Last week, Pete and I had a week off work and as we already have a holiday planned in October, decided to stay in the UK. We also had a wedding on both Saturdays flanking the ear-marked week of rest, the latter in Surrey which gave us an excuse to try a hotel I have been curious about for some time – The Aviator in Farnborough, Hampshire.
I’ve spotted it several times on Mr and Mrs Smith, where there are often fantastic deals to be had on the already well priced rooms. Situated near lots of big businesses it receives a lot of corporate visitors during the week, hence the knock down weekend rates.
We arrived on Friday afternoon after a 5 hour drive from Cornwall, hot and bothered and desperate to enjoy the glorious sunshine. We were greeted at the door and taken to the first floor reception where we were offered a welcome cocktail and efficiently checked in before being personally taken to and shown around our room. The hotel takes it’s theming from the airfield it overlooks – all based around a luxurious era of vintage travel with polished woods, leather and chrome. The interior is incredible, all built around a central circular atrium and exuding luxurious style.
After checking out our room, with it’s clever touches like a built in sofa alongside the desk/dressing table and sleek shower room, we headed directly to the terrace and proceeded to sink several cocktails whilst watching the planes arrive in as the sun set.
There was a great range of dining options, with a deli open in the day time that we didn’t experience, a bar and terrace bistro menu, a la carte and a tasting menu for special occasions if you’re pushing the boat out at £95 per person. Although the deal we got on the rooms was cheap, the drinks and food are not – a burger was £14, cocktails around £10 and the lamb main I ordered later that evening was £26, but the quality was fantastic and I cannot express how good the service was, efficient, pleasant and never intrusive yet with your every need pre-empted – far superior to that of your usual ‘business hotel’.
After a restful night we filled up on the cooked breakfast, after sampling nearly every part of the extensive continental spread with everything from meats and cheeses to homemade bircher muesli and pastries or fruit.
The atmosphere was so good that I couldn’t wait to share it here, I wish we had an excuse to go back and if you’re in need of the kind of weekend that involves a lot of doing nothing, good food, lovely drinks and a hefty dose of stylish luxury, I’d highly recommend it. I had previously been put off but the lack of anything to do in the area but having been, its the perfect place to do nothing. (Do drop a note in the comments box if you have any suggestions for local activities!) We actually visited Stonehenge on route to the hotel to break up our journey – one hour to the west, if you fancy that sort of thing.)
We booked through Mr and Mrs Smith and got 2 nights for the price of one, with breakfast included, for £120. (you can stay there a week on Friday for 2 nights B&B for £137.50) An absolute steal.