The Cotswolds

THE COTSWOLDS

THYME

Location: Near Lechlade
Rate: from £245 a night
Highlights: Cookery School, Spa and a beautiful Lifestyle/Homeware shop on site.

This is possibly one of my favourite places to visit in the UK. Nestled in the heart of a little village, it is so tranquil and they do an amazing job of making you feel totally detached and relaxed. They also have cottages available which is great for families and friends who want to getaway. The Ox Barn is their main restaurant- light, airy gorgeous high ceilings with exposed beams, with a seasonally changing menu and a great wine and cocktail list. I would recommend staying here if you’re looking for a getaway where you really want to relax and may not want to do much else! You can also book dinner or lunch at the restaurant without being a guest so at the very minimum I highly recommend a visit for food if you’re planning to take a trip to the Cotswolds.

THE PAINSWICK

Location: Painswick Village, near Stroud
Rate: from £246 a night
Highlights: Comfort, Cocktails and Cotswold views

The Painswick is a boutique hotel part of the Calcot collection- if you’re looking for somewhere a little more intimate with luxe style and comfort this is the place for you. Their interiors are beautiful and sumptuous and they have a wonderful terrace and outdoor space which has views of the rolling Cotswold hills and countryside. The village of Painswick itself is also so lovely and well worth a little walk around. The food is excellent, they also serve and afternoon tea and at breakfast there is a DIY Blood Mary station- need I say more?

THE SWAN

Location: Ascot under Wynchwood, Chipping Norton
Rate: from £80
Highlights: great value, gastropub, freestanding bathtubs in the bedrooms, free cancellation through booking.com

This is by far the best value place I have stayed at in the Cotswolds and already looking at when I would go back. The rooms are so beautifully designed and comfortable and each room has been designed differently, you can specify on the booking which room you want, although can’t be guaranteed, though there is no bad room! There is also one family room available which is handy. The food is so yummy and the menu is quite extensive for a pub which I thought was great. My only negative would be that given how good the lunch and dinner service is the breakfast was pretty poor- not sure if they were having a problem at the particular time we stayed but everything from the coffee to the food was bad! However, this seemed minor in comparison to how good everything was, I’m willing to overlook it. The Swan is very conveniently located ten minutes away from Daylesford Farm, which is another of my favourites to visit when in the Cotswolds

THE WILD RABBIT INN

Location: Kingham
Rate: From £165
Highlights: pet friendly rooms, great food, in a beautiful village, down the road from Daylesford Farm
Tip: book a couple of months in advance for weekend stays

The Wild Rabbit is part of Daylesford Farm owned by Lord and Lady Bamford. The rooms are attached to their gastropub but they are also have cottages available to book in Kingham village and on Daylesford Farm. Clean, chic, minimalist aesthetic balanced with rustic charm. This is a place that needs booking a couple of months in advance if you want to get a weekend booking, especially if you’re looking for a room rate under £200 a night and is one of a handful of lovely places that accommodate pets. The fabulous Bamford bath and body products are in the rooms, if you haven’t tried them before you’re in for a treat. The food focuses on sustainably sourced and organic produce and again is delicious, if you’re staying for the weekend the Sunday Lunch is also excellent.

It goes without saying a visit to Daylesford Farm is needed- you can book Spa treatments here (total bliss), spend a good hour perusing their homeware and lifestyle shop, stocking up on food and wine goodies and then have lunch at their restaurant- perfect afternoon.

THE FISH HOTEL

Location: Broadway
Rate: from £150 (avg: £180-250)
Highlights: Treehouse accommodation, relaxed open spaces with log burners, scandi vibe, amazing seafood
Tips: you can bring dogs for an extra charge

The Fish Hotel is part of Farncombe Estate which includes Dormy House and Foxhill Manor, all wonderful hotels, each one quite different but within proximity of each other. The Fish hotel is situated deep into the the estate, it’s about a 10 minute drive onto the estate to reach the grounds and appears so peaceful when you arrive. It’s quite unique as a hotel as it is spread out on grounds with several different buildings for the different room types. There is also a separate main building where the restaurants and lounge spaces are and the amazing individual treehouses are set back a little in a raised forested area.

I visited in the Autumn which I thought was the perfect time to visit, they have several lounges and open plan areas with log burners that you can cosy up to, a big stack of board games with wine and cocktails on tap. Seafood fans must not miss out as this is their specialty and the food was so amazing. I also loved the fact that they had an informal restaurant called Sliders- serving all the fried, dirty, cheesy comfort food, great for knocking back the cocktails.

There is no Spa at the hotel however you are able to book treatments at Dormy House through the hotel- though they weren’t allowing this with Covid restrictions last year.

Restaurants

I would recommend all of the above places for dining at and here are some of my other favourites, in no particular order!

The Kingham Plough, Chipping Norton – great gastropub, also has rooms which look lovely, but I haven’t stayed.
The Back Garden at Dormy House – delicious food, sustainably and locally sourced with their veggies grown on site. The also serve afternoon tea which looks yummy too.
The Lygon Arms, Broadway– This such a beautiful pub and hotel with a really pretty courtyard you can sit if the weather is nice, they also have English Wine on the menu, hurrah! Broadway itself is a really lovely Cotswolds village, so picturesque and there’s a great walking route up to the Broadway Clock Tower you can do which takes a couple of hours starting in the village.
Egypt Mill Restaurant, Nailsworth– This restaurant is so pretty, a 16th century mill by the river, sit outside when the weather is warm, bask in the rays and take in the views
The Conservatory, Calcot Manor– Beautiful restaurant with a wonderful menu and the wine list has English fizz from Woodchester Valley! Im hoping to go back and stay at the hotel later this year for some much needed R&R.

Vineyards

No staycation is complete without a vineyard visit of course, so heres a list of the Cotswolds ones!

Three Choirs Vineyard– The largest and most established vineyard with a hotel and restaurant on site. Tours and tastings £15pp, advanced booking essential, especially for weekends.
Woodchester Valley– Beautiful views and newly built lodges you can stay at which look fab! Tours and tastings are £18.50 or £23.50 for a sparkling tasting.
Poulton Hill Estate– Another beautiful vineyard with a newly renovated wing of accommodation, which has been styled so well, would love to come and stay here. Tours and tastings are £25 pp with £10 being redeemable against cellar door purchases.
Little Oak Vineyard– The smallest Cotswold vineyard and so very friendly and informal. The tour and tasting is £15pp and generous on the pour!





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