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HomeLuxury TravelEvaluation: Thornbury Citadel Resort and Restaurant, close to Bristol, UK

Evaluation: Thornbury Citadel Resort and Restaurant, close to Bristol, UK

In 2021, The Occasions topped Thornbury Citadel Resort as Britain’s Greatest Romantic Resort. Friends time journey again to Tudor days, to a fort that was as soon as Henry Vlll’s nation escape, for an imposing style of Renaissance residing.

Sleep regally within the octagonal Henry Vlll suite, the place he and Anne Boleyn stayed for 10 days in 1535 while ready for Bristol’s plague to abate. Climb the 77 steps to the fairy story Catherine of Aragon tower with its 10 ft vast mattress. Or loosen up in any of the opposite  25 fantastically curated bedchambers. Recalling palatial Tudor residing, Thornbury has luxurious bedchambers reasonably than rooms.

Begun in 1510 by Edward Stafford, the third Duke of Buckingham, Thornbury Citadel was nearing completion when Henry appropriated it after the he had Stafford executed for treason in 1521.

The welcome

With simply 27 bedchambers, the welcome is heat and private. First, we’re proven the lounge, the place afternoon tea is being served, after which the library which ends up in the bar.

Our baggage is taken throughout the courtyard backyard to our bedchamber and low arched doorways are identified. No marvel that Henry Vlll ceaselessly had a sore head. At 6’2” he was an enormous of a Tudor.

The bedchamber

Beneath a timber beamed ceiling and glinting chandelier, the massive Mary Queen of Scot’s bedchamber has armchairs, dressing desk, chests of drawers, fire and tapestry.

Our view is throughout the rose-gardened courtyard to an oriel window that was a part of Stafford’s first flooring lodging. Above is a purple brick chimney from 1514 that predates Hampton Court docket’s chimneys by a 12 months.

Though there’s loads of uncovered stonework inside the fort’s 4 ft thick partitions, the bedchamber, with chandelier-style wall lights casting heat swimming pools of sunshine, and acres of fitted carpet, is surprisingly cosy.

Thornbury’s house owners have discreetly launched up to date comforts: a fridge hidden away behind the darkish wooden marquetry, a tv full of info on the property and telephone charging factors by the mattress. Extensive 4 poster beds are designed for contemporary folks, not vertically challenged Tudors. Every bedchamber is called after a outstanding Tudor character, a forged record that features Henry’s six wives.  Inside a gilded body, the story of Mary Queen of Scots’ troubled life is informed. Embroiled in catholic / protestant strife and euro energy politics, she was imprisoned for 19 years earlier than her execution.

The toilet

A hobbit-sized door leads via a mini-corridor of in-built wardrobes right into a twin facet toilet. Wood shutters protect privateness.

Even right here you can’t escape historical past and the legacy of Stafford’s ego. His sealed knot coat of arms is etched into the glass of the showered door and embroidered on the flannels.

The amenities

Thornbury’s 3 AA Rosette restaurant attracts in foodies from afar. From the second company sit down within the historic-tomed library or by the log-fire toasted lounge for drinks, it is a regal eating expertise. The black-tailed maitre d’ sashays between bar and eating places making certain that his waistcoated employees, immaculate in white shirt and black ties, present slick service.

A portrait of Henry Vlll, in that well-known legs astride dominating pose, seems out over one of many two eating rooms. Although he wouldn’t approve of Government Chef Carl Cleghorn’s gentle and complicated menu regardless of the superlative sourcing and eye-pleasing presentation.

Henry was extra a half-a-roast-boar glutton than a fragile braised shin of beef gourmand. Pan roasted halibut with salt cod mash, BBQ gem lettuce, brown shrimp and mussels would have been far too refined for the monarch’s tastes. And what would have been the risky carnivore’s response to spiced quinoa?

By way of amenities, there isn’t a single cardio-machine at Thornbury Citadel nor a swimming pool for laps. However in a nod to twenty first century indulgence there’s a menu of stress-free massages accessible.

In any other case, actions are distinctly Tudor. Archery, croquet or falconry on the garden. A stroll via the Goodly Backyard the place the women as soon as gathered to gossip by the skep straw bee hives, amongst the quince and strawberry bushes. Or a stroll via the labyrinth the place they could have mentioned who would succeed Anne Boleyn as Queen. A mere 10 months after her Thornbury keep Anne was useless. Beheaded.

The situation

Overlooking the Severn Estuary, Thornbury is inside a brief drive of Bristol for visits to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the redeveloped docks and Brunel’s SS Nice Britain.

A barely longer drive takes company to Tub with its grandiose Regency structure and Jane Austen legacy.

Different good touches

A decanter of sloe gin, distilled domestically, makes for a calming nightcap.

Recalling a bygone age of service, early morning tea and low might be delivered. Despite the fact that there’s a very spectacular tea and low tray, together with a copper cafetière inside the bedchamber.

No characterless, tepid breakfast buffet right here. Piping scorching breakfasts are freshly cooked to order. Neither is the tea from an electrical machine. The aristocratic tea menu consists of selections of Halmari Property Assam and Himalayan Darjeeling. Evidently each decaf tea and low can be found.

For a singular celebration of an important day, you may e book a non-public dinner within the dungeon.

The fee

Bedchamber charges start from £299. For dinner, three programs from the a la carte menu prices £59.

One of the best bit

Ebook a tour with a historian to find out how the Stafford’s relations with King Henry Vlll have been a microcosm of the Tudor interval: energy, battle and beheadings. By the tip of Henry’s reign in 1547, executions had decimated the Stafford household tree.

With stone from his Cotswold quarries, Edward Stafford, designed a grand fort that was additionally a palace arrogantly exulting his standing. His title and titles are displayed  above the gate, his sealed knot heraldic crests carved all through the property.

As England’s second richest man, descended from Edward lll, he thought he had a greater declare to the throne than his cousin, Henry Vlll. As historian David Starkey has written, Stafford barely bent his knee for Henry. That was till Henry lured Stafford to London and had him beheaded in 1521.

The ultimate verdict

An enchanting perception into Tudor occasions with up to date regal comforts. There’s a helicopter pad for many who journey from afar for chef Carl Cleghorn’s very good fare.

Disclosure: Our keep was sponsored by Thornbury Citadel Resort and Restaurant .

Michael Edwards

Michael Edwards is a journey author from Oxfordshire, UK. Though Michael had his first journey items printed practically 4 a long time in the past, he’s nonetheless discovering new luxurious locations to go to and write on.

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