Posted by Fan Winston, Destination/Honeymoon Expert
When we were deciding on our honeymoon destination, the debate was always centered on whether we should do a beachy escape or a more cultural, urban experience. Left out of the discussion was any mention of an English countryside vacation. I wish we had known better. Even though we had a fantastic time on our honeymoon (beach won out), had I known about Babington House, I would have surely insisted on booking rooms right away (then renting Sense and Sensibility for a breath of English air).
Just a two-hour drive from London and set on 18 acres of pure loveliness, Babington House is owned by the folks who run Soho House (one in London and one in New York), as well as several other effortlessly stylish properties. From the outside, it looks like a proper English country estate—perfectly aged brick exterior, lush greenery, expansive lawns. The interior has been refurbished, though, and the result is shabby chic meets tailored elegance. If you're splurging, consider the Walled Garden Rooms, which have outdoor soaking tubs with views of the garden. I love the Log Room for it's cozy sensibility.
What are you thinking for your honeymoon—beach, city, or country?
Oh, one more thing: If you're still deliberating where to hold your wedding, and you're thinking small guest list, you should consider Babington House (it has 32 rooms and an on-site chapel right out of a Jane Austen novel). Just think how happy all your guests will be to wake up to the sounds of birds and the smell of fresh pastries.