Russells, Broadway, Worcestershire

Russells markets itself as a 'restaurant with rooms', but I recommend it change to 'great rooms ... with a restaurant'.

Details: 20 High Street, The Green, Broadway, Worcestershire WR12 7DT. 01386 853555.

Russells markets itself as a 'restaurant with rooms', but I recommend it change to 'great rooms ... with a restaurant'. My suite was fantastic. Huge, with a sense of the olde worlde with slap on, it is one of three new rooms, making a total to seven. I loved its high triangular sloped ceiling, its dark chunky wooden beams, four-poster bed and the pale purple, dusky rose and muscovado sugar colour scheme.

I liked that the building used to be a furniture factory, and that our suite stretched along the eaves. My boyfriend loved it because it had two TVs, one in the bathroom so he could watch the football from the double-size jacuzzi.

Just a hop down a few stairs and outside the door we sat with pot plants and sipped icy white wine under giant square canvas umbrellas. At breakfast, smoked kippers were on the menu, plus exotic fruits. Afterwards, we drove through Cotswolds villages - stopping for teas and visits to Broadway Tower and Sudeley Castle.

All was perfect until dinner. A supposedly rare steak came on the browner side of medium, with those silly brick-shaped chips and half a tomato and a mushroom like in a tacky pub. My halibut with curried mussel broth and a starter of serrano ham with pecorino and a duck egg were lovely, but other dishes had too many ingredients that didn't quite work - the delicious boules of sorbet came on buttery biscuits that stole our tastebuds' attention. I'd expected such an affluent area to have sophisticated tastes, but quality food seemed rather scarce.

What we liked: Gorgeous rooms.

What we didn't like: Dinner.

Price: Doubles from £105 per night, largest suite from £245. Dinner from £25 for two courses. Hertz car hire (0870 844 8844; from £65 per day.

Verdict: A stylish bolthole in a sea of twee, but the food was a letdown.


Gemma Bowes

The GuardianTramp

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