In 2014, hotelier Tim Holloway and his wife Edlyn Cunill decided to swap London for the peace and quiet of the New Forest, with happy results for anyone looking for an affordable yet stylish rural trip. In the village of Sway, surrounded by open heath and woodland that’s ideal for walking, horse riding and cycling, they found The Manor, built in 1906. With the help of interior designer David Bentheim they’ve given the solid brick Edwardian house a stunning makeover, its 15 beautifully coloured bedrooms decorated with prints from John James Audubon’s Birds of America, an open-plan restaurant and bar and a sitting room that daringly pairs William Morris fruit wallpaper with lime green furnishings and black and white check carpets, to stunning effect. The food, elegant, fresh and seasonal, from a constantly changing menu, is excellent (think harissa-spiced lamb rump say, or pea risotto), as are the wines. Best of all, the hotel overlooks five acres of sloping wooded grounds, surveyed from a splendid terrace that’s perfect for outdoor dining on a warm summer’s evening.
Doubles from £120
+44 (0)1590 682754; themanoratsway.com