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The Red Lion, Odiham, Hampshire
This 500-year-old inn combines olde-world with contemporary, the dove grey and green décor blending wonderfully with oak beams and timber-framed walls. Vintage chairs, Victorian heritage tiles in the bathrooms and top-notch furniture are all on trend. Sumptuous duck-down pillows and duvets guarantee a great night's sleep while a bottle of local Hogs Back ale is a welcome touch on arrival. The focus is on farm-to-fork dining, with much of the food, beer and gin sourced in Hampshire and Britain. There's fascinating RAF memorabilia and black and white photographs (RAF Odiham is close by) to browse on the pub's walls while having a pint of the company's own Red Mist Ale.
Walk along the tranquil canal to the octagonal keep ruins of Odiham Castle - one of only three fortresses built by King John.
Odiham is a pretty market town with shops and restaurants. Venture out further and you'll find Farnham Castle 15 minutes' drive away.
By car: around 1 hour 45 minutes from Bristol, 1 hour 15 minutes from London and 4 hours from Manchester. Parking costs £2 per day.
By train: direct trains to Hook station from London Waterloo take 1 hour. The hotel is a 7-minute drive away. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The hotel suits anyone, but particularly couples, looking for a short break in cosy, characterful surroundings. We loved the little touches such as indulgent and fragrant Espa toiletries and bottles of beer from Hogs Back brewery.
Service & Facilities
Reading the newspapers after breakfast was a perfect way to chill at the weekend.
- Free Wi-Fi
The Chinnock room in the oldest part of the building has charming beams, a fireplace and a bulging timber-framed wall. The beds have soft and squidgy duck-down pillows and duvets, and crisp bed linen, just perfect for snuggling under.
Room, Family Room
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with EPSA toiletries, bathrobes, hairdryer, Nespresso machine, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
We loved the goblet of Surrey-based Silent Pool gin which is served with elderflower and Mediterranean tonics. The vegetarian breakfast of avocado, roasted tomatoes, red-pepper humous, wilted spinach, eggs, mushrooms and fried bread was delicious.
The Red Lion: traditional country pub, wooden beams and cosy log fire. Classic British cuisine, locally sourced produce. All-day menu, open daily. Lunchtime set menu from £14.95.