I HAVE to confess, I’m not a big fan of golf: frankly, I can think of better things to do with my time than watch grown men and women whack a ball with a stick. But even I am aware that in the world of pastel sweaters and plus fours, The Belfry is a name to be revered.

Home to the Ryder Cup no fewer than four times – in 1985, 1989, 1993 and 2002 – the Warwickshire club is one of THE places to play in the UK and retains a reputation as a hallowed destination for those who like a good walk ruined.

My husband – a fair weather golfer himself – was suitably impressed by the sporting heritage of the resort, noting with awe the European and American team rooms and the manicured perfection of the greens.

For me, more fun was had by trying to guess who might have slept in my bed in the Sunningdale suite. Seve perhaps? The three-times-married Nick Faldo? Or maybe even Tiger himself... ahem... slept in my giant super king size?

The Belfry’s golfing links are inescapable, and a fair few of the hotel’s 324 bedrooms are filled with golfing groups. The male:female ratio is restored, however, by just as many groups of women living it up on a pampering break.

The hotel has the excellent AquaSpa, with 12 different rooms designed to help guests unwind and relax as they make their way from one to the next, and it was this we had come to try.

As a spa novice and something of a novelty in the female-dominated environment, my husband was a little on edge to begin with. I caught him looking longingly out of the window at the sweater-clad golfers passing by, no doubt wishing he could get back to his comfort zone.

But he soon settled in as we progressed from the fragrant aroma cave to the bracing igloo to the darkened tranquillity room, and by the time we reached the crystal steam room, he was in his element, completely chilled out and a fully paid-up member of the spa appreciation club.

Later, he was treated to a Swedish massage while I had a blissful facial. We arrived back at our suite ready for a quiet lie-down, but an evening of eating and drinking beckoned and we mustered the energy to dress up for a night out.

If the hotel is bustling by day, it truly comes alive by night when the various parties, golfing and otherwise, are back from their activities and gather in the bars and restaurants. Quiet corners are not easy to come by, but we found one by the fire in the cocktail lounge and grabbed it quick, ordering pre-dinner drinks while we salivated over the menu.

We ate in the French Grill in the oldest part of the hotel – all elegant dark wood panelling and ornate carvings. Coincidentally, we both chose beautiful fillet steaks oozing in garlic butter alongside thick cut chips, but the choice was huge – ham hock with colcannon, calf’s liver with beetroot jus, and apple and walnut risotto with gorgonzola among them.

The brighter, breezier Atrium restaurant next door was doing a roaring trade all evening, but steadily quietened as the guests headed for the on-site Bel Air nightclub. We’d been promised ‘retro music and a friendly crowd’ if we popped in. In other words, a bunch of 40-somethings just like us, remembering what they used to do when they were young!

In the end, we left the dancing to the golfers and hen parties... and then smiled smugly as they wandered into breakfast the next morning a little the worse for wear.

They looked in dire need of some fresh air and a nice, long walk. Luckily they were in the right place.


The Belfry is in Wishaw, near Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands, B76 9PR, and it took just over 90 minutes to get there from Swindon.

Overnight accommodation with full English breakfast starts from £75 per room.

Golf breaks, which include overnight accommodation, three-course dinner in The Atrium, full English breakfast and either 36 holes on two courses or, if you stay two nights it includes a round of golf on all three courses, start from £104 per person. For details visit www.TheBelfry.com See the website at www.thebelfry.co.uk for information, telephone 01675 470301 or email enquiries@thebelfry.com


  • Wine and dine your Valentine at The Belfry for £89 per person. Choose from the seasonal menu or try the Valentine’s sharing dishes for two. Entry to the Bel Air nightclub is included, as is English breakfast and use of the Health & Wellness facilities. The offer is valid February 10-18, 2012, subject to availability.
  • Stay for a night and play two rounds of golf for £99 per golfer. The break includes 18 holes on the PGA National and The Derby courses, an overnight stay, dinner in The Atrium, English breakfast, use of the Health & Wellness leisure facilities,and entry to the resort’s Bel Air nightclub. Offer valid until April 30.
  • Banish the winter blues with a spa break at The Belfry for £79 per person. The break includes a revitalising 90-minute AquaSpa experience, an express facial at Simply THE Spa, overnight accommodation, dinner in The Atrium, use of the Health & Wellness leisure facilities and English breakfast, as well as entry to the resort’s Bel Air nightclub. Valid until April 22.