Hanover House’s Winter Newsletter

We have decided to publish and distribute to many of our original visitors, a newsletter, circulated electronically, which might just keep friends up to date and encourage some to come back to the delights of Cheltenham.

Vol 1 December 2012


The HANOVER HOUSE newsletter


Dear Guests, 

This is only the second newsletter we’ve put out, partly due to having had a busy year, but also regrettably, to ennui! However I’ve been reminded that it’s time for us to provide an update on activities and what is going on in Cheltenham over the winter and into the Spring.

 Even in the winter, the Cotswolds are a lovely place to visit, particularly when it’s cold and frosty or even snowy. There are many pretty places with good places to eat and roaring fires to warm the intrepid tourist. In Cheltenham itself there are plenty of things to do and places to eat well. Entertainments vary from seasonal pantomimes at several venues including the Playhouse and Everyman Theatres, both only 3-4 minutes’ walk from Hanover House to live opera screened at Cineworld in the Brewery, together with The Nutcracker from the Royal Opera House. Even more live is the traditional Christmas time Messiah, to be staged in the Town Hall by the Oxford Philomusica orchestra, Oxford University’s resident professional symphony orchestra.

 After Christmas and the New Year, there will of course be the sales in the fabulous Cheltenham shops, particularly those in Montpellier, the ‘Paris of England’ and a season of concerts, both classical and contemporary in the Town Hall, together with a wide range of theatrical productions at the Everyman, many either on tour from the West End or on their way there.

 So, if you want to recover from the rigours of a hectic festive season or conversely want to come to a lively venue, as a focus for more wide-ranging visits through the region, come to Cheltenham for a good deal and revitalisation – fresh country air and a soothing local spa followed by excellent food.


Our website at www.hanoverhouse.org has now been updated and the video marginally enhanced with a new view of our wisteria-clad frontage. Note at the end of the video Sophie (the golden retriever)’s synchronised head movement to the music! The new webpage looks like this, and the online booking system is active through the site.

Since this screenshot was taken, we are up at No 2 now on TripAdvisor and our EnjoyEngland awards have been annotated as being as at ‘2011’ This is because, having been consistently awarded 5 Star Gold awards over the past 5 years, we have come out of the scheme, which we consider expensive for a small business such as ourselves to belong to, with limited payback. This is particularly so as most of our guests are now returning guests or come directly through Alastair Sawdays, Michelin, Good Hotel Guide, Fodors, Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor or from the principal web browsers such as Google. We will keep our last-awarded EnjoyEngland logos just as an easily recognisable illustration of our quality standard.

 During the last 6 months, some internal changes have been made, in that we have upgraded the bedsize in the Rossetti (double ensuite room with the dual aspect over the walled garden) from standard double to Kingsize to cater for our taller guests, and now serve our organic, locally sourced breakfasts in the dining/breakfast room. The table is now oval with a set of refurbished and upholstered Victorian dining room chairs providing comfort and elegance.


Since affixing our Blue Plaque commemorating Caroline Alice Roberts’ (better known as Lady Alice Elgar) sojourn in the house between 1859 and 1861 amongst the rapidly developing Wisteria we have been planning an official unveiling by the Elgar Society, which will probably be early in 2013, hopefully coinciding with an Elgar anniversary date.

 Recently we had a periodic Health and Hygiene inspection which followed an anonymous complaint to the local authorities concerning a photograph on our blogsite in which Veronica was bathing her baby granddaughter in the kitchen sink during a period when we were closed to guests and had the family staying. The inspectors were more than happy with the setup and gave us the rarely-awarded 5 Hygiene stars after Veronica had demonstrated that everything on the food handling side was ship-shape and that we followed commonsense procedures.


Veronica is a Lady Ambassador for The Lady magazine, and during her time promoting this quality excellent and informative magazine has seen some huge changes in its format and appearance. Initiated by Boris Johnson’s sister Rachel, it has been carried on by Matt, the new editor, whose covers have regularly gone back to the elegance of bygone days, making it once again very stylish compared to the other rather brash, glossy ‘in your face’ minor showbiz celebrity-driven magazine covers that inundate the magazine racks in the shops. The new style well suits our own at Hanover House. In an earlier edition, Veronica was highlighted as an Ambassador, which drew some complimentary comments at the time. More recently however…

 The Times and Telegraph readers may have noticed recent offers in those publications of discounts at a selection of Bed and Breakfasts around the country in conjunction with Alastair Sawdays. 50 establishments country-wide were selected to be featured and we were lucky enough to be amongst them, for both newspapers separately. Times readers had to collect code words over a period of time to qualify for 2 nights for the price of 1, and Telegraph Readers who are members of the Telegraph Readers club, can get a 10% discount for any stay.


 The winter offers lots of things to do in and around Cheltenham culminating in the spring with the Cheltenham Festival and the eponymous Cheltenham Gold Cup. ranging from festivals covering various topics, and concerts and plays. Space doesn’t permit covering everything, so we just highlight some of the events and activities that particularly appeal to us personally…

 For a full list of what’s on for the foreseeable future, take a look at this link:


Spring/Early Summer Cheltenham Festivals

Cheltenham Gold Cup                    12-15 March (however note that we are fully booked for this period!)

Jazz                                                  01-06 May

 Other events include art exhibitions at Martin’s Gallery (the main town Museum and Art Gallery remains closed until about April while building a substantial extension continues), performances of plays such as Agatha Christie’s ‘Go Back for Murder’ and John Buchan’s ‘The 39 Steps’, ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ and ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’ as well as local boy Laurie Lee’s ‘Cider with Rosie’ at the recently beautifully renovated Victorian Everyman Theatre interleaved with live performances of Puccini’s ‘Madam Butterfly’ and ‘La Bohème’ performed by the Grand Opera of Belarus.


Local and easily reachable attractions abound, ranging from lovely Cotswold villages and towns, castles, National Trust sites and gardens, historic locations including cathedrals, abbeys and Roman villas and historic battlefields. We are within an hour’s drive of all-day-out locations including Bath, Oxford, Stratford, Bristol, Worcester, Malvern, Ross and Hay-on-Wye and the Severn valley including Symonds Yat.

Very locally, we could strongly recommend Winchcombe and Sudeley Castle Gloucester Cathedral and historic docks, Tewkesbury Abbey and battlefield and the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire heritage railway which runs from Cheltenham Racecourse through Winchcombe and out to Gotherington.

 We hope this newsletter rekindles some interest in the beautiful English Cotswolds, and helps to bring you back for another memorable stay.


 As it’s the wintertime, we would like to encourage you into coming to see us again – and of course to sample the culinary and shopping delights of Cheltenham as well as the beautiful all-season Cotswold countryside, by offering a discount or ‘thank you’. All previous guests and/or friends will be given a 25% discount on any booking for a minimum of 3 nights between 2 Jan and 31st March 2013, including a complimentary bottle of wine.


We hope you all have a lovely Christmas or midwinter festival and a Happy New Year. We are closed over this period to accommodate an extending, and rapidly extending-even-further family, and so will need a rest when our guests return in the New Year!!



Veronica, James and Sophie (The Retriever)


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