Fancy a spot of retail therapy? A day at the races? Then hop on a train and head for Chester, whose compact medieval city centre, with its roots in Roman times, is graced by its cathedral and encircled by its city walls, which you can walk right round. If you feel like some fun, head for Oddfellows, which makes a perfect base for any age, but especially the young at heart. Set in a beautiful neo-classical mansion house, the decoration is nicely zany, with old typewriters crawling up the wall, huge appliqué birds and foxes on panelled walls in the bar and an indoor/outdoor courtyard, with water feature, artificial turf, booths, firepits and oversized lamps. The comfortable, well-equipped bedrooms are stylish, full of curios and fun accessories, and good value (great housekeeping here). There are also cool, spacious self-catering apartments. Downstairs, you’ll find terrific cocktails in the glamorous bar, and the food in the revamped restaurant (all smoked mirrored lighting, antique mirrors and living moss) is outstanding.
Doubles from £149
+44 (0)1244 345454; oddfellowschester.com
Enjoy the hotel’s secret garden in every season. Pop-up events such as ‘Oddfellows On The Piste’ ski bar and in summer, the Victorian seaside themed ‘Oddfellows Goes Paddling’ keep the garden full of fun.
Chef Daniel Beech’s Chateaubriand to share is the local diner’s favourite.
The hotel’s florists Wild who share part of the building and tend the garden have some beautiful terrariums and planters.
CLAIM TO FAME
The frieze above the entrance to the building says Oddfellows Hall and indeed the building was once home to the Oddfellows Society – where philosophers, dreamers and artists would congregate.
Want to find out more? Visit the hotel's website.
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