Brexit. The gift that keeps on giving. With €1.09 to the pound at the time of writing (ergh!) you’ll be forgiven for shunning the foreign exchange office and endless airport queues for the new trend in British holiday making, the staycation.
Given Britain’s new summer status as a tropical island just off the coast of Europe, it seemed an opportune time to leave the squelching city for the lush outdoors. Starting small, we headed 50 minutes west out of London for a weekend in the beautiful town of Marlow on Thames, located in the High Wycombe district of South Buckinghamshire. The small river town is lined with quirky boutiques, gastro pubs and is also home to two of Tom Kerridge’s restaurants – The Hand and Flowers and The Coach.
Arrive early evening after a days graft in London to Marlow’s village feel. Head straight to the Botanist in the centre of town for good vibes. With its airy outdoors space and bifolding front that welcomes in the summer breeze, soak up the wide selection of craft beers, ales, gins and fantastic live music.
Choose from the array of cuisines on offer in town including Giggling Squid (Thai), Vanilla Pod (French) and Tiger Garden (Indian).
Set in the historic Harleyford Estate, grab the clubs and head out on Harleyford Golf course, designed by Donald Steele. Named as one of the Top 10 golf courses in Buckinghamshire, this beautifully crafted 6,903 yard par 72 course is well worth a visit for players of all abilities.
Forget about the scorecard at one of two of Tom Kerridge’s Michelin starred restaurants in Marlow. With the ‘Hand & Flowers’ near impossible to secure a table without months of notice, check out the more casual ‘The Coach’ which was recently awarded a Michelin star. Specialising in local, seasonal ingredients on small plates, ‘The Coach’ packs a flavour punch with menu staples such as the ‘Coach burger’, the ‘Claude Bosi’ (no rice mushroom risotto) and the ‘Chicken kiev’. Being walk-in’s only, be prepared for a short wait during peak dinner service which provides the perfect opportunity to sample one of many cocktails or a pre dinner Rebellion ale, brewed in Marlow.
Following dinner head to the newly opened Butchers Tap (another Tom Kerridge establishment) for a night cap.
Start the day right with Sunday brunch at the recently opened ‘The Ivy’ followed by a stroll along the river Thames or even better, rent a boat! Nearby Henley on Thames provides more country charm and holds the Henley Royal Regatta, a five day event ending on the first weekend in July.
A ten minute drive out of Marlow will see you to Lower Mount Farm farm where you can pick your own fruit before rounding off your weekend in a local village pub for a proper Sunday roast.