Last weekend, to celebrate Theo’s 25th birthday, we ventured out into The Cotswolds for a country retreat. Set in an 11 acres of grounds, Barnsley House, near Cirencester is the perfect haven for a weekend of relaxing in style.
The Cotwolds has always been one of my favourite places, the rolling hills, access to countryside and how you can feel at one with nature. I stayed at Ellenborough Park last spring and loved being back there so I was suitably excited when I booked a stay at Barnsley House.
Barnsley House plays host to landscaped gardens, tennis courts, a helipad, holistic spa with hydrotherapy pool, private 30-seat cinema, DVD library, traditional restaurant and 18 stunning bedrooms, ranging in size, bathroom features and style. And the grounds are suitably beautiful, just like the house, with an array of plants, fauna and trees, making you feel a million miles away from the chaos of everyday life.
Our bedroom for the night was stunning; a deluxe attic room with gorgeous views of the famous kitchen garden out the back of the property with a spacious lounge area and open plan bedroom with en-suite bathroom, with the most stunning bath tub, and walk-in shower. From the moment we stepped inside our room I felt like I had come home.
Once we had unpacked our bags and boiled the kettle for a cup of tea, we pulled on the wellies and raincoat, and headed out for a walk around Barnsley and the surrounding villages, to both explore and get a feel for an area of The Cotswolds we had never visited before.
That evening we headed down to The Potager restaurant which looks out to the gardens and was so lovely. They’ve thought of every little touch, with sprigs of rosemary and linen napkins dressing the tables and produce grown and reared in the kitchen garden.
The menu was small but dishes didn’t disappoint, I opted for the Venison which came with Red Cabbage, Haggis and fresh vegetables which was delicate on the taste-buds, whilst Theo chose the Braised Lamb Belly & Lamb Chump, onion pureé & roasted Jerusalem artichoke. We then also chose two puddings, which we shared obviously, we had one chocolate fondant and one sticky toffee pudding, both of which were amazing. I wasn’t drinking, as I am currently doing Dry January but Theo was tempted by the extensive gin menu which our lovely waiter told us about on arrival, Theo really was in his element.
And if you want some pub grub you can even nip across the road to the pub, also owned by the hotel, ironically called ‘The Village Pub’. Think open fires, papers, pints and delicious food! We headed here early evening before dinner to have drink and chat for some time.
The next day we headed down to the hotel spa, ready to feel pampered and relaxed. On arrival you are handed one of their fluffy robes, towel and slippers, and given a drink whilst you settle down to read your favourite magazine (my favourites are the travel magazines!)
After an hour of reading me and Theo jumped into the hydrotherapy pool, before I headed off for my massage in one of their treatment rooms. The treatment rooms are, as you’d expect, beautiful and you can even pick the music you want on for your treatment. The lady doing the massage was wonderful, gentle but rough in all the right places, asking me where I needed attention and she carefully kneaded out the knots in my shoulder. I truly felt relaxed and left feeling like a new woman!
Following my treatment, I made use of the herbaceous sauna and then headed to the lounge to relax on the comfiest sofas with the fluffiest blankets. I also grabbed a copy of National Geographic and as I was flicking through the pages stumbled across the one and only Kash from Budget Traveller gracing the pages of the magazine as he was named Blogger of the Year!
We had a wonderful stay at Barnsley House Hotel and I know Theo certainly did too. It was the perfect retreat for his birthday and I cannot wait to return next year for our annual pilgrimage.
*I was invited to Barnsley House Hotel & Spa for a complimentary stay but as always opinions are my own and I loved my visit to Barnsley House.