No.38 The Park, Cheltenham
Nestled in the art-filled heart of Cheltenham, this Georgian and gorgeously chic boutique guesthouse makes for the ultimate British staycation – and a fantastic base for those looking to explore the wider Cotswolds landscape.
22 March, 2022
If you've ever been to Cheltenham, you've likely heard of power couple Sam and Georgie Pearman - the founders and faces behind the incredibly successful Lucky Onion and Country Creatures groups. It was in 2017 that the pair swapped the frenetic pace of their city lifestyle for the quieter Cotswolds. Since then, the design-driven two have taken traditional mansions and turned them into chic guesthouses, upgraded rustic pubs, creating trendy watering holes, and given outdated restaurants their mojo back. It's their Georgian townhouse, No.38 The Park, however, that has stolen our hearts.
Located on the edge of the pristine Pittville Park and just a 10-minute drive from Cheltenham's vibrant Montpellier district, the dazzling three-storey property is wrapped by hedges groomed to perfection. Its extravagant matte black front door, flanked by two stone pillars, makes you feel that perhaps you should curtsey upon arrival. Instead, ring the doorbell. On entering, you'll be ushered into a bright and spacious hall, with olive-green-coloured walls and chequer-tiled flooring.
The thing is, despite its grand features, this place is extraordinarily intimate - making it your perfect choice if you're looking to escape with your main squeeze. Equally, it's the kind of place where guests get to know one another as opposed to simply exchanging an awkward nod when grabbing an extra croissant at breakfast. Make it your base for exploring the nearby chocolate-box villages of the Cotswolds. Check in after a thrilling day trackside at the Cheltenham Festival, or simply come and snuggle down for a sumptuous taste of the good life.
There are 13 bedrooms, each individually designed (by Georgie herself, might we add), in which stylish furnishings artfully complement original features. Picture ceilings laced with leaf coving, whitewashed, wood-panelled walls and floor-to-ceiling sash windows offering sweeping views across lush greenery. We love the mustard-yellow armchairs, sailor-blue chesterfield beds and abstract paintings on the walls. The real draw, though, is the bathrooms. In your en-suite, you'll find a claw-foot bath offering a tray filled with Bramley soaps and shampoos, a walk-in shower that's large enough to accommodate a double-decker bus and two separate basins. Be aware: four of the rooms are shower-only.
What's for breakfast?
If the thought of a swim in the bathtub wasn't enough to make you spring out of bed, the sweet smell of freshly baked pastries sure will. The buffet-style breakfast is a tasty spread of locally sourced honeys and jams, fruit platters and cereal options that will make you vow to restock your own pantry the second you get home. Start the day the right way by ordering the full English: it would be rude not to when it's included in the room rate.
How about lunch and dinner?
While there's no lunch or dinner service in the guesthouse, you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to good eateries nearby. The Tavern gets our vote, for its convivial atmosphere, home-style cooking - whole grilled mackerel or ox cheek bourguignon, anyone? - and old-school puddings.
Is there a bar?
Obviously. Open-brick walls, wooden beams and wired pendant lights are the backdrop for a stellar wine menu. Bar snacks are on hand in case you fancy a nibble with your glass of red.
Televisions loaded with Apple TV are built into beds, Dyson air coolers regulate the temperature and there's a glorious courtyard garden that's ideal for bookworms looking for a private place to nestle down.
How about their green credentials?
We've done some digging and haven't found anything groundbreaking.
What about accessibility?
There's an enormous ground-floor room, adapted with two spacious twin showers and a lowered bed.
Things I should know
No.38 The Park is known for hosting seriously wicked race-day after-parties. Fancy getting in on the action? Plan your stay around event dates, when the front lawn plays host to a gigantic cream gazebo and banging live music.
Within a short walk I can find…
Get your caffeine fix at shabby chic The Curious Café & Bistro. Yes, it's a 30-minute walk away, but stretching your legs is never a bad idea. Plus, the pancakes make every step worth it.