Our Perfect Few Days at The Chase
The Chase Hotel in Ross on Wye claims to be the perfect base for enjoying everything the beautiful county of Herefordshire has to offer. After too many weekends spent trying to avoid groups of tourists on the busy streets of Bristol, our home city, we decide to take them at their word and book a long weekend in June.
Surprised that the journey to Ross on Wye takes only slightly over an hour, we enter the hotel gates on a warm Friday afternoon, full of anticipation for our much needed break. It certainly doesn’t disappoint at first glance…a romantically-English Georgian Country House with rolling lawns and smiling staff. Within half an hour the porter has taken our luggage up to our 4-Poster Room, which is huge with lovely views over the grounds, and we are sipping wine on the Garden Terrace and not quite believing our luck.
While hubby wanders the few minutes into Ross, I spend a lazy hour reading my book and getting distracted by the amazing views. Then, we pop back inside to mooch around our room, take nice long soaks in the tub (trying out the free toiletries) and head down for dinner.
We love Harry’s Restaurant! It has just the right blend of old and new, with a clean, neutral colour scheme and fabulous original features. Our waitress is lovely and pays us just the right amount of attention. I order Roast Barbary Duck Breast with a Black Cherry & Cardamom Sauce which is absolutely delicious. Hubby has been looking forward to trying a dish recommended by a friend who lives locally, which unfortunately is not on this season’s menu. When the chef hears he promptly whips something similar up from what he has in stock…a rare treat of customer service that puts many of our favourite Bristol haunts to shame.
After a nice early night and a body massage shower that leaves my skin tingling for at least 10 minutes, we head out for the day. As this weekend is all about rest and relaxation, we pass over adventurous Herefordshire activities like canoeing and mountain biking, and head to nearby Symonds Yat for a walk by the river. After a slightly sweaty climb up to the viewing spot we are rewarded with a truly spectacular panorama of dramatic gorges and winding rivers. We don’t spot the Peregrine Falcons which we’re told have been nesting in the area, but are consoled when we spot a deer running through the forests ahead of us.
In the afternoon we head into the nearby market town of Ledbury which is just as picturesque as Ross on Wye. We spend a few pleasant hours window shopping and trying out different cosy tea rooms. We also discover a delightful boutique chocolatier tucked away up a cobbled street, which is serving free samples of delicious dark chocolate and chilli truffles….amazing!!
Back to The Chase and there’s just enough time for a quick coffee and flick through the papers in The Lounge before getting ready for dinner. After another delectable meal and a bottle of wine or two in Harry’s, we sway unsteadily up to bed…sleepy and full.
On Sunday, hubby is meeting a friend for a quick round at the popular Ross on Wye Golf Club, and I’m planning a girly day at Hart’s Barn in the Forest of Dean. I scour its cute craft market and pick up some lovely pieces of jewellery and a few prints, perfect presents for family birthdays, then pamper myself with a Reiki session and facial at the Health & Beauty Studio. Back at The Chase feeling refreshed and revitalized, we share Afternoon Tea on the terrace, watching the sun set behind the forested hills.
The next morning as we load our bags into our car, brought down by the ever-hospitable porter, we are both extremely sad that our weekend break is already at an end. Heading up the driveway and out through the gates I am already flipping through my diary to see when we can book our next trip.