“Dormy House: a fresh take on a relaxed country house hotel with superb spa in the heart of the Cotswolds”
Rooms and suites are beautifully decorated, fresh, comfortable and homely. All are different and interior designer, Emily Todhunter, has threaded some lovely touches with splashes of colour, well-chosen wallpaper and sometimes a quirky mirror display. Note that many of the rooms are located in the annexe buildings (Danish Court, Emily Wing and JPS Wing); although you’ll need to step outside to access them, you're never more than a minute's walk from the heart of the hotel.
All have nice details: a Kilner jar of homemade cookies, Nespresso coffee machine, DAB radio and a cute handmade owl doorstop. You also get an in-room tablet: a great techy idea which gives loads of info on the hotel and what to do, and even lets you order spa treatments, hampers, DVDs and room service with minimum fuss. Clever. Bathrooms have Temple Spa products, fluffy robes and powerful showers (though not all have bathtubs and on our visit the underfloor heating was playing up).
Top of the pile and hidden away upstairs are The Attic (cosy) and The Loft (light and airy) with its statement tin bath. The separate Rose Cottage with its pretty, flowery decor and private courtyard is also popular with couples. We loved Top Notch Room No 4 in the main house with its antique four-poster bed and beautiful encaustic-tiled bathroom. If you prefer a more playful contemporary feel, the Comfy Rooms in the JPS Wing stand out with their bold colours, retro chairs and white faux fur throws. Of the less expensive rooms, our favourite was Intimate Room No 12, a soothing corner room with double aspect views.
You have options at Dormy: fine dining in the airy Garden Room, hearty grub in the popular Potting Shed or healthy fare in the spa's Greenhouse. All are relaxed, devoid of stuffiness and we enjoyed some pretty good service.
In the evening The Potting Shed buzzes with locals and guests. Think smart English pub with very good lighting (we lost count of all the light sources), oak and leather cocktail bar, and a menu offering comfort dishes like slow-cooked pork belly, T-bone steak with giant chips and chicken and leek pie. Our beetroot and salmon orzo (pasta) was good enough, but we enjoyed the food in The Garden Room more. The atmosphere was more hushed but we were treated to a fine starter of pigeon breast with parsley mash and lentil jus, a cod dish that melted in our mouths and a very delicious gooseberry crumble soufflé with vanilla custard.
Breakfast can be taken in either The Garden Room or The Greenhouse. Help yourself to freshly squeezed juices, fruit, granola, yoghurt and pastries, then order something cooked - maybe dippy eggs with soldiers or eggs Benedict.
For a light lunch we recommend the spa’s Greenhouse menu of special salads, snacks and sandwiches, each one graded as "naughty", "nice" or "nutritious". The Juice Boosters looked good too (apple, mint, kiwi and bee pollen sounds interesting). And, afternoon tea is served in the Garden Room restaurant 6 days a week: freshly baked scones, quiches, sandwiches, cakes and a glass of fizz to wash it all down.
For day trips, they can also provide a range of enticing hampers.
The Garden Room main restaurant: open daily for breakfast, dinner, and Sunday lunch.
The Potting Shed pub: open daily for lunch and dinner.
The Greenhouse in the spa: open daily (children welcome at restricted times.
Dormy House welcomes children of all ages. Although there are no specific kids facilities, there are some nice treats for them. Our 7 year old daughter was thrilled with her generous goody bag, discount at the local toyshop and Dormy Passport. Sofabeds are made up with cartoon bedding and there's an afternoon tea designed specially for under 12s. You'll also find plenty for youngsters to do in the surrounding countryside from exploring the estate's woodlands to feeding farm animals and riding on tractors.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Most Comfy rooms can take either a cot or an extra bed. Some Splendid Rooms have a sofabed within the room which can sleep 2 small children or 1 older child, plus some can also fit a cot. If you prefer to have more privacy, The Den, The Snug, The Hideaway and the Courtyard Suites each have a small separate sitting room with a sofabed. Note that not all rooms have a bathtub, so if this is important to you, please mention it in your request.
Can be arranged for an additional charge.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Children are welcome to dine anywhere in the hotel, but you and they might feel more relaxed in the Potting Shed. The thoughtful kids menu offers grilled salmon, chicken stir fry and crepes, as well as old favourites. A special "Sticky Fingers" afternoon tea is also served, including sausage rolls, jam fingers and fruit smoothies. All rooms have a kettle, a few have a fridge and there is 24-hour room service.
We found a basket of board games in each lounge and a few children's books in the library. The indoor pool is gorgeous but times for kids are restricted.
Children can explore the 400-acre Farncombe Estate and a short drive away is the Cotswold Farm Park (run by BBC Countryfile’s Adam Henson), where they can spot rare breeds, drive tractors and maybe see the birth of baby lambs and kid goats. Other nearby attractions include:
The Spa pool and Greenhouse has restricted times for children (9-10.30am and 4-5.30pm)