Another Friday means another weekend break, and this time I headed back to one of my favourite places in the UK, The Cotswolds. This time however I was staying at The Painswick in the south of the region for a night away with one of my friends Anastazja. You could argue that every inch of idyllic England is wrapped up in the Cotswolds with the region running through five counties and countless towns and villages. The Cotswolds is the most beautiful place I know with rolling hills, ancient woodlands, houses oozing with history, world renowned arboretums and villages built upon honey colored stone of course…
The Painswick was the ideal location for our girls weekend away, situated in a handsome, 18th-century house with a restaurant and 16 stylish bedrooms. Formerly the oddly garish Cotswold 88 hotel, it was acquired by the Calcot Manor group who have given it a wonderful makeover, injecting panache for this former local historical manor.
READ MORE: A Cotswolds Retreat at Barnsley House
The hotel is located in the pretty Cotswolds town of Painswick, and offers breathtaking panoramas of the lovely Painswick Valley from the Grade-II listed mansion windows. The quiet town makes it the perfect place to sit back relax and be British. It is also super close to the town’s famous church and quirky Painswick Rococo Garden. The hotel also has a long and varied history, that goes well back to when iron was the weld of choice. Fast forward to 1121 and the hotel was within a thriving Saxon village headed by the Lord of the Manor; and was famous for farming skills. Of course the name ‘Cotswold’ itself is a testament to how the trade began to define the area – “Cots” meaning (in old English) the enclosure that sheep were be kept in and “Wolds” meaning bare hills.
From the moment we checked in, we were blown away by this magnificent building and the exterior is just the beginning. Inside there is witty artwork, striking prints, coffered ceilings, wooden flooring, velvet chairs and a comforting feeling throughout. I have previously stayed at their sister property Barnsley House around 30 minutes away, and it led with a similar décor. Read my review of Barnsley House.
I was also super excited about the two new treatment rooms with services supplied by Calcot Manor, where I headed upon arrival for a Classic Face & Body treatment. My incredibly treatment was performed by a lovely woman called Domina, and she made me feel right at ease before we got started. The treatment then included a Swedish back, neck and shoulder massage, combined with an ELEMIS facial, that relaxes the body and revives the skin. I was in desperate need of a facial, following a few weeks of intense work and stressful days, my skin had taken a battering! I left feeling refreshed, and glowing all over.
The hotel is home to 16 bedrooms that are individually styled and have retro-chic flourishes. Each room is different, but you can mostly find an Art Deco table here, a 1920s-style lamp there. Seven of the rooms are located in the garden wing, and the rest in the main house. Our room was located in the XX, and included a claw-foot bath with a copy of Laurie Lee’s Cider with Rosie propped up on the bath tray, as well as a Nespresso machine, and lovely skincare products in the bathroom.
They have an array of rooms, all different sized. The small rooms are tucked away in the eaves of the pretty garden wing, and they may be small but they are perfectly-formed, providing you with a great place to lay your head at night. The medium rooms are set in the gorgeous garden wing including views of the rolling hills over the Painswick Valley beyond and are they are perfect pick for sun-soaked breakfasts wiled away on the ornate Italianate terrace. Then there are big rooms, which are in the Chapel wing with quirky Palladian touches, curved walls, wonderful windows and beds begging for you to jump into. And for those wanting to splash the cash, there is George’s Suite. This one-of-a-kind suite sits flush in the main house, flaunting a four-poster bed, separate cosy sitting room, log burner, roll-top bath and shower and a ‘blow-your-socks off’ balcony to boot.
Without wanting to vacate the premises and really make the most of our visit to The Painswick, we opted for dinner in the hotel. And we chose well, as the food was incredible, staff were attentive and the atmosphere was just what I look for in a hotel restaurant. The sophisticated, yet simple menu, with an array of dishes including Crown Prince squash velouté, Stone baked beetroot burrata and Ricotta dumplings ‘Gnudi’. I opted for the Crisp pig’s head with romesco and roast onion, whilst Anastazja chose the Hand dived Orkney scallops with chorizo and shimeji mushrooms.
Then for mains we opted for the lamb and the fish dishes, of which both were amazing, with incredible flavours, and textures. We barely had room for pudding but of course obliged, and we opted to share the Salted caramel with banana and hazelnut praline.
Breakfast is also a feast with an array of options to suit every dietary requirement, including homemade granola, pastries, charcuterie and cheeses, as well as hot breakfasts including Boston pancakes with blueberries and Iberico ham omelette. After a hearty breakfast we packed up out things, checked out and left the wonderful hotel that is The Painswick.
I will be back!
Double rooms from £99 in low season; rising to £149 in high. Breakfast excluded. Free Wi-Fi.
Kemps Lane, Painswick, Gloucestershire GL6 6YB.
*I was invited to visit The Painswick but all opinions are my own, as always.
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