Nestled on the banks of The Great River Ouse in Bedford, is the 18thCentury Bedford Swan Hotel, steeped in history and just a stone’s throw from the scenic Embankment, picturesque Russell Park and the main town centre, means this hotel is perfectly placed for a relaxing getaway.
Having recently undergone a major refurbishmentto give its interiors a more modern, stylish and contemporary feel, the hotel has managed to create elegant luxurious spaces that still compliment the traditional part of the hotel effortlessly.
There are 113 rooms in total, and include classic, deluxe and suites, all individually decorated whilst keeping the same opulent furnishings and colours throughout. Our room, a Junior suite was a blend of contemporary comfort and style, with jewel tones of mustard, teal and green. The botanical wallpaper made a bold statement and the dark wood furniture with gold accessories added elegant touches throughout.
I loved the bath tub in the Edwardian style bathroom and enjoyed a deep, hot relaxing bubble bath accompanied with complimentary bubbles of the other variety, a perfect way to spend the afternoon in an ambience of calm and tranquillity, a space to truly unwind and enjoy.
There are many places around the hotel in which to enjoy a drink, dine or hire out for a private gathering. The most eye-catching though has to be The Pen and Cob brasserie with its decor combining. glamorous deep tones, plush velvet seating, a marble tiled floor, botanicals in abundance, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the river, the ideal place to enjoy a cocktail or two before dinner.
Popular with guests and non-guests alike, it’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Coffee and drinks are served all day at the bar and afternoons are made for afternoon tea., whether it’s in here or the more traditional lounge area.
An exclusive menu inspired by traditional British dishes such as black pudding and sage courgettes and Ale battered haddock means there’s plenty of dishes ready to tempt your palette with delicious delights.
Glass of wine in hand (there’s an impressive wine list that won’t break the bank), we enjoyed some fresh artisan bread and olives before enjoying our starters of fresh prawn and crayfish cocktail and a fisherman’s sharing board (hubby was hungry, he had no intention of sharing!) Both dishes showcased the fresh flavours of the fish exquisitely.
Next, we opted for the rump steak served with mushrooms, rocket and fries, this certainly didn’t disappoint; cooked exactly as requested and well rested it literally melted in the mouth. Caesar salad with chargrilled chicken breast was the other dish, definitely a good choice, full of flavours and textures, a real treat.
We dined on a Friday night, which meant there was live music in the brasserie (every Friday there’s live music) which only added to the warm, vibrant atmosphere of this little gem.
Dessert was an indulgence too far for me, I was full, but hubby had no such problem and delved into the traditional apple and cinnamon crumble, which was a delight on thetastebuds and the perfect way to end an even more perfect evening.
After a restful night’s sleep, we returned to The Pen and Cob for breakfast, indulge in a full English Breakfast, or opt for fresh croissants and fruit the choice is yours.
The Bedford Swan certainly doesn’t disappoint, with its sophisticated interiors, luxurious bedrooms, extensive food and drink menu and calming atmosphere it is a wonderful addition to share with your family and friends, a place you most definitely need to visit.
We’re offering a lucky Affinity reader the chance to win their own stay at this decadent hotel, just email firstname.lastname@example.org with the word Affinity in the subject line – Good Luck!
*Prices start from £89 per night based on two people sharing in a Standard Double including breakfast.
*Prices start from £157 per night based on two people sharing in a Junior Suite including breakfast.
*Prices may vary from those shown
For more information or to book, visit www.bedfordswanhotel.co.uk