CuriousCities | Cotswolds
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COTSWOLDS TRAVEL GUIDE
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COTSWOLDS TRAVEL GUIDE

The preferred country escape of Britain’s elite, you can’t get more quintessentially English than the picturesque Cotswolds from its perfect box hedges to quaint hamlet villages

FIVE OF THE BEST

1. THE WILD RABBIT

This Bamford-owned Kingham inn is a charming country getaway

At Lady Bamford’s quaint pub stay even the topiary is on brand. This 18th century stone inn, located a few miles from the centre of Chipping Norton was lovingly renovated in 2013. The property’s 12 rooms are decorated in the Bamford’s pared-down oeuvre and are well equipped with fine linens, Bamford bath and body products and Daylesford teas. The inn’s dining room (and accompanying pub), open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, is a particular treat. Utilising produce from local farmers along with its own market garden, the impressive seasonal menu is inspired and hearty, while the wine list brings together small independent vineyards. Start the night out besides the inn’s outdoor open fire. Blankets are supplied to keep out the chill during the winter months.

TRAVEL TRUFFLE: Borrow a bike and explore this beautiful part of the British countryside. The inn’s attentive staff are on hand to provide ramblers with a plethora of paths to work off the restaurant’s delicious Daylesford-style, English breakfast.

2. THE SWAN AT SOUTHROP

This 17th century gastro pub is nestled in a quintessentially English hamlet

This isn’t just one of the most popular dining rooms in the Cotswolds because its also Kate Moss’ local. Nestled within one of the region’s most picturesque hamlets, this cosy village gastro pub offers a seasonal British menu unearthed from its own kitchen garden. During the summer months the rosé flows freely in The Swan’s adjoining Bunny Guinness-designed stone courtyard. The pub is open for lunch or dinner everyday except Sunday evening, and a booking is necessary.

TRAVEL TRUFFLE: Always wanted to rent one of those quintessentially English country cottages? In addition to a few rooms on site, you can book a house nearby in Southrop through Thyme. Beautifully appointed with modern bathrooms and kitchens, and postcard perfect gardens, these cottages even come with a breakfast basket of essentials (from local eggs to homemade bread and jams) to make you feel right at home. We loved Old Walls cottage, just a few minutes walk from The Swan.

3. BARNSLEY HOUSE

Afternoon tea in the estate’s Rosemary Verey gardens is a summer must-do

The most special part of this 18 bedroom Gloucestershire estate is its exquisite landscaped gardens, designed by Rosemary Verey OBE. During the summer months we couldn’t recommend a traditional afternoon tea amongst the hedges more highly. Follow with a leisurely stroll through the grounds and kitchen garden, which supplies the hotel’s The Potager restaurant.

TRAVEL TRUFFLE: The onsite spa’s hydrotherapy pool, which looks out onto the gardens, will wash away any gastro pub gluttony. That said, The Village Pub is also not to be missed for a hearty meal.

4. DAYLESFORD FARM

Visit for lunch at the organic Farm Shop followed by a walk around the property

For us Daylesford is a weekly Saturday pilgrimage for spelt bread, organic eggs and salad leaves, so a trip to the source was high on our Cotswolds list. Drop by for brunch or lunch at the expansive farm shop and café, followed by one of the many sign-posted walks around this evergreen property. It’s only polite to visit our hens after all. It’s also the perfect place to stock up the car, and later cottage, with organic meat and fruits and vegetables for the rest of the weekend.

TRAVEL TRUFFLE: The Farm Shop also offers a wide range of cookery courses, from nose-to-tail butchery to artisan bread making. Another must-see is the on-site garden shop that’s full of floral inspiration – when we visited it was root vegetables potted up like bulbs.

5. BAMFORD HAYBARN SPA

This health retreat offers treatments and classes 7 days a week

This beautiful, wellbeing oasis specialises in a range of pampering and rebalancing facials and massages for both men and women, incorporating Ayurveda principals and meditation. The 85 minute Bamford Signature treatment, which fuses a range of massage techniques with reflexology and Indian head massage is guaranteed to take you to a higher place. Here, you will need to book well in advance for treatments, but you can always leave the rest of your party at the Farm Shop. You’ll want to spend as much time as you can under this roof. The rest room, with its sweeping views of the surrounding paddocks, ergonomic loungers and special Haybarn tea blend with entice you to linger, trust us.

TRAVEL TRUFFLE: Also well worth checking out in advance is the Haybarn’s yoga and Pilates class schedule, which draws local residents from across the county. You could not ask for a more tranquil wellness respite.

FIVE OF THE REST

THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE

“No stretch of England is more romanticized than the Cotswolds. An afternoon’s drive from London, there is barely time for a bar of Cadbury Fruit & Nut before you’re zooming through low-slung limestone villages and rolling green.”

CREAM OF THE COTSWOLDS

“Look beyond the blooming country gardens and honey-hued walls and you’ll find this classic English hotspot has hit a fresh kind of groove. Daisy Finer has the lowdown on the funkiest places to stay, eat and shop.”

THE POWER PUB

“Your choice of watering hole says an awful lot about you, especially when it’s the Cotswolds’ Kingham Plough.”

COTWOLDS TRAVEL GUIDE

“An insider’s guide to the Cotswolds, featuring the best hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, attractions and things to do, including how to travel there and around.”

THE FARM-TO-TABLE MECCA

“The area is hardly unaccustomed to luxury. Only a two-hour drive from central London, it has long been known as an upscale weekend refuge, thanks to its graceful, generous estates, old-world hotels, and rolling green hills.”