If your travel dreams have you spending a few days in a charming town in the country somewhere, you're not alone. You might want to bookmark this Cotswolds bolthole for the next time you're in London and want a lovely getaway.
COTSWOLDS, England - We Brits are a little obsessed with the weather. Largely because we are mostly disappointed by it. But sometimes, just sometimes, you’re lucky and a mid-week, mid-season, mini-break in the Cotswolds looks and feels exactly as you dream it would. Which was an extra bonus when staying at The Rectory Hotel, which boasts its own heated outdoor pool as well as a beautiful English garden. But had we not been so lucky and our stay had been doused in drizzle, it wouldn’t have mattered. Inside, The Rectory’s snug lounges and deep sofas and fireplaces would’ve provided a cozy and comfortable escape. It is a hotel fit for all seasons.
Rates change seasonally and typically start at £130 depending on the room type. Click here for reservations.
At a Glance
Formerly home to the church rector and his fourteen (!!!) children, the elegant house was thoughtfully refurbished in early 2017 to give its Georgian heritage a modern British luxe feel that works well. From the first crunch of the gravel drive to its light-filled drawing room where you check in, there’s a tranquility to the place that is retained throughout its snug lounge and bar through to the exquisite garden at the back.
That garden. Especially in the sunshine. It's enough to make a city girl feel wistful for countryside living. And the outdoor pool is a real treat on a sunny day, especially at the hotel’s reasonable prices.
The Place Is Perfect For
Couples, dog owners, families, and, most importantly for me, babies. (I’m a new mom on a quest to find the best baby-friendly mini-breaks in England.) The hotel provides cots, highchairs, and friendly staff who seemed more than happy to sterilize bottles and clean up after my eight-month-old’s messy meals.
Out of the fifteen rooms available in the main hotel (there are three more in a standalone cottage), we opted for a large room overlooking the entrance with huge floor-to-ceiling windows. It had all the trappings of the modern, country-chic hotel: blush pink velvet headboard, clawfoot bathtub, Bramley bath products (they have seemingly cleaned up this market), and a graphic tiled bathroom. This is by no means a complaint; this is a popular style for a reason. It all works in an unassuming and elegant way.
Food and Drink
Despite it being a small hotel, there are multiple options when it comes to dining. You can eat in the main restaurant with its cozy leather banquette seating or in glorious light-filled glass house. The main menu is sophisticated and done well. I enjoyed my Wye Valley asparagus, goats curd, puffed rice, and yuzu dressing, even if it was a little on the small side. And the chateaubriand main course really hit the spot. I also really liked the fact they offer a bar menu with lighter items like sandwiches and grilled fish – especially if you’re staying a second night. For another alternative, the hotel also owns the pub The Potting Shed, a five-minute walk away. Sadly, we didn’t get to try it. (Babies ruin a lot of plans!)
What to do nearby
The Rectory is in the village of Crudwell, between Malmesbury, with its stunning cathedral, and Cirencester, the largest town in the Cotswolds. The quaint village of Tetbury, with its plethora of antique shops, is also just a fifteen-minute drive away.