Sir Walter Scott described it as “the finest stone town in England”, not least for its heritage buildings (over 600 of which are now listed), many made of mellow local limestone. It’s for this reason that the Lincolnshire town of Stamford can often be seen on the big and small screen, as a common filming location – you may have spotted it on the 2005 Pride & Prejudice, Middlemarch, The Da Vinci Code and the Golden Bowl. The River Welland runs through the town that’s also known for great food – every Friday there’s a bustling market rich with high-quality produce.
Perched on the peninsula above Rutland Water in Oakham just outside of Stamford, this grand hall has been a privately owned hotel for decades. In that time it has earned a highly coveted three-star rating from the Michelin Guide for its cuisine (and boasts the UK’s longest-retained star), in a restaurant inspired by Michel Guerard’s Les Prés d’Eugénie in France. Much of its produce comes from the onsite walled one-acre kitchen garden, tended by a team of dedicated gardeners. Do come to dine, but also stay, and sleep in one of the rooms in the main house, or the self-contained two-bedroom Croquet Suite.
The George Hotel Of Stamford
This incredible ivy-clad building is a veritable labyrinth, with many nooks and crannies. The site has been home to an inn or hotel for thousands of years now, so brings with it a wealth of hospitality heritage; dine in its formal Oak Room or relaxed Garden Room, order bubbles at the 14th-century Champagne Bar and get a snack in the York Bar. Bedrooms are adorned with features such as heavy antique drapes, curtained four-poster beds, patterned bedspreads, dark wood panelling and carved headboards. Each has a unique style and layout, so you can stay time and again and have a new experience.