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'Britain's Top Hotels for 2009'

The Good Hotel Guide is about to reveal its favourites: The Sunday Times goes under cover to test all 10 of the best

Hotel TerraVina Wins a César Award for Newcomer of the Year

‘…..The Good Hotel Guide focuses entirely on independently owned hotels in Britain and Ireland, banging the drum for a style of hotel-keeping that has been all but forgotten in the recent mania for fancy taps and designer everything: one where the location, the warmth of the welcome and the quality of the cooking matter most.
Its Césars go to properties that are outstanding in their own class, not those that conform to a stereotype…..’

Newcomer of the Year

New or not, TerraVina deserves its César on the strength of its service alone. The Stowys were travelling en famille for this one too, and our nerves were frayed after a difficult journey. From the moment we arrived, they wrapped us up in a blanket of charm, taking charge of the baby-listening device at dinner and telling us, in the most relaxed and urbane way imaginable, that Master Stowy was feeling “a little restless” upstairs.

The room: in a new extension of the original 19th-century house, it spread across two levels and was blessed with air conditioning – a godsend on the steamy summer night when we stayed. The furnishings were state-of-the-art, down to the soundproofed doors and a mini espresso machine. 9/10
The food: dinner got off to a great start with roquefort salad, served with warm dates and tart slices of orange. The earthy, sugary dates were just the thing for the creamy, salty cheese. All that followed was just as good. 9/10
The service: exemplary: 10/10
Value for money: 9/10
Does it deserve its César? Yes – it’s the perfect base for an indulgent New Forest breakfast.'

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