Gilpin is one of the loveliest places to stay in the country, simple as that. It’s a family affair and delivers at every turn, its staff delightful, its Michelin-starred food divine thanks to no less than three new chefs. It is one of those rare places that never stands still and recent additions include five stunning spa chalets above a small lake and two restaurants – SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel and Gilpin Spice. Despite all this, it remains an English country-house hotel. A cool elegance flows throughout with smouldering fires, Zoffany wallpapers, gilded mirrors, flowers everywhere. An elegant sitting room runs into a chic bar, where doors open onto a terrace for Pimm’s in the sun; magnolia trees, cherry blossom and a copper beech wait in the 20-acre garden. Bedrooms are divine: crisp linen, smart fabrics, robes in beautiful bathrooms. The garden suites have hot tubs, the spa suites have saunas, too.