Over the past few years, the Cotswolds have earned their hospitality stripes for providing tourists with the idyllic countryside getaway from modern city life. Not only is it’s sub two hour train journey from London appealing, but its impressive collection of boutique B&B’s and known foodie destinations set wanderluster’s tongues wagging at rapid pace too.
A short detour from the M5 and you arrive in the post-card perfect town of Painswick – an unspoilt civil parish in the county of Gloucestershire. Aside from being the hometown to a handful of fortunate inhabitants (and their dogs), it’s also the location of The Painswick Hotel – an 18th Century house that boasts history, charm and an impressively stocked in-house cocktail bar. Part of the Calcot Manor group, this Palladian building has seen a serious shape-up – offering guests a truly luxurious experience without the stuffy pretentiousness.
With 16 well-dressed bedrooms, a contemporary restaurant and Elemis treatments on offer – this showstopper speaks for itself.
Utterly spoilt – the boudoirs at The Painswick aim to exceed expectations, and they do. It’s not often you can walk into a hotel room and struggle to find faults – from the King Sized beds with padded mattress protectors, to the home baked marshmallows and imaginative mini-bar treats, every detail is thought of – even the unthought-of. With romantic views over the Slad Valley, sumptuously soft bed linen and bathtubs that were made for bubbles (including the bathing variety), you’ll settle into your indulgence in no time. If you’ve planned for a romantic getaway, take advantage of the hotel’s own Painswick Picnic – a freshly made goodie bag full of quintessential treats us to enjoy on a ramble in the countryside (champagne flutes, cucumber sandwiches and Burts crisps included). If you’re worried that your SS17 frocks don’t quite cater for the unpredictable English weather and hillside walking, you’ll be pleased to note that the hotel has a large selection of Wellington boots and rainproof jackets on hand to protect your latest purchases. If hibernation is on your agenda, pop on your robe provided and sneak away to the Painswick’s own snug for a luxury Elemis treatment. Tucked away from the main premises, you’ll feel totally relaxed as you melt away from the outside world – the perfect time to dream about your evening dinner choices.
As you’d expect from first impressions, the restaurant doesn’t fall short. Devon Head Chef Michael Bedford is behind the seasonal British menu choices drawing on traditional influences for his contemporary offerings. Buttery charcuterie meats served with handmade bread and olives provide a delicious intro, whilst the Twice baked Parmesan soufflé, is a must-have treat for those with an inquisitive palette. The mains are condensed down to a select, yet profound few – allowing the focus to centre around the quality and care of presentation. Bedford showcases his flair by plating up ‘contemporary-contradictions’ (Lobster & black pudding pie, lobster gravy and Duck leg ‘en daube’ in red wine, bacon, mushroom, button onion) that will leave your tastebuds wanting more. In particular, Michael’s take on the classic Beef Wellington shows true justice to his culinary creativity – tender meat, creamy dauphinoise sides and a light pastry parcel, this gentleman has pretty much mastered pure gastronomic gluttony. Breakfast deserves just as much credit – enjoy a ‘help yourself’ assortment of dairy-free bircher muesli, sourdough toast and pastries, or continue the indulgences with Grilled Manx kipper with lemon & chive butter or Boston pancakes with fresh blueberry compote from the list of cooked options. If like me you hold the appetite of a small herd, I recommend trying both hot and cold selections – you are on holiday, remember. Whether you prefer the intimacy of the restaurant quarters, or the picturesque benefits of eating alfresco – rest assure that service, quality and foodie enjoyment will be endured by all involved.
So if you're travel appetite has been whet by the magnificence of The Painswick, treat yourself to the delights that this unique Cotswolds getaway has to offer. If you're still 10% unsure, scroll down and let the Peanut Butter & White Chocolate Parfait sway you.
Rooms start from £149.00*
To book, please head over to their website.
(*SPRING OFFER: Breakfast, a 3-course dinner, comp. upgrade, transfer from Stroud station and 2 tickets to Painswick Rococo garden for £274)