Treat yourself to a wonderful foodie break between Christmas and New Year at a luxurious country hotel.

Great British Life: The luxurious indoor pool in Peake Spa at Stoke by Nayland Resort Credit: Dale Holden Creative Caption: The luxurious indoor pool in Peake Spa at Stoke by Nayland Resort Credit: Dale Holden Creative Caption:


Whether you just love celebrating Christmas day all over again (without the washing up!) or simply want to sit back and relax, Stoke by Nayland’s versatile Boxing Day carvery lunch menu is a treat for the whole family.

Priced at a very reasonable £37.95 (adults), and £22 per child (7-12 years old), £15 per child (2-6 years old) you can enjoy it on Boxing Day from 12:30pm to 3pm. They are also offering vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options too. (Limited availability at the time of printing). Tamara Unwin is one of the family owners and directors of Stoke by Nayland, Hotel, Golf and Spa Resort. She says, ‘Twixmas is offered as a dinner, bed and breakfast break from 27 December right up to 7 January (excludes 31 December and 1 January.) At just £74.50 per person per night, it’s based on two people sharing a Club Room and includes dinner and breakfast. Our Club Rooms are beautifully spacious with tea and coffee trays, laptop-sized safes and free Wi-Fi. Room upgrades are available at additional cost. Plus, anyone staying also has complimentary access to our poolside facilities at our Peake Spa. Including an 18-metre indoor, heated pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, you can prebook a free two-hour session between 10am and 6pm with loungers, towels and robes, or just turn up before or after those times.

‘We also have two championship golf courses and, if the weather isn’t kind, we have our indoor golf simulator suite which is an amazing set up. You can play famous courses around the world with up to four players. You hire it by the hour, and you can have food and drink delivered to the suite too.’

At Stoke by Nayland there’s a choice of dining destinations, with a sports bar showing live TV sports, a terrace with rugs and heaters and the Orchard bar too, as well as the more formal a la carte Lakes Restaurant. In addition, there’s a gift and golf shop for retail therapy!

Tamara adds, ‘We create a beautiful winter wonderland backdrop which includes a Bavarian Forest and ski chalet and reindeer in reception, so it feels very festive as soon as you arrive.’

Stoke by Nayland Resort, Keeper's Lane, Leavenheath, Colchester, CO6 4PZ
01206 262836

Great British Life: Enjoy a luxurious twixmas break at Down Hall Credit: Matt Heath Photography Caption: Enjoy a luxurious twixmas break at Down Hall Credit: Matt Heath Photography Caption:


Join Down Hall for a Boxing Day luncheon accompanied by the sound of their resident pianist. Marketing manager Jenny Rogers says, ‘We are offering a delicious three-course menu from 12.30pm – 3pm. For main course you are spoiled for choice with either roast turkey crown served with all the trimmings, roast sirloin of beef served with Yorkshire pudding, roast chateau potatoes and a red wine jus. We also have a herb-crusted hake with salsify, samphire, mussels and chive velouté, or there’s a vegetarian/vegan option of wild mushroom wellington, pomme cocotte, carrot puree, and winter greens. This is priced at £65 per person with children at £32.50. There’s a separate menu for the children or they can request half portions from the adult’s menu.’ (Bookings must be prepaid, but menu choices can be made on the day. Child prices are for 12 years and under).

Jenny concludes, ‘We also have beautiful grounds to explore, and you have the opportunity to book into our Eden spa with our Twixmas packages and individual treatments available to book on our website. So, whether you choose to have a wet spa, a massage, or maybe a pedicure it gives you a chance to take a bit of time out for yourself after all of the Christmas madness.’ The Eden Spa has single treatment rooms and a luxury double room for couples to enjoy a wide range of luxury ESPA body treatments, massages and facials, manicures, pedicures and waxing.

Jenny concludes, ‘We will also still be serving our hugely popular festive afternoon teas in the lounge, beside a roaring log fire.’

If you’d like to stay over, Down Hall are offering a post-Christmas getaway which includes accommodation on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis (two people sharing) £295 per room (Classic Room). Twixmas break packages are available from 27-30 December.

Down Hall Hotel Spa Estate, Matching Road, Hatfield Heath, CM22 7AS
01279 731441

Great British Life: Enjoy the luxurious festive interiors at Wivenhoe House Hotel Credit: Emma Cabielles Enjoy the luxurious festive interiors at Wivenhoe House Hotel Credit: Emma Cabielles


Wivenhoe House is a beautiful 18th Century four-star hotel with a contemporary twist so why not take a trip there after Christmas for a well-earned rest? There is a choice of rooms: some are in the Grade II listed part of the building, with original wooden beams and sash windows, each ensuite bedroom is individually styled with traditional furniture. They also offer Superior Rooms in their rather more contemporary Garden Wing which have a modern twist with private balconies overlooking the grounds. You can also choose to stay in one of their Classic Rooms, which face a pretty courtyard. Niamh Handley-Vaughan is their marketing officer. She says, ‘On Boxing Day we are offering a three-course meal in the evening which is open for everyone to book. The meal will be accompanied by vocalist Kitty Collins, at £75 per person for three courses with a welcome drink.

For Twixmas we can offer all of our rooms, from our Classic rooms at £120 per room, per night through to our Luxury rooms at £230 per room per night. All rooms are dog friendly, and we have several lovely walks for people to enjoy. Within the grounds of Wivenhoe House, we have a wonderful tree walk. There’s also an ale trail which takes you into Wivenhoe town itself. In addition, we can recommend the longer Wivenhoe Trail which takes you around the quay at Wivenhoe. Dogs are allowed in all areas of the hotel apart from the Park Brasserie, and we make them very welcome.’

The Park Brasserie menu offers tasty, hearty and thoughtfully sourced dishes inspired by French brasserie cuisine but still with classic favourites to enjoy. It is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and they also serve afternoon tea. For full details of their menus and the walks available for you and your fur babies check out their website.

Wivenhoe House, Wivenhoe Park, Park Road, Colchester, CO4 3FA
01206 863666