The Wordrobe’s editor Sophie Ritchie heads to the Cotswolds for a stay of stylish serenity at the boutique Calcot Manor
William Wordsworth once waxed lyrical that “Nature never did defy the heart that loved her”. Such wisdom is etched into the honey-tinged bricks of Calcot Manor, a luxurious hotel hidden away in the idyllic Cotswolds landscape.
Once a 14th-century barn, the sheep, cows and chickens have since been replaced with 35 elegant rooms, as well as a modern spa and two separate restaurants.
There’s far more to this property than its beautifully quaint interiors, however. Set within 220 acres of postcard-worthy meadowland, Calcot Manor conjures a feeling of secluded tranquility as soon as your car wheels crunch over the gravelled drive.
Those in need of a city escape and a break from crowds, traffic and unruly noise should mecca here immediately – it’s a private world of mellowed luxury.
It’s a little surprising, therefore, that Calcot Manor is also entirely family-friendly. Wellies for every foot size flank the reception and little people roam freely. Far from feeling like a country crèche however, the hotel retains a refined atmosphere – although guests can book a room in the main house if adults-only is preferred.
With a blend of rustic elements combined with contemporary furnishings, book The Tetbury, an enormous deluxe family suite nestled outside the main building for something both spacious and secluded.
Spread across two floors, unwind in the large living room, vast master bedroom (complete with four poster bed) and fully kitted out bathroom. There’s also a further bedroom, with two single beds.
The little details conjure Cotswolds charm in the shape of complimentary full-size spa products, Nespresso machines and welcoming fruit bowls piled high with plump satsumas. There’s also mini chocolate boxes too, for those seeking a different kind of sweet.
Guests can choose between two dining destinations, The Conservatory and The Gum Stool. The latter is a friendly pub filled with British classics whilst The Conservatory is ideal for a more couture culinary experience.
With large windows offering sprawling countryside views and a menu brimming with locally sourced produce, The Conservatory serves an array of dishes fused with Mediterranean flair.
The menu changes seasonally, but this autumn you can devour prawn ravioli, tender venison loin and a variety of fish options. The Isle of Gigha halibut, with a crisp yet supple texture is very good, especially when paired with one of the restaurant’s numerous white wines.
Dessert is essential, of course. Shut your eyes to the calories and swoop a spoon through the chocolate and banana bar with creamy peanut butter ice cream. Decadence has never tasted so good.
The Gumstool Inn is no ordinary gastro pub either – you’ll find it listed in the Michelin guide. Described as “cosy” and “cheerful,” expect gourmet pub grub such as tomato & caramelised tart, steaks, crispy beer-battered cod and chunky, satisfyingly melt-away chips.
A visit to the modish spa should be mandatory with every check-in. Whilst there’s only one steam room and sauna, the space remains fairly vacant even during peak times.
Unwind on comfy recliners before taking a dip in the indoor pool or prop your feet up in the piping hot outdoor hot tub. On chillier days, an outside log fire adds enchantment to the experience, with smokey scents creating a feeling of earthy countryside bliss.
There’s also a state-of-the-art gym for anyone seeking exercise, as well as a in-spa bar offering a variety of light bites and drinks. Back in the changing rooms, everything from spray deodorant and hairspray to drying machines and pampering toiletries await. The devil’s in the detail – and Calcot’s are angelic.
It’s worth noting that many locals use the Calcot Spa as their regular health club, so the narrow space can be busy at times.
The Wordrobe Verdict
Immerse yourself in the refined charm of Calcot Manor for a gourmet rural escape. With superb service and stylish serenity, there’s no doubt that Wordsworth himself could have been spotted penning poetry in the bubbles of Calcot Spa’s jacuzzi.
Make it happen
How: Rooms start from £274 per night. To find out more and start the adventure, please click here or phone 01666 890391.
Where: Gloucestershire, Tetbury GL8 8YJ
Words by Sophie Ritchie