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Weekend breaks away from the kids

Of course you love your children, but once in a while you've got to make space for a lazy weekend without your little ones

Posted: 15 August 2011
by Junior

The Scarlet hotel's relaxing spa

Even the most devoted parents need time away from their little angels for a spot of relaxation and romance. Simply waving them off will feel like a tonic! If you fancy a naughty night out in London, the six-room Fox & Anchor is a great hideaway. Just a pig hair’s breadth from Smithfields, this traditional pub with rooms is ready and waiting to lure you into its hops ’n’ chops, its cuvées and duvets. The head barman hands over your room key as you search for an Alice In Wonderland-type door, put the key in and, hey presto, you’re out of the throng. Dine in The Fox restaurant with its wood-panelled cubbyholes and indulge in Maldon oysters and a mean steak tartare. Rooms from £95 with breakfast. 

If you want to escape the big city, the West Country always has plenty of sexy hideaways. One of the best is The Scarlet near Newquay. Known as Cornwall’s luxury eco hotel for adults only, there are just 37 bedrooms, locally sourced cuisine and a fabulous Ayurvedic-inspired spa. Book their Spa Package from £445 per person, which includes three nights’ B&B in a Just Right room, dinner on two evenings (cooked by Michelin-starred Ben Tunnicliffe), and a four-hour Ayurvedic Spa Journey. There’s even a cliff-top hot tub that’s so good that parents will think they’ve died and gone to heaven. 

Alternatively, The Cary Arms is one of the most sophisticated hotels in Devon. Nestling on the cliff at Babbacombe Bay, there are eight rooms in the main house, all individual and uplifting with New England meets British seaside decor and stunning sea views. Or book yourselves into one of the fishermen’s cottages. There’s a neat spa room with soothing Elemis treatments, a bijou pool room and a space-age Pod on the terrace. Oh, and dogs are welcome, too. A Romantic Retreat package costs £475 per double sea-view room with balcony, a glass of champagne on arrival, a three-course dinner for two in the Pod or fireside in The Inn, a relaxing 30-minute massage or facial each and a lazy full-English breakfast both mornings.

If you want the heady feel of an overseas adventure, but don’t want to go too far, take a quick flight to Dublin, pick up a car and drive just under an hour to Bellinter House in County Meath, a gorgeous Palladian mansion that has had a stunning makeover. Replenish the soul and the body at its beautiful Bathhouse Spa and treat yourselves to a luxurious Voya seaweed bath for two. A three-night stay with two three-course evening meals and breakfast costs from £187 per person.

Of course, Paris is the ultimate romantic getaway. The Park Hyatt Vendôme is great for naughty weekends. The entrance is discreet, so you can sneak in just like Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis do. The Michelin-starred restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy divine cuisine without the additional high chair at the side of the table. They also do healthy smoothies, so you can have a super-boost morning pick-you-up before going back to face full-on family life. ITC Classics ( offers two nights from £899 per person based on two adults sharing a Park Room, including B&B, flights and private transfers.

If you want guaranteed sunshine, the slick Kempinski Bodrum in Turkey is perfect for a short break as Easyjet’s daily flights to Bodrum mean that you can go Thursday or Friday to Sunday or Monday. To really recharge your batteries, book the five-night Sense of Wellbeing package from £970 per couple sharing a sea-view room. Take full advantage of six indulgent spa treatments in the resort’s renowned Six Senses Spa, plus daily breakfast, late checkout and airport transfers. There’s also open-air yoga, ta’i chi, Nordic walking, Watsu and fitness training. And if you want to get more intimate, you can book the Spa Suite, a spa within a spa, just for couples.  

See our Travel section for more relaxing holidays.

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London, Devon, Dublin, County Meath, Paris, Turkey, children

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