Foxhill Manor, Cotswolds, UK

Foxhill Manor, Cotswolds, UK

This “private country house hotel” on the Farncombe Estate in the Cotswolds is favourite among smart urbanites for its uniquely personal touch.



One
of the most popular destinations for a weekend getaway from
London,
the Cotswolds
has no shortage of boutique hotels to choose from. It’s actually
pretty difficult to find somewhere that you won’t have a pleasant
stay, but if you’re looking for something unique – one of those
hotels that you will remember and no doubt return to, time and time
again – Foxhill Manor is a cut above the
rest.

Why? Luxury is no longer about being over the top – in decor,
service or food – it’s about understated brilliance, and ultimately
a feeling of comfort. In a hotel, we want somewhere that feels like
home but better – a place you can curl up in an armchair, feet
tucked up beneath you; where you can have your meals at any time of
day or fix yourself a snack; where you can pour yourself a fourth
glass of wine and pad along the corridor in your slippers to the TV
room without judging looks (even if it is 3pm).

We also want to be spoiled rotten – in the spa,
in the restaurant or simply in bed linen. It’s an exceptionally
difficult balance to strike, but Foxhill – described as “a private
country house hotel” – nails it, largely due to the staff, though
the gorgeous grade-II-listed building and help-yourself drinks
trolley are further sweeteners.

Rooms

There are only eight guest bedrooms (including three suites), so
this is akin to staying at the country pile of the friend you wish
you had. Each room is decorated differently – low-key and
comfortable; think pretty wallpapers, curtains that satisfyingly
swish when you draw them, soft carpets and mammoth beds with
tombstone-sized pillows. Exactly the kind of place you want to
tumble into after a long, windy walk or languid dinner. We
particularly like the window-side twin freestanding bathtubs in the
Oak suite, complete with countryside views.

What’s for breakfast?

Whatever you like. There are no set menus at Foxhill – guests
are encouraged to wander into the kitchen and chat to head chef
Richard Thorpe, who will happily whip up a plate of something
divine for even the fussiest of diners. Eat your breakfast wherever
takes your fancy – this is your home for the weekend, after all. We
particularly like the first-floor window table, for its privacy and
more views.

How about lunch and dinner?

Who says you’ll be obeying “normal” meal times while you’re
here? “Linner” can be a thing, if you like. When hunger calls,
potter to the kitchen to survey a blackboard of seasonal, locally
sourced ingredients – scallops, pork belly, roast chicken, John
Dory, asparagus, beetroot, cheeses (the list goes on) – and have a
chat with chef to design your bespoke dish. It’s really something
quite special, as are the kitchen team, who show unrelenting
patience and charm despite having a stream of guests traipsing in
and out of their immaculate workspace.

Is there a bar?

Yes, though we think prefer the drinks trolley in the sitting
room. Help yourself to a complimentary range of soft drinks,
spirits, wine and house champagne as you settle into a deliciously
plump sofa with a book or board game.

Amenities

Guests are able to use any of the facilities on the estate,
which is home to two other hotels – Dormy House and The Fish Hotel – each of which have
their own restaurants. Staff will happily ferry you between the
properties. Don’t miss a visit to Dormy’s state-of-the-art spa.

Things I should know

The hotel is “super” dog-friendly
but less keen on children – no under 12s allowed. If the weather is
ghastly and you feel like cosying up, head to the snug cinema room
to hunker down for a movie marathon. Don’t miss the pantry at the
top of the stairs either, stocked with so many snacks you won’t be
able to resist a clandestine midnight feast.

Within a short walk you can find…

Borrow some wellies and make tracks over the fields to Broadway,
one the Cotswolds poster villages for its traditional honey-stone
houses. If you’re feeling fatigued, give the staff a bell and
they’ll drive down and pick you up from whichever pub or local
gallery you’ve instilled yourself in.

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The Fish Hotel, Cotswolds, UK