Cooking and the mountain of clearing up is the real killjoy of Christmas so, this year, why not leave it to someone else and treat yourself to a festive break to the Pilgrim Country House Hotel located midway between Hereford and Ross-on-Wye in the Wye Valley?

In the heart of walking and cider country, the hotel has uninterrupted views across the Wales border, towards the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons beyond.

The three-night break will commence with a warm glass of mulled wine and a brandied mince pie in the cosy bar, with its roaring fire and beamed ceiling on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.

Relax during the afternoon, perhaps with a stroll in the grounds or along the nearby country lanes to a cosy pub, before meeting up with fellow guests in the bar for canapés and a pre-dinner cocktail, before heading into the restaurant for a candlelit à la carte meal.

On Christmas morning, enjoy a full, English breakfast (with a glass of Bucks Fizz), whilst opening a gift from the hotel’s team in the restaurant. The rest of the morning can be spent playing board games in the lounge or taking one of the circular walks that start from outside the hotel (free guides available).

Christmas lunch is an elegant, traditional four-course meal in the Valley Restaurant, with something to tempt every palette whilst, later in the evening, there will be a buffet which is eaten at leisure.

On Boxing Day, a late Brunch will be served in the restaurant and bar leaving the rest of the day free to perhaps visit some local attractions such as the quaint market town of Ross-on-Wye, the Cider Museum, or Hereford Cathedral where the world famous Mappa Mundi is housed.

During the afternoon, a sumptuous tea of homemade scones and fresh cream will be served in the lounge and bar.  A candlelit three-course farewell dinner will then be served in the restaurant.

Guests depart after breakfast on the morning of December 27.

The three-night package costs from £420 per person (two sharing) which includes all meals and drinks as detailed.  Extra nights available for those who would like a longer break (well-behaved dogs welcome in some rooms, £10 per dog per night).

Pilgrim Country House, +44 (0)1981 540 742,