“Contemporary country hotel and spa set in beautiful Cotswold parkland, perfect for some R&R”
The 30 rooms range between Good, Better, Great, Exceptional and Best Rooms. They vary wildly: some have enormous bathrooms; some are split level, some open plan; some have access to or views across the garden. But all have a contemporary feel with bright soft furnishings against a backdrop of modern Scandinavian styling. Wooden furniture is mostly handmade; you can expect wall-mounted CD players, TVs and interesting minibars (with Dairy Milk and Jelly Beans). Bathrooms are spacious with rain shower heads, thick robes and big bottles of Green and Spring toiletries. Bigger rooms have a tub, too.
At the top of the pecking order is Best, a one-off with a 4-poster bed, very large bathroom with a tub for 2, and a balcony with the best views across the countryside. There's also a few bonus extras like a PS2. Exceptional Rooms have large bathrooms and a living area, plus some have their own terrace (we liked #18 which has views on both sides of room). Great Rooms have views across the lake, and a couple can be blocked off together to make a family room.
Better Rooms are in the stable block, and most have a split level set-up with a mezzanine level overlooking the central white gravel courtyard (#14 can take pets). Good Rooms are the smallest but benefit from being closest to the spa.
The dining room's high ceilings and ornate wood panelling give a lovely sense of grandeur to your meal. Expect crisp white tablecloths, long drop-down lampshades, and a lengthy wine menu.
Produce is locally sourced, mostly within a 10-mile radius. On our 2015 revisit, we adored the sea bream with swiss chard gratin and fennel, as well as a rare beef salad with celeriac remoulade, walnut croquettes and capers. Puddings are delicious and fun: my salted caramel baked Alaska came with popcorn; my sister's chocolate bananas had little 'Krispie' cakes on the side.
At breakfast, we were charmed by miniature milk bottles of fruit smoothie with stripy straws, and eggy bread with maple syrup. After loading up at the vast buffet (figs, prosciutto, apple Danish, homemade bread etc), we ordered poached eggs with bubble and squeak (very good), and a seriously fantastic kedgeree. We sat watching the sun rise over the parkland, and had super-smiley service from the waiter; it was a great way to start the day.
For lunch there's a selection of dishes ranging from cider roast ham, buck rabbit or venison sausages which lend a country theme, to Caesar salads or simple Cowley steak burgers.
Children are welcome and will enjoy the indoor and outdoor pools. Wellies can be provided to assist in romping around the extensive parklands, hot water bottles can be provided on request. The extra bed rate includes breakfast and dinner from the kids' menu.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
All rooms have big bathrooms, and the larger ones have bathtubs. Most of the Great Rooms are suitable for families and a couple of Exceptional Rooms are also recommended. There are interconnecting options available for larger families or for those with older children.
Monitors available on request
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
No kids club or creche as such but organised activities and film screenings are arranged in the school holidays
Children are welcome to dine at any time in the bar and lounge (but young children are not allowed into the restaurant). Kids' menus and special cutlery are provided. In the summer you can arrange a family picnic in the grounds along with picnic basket, mini-bar and giant beanbags.
Children are welcome at C-Side Spa - which includes both pools - until 17:30 daily, but not after that. Kids should be supervised around the lake.