THIS stunning boutique pad close to a gorgeous coast makes for the perfect weekender, says writer Beth Neil.
The Tempus, located in Northumberland, is an Alice-In-Wonderland-inspired boutique hotel which has just opened, and has so much to offer.
Set in the Northumberland countryside, just a short drive from England’s best-kept secret – the stunning north-east coastline – is an Alice-In-Wonderland-inspired boutique hotel bursting with style.
It’s been four years in the making, but these 18th-century farmhouses in the grounds of the 150-acre Charlton Hall Estate have been transformed into a peach of a place.
What we loved
The imagination and attention to detail throughout are out of this world.
None of the 15 rooms are the same and the luxe bathrooms, tech-controlled mood lighting and fabulously outlandish wallpaper add to the opulence.
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The cocktail bar, with its sumptuous velvet furniture, is also a vibe, while the food in the elegant pink-themed orangery is divine.
Particularly delicious are the starter of scallops with spiced cauliflower, £14, and main of mussels and sweet-potato fries, £17.
There are also plenty of the usual favourites to keep any little people happy, because while the setting feels high-end, the atmosphere is super laid-back and kids are welcome.
Sipping cocktails like A Place Called Wonderland, £8.95 – a delicious mix of dry gin, Cointreau, marmalade liqueur and lemonade – on the terrace is utterly blissful, too.
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What we didn’t
The lack of bike hire to explore the surrounding countryside is, we feel, a trick missed.
Plus, we’d love a luxe spa here – but we’ve heard whispers it’s in the pipeline, so watch this space.
Out and about
With the kids? Nearby pretty Alnwick Garden at Alnwick Castle (AKA actual Hogwarts for the first two Harry Potter movies) has this year opened a new magical play village called Lilidorei.
At its heart is an incredible larch-wood play structure (the world’s biggest, FYI) and our two kids would have explored the elaborate network of tunnel slides, winding staircases and bridges all day if they could have.
Tickets cost from £16.50 for three hours (Lilidoreialnwick.co.uk). Then take a 20-minute drive to Bamburgh beach for golden sands and its medieval castle.
Adult entry costs £15.50, kids, £7.65 (Bamburghcastle.com).
If you’re visiting on a weekday, check out the memorial of sea heroine Grace Darling, as well as the mini museum dedicated to her (Rnli.org/find-my-nearest/museums/grace-darling-museum).
Grab lunch at The Copper Kettle, where traditional kippers in a bun, £6.95, are a must (Copperkettlebamburgh.co.uk).
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The Potted Lobster is pricier, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more lip-smacking portion of battered haddock and hand-cut chips, £18 (Thepottedlobster.co.uk).
Double rooms at The Tempus cost from £195 B&B per night, and family rooms sleeping four start from £250 B&B per night (Charltonhall.co.uk/thetempus).
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