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Before 2018, British summer essentials included: sunglasses, an umbrella, a cardigan and copious cups of tea. Given this year’s Armageddon heat levels, your all-new, British-summer essentials for 2018 and beyond include: sunglasses, factor-50 sun lotion, nudity (or as few clothes as decency permits), access to water and multiple Grey Goose Le Fizz cocktails – those French vodka-boffins have hydration down pat, after all.

Forget commuting: a lorry melted on a Berkshire road and, at 35.4 degrees, temperatures on Tube carriages have topped the legal maximum for cattle-transportation. Instead, hole up and hide away at a best-of-British bolthole – preferably one with air conditioning, bucketloads of water and an army of attentive, ice-bucket-bearing bartenders. NB Knowing England’s temperamental side, by the time we print this, it will probably be raining; optimistically, here are three sizzling suggestions to cool you down, just in case it’s not.


Style Hello, sailor
Setting Artist’s delight

Liquid lure There’s an indoor pool at the spa and the Atlantic awaits on your doorstep.

Tell me more Oh, British seaside, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways: fish and chips, Mr Whippy, and cream teas, for starters – and thankfully, a visit to this beach-facing bolthole is likely to feature all three. Enjoy the daily catch, served with its natural carby companion straight from the fabled fishing harbour on the hotel’s doorstep – or go fancy and sample truffle arancini, langoustine, or wild-nettle risotto. Sensibly, rooms let the views do the talking: soak in the sight of Porthminster Beach’s golden sands from the comfort of your bed. If you can drag yourselves away, the artist-favoured haunt of St Ives awaits within easy reach…

Best British coastal hotels_ST IVES HARBOUR HOTEL & SPA, CORNWALL

The sun terrace at St Ives Harbour Hotel


Style Force of nature
Setting Water world

Liquid lure There’s an impressive 20m infinity pool, with incredible views of Ullswater. There’s even a hot tub outside for romantic stargazing: particularly arresting in a national park with two Dark Sky Discovery areas.

Tell me more Unleash your inner Wordsworth at Another Place, a handsome Georgian charmer with a lake-spying spa, a glass-walled pool, an outdoor hot-tub. and a gaggle of restaurants that write mini love letters to the region. (Don’t miss the local Herdwick lamb and Morecambe Bay shrimp.) Active types are in the right Place: on the lake-step, you’ll find running trails, horse-riding, cycling and kayaking – even wild swimming for the brave. That said, relaxation is championed here, too, especially in the spoiling spa: opt for the Full Works option for head-to-toe pampering. When night falls, make a beeline for the laidback bar and its crackling fire.

Best British coastal hotels_Another Place, Lake District

Another Place


Style Bucolic bovine beauty
Setting Green and pleasant land

Liquid lure Ok, we’re cheating a bit with this one: it doesn’t have a pool, but liquid hydration comes via the Cow’s excellent bar – this is a former pub, after all. If that’s not enough to cool you down, Derbyshire is a hot spot for wild swimming…

Tell me more Moniker aside, there’s nothing beastly about the Cow: a former pub turned boutique inn with view-toting rooms, a tempting cocktail list and a very clever chef. Outside, all is glowering and magnificent – the East Midlands’ rolling hills, rocky outcrops and dramatic skies – but inside, everything’s deliciously cosy. You could call the Cow the architectural equivalent of a fruit cake (we did). Blissfully comfy beds and crackling fires when you need them don’t hurt either; in summer, the bar’s a refreshingly cool hangout, where a former butcher’s block, well-stocked spirits collection, artfully mismatched furniture and striking lighting vie for admiration. This cow has character, too: walls are decorated with works by a local artist and the young and friendly staff don’t stint on smiles.

Best British coastal hotels_The Cow, Derbyshire, England

The Cow

Thirsty for more liquid love-affairs? Drink in Smith’s collection of British coastal hotels

Partner content from Grey Goose, to toast the great British summertime.

Featured image is St Ives, Cornwall

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