Bethnal & Bec

South East England Hertfordshire Stevenage

  • From £197.50 a night
  • 3 Properties sleeping 2
  • Chic Boutique

These three Hertfordshire country retreats provide the ultimate venue for a luxury chill-out weekend.

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Not far north of London, in the relatively rural wilds of leafy Hertfordshire, Bethnal & Bec is all about luxurious escapes. When owners Vicky and Chris left London a few years ago to open this eco-chic and very comfortable property, they wanted to create the ultimate adults-only, dog-friendly chill-out venue for weary folk looking to escape for a weekend or even longer, and do... well.. nothing in particular. Made up of three extremely comfortable self-catering retreats crafted from a former stable block, it's just 40-odd miles from London and very easy to reach from other parts of the country but it feels very rural and away-from-it-all – with countryside views and pretty much every home comfort you could imagine laid on by the thoughtful Vicky and Chris.

The retreats are beautifully kitted out, and super-cosy, with wood-burning stoves, bathrooms with rainforest showers and complimentary Aromatherapy Associates toiletries (towels, waffle robes and slippers are provided); each has its own outdoor soaking bath, fast wifi, Bluetooth speakers and good-sized Smart TVs if all you want to do is binge-watch your favourite dramas.

There's an honesty pantry, stocked with a large selection of snacks, drinks, frozen meals and locally made gin and vodka which you pay for on your in-room iPad. They also have pre-ordered dine-in food which on warm days you can enjoy at your own patio table; there are also sun loungers and your own firepit.

Of the three retreats, the newest – The Foaling Box – is also the largest. The luxury bathroom has an antique rolltop bath and a separate rainforest shower. The bedroom has a superking bed with a drop-down cinema screen. There is a big kitchen, a TV snug complete with a bespoke arcade games machine and a chaise corner where you can look out onto the Hertfordshire countryside.

Of the two original retreats, Bethnal is the larger and has a rolltop bath at the end of the bed so you can watch TV while basking in the tub. Bethnal also has a DVD player and DVD library, while Bec has its own cinema projector screen for watching movies in bed and a unique 'bath for two' with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside through the postbox windows.

Vicky and Chris meanwhile are as attentive as you want or need them to be – content to be invisible hosts but also happy to help whenever the need arises, whether it's with tips on the best walks and pubs or just advice on how to operate the unique vinyl record players they provide with the Bluetooth speakers.

In terms of environmental credentials, sustainability is at Bethnal & Bec's core: Vicky and Chris are 100% committed to becoming a net-zero business. Indeed, they're proud to have won awards and recognition for sustainability initiatives implemented so far. As part of their eco-forward ethos, they've installed electric vehicle chargers, there are e-bikes to hire, and the retreats were built using reclaimed, repurposed, recycled and rescued materials where possible. What's more, Vicky and Chris offer a free dine-in box to people arriving by train (they're just a 20-minute journey from London King's Cross).

You could spend a very happy weekend at Bethnal & Bec just making the most of your retreat, wandering down to the local pub, The Bull, where they serve excellent food, enjoying a massage, or a spot of yoga in your room (which Vicky or Chris will arrange).  But there's also plenty to discover further afield – country houses like Audley End and Knebworth, breweries and wineries to visit, and a whole host of country walks as well as some great country pubs to walk to. All in all it's an incredibly relaxing place to spend the weekend. Vicky and Chris know exactly what weary city folk want – once upon a time, they were those people!

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There are too many to list, but the outdoor Whirpool baths, vinyl record players with a 50 strong album collection, amazing pizza ovens, a cinema screen that descends electronically in front of your bed, double baths, double showers, eccentric art and wonderful antique furniture plus a 6ft tall bespoke House of Hackney fabric headboard.

Remote Working:
Sockets with USB chargers built in
Super Fast Broadband for FREE
Extra Lamps can be provided
Self catering and an in room snack bar!

Suitable For

Couples mostly, but also close friends or family. We've had quite a few solo travellers too looking for some quiet time in a luxurious environment.

We host many mini-moons, anniversaries and birthdays, as well as quite a few proposals, all of which were successful :)

Dog owners are well suited to a stay in either our Bethnal or Bec retreats (please note The Foaling Box is strictly no pets/dogs) with 2.5 acres of grounds leading directly onto public footpaths through lovely countryside as well as secured private gardens.


It is wonderful to have such glorious, natural countryside so close to London.  Pretty villages, including our own village "Cottered", regularly a winner of best village in Hertfordshire; amazing market towns such as Buntingford and Hitchin and only 30 minutes from the gloriousness of Cambridge.

There are miles of walks direct from Bethnal&Bec Luxury Stays over undulating fields and with pretty pubs to stop at. Many perfect country lanes for cycling enthusiasts. Uninterrupted views from your hot tub to Cromer Windmill, the last windmill in Hertfordshire. And both the most amazing sunsets and view of the night sky.

Food & Drink

The Bull in our local village is highly regarded for its food. The Falcon restaurant in Buntingford just a few minutes drive away is fine dining at it's best. Other pubs with amazing atmospheres and food that we love include The Fox and Duck in Therfield (say hello to the landlord Ivan for us), The Sword in Hand in Westmill and the Brewery Tap in Brent Pelham. Lastly, we recommend a trip to The Cheese Plate in Buntingford, recognised as one of the top cheese shops in the UK, and a great spot for a cheesy lunch too - plus Toby and his daughter who own the shop live in Cottered too and if they know you are staying at Bethnal&Bec Luxury Stays then they give you a fiver off your bill (as long as its over £20).


Current offers: we are offering 12.5% off our remaining March code needed, book via the website (no other offer codes can be used in conjunction with this offer).

In addition, you can book your summer escape and save 15% off with our Advance Purchase Rate using the code FAMADVSUM (discount valid for any stays arriving from 1st June to 30th Sept 2024, min 2 night stay).

We have a two-night minimum from £395,  and a lazy weekend policy with no check-out time on Sundays so you can stay as long as you like.

As Vicky has had treatment for breast cancer, they also offer discounts to anyone affected by cancer as well as NHS and other care workers.

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The Owner Says

Bethnal&Bec Luxury Stays was born from our own frustration at not being able to find a truly comfortable and luxurious bolthole in the countryside easily, somewhere you want to escape to for a few days but not have to drive for 5 hours to get to. So we moved our two families together, purchased a 370 year old listed building just outside London and converted the stables into our first two retreats;  Bethnal & Bec. This year, we converted the final barn into The Foaling Box - our biggest and most luxurious retreat yet, and indeed, we like to think we give you "All the luxury of a five star hotel whilst feeling right at home".

We found that many rural properties that we stayed at were just not up to scratch. The furniture was tired, the tv was small and old, the shower was weak; and so many properties were designed with families in mind rather than a romantic escape for adults. Many of the "dog friendly" places seemed to lack any type of luxury and were very basic.

We wanted to ensure that our styling, facilities and ambience would at least match people's own homes. The baths and showers would be amazing, the TV would be large and include Netflix (we even added a cinema screen in Bec & The Foaling Box), the lights are controlled on an iPad, the underfloor heating by a google nest, the beds are large; the outside features sun loungers, fire pits and hot tubs with amazing views.

Dogs who visit our Bethnal or Bec retreats are well looked after with their own doggy pantry full of toys and treats, plus a private enclosed garden and direct access to a 2 acre exercise paddock.

As guests, one of the few downfalls of self catering accommodation we found was the need to bring your own provisions such as sugar, tea, salt, milk, herbs etc. So we fixed this issue :) Our retreats are fully stocked with an amazing pantry, and most of the 'staples' are provided for free. In addition we have sourced amazing snacks, drinks, desserts and frozen meals that are available on an honesty system. In addition to the pantry you can pre-order amazing steaks, afternoon tea, BBQ packs, or our 'Pimp my Pizza' package using our own pizza ovens with the ingredients we provide to you. Private chefs, masseuses and yoga teachers can also be booked.


Contact Website  07790 901 051  Bethnal & Bec, Nottinghams, Cottered, Hertfordshire SG9 9PU

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  • Adults Only
  • Gardens & Grounds
  • Hot Tub
  • Parking
  • Wifi
  • Dog-friendly
  • Eco-friendly
  • Short walk to pub
  • Walking
  • BBQs
  • Spa & Treatments
  • Car-charging points
  • Car-free option
  • Five-Star Luxury
  • Remote location
  • Romantic Retreat
  • Something Different
  • Wellbeing
  • Cabin/Lodge
  • Remote Working

Related Guides

See Self Catering in Stevenage


Let us know what you think of your stay.

Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 8 reviews


Vicky & Chris went the extra mile

We stayed at the Foaling Box for a long weekend and it was the perfect stay. My husband and I needed a well needed break from the world and also somewhere to spend our anniversary, the Foaling Box ticked every box and we came home feeling so relaxed, it was perfect. Everything you need for a romantic getaway was there, we loved the outdoor jacuzzi and the cinema experience in the bedroom. The decor was beautiful and we’ve come away with inspiration for our own home, the vinyl player was such an amazing touch as well. The location was also great with pubs nearby in walking distance, but also lots of lovely walks at your doorstep. Everything was thought of, we found the guides and information app so helpful, anything you needed to know was easily accessed. The breakfast supplied was delicious, my husband said it was the best bacon he ever had! It was so handy having the staple items also if we needed them. Vicky & Chris went the extra mile to help make this stay everything we hoped for, and we can’t thank them enough for making it so special for us. We really hope to return again in the future! Thank you ❤️
Nov 20, 2023 by Maddie

Couldn't have asked for anything more from the hosts

We wanted somewhere to hide and retreat from the world and this was perfect. We stayed in Bethnal, loved the music, indoor bath and outdoor jacuzzi bath. We sat for hours star gazing one night. We snuggled, watched movies and had time to just be. Couldn't have asked for anything more from the hosts and actually thought the customer service was excellent. Thank you x
Nov 6, 2023 by Jodi

I’m sure we’ll be back soon

We had a lovely stay in Bethnal at the weekend. The accommodation was just great - comfy bed, amazing shower, record player with a great selection of vinyl, but the best part was definitely the outdoor jacuzzi bath. We were forecast rain all weekend but the sun came out on Saturday and we spent a fab couple of hours in the bath with champagne in the sun. The food supplied in the breakfast box was delicious, and we did the pizza making add on. Unfortunately due to the weather we had to cook those inside but they were still very tasty. On their recommendation we had a Sunday roast at the Fox and Duck which was also top notch. A weekend out of London was just what we needed and I’m sure we’ll be back soon.
Nov 1, 2023 by Katy

Will definitely be back!

This is our second visit to Bethnal & Bec and we will definitely be back! The perfect place for a mini getaway in the countryside. Everything about the place is stunning and every little detail considered, a stocked up fridge and snack cupboard, warm cosy log fire and outdoor hot tub being the highlights! Thank you ☺️
Sep 17, 2023 by Rhiannon

Could not recommend this place enough

The absolutely perfect spot to celebrate our minimoon. After an incredibly hectic few weeks, the Foaling Box was the perfect place to switch off and chill out. We loved the projector & Netflix in the bedroom & of course the pink jacuzzi bath in the garden, & really enjoyed the pizza oven too! The honesty larder is such a cool idea, and brill if you've forgotten anything or just fancy a treat. We loved all of the reclaimed furniture and felt very at home during our stay. And we also added the honeymoon extras which was a super cute addition. Could not recommend this place enough for a quite, chilled break in a fab location. Thank you Bethnal&Bec!
Aug 18, 2023 by Charlie and Hannah

Certainly didn't disappoint

After several years of following Bethnal&Bec online I finally got to stay and it certainly didn't disappoint. We stayed in Bethnal and ordered some extra items for our breakfast box as well as the DIY pizzas. We also added on some massages with Jane from Tiny House Retreats (go check her out). We had planned to do some of the many walks and visit the local pubs Vicky & Chris suggested but due to the inclimate weather and needing to relax we ended up staying in the retreat for the full two days. There was plenty to do; from relaxing in the indoor bath (it was too wet for the outdoor one), to binge watching Vigil on the projector and exploring the treats in the honesty larder. We briefly met Chris at the end of our stay and he was all too happy to offer future recommendations for places to stay. This is a great place to switch off and unwind if you're in need of some R&R!
Jul 15, 2023 by Sarah

Cannot recommend enough

We've just returned from an anniversary trip to Bec and can't recommend it enough. We were on the cusp of booking a couple of nights in an amazing hotel in the Cotswolds when I was recommended to look here and so glad we did, not least because it was better value for three nights here than two in the Cotswolds. If you're looking for genuine relaxation, I thoroughly recommend. It has a huge hot tub, a bath for two and a cinema screen that drops down so you can binge watch box sets to your heart's content! Bec is really eclectically styled, so very different from your standard pine lodge. They've thought of everything, right down to the artisan pantry with food and drink options at reasonable prices. The staples that are included without charge are great too (including the gin!). We can't fault any of it and the communication with the owners was brilliant - it's the sort of place you really want to go back to! If you actually get out of your dressing gown, there's a pub 5 minutes walk away and a massage therapist next door; both of which we visited and would recommend too. We had a brilliant weekend away - much-needed R&R from two small children and a great way to celebrate a special occasion! Go there, go there now! *Edited to add we returned and stayed in the dog-friendly retreat, Bethnal, with our pooch. It was just as lovely as Bec with features in its own right, and I honestly couldn't choose between the two! We met Vicky and Chris who couldn't have been lovelier or more helpful, giving us directions for a walk to the pub we were just leaving for. My husband added the Pizza package, complete with dough, toppings and pizza cooker, as well as the Birthday and popcorn ones. They are great touches, and good value too. I could stay there for a week and not get bored, and would still recommend it heartily as a place everyone should go for some peace and quiet! *Edited for a third time to add that we returned again and so pleased we did! Complete and utter relaxation!
Jun 16, 2023 by Alicia

Amazing time - can't wait to return.

We had an amazing time staying at Bec and are so pleased we chose this small business with its focus on sustainability. I have specific access needs and really appreciated Chris both calling me when I made the booking to make sure that I was comfortable but also asking for feedback on accessibility afterwards. Very few businesses do this and it made a massive difference to me. We were so comfortable and very happy staying at this wonderful retreat. It is stylish, spotlessly clean and very well appointed. We can't wait to return.
May 12, 2023 by Rachel

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