The Church Street Townhouse
- Style Regency-revival remix
- Setting Half-timbered town centre
Stratford-upon-Avon's lively and colourful The Church Street Townhouse hotel has taken a beautifully restored grade-II-listed building and turned it into a charming contemporary inn. Plush contemporary furniture jives pleasantly with the original wooden beams and a traditional façade. For all that this hotel offers – characterful and comfortable rooms, classic English bistro, welcoming staff and a handsome bar with a local clientele – it remains an extremely affordable place to stay.
Need to know
- Rooms 12. All have drench showers; three have baths too, so if you have a preference, specify this when booking.
- Rates Double rooms from $68.04 (£42), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
- Facilities WiFi throughout, library of DVDs to borrow. In rooms, iPod dock, flatscreen TV, teapigs tea, coffee and kettle, mini-fridge with free bottled water, hair straighteners, hairdryers, ironing boards and irons.
- Check–out 11am. Check-in, 2pm. Church Street is happy to be flexible whenever they can be though: just tell reception what your timings are and they'll try to accommodate you.
Children This urban escape is not really suited to children – leave the kids at home!
- Also The hotel's restaurant is very popular, so reserve a table when booking rooms to avoid disappointment (you can always cancel it later). Two-night minimum stays apply on Friday–Saturday nights, but you can add on Sunday night for just £50.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Each room has similar boudoir-chic decor, with red, black and pewter accents on a palette of warm neutrals. If you can't do without a bath, go for rooms 2, 3, or 12. At the back of the building and heavily beamed, we love Large room 3's scene-stealing roll-top tub, curtained off with theatrical red drapes. For plenty of space and natural light, pick double-aspect Large room 12. Medium rooms 6 and 7 overlook Church Street's half-timbered alms houses, with pretty ogee window seats. Room 2 has a claw-foot tub in the bedroom. Room 1 is closest to the bar, so it can get noisy on some evenings (the hotel holds music nights on Wednesdays and Saturdays).
- Packing tips Don't heft heavy hair-dressing tools all the way here: rooms are kitted out with hairdryers and ceramic straighteners. Reception can provide simplified Stratford street maps, too, as well as cotton totes for any suitcase-bursting impulse buys.
- Also Help yourself to a tasty wee tot from the pretty decanter of port and generous stack of shortbread in your room.
Food and drink at The Church Street Townhouse
- Hotel restaurant Chef Richard Hancox (formerly chef at Palace Restaurant and Turner's Restaurant, Birmingham) mans the helm in Church Street's clutch of diminutive dining rooms, whipping up a monthly changing all-day menu of great-to-eat treats, from breakfast to bar snacks via Sunday lunch or afternoon tea. Imaginative twists elevate the everyday to excellent: we loved the 'three-bites' bar pies, crisp corned-beef-hash-patties; and killer club sandwiches.
- Dress code Channel the bard with pearl earrings and yellow stockings. Or, if you're not an attention-seeking thesp, just come as your good self.
- Top table Mr & Mrs Smith like the raised banquettes in the Blue Bar for champagne happy hour; the tables for two flanking the main entrance; and the pew-enhanced corner table with kitchen views in the Red Dining Room.
- Last orders For food in the restaurant, 10pm. They ring the bell in the bar at 11pm (midnight on Fridays and Saturdays), but guests can ask the night porter for drinks to take to their rooms.
- Room service None, but there's water, milk, port and shortbread in your room; when it's not busy, you might persuade staff to let you nibble something from the bistro in your boudoir.
- Hotel bar The Blue Bar's pewter-topped counter is a beacon for cosy nights in, where glasses are raised and ivories are tinkled by local music students at 5.30 every weeknight. Friday night's champage happy hour from 5pm is hugely popular, with bottles of bubbly for just £20. You can also take drinks by the fire in the quieter, wood-beamed Library Bar.