There are beautiful countryside hotels, retreats, pubs with rooms. And then there is Foxhill Manor. It sets itself apart because it’s more like a home than anything else. In fact, the Manor can be rented out in its entirety, should you wish. There is no reception desk. There is no breakfast time. There seem to be very few ‘must dos’ at all. Apart from perhaps helping yourself to as many glasses of champagne and warm scones as you want upon arrival.
We arrived too early for check in, but instead went for a long walk in the beautiful Cotswold countryside, where we ended up in the very picturesque village of Broadway for a delicious pub lunch at the Swan. Having walked back (50 mins) we were greeted by a very friendly member of staff, who showed us around.
There are a few fun things about Foxhill which again sets this place apart from the rest. There’s the spirit selection in the warm and welcoming sitting room, where you can drink all day and all night, should you wish (free of charge). There’s a wine cellar you can lose yourself in (now this is sadly not for free). There’s a cinema with huge beanbags and an infinite number of DVDs (and fresh popcorn, of course). And there’s the Pantry (possibly my favourite thing), where, should you be as greedy as me, you can help yourself to a never-ending selection of sweets and treats, juices and beers.
Then there are the rooms. Only eight in total, three of which suites. We were lucky enough to be upgraded the the Beech Suite, which was so ginormous we didn’t even use our sitting room. We spent a great deal of time in the bathroom (always my favourite room), wallowing in their oversized roll top bath, admiring their mega power shower, giggling at the gnomes through the window. The bed was difficult to get out of after an obligatory nap. And ideal to watch Sky TV from after we crawled up the stairs (via the Pantry), after our four course dinner.
Dinner can be eaten wherever: on the beautiful terrace with stunning views of the valley, in your room or in their lovely dining room. Another quirk: there is no menu. You meet the chef, discuss your likes and dislikes, he suggests a menu of the day. But you can have whatever you like really (to some extent). And it was all rather delicious.
Breakfast we enjoyed outside on the terrace, reading the papers (there is a huge selection), and slowly working our way through bread, pastries, eggs and smoked salmon.
If eating isn’t all you want to spend your time doing (a mystery to me), then there is plenty else to do. Foxhill is part of the Farncombe Estate, and the better known Dormy House is its sister hotel, a walk (or short drive) away. Here you can use its extensive spa facilities or dine at one of its restaurants. Apart from that you can go riding, walking, clay pigeon shooting…the list is endless.
Staying at Foxhill Manor is the best way to totally relax after a hectic working week. To spoil yourself. And to put on half a stone. I can’t think of a better way to do that.
Broadway WR12 7LJ