The Belfry Hotel and Resort – home to Ryder Cups, The Open, some of the most challenging golf courses in the UK and surely not the venue for a family break? Think again, this is a resort set in beautiful Warwickshire countryside that is open to all.
Mia is having her balloon-strewn first birthday party. Brian and Sally are celebrating 40 years of marriage with yet another romantic weekend away. The girls from accounts are chilled after an indulgent afternoon: spa pampering followed by a cocktail-making class. In the Brazabon Bar, Stephen downs a deserved pint, following in the footsteps of Ballesteros and co on the famous Brazabon golf course. For others, The Belfry, set in 550 acres of lush green fairways, lakes and woodland, is a much needed get-away-from-it-all break.
Why is the course called the Brazabon? When Peter Allis sat down for a pie and a pint in the 1970s, with an audacious plan to transform 15 potato fields into an epic golf venue, the premier course was named in honour of Lord Brazabon, Chair of the Professional Golfers Association.
Like many of the guests, most of the children rampaging over the vast multi-tiered wooden fort of an adventure playground couldn’t tell the difference between a driver and a putter, an eagle or an albatross. The Belfry, hosting a spa of numerous treatment rooms and warm indoor swimming pool, is a destination for all the family, all the friends.
With Twycross Zoo, Drayton Manor and Cadbury World within driving distance the Belfry can arrange tickets as part of the accommodation package. Adrenaline junkies can head for the high ropes, Snowdome and diving courses at the Bear Grylls Adventure. More sedately, the nearby RSPB’s Middleton Lakes is a 160 hectares nature reserve, offering wetlands, meadows, and woodland in the heart of the River Tame Valley, home to a variety of birds including grey herons and kingfishers.
Remember though, The Belfry is a golfing Mecca. Walking into the grand, high-ceiling hotel lobby, is to enter a ballroom of golf. The centre-piece is an outrageously daring chandelier, glitteringly wrought from dangling golf clubs.
Every room, suite and corridor features photographs chronicling the Brazabon’s history. A swarm of groundsmen working on a green as if it were the eve of the Chelsea flower show. Portraits of booming drives and big-money putts. An ever-changing golf landscape of sunrises, sunsets and misty autumnal mornings.
Golfers with a handicap of 24 or less can book the Brazabon course, which has hosted four Ryder Cups, and the PGA course too. The less demanding Derby Course is open to all. Golfers setting out on a learning curve can book tuition at the PGA National Golf Academy. It has dozens of bays with Top Tracer technology producing instant distance and spin stats on every ball hit.
The resort offers a variety of eating options. Rocca’s Pizza Pasta does what it says on the menu: family friendly Italian-style casual-eating. Sam’s Bar, from breakfast to dinner, big screen sports and fries ambience, could be an honorary 53rd state of the United States of America.
Slightly grander and a little more formal is the Ryder Grill with its chandeliers fashioned from empty wine bottles and cutaway barrel lighting, glowing warmly like Halloween pumpkins. The farmhouse kitchen country chic look, dressers and ever-so slightly distressed wooden tables, recalls the Belfry’s bygone days as a farm.
A balanced menu satisfies the demanding tastes of the world’s top golfers and their even more demanding nutritionists. Intriguingly, with some professional golfers following a plant-based diet, there is a dedicated vegan three course menu too, offering three options for each course. So, the Ryder Grill is the perfect venue for carnivore and vegans to meet-up.
The Belfry Hotel and Resort is a destination where even the shop – supermarket-sized but with a fashion boutique ambience – tempts even non-golfers to take home a souvenir or two from one of golf’s great spiritual homes.
Learn more about The Belfry Hotel and Resort
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