When #TeamCoco’s Rachel McAlley set off to Stratford upon Avon it was with the sole intention to see the sights, relax in the hotel, people watch, and generally enjoy a day and night of being in the land of Shakespeare. Little did she know that her hotel would turn into a whole separate exciting adventure in itself!

For this #CocoCountryside feature, we were visiting The Arden Hotel in Stratford upon Avon which is part of the Eden Hotel Collection, overlooking the River Avon and directly opposite the infamous home of Shakespeare himself and the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre.

We arrived at the bright and airy reception at The Arden Hotel to check in, and there was an air of excitement as a number of guests were getting ready for a theatre production, while others were enjoying a cocktail in the bar before dinner.

Stratford upon Avon

Our room was along a few winding corridors and was named Holly, it was a huge suite with two separate bathrooms, a long corridor, a large double bedroom and a living room with a sofa and comfy chairs, plus an excellent-sized desk. Complimentary water and fruit were in the room to enjoy. This was an excellent suite.

After mooching around the lovely suite and lavish bathroom, watching a little TV, getting ready for dinner and exploring the immediate area around the hotel it was time for dinner in the hotel restaurant, the Waterside Brasserie.

The sun was shining through the open sliding doors into the brasserie and the bar was busy with hotel guests and passers-by, it was a great atmosphere for dinner. We were seated on a large round table looking out towards the restaurant and the sunny courtyard.

Culinary Delights and Unexpected Adventures: A Dinner Experience at The Arden Hotel

Dinner included sweet cured herring and potato salad to start along with chilled gazpacho soup, followed by mains of pork chop with fondant potato and spring cabbage, and asparagus ravioli and truffle emulsion with a side order of Greek salad. The pasta was light, fresh and delicious, it was a definite favourite. Desserts included Kalamansi lime torte with a mango sorbet, and almond frangipane with roasted peaches and raspberry puree, which were both divine. We enjoyed a white wine spritzer topped with plenty of ice while watching the world pass by in the heat of the evening sun. Such a lovely relaxing meal in a great restaurant.

And, now this is where things got exciting! We went back to the room for a nightcap, only to find that the hotel guests above had left their bath running, causing our room to be flooded. We called reception and they ran to the rescue by first turning the bath off upstairs, and secondly offering to move our room.

The only issue was, that The Arden Hotel didn’t have any available rooms, they were fully booked, but they soon solved the issue by suggesting we move to their sister hotel just 5 minutes away, Arden House.

Seamless Hospitality Transition: Embracing Arden House as Our Home Away from Home

Being offered a new hotel was super exciting, and of course, we kindly accepted and ventured to the equally wonderful Arden House.

The team from both hotels were superb, we couldn’t have asked for better service. Arden House, an entirely different proposition from The Arden Hotel was just as gorgeous.

It was quite late but the staff at Arden House were on hand to explain that the house was to be treated like a home from home, with an honesty bar for booze, a little corner nook filled with sweet treats, a coffee machine and savoury nibbles which were all complimentary; a very nice touch we thought.

Our room had a super-king-sized bed, a little sofa and a TV. It was totally different from the vast suite of the previous hotel, but oh my word this was gorgeously cute. It had complimentary magazines, a small dressing table, and a little shower room, plus huge windows looking onto a local park, and in the morning it was bright and sunny.

Breakfast was to be taken at the new overnight hotel, Arden House, which we were looking forward to as the menu looked fab. We chose juices from the continental table along with fruit and pastries, we then followed this with an individual breakfast omelette from the omelette menu, and wild mushroom and wilted spinach on brioche topped with poached egg and hollandaise from the specials menu. The food was scrumptious.

We had excellent service from the breakfast staff at Arden House, they were attentive and full of great conversation.

We then ventured upstairs to our second bedroom of the trip, packed our bags and made our way back to the original location The Arden Hotel, to officially checkout and depart from another sunny and hot day in Stratford upon Avon.

The trip was a round hit, from the bustling The Arden Hotel and its stunning location on the River Avon, to the quiet home-from-home retreat at Arden House, and thanks must go to all at both hotels for making sure our #TeamCoco stay was as interesting as it was exciting. From the service to the food, both hotels were excellent, we couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Rachel McAlley was hosted by The Arden Hotel, part of the Eden Hotel Collection – a privately owned portfolio of nine beautiful properties in the UK. Stay overnight from £149 per room (two sharing), including full English breakfast. Call The Arden Hotel on 01789 298 682.

Rachel McAlley was also hosted by Arden House, part of the Eden Hotel Collection. An overnight stay costs from £149 per room (two sharing) on a bed and breakfast basis or from £189 per room for the Home Away from Home package which includes breakfast, afternoon tea, ‘Gin o’clock’, a well-stocked pantry, guest bar and drinks trolley. Contact Arden House on 01789 298 682.


A veteran in global travel, Rachel also loves to explore hidden gems on home turf. She’s a writing connoisseur of Britain’s best hotels, luxury beauty products, and UK food and drink launches.

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