Mr & Mrs Smith travel expert Jenny Grace rounds up her five favourite boutique retreats for a summer at home.

For foodies… Thyme, Cotswolds

An elegant estate lovingly restored, the Thyme hotel is a collection of honey-hued stone cottages with modern yet rustic interiors – think timber eaves, roll-top baths and log burners. The impressive cookery school is led by MasterChef winner Marjorie Lang, so you can tempt your taste buds with a full-day seasonal masterclass or a ‘Short and Sweet’ baking afternoon.

thyme

For a quintessentially British stay… The George in Rye, East Sussex

This charming coaching-inn conversion is just two miles from Camber Sands’ stretch of rolling white dunes. The brasserie-style dining room dishes up scrumptious English classics using local and seasonal ingredients. With its quaint cobbled streets, antique shops and cosy tearooms, Rye makes a pretty spot to explore at pottering pace.

george

For an intimate break… Pool House, Wester Ross

The West Highlands setting of this boutique retreat is genuinely hard to beat – the perfect spot for couples keen for some serious time out. Right on the unspoilt shores of Loch Ewe, this family-run hideaway is very intimate with just four rooms. Snuggle up in the sitting room for a spot of seal-watching (they’re known to make appearances on the bay).

poolhouse

For lovers of the great outdoors… Hipping Hall, Cumbria

Ivy-clad Hipping Hall in the Lake District is the perfect bolthole to make the most of the great outdoors: the Yorkshire Dales and Eden Valley are within easy reach, with glorious fells for rambling nearby. Dinner is served in a 15th-century banqueting hall and vegetables are plucked straight from the hotel’s own garden.

hipping

For a romantic coastal retreat… The Scarlet, Cornwall

The Scarlet Hotel is both luxurious and laid-back. Set on a cliff top, you can enjoy sea views as well as your own balcony or outdoor pod. There are plenty of activities, including free yoga every morning, surfing lessons and wild swimming – a perfect way to start the day before an indulgent spa session in the afternoon. It’s a couples-only retreat, so you’ll find plenty of peace and quiet.

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