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With candlelit corridors, vaulted ceilings, a portcullis and a wealth of history buried within, Coombe Abbey Hotel sits in the rolling Warwickshire countryside, with Capability Brown-designed gardens and a lake bordered by willow trees.
Warwickshire is home to many stately homes and sites of historic interest. Arbury Hall -- an Elizabethan mansion built on the site of a 12th-century Augustinian priory -- is 22 minutes from the hotel, and National Trust property Charlecote Park is 30 minutes' drive away. The hotel is also 45 minutes from Coughton Court, which, like Coombe Abbey, claims historical ties with the Gunpowder Plot. Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham are within 40 minutes' drive of the hotel, and Coventry is 15 minutes away.
Coombe Abbey is a former monastery, which was surrendered to King Henry VIII in 1539. Princess Elizabeth, the daughter of James I, came to live at the abbey to be educated in 1603. Had the Gunpowder Plot succeeded and James I been killed, Guy Fawkes planned to kidnap the princess from Coombe Abbey and put her on her father's throne.
Today, this "plush, gilt-mirrored, 119-room country house hotel" (The Daily Telegraph) boasts ornate 4-poster bedchambers, with some bedrooms located in an external building, a restaurant and a bar with an extensive drinks menu. Afternoon tea is served in the Garden Room restaurant from 12:30pm until 3:45pm, and pre-booking is advised. Medieval banquets are held on Saturday, and have been running for 40 years.
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