Have you ever been to Marlow? I hadn’t until just recently, and now it’s the place I want to be most
Marlow is a stunning Georgian town in Buckinghamshire, which has the River Thames running through it, and just as you’d imagine, it’s picturesque and peaceful. Walking down the high street there isn’t a shop that’s not well kept and inviting and I’m not sure I can put into words just how beautiful the buildings are! (Does that make me officially old? That I think buildings are beautiful?)
Well, a couple of weeks ago Jamie and I made a two day trip to Marlow as he had booked us a table at The Hand and Flowers, one of my bucket listed places to eat. We stayed at the Macdonald Complete Angler, which I was instantly drawn to because of its ideal location just a short walk from the shops, and its perfect setting along the riverfront. The staff were lovely and extremely tentative – I seriously can’t fault them! Our room had a breathtaking view of the water and was spacious, clean, well looked after and comfortable. The atmosphere was just as I like it, lot’s of space, quiet and light. When Jamie and I first got into the room we were like kids, checking out the mini bar, putting on the provided robes and popping open a bottle of fizz on the balcony. We really did feel like we were on holiday!
Marlow is the perfect place for a UK foodie break! It is jam packed full of independent cafes in cute courtyards and has a whole host of both chain and fine dining restaurants; including the Giggling Squid, Prezzo, Bill’s and two of Tom Kerridge’s restaurants; The Coach and The Hand and Flowers. We ate at The Hand and Flowers – you can read my blog post on that here.
Whilst we didn’t eat our main meal at our hotel, if the breakfast and afternoon tea are anything to go by then the food won’t disappoint! With a number of different dining options available including two AA Rosette awarded Sindhu, by Michelin starred chef Atul Kochhar you won’t be stuck for choice.
After our belly busting meal at The Hand and Flowers the night before, it was to my absolute joy that I had one of the best nights sleep I’ve had in a long time. THE PILLOWS! Oh my, were the pillows comfy! Feeling perky and rested we went down to the Riverside Restaurant in the hotel for breakfast. The Riverside Restaurant is just the sort of place you want to sit and eat; light and with amazing views of the water and the quaint, Georgian houses lining the bank. The choice at breakfast was vast, continental buffet options and an Al la Carte cooked breakfast menu, which included the likes of dippy eggs & soldiers and Eggs Benedict.
We got super lucky with the weather and were able to walk off our breakfast with a slow stroll into the town. (Shopping time!) Marlow High Street is full of gift stores, boutique and upmarket clothing brands and coffee & cake shops. It really is a lovely place to spend a day and it’s the first time in a long time that I have enjoyed just sitting and taking in a place. (All right, I see it now, I’m getting old!)
After a Hot Chocolate and a browse we took a short drive out to Emettes Farm Shop as I can’t resist a farm shop visit, but much to my surprise the highlight of this part of my day was finding Home Barn Vintage Treasures which is located on the farm shop grounds. Browsing round this reclamation and antique shop could have had me occupied for hours and was right up Jamie’s street as a woodworker. If you like quirky nic nacs, candle holders or big, chunky wooden furniture then I suggest you take a look here and really get lost for a while!
Before I knew it, it was time for Afternoon Tea back at the hotel. I don’t need to say it again, but I will, I’m a sucker for tea and cakes! I’ve eaten afternoon tea all around the country and I’m picky at the best of times, but I didn’t have much to fault with The Complete Angler’s spread. I can hands down say that it is one of the most beautiful settings I have eaten afternoon tea in, riverside once again. The tea selection was vast, fresh and warm scones and the cakes and sandwiches were awesome too. For just £27.50 a head I couldn’t fault this and It felt like an occasion rather than just an ordinary Saturday. Jamie had never had afternoon tea before and I didn’t want to scare him off, well I think it did the opposite – he’s hooked!
I am already thinking about when I could plan our next visit to Marlow – perhaps during one of the boat races! It’s one of those places I could definitely see myself living, although slightly a little too far for me to set up home, it’s definitely now one of my go to places for a little respite! Thanks for having me Marlow, see you soon!