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A comfortable and relaxed spa hotel where nothing is too much trouble. 

The Maison Talbooth is an agreeable country house in 'Constable Country'', overlooking a lovely rolling green landscape punctured by spires and red roofs. The name aside, it's all oh-so English and very definitely on the intimate, boutique side of things, with just 12 gorgeously styled guest rooms, each deliberately different and named after a renowed poet. Shakespeare and Keats are the main suites (his-and-hers sunken bath in Shakespeare, separate bunk-and-gaming room for the kids in Keats), while the other mix of superior and deluxe rooms come in various styles and sizes – Masefield probably the largest, with its own private terrace. All come with excellent beds, and with bathrooms supplied out with Aromatherapy Associates toiletries, and a range of other goodies and expected services such as complimentary soft drinks and snacks, satellite HD TVs and free wifi.

There's a deliberately homely vibe throughout, with an informal flagstoned reception area and a lounge that leads through to a Garden Room and outdoor terrace looking out over manicured lawns and gardens. Beyond here, things get nice and chilled – maybe some tennis or a plunge in the outdoor heated pool (usable in winter too) and hot tub, or down time in the pool house with its satellite TV, honesty bar, robes and open fire. There's a spa with various treatments on offer, and when the time comes for dinner you can be whisked off in the hotel's Range Rover to their nearby fine dining restaurant, Le Talbooth, two minutes away by car, which has a lovely location by the River Stour and a fab terrace to enjoy it from during summer. Otherwise, it's breakfast and light lunches served in the Garden Room or the choice of another restaurant at the sister hotel, Milsoms, also just down the road.

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