Travel review: Quality time at Cotswold House
We all lead busy lives and we don’t always have the chance to put the brakes on and spend quality time with our loved ones.
So with Mother’s Day coming up, when I had the chance to spend an indulgent weekend with my mum at the Cotswold House Hotel & Spa, I jumped at it.
Chipping Camden is only half an hour from our family home, which meant we didn’t have a long journey to recover from before we could start relaxing in earnest.
The weather wasn’t great when we arrived, and as we made our way from the car park at the end of the pretty garden a member of staff rushed out to carry our luggage – a nice touch.
Once we had checked in, we were shown to our garden suite – The Grevel Suite. This comfortable suite, named after a prominent wool stapler in the 14th century, comprised a stylish twin bedroom, comfortable lounge area and a luxury bathroom with a huge oval stone bath, under floor heating and a large walk-in shower.
The suite also featured an enclosed courtyard, complete with a table and chairs, the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine had it not been a rainy February.
After unpacking and a nice cup of tea, we went to have a stroll around Chipping Camden. The small market town is notable for its elegant terraced High Street. Packed with boutique gift shops and tea rooms, it is the perfect base for a visit to the Cotswolds.
We decided to pop across to Cotswold House Hotel’s sister hotel The Noel Arms for a quick drink from their extensive choice of gins in the cosy Dover’s Bar.
Back to the hotel and it was time for dinner. There are two restaurant options at Cotswold House – casual dining in The Bistro on The Square or the sophisticated Fig restaurant.
The Fig offers classic Fig 8 and Fig 6 menus, with options to suit all appetites. Designed primarily around local and seasonal produce, the Fig menus are updated every quarter – offering the tastiest, most nutritious dishes of the season.
We chose the Fig 6 menu which is primarily a three-course menu ‘plus extras’. Our menu included a goats cheese and spinach arancini, roasted tomato soup with artisan bread, venison pivithier, lemon sorbet with caramelised pear and tarte tatin with caramel ice cream and brandy snap. All delicious.
The following morning, breakfast was served in the bistro and featured a selection of cereals, fresh fruit, yoghurt and pastries and the choice of a full English with a vegetarian option. The perfect start to our indulgent day.
We had booked several treatments at the spa, so after allowing our breakfast to go down, we made our way to the converted coach house at the end of the pretty hotel garden.
After a very warm welcome from the spa staff, we changed into our complimentary robe and slippers and relaxed by the pool until it was time for our treatments.
I had the Express Manicure, while mum enjoyed her hour-long Cotswold House Spa Signature Body Massage. The tailor-made massage is completely bespoke to you and your refining and firming needs. The therapist blends a fusion of essential oils and plant oils to focus on what you would like to achieve and how you would like to feel.
After mum emerged, it was my turn for the massage. Feeling very relaxed and pampered, we went down to the hydrotherapy pool and took advantage of the poolside loungers and the steam room.
It was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours away from the day-to-day stresses of everyday life. Hotel guests can enjoy the spa facilities during their stay and the spa also offers a variety of treatments and spa days, for when you fancy a treat.
After a mooch around the shops, we went back to our suite to get ready for dinner. This time we ate in the less formal bistro.
Mum chose the calamari starter, followed by wild mushroom risotto with parmesan crisp and vanilla creme brulee with shortbread biscuit for dessert, while I had the goats cheese starter, a main course of flat iron chicken, roasted butternut squash, sweet potato, pumpkin and chilli dressing, followed by sticky toffee pudding with ice cream for dessert.
Again all delicious and the perfect end to a treat-filled day.
If, unlike us, you fancy a more active weekend, there is plenty to do in the area.
Within just a short walk from the hotel, Court Barn Museum celebrates the lives and work of talented artists, designers and craftspeople from the area, while Hidcote Manor & Gardens are just a 10-minute drive from Cotswold House Hotel.
The National Trust owned gardens are amongst the most influential and best known Arts and Crafts gardens in Britain. Also worth a visit is Broadway Tower. The tower is a unique folly that stands on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment overlooking the Vale of Evesham.
Boasting a fascinating history, with links to renowned artist William Morris, it also has a nuclear bunker 15 feet below ground. The relic of the Cold War, the former monitoring bunker was once part of a wider network of similar structures all over the United Kingdom, built to study and report the effects of nuclear explosions and the resulting radioactive fallout.
And of course with a wealth of countryside walks available, you could just make the most of the breath-taking scenery the Cotswolds has to offer.
So whether you are a couple looking for a romantic weekend away, the outdoors type looking to take advantage of the countryside in the area with your four-legged friend – the hotel is dog friendly – or just fancy getting away from it all, the Cotswold House Hotel is the ideal choice.
Cotswold House Hotel, Upper High Street, The Square, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, GL55 6AN
Telephone: 01386 840330, book online at www.cotswoldhouse.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bistro in the Square is open every day until late, while the Fig restaurant is open from 7pm to 9.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday
The Spa at Cotswold House, Back Ends, Chipping Camden. To book a treatment call 01386 848934 or email email@example.com