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The Lygon Arms in Broadway, Worcestershire, is possibly the oldest hotel you will ever stay in. It dates back to 1532, when it was established as the White Hart Inn, and there’s a palpable sense of history about this luxurious country house-style hotel, with its timber and flagstone floors, wood panelling and stone mullion windows. The most historically significant room in the hotel is the private dining space, the Cromwell Room, which holds 10 for dinner or 15 for a meeting.
Back in 1651, Oliver Cromwell was busy drawing up battle plans with his generals at the Lygon Arms – fighting against Charles II in what turned out to be the final skirmish of the English Civil War, the Battle of Worcester – and it’s likely that the Cromwell Room was where he spent a rather sleepless night prior to the battle. Hopefully, he was warmed by the magnificent Elizabethan fireplace, which is still in use. The room’s ceiling is impressively enriched with early 17th-century plasterwork and gilt-framed portraits adorn the walls. Antique furniture, including sofas and armchairs, make for a private dining experience that’s perfectly suited to long, cosy winter evenings.
This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events magazine, Autumn 2008.