Bethnal & Bec

UK England South East England Hertfordshire Stevenage

  • Adults Only
  • Gardens & Grounds
  • Hot Tub
  • Parking
  • Wifi
  • Dog-friendly
  • Short walk to pub
  • Walking
These two Hertfordshire country retreats provide the ultimate venue for a luxury chill-out weekend.

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 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 two 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 hot tub, 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 two 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.

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, even 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 once upon a time, they were those people!

The Owner Says

Bethnal&Bec 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 Bethnal&Bec. It's been described as a "mini-Soho Farmhouse" by our guests; 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; what is more so many properties were designed with families in mind and and not as a romantic escape for adults. Another bug bear was that many of the "dog friendly" places seemed to lack any type of luxury and were very basic.Our concept was to ensure that all our styling, facilities, ambience would at least match if not supersede people's own homes. The baths and showers would be amazing, the TV would be large, smart and include Netflix as standard (we even added a cinema screen in Bec), 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 private hot tubs with the most amazing views. Everything is unique, quirky but practical and comfortable too.

Dogs 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, including annoying stuff such as sugar, tea, salt, milk, herbs etc. There is nothing less romantic than having to stop at a supermarket and queue at checkouts at the start of your short break away. So we fixed this issue :) Both 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.

Who is our property best suited to?

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 at Bethnal&Bec with 2.5 acres of grounds leading directly onto public footpaths through lovely countryside

What’s special about our area?

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 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.

Best local places to eat and 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 then they give you a fiver off your bill (as long as its over £20).

Why stay with us?

There are too many to list, but the hot tubs, 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.

Offers & Deals

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Accommodation

Two luxury retreats for two people, with  private bathrooms, hot tubs, firepits and more.

Price

One-night stays £220 – two-night minimum at weekends but no check-out time on Sundays so you can stay as long as you like. Two-night stays midweek £295. 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.

Location

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

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