Great British boltholes: the luxurious Hereford hotel that feels like it’s ripped from 1930s New York
- Sarah Hartley checks in at the renovated Green Dragon Hotel in Hereford
- The decor is a sure mix of modern and vintage glamor.
- It’s a great hotel for ‘entertaining and entertaining’, he declares.
The Green Dragon has an otherworldly feel to it, like it was taken out of a 1930s New York neighborhood and set in the heart of Hereford.
Maybe it’s the brick rear with fire escapes that span much of the street or its spacious, scantily-clad rooms that wind down the hallways as far as the eye can see.
This is pure fantasy; Landslides from history have been deposited on this site that was once a humble inn for more than 900 years. Stonemasons stayed here in the 11th century while working on Hereford Cathedral, and it welcomed pilgrims and wealthy travelers as a grand inn and later as an elegant society hotel, hosting guests such as Admiral Lord Nelson and composer Sir Edward Elgar.
Takeoff: Inside the renovated Hereford Bar and Brasserie
Today, the lavish remodel of the vast public rooms, coupled with the delivered style of hospitality, suggests a significant financial contribution. It’s no wonder businessman Luke Johnson (deceased at Pizza Express and Patisserie Valerie) is an investor.
Family reunions and a wedding party were absorbed here without other guests being engaged.
The decor never shies away from color, and the confident mix of modern and vintage glamor, plus plenty of table lamps and fresh flowers, makes it appealing to all ages.
Pure fantasy: the great exterior of the Green Dragon
Choose from two bars or head to the Garrick Lounge, where you can sit on a velvet sofa or comfy wing chair for afternoon tea with bottomless prosecco.
The 1920s wall-to-floor paneling has been whitewashed (shame) at Hereford Bar and Brasserie, so it now has a fresh, contemporary vibe with bright blue dining booths.
Expect seasonal dishes from local vendors, like black risotto with cep and chestnuts or duck breast with blackberry jam, roasted beets, rosti, and coffee juice.
Hereford Cathedral is just down the road from the hotel.
Green Dragon Hotel, Hereford. B&B from £ 89 per room per night (greendragonhotel.com).
You only need to walk to the end of the street to find the cathedral, so make a time slot here. It’s also home to a school trip favorite, Mappa Mundi, the world’s largest medieval map then known, which is fascinating up close.
And in one aisle of the ship you’ll find the rather moving Special Air Service memorial (the unit is county-based). Beneath a stained glass window in blue waves there is a stone sculpture that simply says: Always a little further away.
The USP: Magnificent amounts of space make this hotel ideal for entertaining and entertaining.
The rooms: Light on furnishings, but expensively outfitted with textured sheets and jewel-toned headboards, plus a bathroom big enough to swing multiple cats.
The food: From fish and chips and steak to tarragon chicken and bream with shrimp risotto, a short menu serves the classics well. Breakfast is an excellent variety, from juicy berries, yogurt, and granola to generous full English with local sausage or browned scrambled eggs.