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cotswolds

Blog, UK - Outside London

No 38 the Park, Cheltenham

April 2, 2017
No. 38 The Park, Cheltenham

I find myself in Cheltenham a number of times a year but usually for work, and so never really tend to see this pretty Cotswold town as a weekend break destination.  But it really is, ideal for accessing the rolling Cotswolds hills or for those (locals or tourists) looking for a weekend break in an elegant Regency spa town.

Last week I was in Cheltenham again for work, and this time we had a full day meeting at No 38 the Park, a boutique hotel close to the centre of town.  I absolutely loved it.  The sure way to winning my affection is by having a dog greet you upon arrival.  She was the best host possible, and even wanted to come into the meeting with me.

No 38 the Park, Cheltenham

No. 38 the Park is one of the Lucky Onion’s Cotswold ventures (who are known for the equally wonderful Wheatsheaf and No 131).  While No 38 is in a stunning Regency Townhouse, it feels more like a home than a hotel (you can in fact take over the whole place privately).  There is no reception desk, or staff wandering around constantly.  It’s peaceful and homely and very stylish, with a unique art collection.

No. 38 The Park, Cheltenham

They don’t have a restaurant as such, but they do have a beautiful ‘dining room’ where you can have a lazy breakfast or a relaxed pre-ordered lunch (the sandwiches were incredible).  They also have a wonderful courtyard terrace which will be great in the summer.  If you’re thirsty they have a huge honestly bar, where you can help yourself to a selection of their local beers, or make a Fever Tree G&T.

No. 38 The Park, Cheltenham

They have 13 bedrooms, all very individual, in different sizes.  But all stunning.  I loved the different wall papers, and the use of colour.  Even the smaller bedrooms have their own charm, often with incredible roll top baths.  Each bedroom comes with a Nespresso machine, 100 Acres bath products and HD TV with Sky.  Their honeymoon suite is a real show stopped, with the most incredible ‘his ‘n her’ showers.

No. 38 The Park, CheltenhamNo. 38 The Park, CheltenhamNo. 38 The Park, Cheltenham

If you’re looking for a romantic bolthole with affordable prices, No. 38 is ideal.  Next time I come here I just hope to stay the night and sample those very comfortable looking beds.

No. 38 the Park

38 Evesham Road,

Cheltenham

The Cotswolds

Blog, UK - Outside London

The Painswick Hotel, Cotswolds

November 16, 2016
The Painswick Hotel, the Cotswolds

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with the Cotswolds.  I go at least twice a year, to escape London and to enjoy the fresh air and long country walks.  I often stay with my friend Hen’s parents, in the Slad Valley, one of the most beautiful parts of the Cotswolds.

A few months ago I read an article in Conde Nast Traveller raving about the newish Painswick Hotel (part of the famous Calcot Collection) which had opened in the beautiful village of Painswick.  As it was only a 15 minute drive from where I was staying one weekend, we decided to visit the Painswick Hotel for afternoon tea.

Located in an 18th century Cotswold stone mansion, it’s a grand and beautiful building.  But despite this the Painswick Hotel feels very homely and cosy.  The entrance is slightly underwhelming – I’m not sure about the neon sign reading ‘the Painswick’ upon entering, this felt a little too Shoreditch and didn’t really fit in with the rest of the place.  The rest of the design however, by Nicky Farquar, is beautiful.  It is a mixture of quirky, more contemporary furniture and lamps and beautiful, OKA-esque interiors.  Nicky strikes the balance just right.

The Painswick Hotel, the Cotswolds

We had afternoon tea in one of their large(r) but warm sitting rooms, with an old fireplace which now is replaced by a cosy wood burning fire.  The afternoon tea is very reasonably priced if you opt for a pot of tea and a scone – probably about £8 per person (and they were amazing!).  The macaroon is tiny (but also apparently delicious) so don’t expect something the size of a scone.  The banana cake/bread might have actually been my favourite.

The Painswick Hotel, the Cotswolds

The bar in the next door room is rather lovely, and stands out with its special ceiling and coloured bottles.

The Painswick Hotel, the Cotswolds

We had a little walk around and admired the outside terrace with beautiful views of the Cotswold hills.  In the summer this must be a dreamy place.  And being located right in Painswick itself is a massive treat, with plenty of other charming pubs and little shops to explore.  The Painswick also has an (apparently) excellent restaurant, and while we didn’t eat here, we certainly loved the interiors here too.  Especially the lunch menu looked quite affordable which is rare in this neck of the woods.

The Painswick Hotel, the CotswoldsThe Painswick Hotel, the Cotswolds

The hotel was fully booked, so we didn’t get to see any rooms, but at around £140+ a night they are quite reasonable compared to the other Calcot hotels (like Barnsley House and Calcot Manor).

The Painswick Hotel, the Cotswolds

I’ll have to come back and test the beds and the bathrooms, but overall I liked the place and would recommend it to those looking to escape London for a night or two (or to the Cotswold locals for afternoon tea, lunch or dinner).

For other Cotswold tips, you may find this blog post useful.

The Painswick Hotel

Kemps Ln, Painswick

Stroud GL6 6YB

Photo credit: The Painswick Hotel

Blog, UK - Outside London

Foxhill Manor, Cotswolds

September 19, 2016

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.

Foxhill Manor, CotswoldsFoxhill Manor, Cotswolds

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.

Broadway, Cotswolds

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.

Foxhill Manor, Cotswolds

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.

Foxhill Manor, CotswoldsFoxhill Manor, Cotswolds

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.

Foxhill Manor, CotswoldsFoxhill Manor, Cotswolds

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.

Foxhill Manor, Cotswolds

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.

Foxhill Manor

Farncombe Estate

Broadway WR12 7LJ

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