The sun's out and while that may mean it's the perfect time for picnics, romance is fizzing all over the place in the hot weather. That means it's the perfect time to take a short break to the rest of Britain - and who better to ask that boudoir experts Mr and Mrs Smith? James Lohan, co-founder of the group also knows how to save a penny or two, so here are some of the UK's best budget boutique hotels. There's no chintz or mildew in sight...

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  • Brindleys, Bath

    This boutique B&B is the ideal bolthole for a break in Bath. With six classically British bedrooms and a cottage-style garden, it’s a textbook weekend stay. Breakfast is served in a bright room overlooking the garden and the decor throughout hearkens back to the hotel’s Victorian history, with a modern twist – think pastels and prints with a delicate dash of eccentricity. A genteel city steeped in history, Bath boasts neat crescents of Regency buildings nestled in the heart of the Avon valley, with World Heritage Sites such as the Roman Baths, and a 15th-century Abbey covered in eye-catching stone reliefs. Bath’s well-preserved monuments, surfeit of tea rooms, manicured greens and charmingly cobbled streets mean it’s still as refined and elegant as it was in Jane Austen’s day. Doubles from £110 (including full English and/or Continental breakfast)

  • Church Street Townhouse, Stratford

    Nestled in the centre of Shakespeare’s Stratford, the Church Street Townhouse may have all the trappings of a historic Tudor house but its scarlet- and silver-trimmed interior gives this boutique hotel a quirky modern edge. The hotel is located within walking distance of all the main attractions, so any complaints about having to venture too far out of bed to see this charming English town really would be much ado about nothing (sorry). The hotel’s restaurant boasts a monthly changing menu of classic Brit dishes, which will restore you after day of exploring all things Bard-related. Rooms have bold black-and-white tiled bathroom floors and ‘All the world’s a stage’-style red tied-back curtains. Doubles from £50

  • Rectory Hotel, Cotswolds

    A favourite with Londoners escaping the city, there’s good reason why the Cotswolds is the perfect place for a romantic weekend à deux; look no further for rolling hills, picture-perfect views and upmarket local pubs. The Rectory Hotel is a standout stay for its elegant rooms and subtle period features, where the bedrooms have large windows, pastel-hued floral prints and beds draped in crisp Egyptian linen. The handsome wood-panelled restaurant serves fresh seasonal produce and a cosy lounge with squishy leather armchairs to sink into. The Victorian walled gardens are ideal for a gentle evening stroll and even if Britain’s weather is being typically glum you can take a dip – the outdoor pool is heated all year round. Doubles from £105 (including breakfast)

  • Rutland Hotel, Edinburgh

    In the shadow of Edinburgh’s majestic castle, the Rutland Hotel sits at the heart of the city. Scotland’s capital is an exercise in contrasts, with hidden closes and Gothic architecture in the Old Town and chic cocktail bars and boutique shops in the New. The Rutland Hotel incorporates design elements from both, striking the ideal balance between the two. The warm reds and browns of the interior mirror the Gothicism of the city beyond; and if the coastal Scottish air brings a bit of a chill, warm your cockles in the Huxley Bar with a few drams of local whisky. Doubles from £215

  • Swan Hotel, Lake District

    It’s the perfect retreat; classic and cosy, with a dash of modern pizzazz. This is the kind of country guesthouse where you can spend the day rambling and sailing then return for a refreshing pint of ale (just how days should be spent in this part of the world), or maybe a spa treatment. When you’ve worked up an appetite roaming the beautiful surroundings, you have two dining options: the Swan Inn, a typical British pub with a hearty rustic menu and the familiarity of a local watering hole; or the River Room, a bright contemporary dining room with a varied menu. There’s no need to wander lonely as a cloud anymore; here at the Swan, you’ll find the warmest of welcomes. Doubles from £99 (includes full English breakfast)

  • The Grove Narbeth, Wales

    Sophisticated grandeur is on offer at this splenid hideaway in rural Pembrokeshire. Away from the hustle and bustle of, well, everything, this beautiful guesthouse provides pure escapism. Rooms have rustic Regency leanings, with elaborately dressed headboards, deftly jumbled patterns and rich fabrics, plus a touch of modern luxe. This may be a former farming lodge, but it’s far more suited to royalty than Old McDonald. Dinner is a modern British affair featuring fine Welsh produce and the hearth-warmed lounge is the perfect way to round off your evening with a nightcap and a good book, after a day spent doing as much or as little as you like. Doubles from £135 (includes breakfast)

  • Velvet, Manchester

    Energetic Manchester is a vibrant weekend-break destination; and Velvet is sat right on Canal Street, the city’s nightlife hub and the heart of its gay scene. The decor, like the hotel’s namesake, is decadent and luxe – a stylishly bonkers mishmash of prints, wall murals and exposed brickwork – and its the perfect stopping-off point before heading out to explore. Doubles from £90

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  • Headland House, Cornwall

    With views of captivating Carbis Bay from the window, on a clear day you could easily mistake Cornwall for more exotic climes. Rooms are bright and airy with a beachy feel, but the owners have erred towards contemporary chic over kitsch. Expect to be lavished with home-made cake in the afternoons and generously sized breakfasts come morning; and when the sun is setting on the bay, take a drink to the hotel garden for some serious sundown relaxation. Doubles from £119 (includes breakfast)

  • High Road House, London

    Designed by Ilse Crawford, High Road House features bold trademark prints and colour accents and its mod rooms are white and bright. There’s an exclusive members’ area, restaurant and bar and central London is just a 15-minute cab ride away. The city’s west side plays host to plenty of greenery – Kew Gardens is just two stops away on the District Line and upmarket South Kensington provides museums aplenty, designer boutiques and the inimitably grand Harrods department store. Doubles from £125 <strong> To book any of these hotels visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a> or ring the expert Travel Team on 0845 034 0700.</strong>

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