When the nights draw in, all we want to do is snuggle next to an open fire and drink brandy. So that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Here are some lovely winter hotels with open fires, perfect for roasting chestnuts, reading your favourite books and accidentally having a very long nap before dinner.
Spitbank Fort – Hampshire
If you’re lucky enough to have a bunch of friends and a couple of grand to spend, Spitbank Fort is probably your dream hotel. An old sea fort off the coast of Gosport, it’s the perfect luxury hideaway. You get the whole place to yourself, there are multiple fires to choose from Including a fire pit on the roof so you can keep warm while you soak in the view. If you’d rather sneak off for a romantic weekend for two and you’re happy to share your private island, you can book individual rooms too.
Butley Priory – Suffolk
Just two hours away from London. This self-catering home is the perfect place to retreat to for the weekend with 16 of your favourite people. There are log fires in both receptions rooms at Butley Priory and once you’ve popped a roast chicken in the Aga, you’ll be toasty and the very picture of winter smug snug.
The Samling – Lake District
One of the most enjoyable things about winter is being all cosied up and snug when it’s freezing cold outside. The Samling’s log fire is perfection enough, but throw in a gorgeous view of the Lake District and a Michelin-starred restaurant and you might decide to hibernate until spring.
The Zetter Townhouse – London
Whether you’re drawn to the hotel because of the boxing kangaroo in the corner or the cocktails with gunpowder in them, The Zetter Townhouse bar is the kind of drinking den that sucks you in and makes you forgot about everything (especially that work document you were meant to finish). You can never just have one drink in the bar, especially not when it’s so cold outside and you’re so toasty. Opt for a bottle of the house red, it’s very affordable and very drinkable.
Old Swan & Minster Mill – Oxfordshire
It’s like someone has poured Christmas cheer into the very foundations of the Old Swan and Minster Mill. It practically oozes Dickensian festivity. The bar has an open log fire and this Cotswold setting is just making us will it to snow. The Old Parsonage in Oxford is also a great nearby option if the Old Swan is fully-booked.
Plumber Manor – Dorset
One for traditionalists and foodies, Plumber Manor was built in the early 1600s and it’s actually the only manor house in the UK that is still owned by the same family that built it all those years ago. That’s probably because they really like the open fires, comfy sofas and beautiful grounds. We can’t really blame them.
Prestonfield – Edinburgh
Prestonfield is the sister hotel to the wonderful Witchery by the Castle. Both of them have seemingly been created purely for the purpose of ghost stories and romantic weekend breaks. Built as a Lord Provost’s mansion, Prestonfield has roaring log fires and just 23 rooms to choose from so you might get a fire all to yourself.
Words by Sian Meades