Banking On A Great Weekend

Here's How To Spend Your Bank Holiday Weekend

ockenden-manor-hotel-and-spa-exterior

by Helen Gibson |
Published on

We’re well into 2015 and, my, has it been a long year already! Thank god, then, for the second bank holiday in May to help break up the working weeks. But what to do on the upcoming glorious three days off? Whether you want an action-packed weekend, or a lazy long one, check out these five fun things to do…

The Girl’s Getaway

Want to get away from the boys? If it’s girly time you are after, then get a group together and head to The Four Seasons in Perthshire, Scotland. Only an hour’s drive from Glasgow or Edinburgh, this place is a hidden gem surrounded by green hills, wooded glens and stunning views of the beautiful Loch Earn.

As if that isn’t enough, The Four Seasons are offering the ‘Ultimate Girlfriend’s Getaway’ package. For £173.50, you and your girls will be treated to overnight accommodation in one of their gorgeous chalets overlooking the loch, full Scottish breakfast and a four-course gourmet (and guilt-free) dinner. Still not enough? OK, how about some clay pigeon shooting and a chocolate-tasting session? Sounds fun!

The Ultimate Girlfriend’s Getaway Break starts at £173.50 per person with a minimum of five people. Call 01764 685333 or visit www.thefourseasonshotel.co.uk

The City Foodie

If you’re a city dweller, how about spending the bank holiday weekend in the heart of London? Cue Dukes: the perfect package for the foodie in you. Dukes has launched its bespoke spring and summer Picnics in Green Park.* For £35 each, Dukes will arrange a gourmet hamper with private butler service to be set up in your desired location in Green Park, at a time to suit you. The box of delights includes treats like courgette, basil and goat’s cheese muffins, lamb kofta with coriander and heritage tomato, and summer berries with gin, tarragon and shortbread. *

If that’s not enough food for you, journey round the corner for an overnight stay at Dukes St James Hotel. Here, head chef Nigel Mendham has his restaurant Thirty Six; the perfect excuse to indulge in even more award-winning dishes. With a Michelin star under his belt, Nigel creates some of the most interesting and delicious dishes around. I recommend going for the tasting menu to ensure you get to try it all.

*Dukes Best Of British Picnics are £35 per person for a minimum of two people. *

Nightly rates at Dukes St James start from £295.

To make a reservation at Thirty Six, call 020 7491 4840

*Visit dukeshotel.com *

The Spa Retreat

What better way to spend a long weekend than by indulging in a spa mini break? Grab your best friend and head to Ockenden Manor. Tucked away in the pretty Tudor village of Cuckfield, Ockenden, is home to a gorgeous Elizabethan Manor House that’s surrounded by nine acres of peaceful gardens. The 28 bedrooms are individually furnished, so each one is unique, and all are super-cozy. The Michelin-starred restaurant offers fine food and good views, with a wine list to die for.

But the main attraction here is the purpose built, contemporary spa. The building alone is something to see, but step inside, and you will be blown away.

The luxury facilities include a steam room and sauna, Jacuzzi, and eight beautiful treatment rooms. Not to mention the huge indoor pool with swim-through to the heated outdoor pool.

There are plenty of treatments to choose from, perfect for a long weekend. Make sure not to miss one of the ila treatments. The body wrap begins with a body scrub followed by a powerful mad wrap that draws toxins from the body. The 90-minute treatment revitalises skin and restores energy levels – the perfect recovery from the stresses of working life.

Suites at Ockenden Manor start at £395.

Spa day packages start at £102 and the ila body wrap is £128. Visit www.hshotels.co.uk

The Cooking Classes

If you want to spend your free time doing something useful, enroll in Northcote Manor’s epic cooking school. Under the watchful eye of head tutor Michael Vanheste, learn a range of skills and techniques. There are tips on entertaining and themed classes, as well as premium masterclasses with chef Nigel Hayworth. Thanks to four work stations, the cookery school can accommodate up to eight people and there are half- or full-day courses to choose from. Once finished, students can sit at the chef’s table, which overlooks the state-of-the-art kitchen, and watch the masters at work while sampling the fruits of their labour – and boy are those fruits delicious!

After slaving in the kitchen all day, retreat to one of Northcote’s impeccably designed rooms or watch the sunset on the beautiful terrace that overlooks the Dorset countryside with a glass of chilled bubbly. Well deserved!

Cooking classes start at £195 and vary on classes. Rooms at Northcote start at £220. Visit www.northcote.com

The Activity One

Not content to spend the long weekend doing nothing? Then head out to the rolling hills and unspoiled countryside of the Yorkshire Dales. It’s the perfect setting for an active weekend full of hikes, mountain biking, horse riding and fishing. Once you are completely exhausted, relax in one of the award-winning lodges with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the breathtaking scenery. Perfect!

3 nights in the Yorkshire Dales in a 3-bed lodge starts at £46.40 per person. Visit www.naturalretreats.com* *

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