Quicklys, and even the Thespian Curry House. It was a surprise to find that Marks and Spencer wasn’t called Rozencrantz and Gildenstern!
Even the river birds are named after his theatre…
We refused a pint of Falstaff or a Richard III Burger to take lunch at the Castle Inn by Edgehill – a pub on the way home. Refreshing not only for its welcome, warm fire and hearty fayre but for its interesting links to the Civil war: and absolutely nothing to do with Shakespeare!
Of course if you do fancy a bit of theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon we can organise that too!