“Delightful country-house hotel in the Cotswolds: homely and elegant with stylish contemporary touches”
Named after Cotswold hills, the 12 bedrooms are all different but generally have a bright airy feel and views over the gardens. Decked out in restrained English country house style, they come with homely touches: a small selection of good books, bottles of Frank spring water and occasional antiques. You can expect a large comfy bed with hand sprung mattress beneath you, Egyptian cotton on top. As you'd expect in the older parts of the house some of the floors are a little uneven but this just adds character. You'll also have a flat screen TV, iPod dock and DVD player (with a modest yet well chosen selection of DVDs you can borrow downstairs), but no minibar. Tea and coffee making facilities are available on request.
Bathrooms, (most of which are recently refurbished but on the small side in the cheaper rooms) give you fluffy bathrobes, hairdryer and unusual bath products by Arran Aromatics.
The best rooms are the three Deluxe Rooms: located on the first floor they are the largest with space to spread out as well as writing tables and armchairs. Our favourite is Leckhampton, with big windows overlooking the gorgeous garden, a white bergere bed, sofa, stone fireplace and large bathroom with free-standing tub. If you want a four-poster bed, go for Sudeley; its pale green walls and wooden beams make it a restful room. Otherwise, Pennsylvania which is the only Deluxe room that can be made into a twin.
Standard and Superior rooms are smaller (although we'd be happy staying in any of them) and priced accordingly. Most are on the second floor, tucked into the attic. Standard rooms Nympsfield and Cam Peak can be taken together to form a family room. Nympsfield's kingsize bed can also be made into twins. Nibley is the cosiest but smallest, its queen size bed probably best for single use. Laverton is more traditional with floral curtains and orchid watercolours.
Superior rooms Crickley, Cleeve, Randwick and Belas Knap can all be made up as either doubles or twins.
Lime flagstones lead you down the hallway past the snug bar to the wood panelled restaurant at the back of the house. The room is light, big windows overlook the garden and oak tables are well spaced giving you room to breathe. Expect crisp white napkins, pretty green water glasses and a giant teacup filled with flowers. In summer months you can eat outside beside the ancient baptism pool, now a fishpond surrounded by lavender and roses. The adjacent conservatory is large enough for private parties of up to 25 people.
The cooking is modern British - pleasing, unfussy and reasonably priced (thankfully, unlike at many other country house hotels, there's no obligatory fixed priced menu for dinner). Being fans of the "Slow Food Movement" their ethos is to support local producers. Meat comes from Jesse Smiths of Cirencester (none better), game from the Bathurst estate, eggs from Tetbury farms and the cheese from the Fine Cheese Company of Bath. Even the staff are local. Typical starters include terrine of Wiltshire ham hock with homemade pickles, or seafood risotto with deep fried squid. For mains we chose calves liver and a succulent rib-eye steak, both were perfectly cooked. For dessert, the chocolate and raspberry tart with unusual fennel ice cream hit the spot more than the brownie with vanilla ice cream. Room service is also available - choose from the lunch or dinner menu.
Breakfast (included in the rate) continues the local theme using wherever possible organic fare. Help yourself to fresh fruit, croissants and homemade banana bread. Then select something cooked - perhaps Coln Valley smoked salmon and scrambled eggs or Gloucestershire Old Spot sausages, Wiltshire smoked back bacon and black pudding.
The restaurant is open for dinner 7 days a week but if you want to eat out, there are plenty of good options nearby. Across the road, the owners have recently renovated the Potting Shed pub which serves hearty British fare and Butcombe Bitter. Further afield, we like swanky Whatley Manor, the other side of Malmesbury. For something simpler, try the Vine Tree village pub at Norton. The Rectory has also opened its own deli and cafe in nearby Cirencester.
Children are welcome and the hotel can provide cots, high chairs and extra beds (in 3 rooms). Two of the standard rooms on the second floor, Nympsfield and Cam Peak, can be taken together to make a family room. Otherwise, if placing a cot or extra bed in the same room, we recommend Leckhampton, the largest deluxe room.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting available by arrangement
Baby listening/monitors available on request
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
A kids menu (homemade salmon fishcakes and chicken goujons, sausages, pasta etc) using mainly organic ingredients, is also available.