Away game: It’s a family affair

The Pool at The Berkeley (The Pool at The Berkeley)

The Pool at The Berkeley (The Pool at The Berkeley)


If it’s the Cotswolds for children you’re looking for, the answer is Calcot & Spa, which has just added ‘The Cottage’ to its premium range of rooms and suites. Split over two floors, with two large en-suite bedrooms, Scandinavian living room, pantry (the fresh sourdough is a lovely welcome) and courtyard garden with your own fire pit, it’s the perfect family home from home. Everyone feels welcome by the hotel, and Playbarn has a treasure trove of toys and entertainment for babies right up to teenagers. Nannies are also on hand to give parents a break. But it’s the outside that’s most appealing: teepees in the meadow offer games, there’s frisbee golf, mountain bike trails and a charming children’s playground with a mud kitchen. The immaculate spa isn’t just for adults either. Centered on the courtyard hot tub, there’s a fireplace and two stunning swimming pools (one indoor, one outdoor), plus a baby pool for little splashes. The Conservatory offers imaginative dining from breakfast to dinner, with classic pub fare at the family-friendly Gumstool Inn. And the babysitting service or pre-booked babysitters mean there’s no need to rush the cheese course. Ben Turner

The cottage at Calcot & Spa starts from £924 per night on a B&B basis (

The cabin at Calcot & Spa (ES Magazine)

The Cottage at Calcot & Spa (ES Magazine)


My recipe for the perfect holiday is simple: moderate heat, water, a sunbed and a pile of books. Sleep, swimming and silence in between. Then came Wilfie – very loud, very fast, sometimes furious. Holidays as we knew them were over. After our first trip, a disastrous week of sleepless nights and days wrangling an alabaster-skinned baby from the sun, sea and outside restaurant tables, we swore never again. A year passed and we felt brave enough to try again. This time for Cabü: 20 luxury cabins on Kent’s Romney Marsh, highly recommended by many friends with many children. It was perfect. Charming, spotless, well-appointed cabins, blackout curtains (if you know, you know), a pool, outdoor kitchen with pizza oven and grills, a sauna, hot tub and a small shop full of delicious food and drinks, all within easy reach of a baby monitor and steps from the beach . We will be back. Rose beer

From £310 for two nights, for two guests (

Cabu (ES Magazine)

Cabu (ES Magazine)


City breaks with kids can often be a hot mess, which is why it’s best to leave things cool, calm and collected to the experts at The Berkeley. Guests have exclusive use of the hotel’s glass-fronted rooftop pool, but there’s also children’s yoga on request, Berkeley Bikes for cycling through Hyde Park and haute patisserie courtesy of Cédric Grolet for the little ones. Smart touches in the rooms further enhance your stay – from Berkeley teddy bears to the requisite milk and cookies at bedtime – and a concierge team that can field requests with more skill than Mary Poppins. Can’t make it all the way to the hotel? Try the Berkeley Breakfast in Bed delivery service: a five-star hotel-style breakfast with all the trimmings delivered to your door, lovingly wrapped in brown paper bags with handwritten labels. Almost perfect in every way. Deepal Acharya

Rooms from £990 (

The Berkeley (ES Magazine)

The Berkeley (ES Magazine)

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