JUST a few miles over the border with England, if you take the Severn Bridge from Chepstow, the magnificent Thornbury Castle sits at the edge of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire.
It can’t be recommended highly enough with its plush bedchambers (many with four-poster beds), ornate Tudor architecture, superb restaurant and brilliant staff.
I was lucky enough to stay there with my wife recently and would love to go back at the drop of a hat.
We sampled the hotel’s great value Sunday evening Stay and Dine package.
It costs from just £75 per room on Sunday nights when guests spend a minimum of £100 on food and drink.
After you get settled into your lavish room, there’s a night of top-class food and wine awaiting you with a full English breakfast to look forward to the following morning (see thornburycastle.co.uk/special-breaks/ for details).
A grade I listed building, it is steeped in history, it was initially built as a fortress and is an excellent early example of a Tudor country house,
The rather unfortunate Duke of Thornbury was beheaded in 1521 on the orders of his distant cousin King Henry VIII for alleged treason and the monarch stayed there for ten days in August 1535 with his second wife, Queen Anne Boleyn, who met the same grisly fate less than a year later.
Following the English Civil War in the mid-17th Century the castle fell into disrepair, but was renovated in 1824 by the Howard family.
Today the castle is a 26-room luxury hotel and restaurant, and a venue for weddings.
Dining here is a real treat and you can enjoy a fine meal in one of its four dining rooms, where modern and international cuisine combines with traditional favourites, all are created using the best ingredients, including some from the castle’s very own gardens as well as local suppliers.
Three courses cost £50 per head. Highly recommended are the seared scallops, herb gnocchi, pork belly and pickled shallots to start.
As is the wild Devon sea bass, lobster and organic salmon ravioli, buttered English sea kale and bisque dressing for main course and the exquisite selection of cheese, biscuits, fruit and chutneys to end.
Treat yourself to an unforgettable break that won’t break the bank.
l Iwan stayed as a guest at Thornbury Castle, near Bristol, (telephone 0844 482 2152 and 01454 281182 or visit thornburycastle.co.uk).
The Sunday night Stay and Dine package costs from just £75 per room on Sunday nights when spending a minimum of £100 on food and drinks. Arrive from 3pm and get settled into a beautiful bed chamber before a night of food and beverage heaven with breakfast in the morning.