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BENTLEY BENTAYGA ROAD TRIP
When Bentley gives you a Bentayga for a few days, you find something good to do with it. For me, it was a road trip from London, down to the coast and along the south coast to Somerset.
The first stop was Birling Gap, on the Seven Sisters coastline. This is a great place to go in summer, when you can swim at the base of the white cliffs, but is also a great place to go in winter, when you can rug up and traipse along the top of the cliffs. I also had lunch with friends at the cafe/restaurant, which was a great place to recharge and chill out after swimming and walking.
The next stop was The Spread Eagle in Midhurst, West Sussex. I stayed here for a night on my way to Somerset, to break up the drive. The Spread Eagle is very very quaint English inn dating back to 1430... FOURTEEN-THIRTY. I can't even comprehend that amount of history. Anyway, I stayed in the Queen's Suite, which seemingly occupied the top floor of a whole wing of the building, including a semi-private sitting room.
With all the driving I had done, I took the opportunity to relax at the hotel, with a nice long, dinner [hearty fare, as you would expect from a country inn] in the evening and a massage in the very impressive spa the following morning. The massage was very good; the masseuse was very experienced and managed to relieve and lot of muscle tension in my back and shoulders. It was actually perfect, given my imminent return to the road.
My next stop was Torquay, Devon: a quaint town on the 'British riviera'. Here, I spent a couple of nights in a rented apartment, just relaxing and exploring the local area. I discovered one great spot to eat - Visto Lounge - where I sat down to a three-course meal while it was wet, cold and windy outside. It was a great way to spend the afternoon.
Next stop was Bath. I drove back up toward the Cotswolds, picked a friend up from Bath train station, and checked in to No. 15 Great Pulteney was an absolute delight: a boutique luxury hotel, occupying a row of three big townhouses, filled with quirky art and thoughtful touches. The hotel is on a beautiful, wide street with imposing townhouses down both sides, just a short stroll from the beautiful and historical centre of Bath. We took a long walk around the town, exploring all the little pathways and stores, and then returned to the hotel to clean up and have a nice dinner. The food at Bar 15 (the restaurant) was delicious and we kept eating until we could eat no more! We returned to our room to relax and digest and, as soon as we no longer felt stuffed, we went up to the top floor and raided the 'larder' [a little kitchen filled with complimentary snacks]! We felt like naughty kids, grabbing sugary snacks and little tubs of ice-cream from the kitchen late at night!
The following morning we had a lovely breakfast that included both continental buffet and a la carte... but we could only handle some grazing from the buffet. I sort of held back on the food, actually, because I knew I had a massage booked in for after breakfast. The spa at No 15 is so cool, it's right down at the bottom of the building, over two floors, with private treatment rooms, relaxation rooms, jacuzzi and sauna. I had a full-body massage, which was amazing. The masseuse was amazing: she was strong and also knowledgeable. She also finished with some holistic analysis using hot stones on chakra points. That sort of thing is not something that I ever believed in, but she managed to identify, in broad terms, some issues that I had been facing. It was very impressive and, if nothing else, gave me some important things to think about. I really loved that whole 'treatment' experience.
Once we had packed up and put our bags in the car, we headed back to London, detouring through the Cotswolds to a pub that I found on Google Maps. The pub - The White Hart - was AMAZING. It was such a beautiful sunny day, so we sat in the courtyard, next to a babbling brook running alongside the property. The menu was perfect and the and execution was mind-blowing: the quality of the produce was excellent and the chefs prepared the relatively classic meals in innovative and beautiful ways. I honestly cannot wait to return.