If you’re looking for a cosy winter retreat, a snug stay at a Gloucestershire hideaway could be just the thing. An historic 18th-century mansion house, Cotswolds88 is nestled in the village of Painswick, a gem in the Cotswolds’ crown. We packed up our bags and headed off for an overnight break to escape the London smog.
Carved from Cotswold stone, the exterior exudes old-school charm, while the interior is a designer’s dream. An array of colours, textures and chic designer furnishings offer a treat for the eyes while retaining top-notch comfort factor. No wonder it won a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award in 2012 in the Trendiest UK Hotels category.
Our individually designed "Room with a View" came equipped with a luxurious bed, a plasma TV and a Jacuzzi bath with Molton Brown toiletries. Finishing touches included a turn-down service that left a sweet bedtime treat on the pillow, just one of the many little bits of attention to detail that made us feel like valued guests.
During the day, we reclined in the lounge-cum-library with the weekend papers and a coffee (or I’d recommend exploring the gardens if there’s a chance of sunshine). While we had some rather serious food envy over the impressive-looking afternoon tea, we opted not to spoil our appetite as we'd been told that dinner is a feasting treat.
The restaurant boasts three AA Rosettes and it didn’t take long to work out why. Our delectable dinner kicked off with a miniature fish-and-chip amuse bouche while we treated ourselves to a couple of imaginative cocktails from the chic hotel bar. We were then presented with a 4-course menu of locally-sourced produce, prepared by noted chef Lee Scott -- a former colleague of Gordon Ramsay and Chef of the Year at the Cotswold Life Food & Drinks Awards 2010. After stuffing ourselves with hot smoked Loch Duart salmon with Cheltenham beetroot and horseradish cream, Cotswold lamb rump, lavender ice cream with poached rhubarb and an exceptional cheese board, we can certainly confirm that Cotswolds88 is a food-lovers’ dream.
Brekkie was a laid-back affair: the usual blend of healthy options and home-cooked treats served with a smile and a suitably strong cappuccino.
Just 10 minutes’ drive from Gloucester and 40 minutes from Bath, Cotswolds88 is in a great location for exploring some of the most scenic sights of the Cotswolds, or simply strolling round the pretty village of Painswick, with tea rooms, a pub or two and a stunning church to keep you occupied between meals.