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Inside Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s first romantic weekend getaway

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex even had a butler...

harry meghan babington house
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
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Looking for a UK staycation following the coronavirus pandemic? We're taking inspiration from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who enjoyed a secret weekend break at Babington House in the first few months of their relationship.

SEE: 8 incredible UK hotels where the royals will staycation this summer

Back in 2016, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle kept their relationship under wraps and enjoyed a number of low-key, private meetings, from dinners at Soho house to surprise trips to Botswana. 

WATCH: Stunning places the royals love to holiday

New royal biography Finding Freedom, written by royal journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, gave fans a glimpse inside the royal couple's romantic UK trip. Read on to find out more...

Where did Harry and Meghan stay?

Discreetly organised by their close friend and consultant for Soho House, Markus Anderson, Harry and Meghan stayed at four-star hotel Babington House. Located in Somerset, the Grade II-listed manor house is set in 18 acres of countryside, so it offered plenty of privacy for the new couple.

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The house, which was built in 1705, offers a total of  33 bedrooms spread across the grounds, including the Main House and Stable Block, Coach House and Walled Garden. Although the authors did not divulge which rooms Harry and Meghan chose to stay in, we can narrow it down based on their luxurious amenities. 

The book says: "Harry and Meghan's accommodations included a roaring open fire and a butler – another secret getaway the press never found out about." Rooms offering an open fire include the main house, which also features views of the grounds and a separate lounge area, the attic, which is set in the eaves and includes freestanding baths in the living area, and the lodge, which is located at the entrance of Babington House with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Considering they're all decorated with hand-painted wallpaper, four-poster beds and velvet sofas, we'd happily settle for any!

READ: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's secret holiday as a newly married couple revealed

What can you eat at Babington House?

meghan bbq

The Duke and Duchess both enjoy cooking food on the barbeque

Although the butler service Harry and Meghan enjoyed during their stay may not be available to everyone, the hotel offers five different restaurants and bars, so guests will be spoilt for choice. The website describes the cuisine as: "British food with a Mediterranean influence, using produce from our garden." Spread across one acre, the walled garden is said to grow vegetables, herbs, edible flowers and fruit for the kitchen to use in food and drinks. And from what we know of Meghan's food preferences, the fresh produce would have got her seal of approval!

Summer appears to be one of the best times of year to visit – just as the royals did – as Babington House's bar terrace delivers food to your daybed or rug in the warmer weather, as well as a barbecue menu at weekends. So perhaps the royals – who are both a dab hand at cooking BBQ food – dined on some fresh meat and vegetables from the grill, or even summer salads and chilled soups from Cowshed Active Deli Bar. We're getting hungry just thinking about it!

What activities can you do at Babington House?

prince harry and meghan walks

Harry and Meghan may have enjoyed country walks near Babington House

Sporty guests will love the amenities at Babington House, with four tennis courts, a cricket pitch and a croquet lawn available to use throughout most of the year. However, with Harry and Meghan preferring to keep a low profile during their weekend stay, we imagine they may have chosen to soak up the fresh air and views on one of the nearby country walks – many of which end at a cosy pub!

On the grounds of the hotel, there is also a gym and studio with a sauna and steam room, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a screening room to watch movies, a library and even a spa.

How do you get to Babington House?

Due to its remote location in the countryside, it's probably easiest to drive to Babington House. However, you could also catch the train to Bath, which is about 30 minutes away.

MORE: Inside Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's secret Turkish getaway

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