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Along with our self-deprecating humour, British people seem to wholeheartedly embrace the clichés bestowed upon us. Give us a queue and we’ll stand in it; give us sun cream and we will still burn – and give us a grand country manor in the Cotswolds and we will shamelessly stand on a lawn, sipping Pimm’s and pretending we know how to play croquet. Such is the grandeur of Calcot, that it invites guests to luxuriate in the most quintessential of British pastimes.
A sprawling estate, dominated by the ivy-clad Cotswold-stone main house, the manor epitomises a hedonistic country retreat. Just as beautiful as its sister hotel, Barnsley House, Calcot comes with the added benefit of being child- and dog-friendly. With roaring log fires and deep sofas it makes for a cosy winter bolthole, but lush greenery the hotel really comes into its own in the spring and summer months when you can stroll through the gardens in full bloom, take a dip in the outdoor pool or enjoy a G&T beside it.
While all come complete with soft-toned furnishings, deep beds and other luxury staples such as fluffy robes and espresso machines, each is unique in how it embraces its own space. The 12 rooms in the main house are adult only, while those in the courtyard are perfect for children thanks to separate bedrooms equipped with funky bunkbeds.
What’s for breakfast?
Served up in the airy surrounds of the conservatory restaurant overlooking the grounds beyond, there is a standard buffet with more indulgent hot options on the made-to-order menu.
How about lunch and dinner?
There are two on-site offerings; the more formal conservatory is best suited to hazy summer days while nothing beats hunkering down in the convivial pub, The Gumstool, on a cold winter night.
Is there a bar?
In the true style of a Cotswold manor house there are several rooms in which to imbibe at any time of day. If the weather is nice, enjoy a sun-downer on the picturesque lawns – but don’t expect a raucous atmosphere, this is a place for civilised, slow-paced indulgence.
Everything is geared towards hedonism at Calcot. The spa comes with an obligatory steam room and sauna, while an impressive outdoor hot tub is gloriously ensconced in a honey-coloured stone courtyard with its own outdoor fire. If the gym, indoor and outdoor pools aren’t enough, follow the on-site three-mile “trim trail” around the surrounding hills on foot, bike or Segway.
Things you should know
If you’re here for romance, book a room in the main hotel building which is kiddie-free, avoid the pool during certain hours and dine late when all the little ones have gone to bed. The hotel is also well-suited to canine companions who are allowed in certain rooms if you give advance notice.
Within a short walk you can find
You’re in the depths of the Cotswolds so you’ll need a car to explore properly. True cider country surrounds, so don a pair of wellies, grab a map and set out for the local footpaths. For more of an urban feel head to Tetbury, Malmesbury or Cirencester, but the star of the local area has to be Westonbirt Arboretum, which is at its most resplendent during autumn and spring.
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