The outdoor swimming pool is heated to 29ºC every day, a chauffeur is on hand to whisk you down to the hotel’s riverside restaurant, a grand piano waits in the sitting room, where guests gather for a legendary afternoon tea. They don’t do things by halves at Talbooth House & Spa, a small-scale pleasure dome with long views across Constable country. The house, an old rectory, stands in three acres of manicured grounds; the pool house is a big draw with its open fire, honesty bar, beautiful art and treatment rooms. Interiors are equally impressive. There are no bedrooms, only suites, each divine; all pamper you rotten with flawless bathrooms, fabulous beds, cool colours and hi-tech excess. At dinner you’re chauffeured to the family’s restaurants (both within half a mile): Milsoms for bistro food served informally; Talbooth Restaurant on the river Stour for more serious fare, perhaps poached lobster with orange and fennel, saddle of venison with plums and bitter chocolate, pineapple and coconut soufflé with piña colada ice cream. A great escape.