The British Countryside Hotels That Inspired Lucy Foley’s New Novel, The Midnight Feast

By Olivia Emily

2 weeks ago

The bestselling author is back with another thriller

The author of The Hunting Party and The Guest List, Lucy Foley is back with another gripping, nail biting thriller. This time, it’s midsummer on the Dorset coast, and a champagne-fuelled party at a brand new hotel turns deadly. The Midnight Feast is out today (6 June 2024; £18.99), and here Lucy shares the British countryside hotels she took inspiration from when writing.

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Lucy Foley

Lucy Foley © Philippa Gedge

The Hotels That Inspired The Midnight Feast

A luxury countryside hotel in an isolated setting. Nothing and nobody for miles except your fellow guests. Space and silence. Dream come true or horror-filled worst nightmare? I wanted it to feel a little of both in my new murder mystery, The Midnight Feast, which takes place at a fictional new retreat called The Manor on the Dorset coast.

It was inspired by previous stays at wonderful rural hotels and a few necessary trips for research, and I hope it feels authentic and somewhere readers might really want to stay: from the spa in the orangery to the ‘woodland hutches’ with outdoor roll top baths, to the signature cocktails served in a bougied-up woodland glade, the architectural feat of a swimming pool perched atop the cliffs. But I also had great fun using the setting for an increasing sense of claustrophobia and isolation as tensions and temperatures (the action takes place at midsummer and during a heatwave) start to rise and some unexpected guests come to stay.

I should make it clear, though, that I am probably at my very happiest and most zen while on a staycation at a British countryside hotel. For me, it’s all about rambling walks in the local countryside to return to hot baths and fireside reading in winter, or in the summer to sip a cocktail in the evening sun overlooking an emerald lawn – with the odd massage thrown in for good measure. It was an absolute pleasure to take inspiration from some of the UK’s top spots – I can’t pretend that this was one of my more arduous assignments as a writer – and if you’re looking for a sumptuous rural stay I can highly recommend checking in to the following.

The Pig on the South Downs


The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley is out now. Hardback, £18.99,

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