Calcot Manor, set within 220 acres of Cotswoldshire countryside near the charming market town of Tetbury in Gloucestershire is an elegant yet relaxed retreat for couples and families alike, all within a charming village-style layout featuring cottage-style rooms and suites, a stand-alone private event space, The Barn, and it’s own rather posh village pub, The Gumstool Inn.
If you’re a foodie you’ll be spoilt for choice, for whether you’re after casual or formal fare at Calcot, you are guaranteed elegant and seasonal cuisine and the perfect setting to fit your mood. From the award-winning Calcot Spa featuring a lounge and terrace serving healthy lunches and freshly prepared juices and smoothies to afternoon tea pre or post-treatment, to The Gumstool Inn where they have perfected and elevated the pub classic with flare. Both breakfast and a gourmet lunch and dinner are served in the Conservatory Restaurant, overlooking the extensive grounds and filled with natural daylight. Cheffy without being pretentious, The Conservatory menu is filled with appealing dishes from a classic chicken and duck liver parfait, pear chutney toasted brioche to up-to-date combinations such as roasted gilt-head bream served with curried cauliflower lentil dahl and seaweed butter.
The only danger of not being able to relax here is getting serious FOMO if you don’t manage to do everything during your stay, all the more likely if you plan to explore the world-renowned idyll that is the Cotswolds or swing by Charles and Camilla at Highgrove, just a couple of miles away. Alas, as we didn’t have a royal appointment and always plan our adventures around food, we decided to arrive ahead of check-in time in order to lunch at The Gumstool Inn, both a cosy place to dine in winter and a glorious spot during the warmer months when you can dine al fresco on the terrace and soak up the atmosphere of a perfect English spring day. A glass of rose and some salt and pepper calamari and we were on holiday.
The design of the hotel is classic country chic with stylish, quirky influences from the colonial past. There are Wellington boots in all sizes by the front door inviting you and yours to enjoy a ramble around the estate, while bicycles, a climbing frame and playground for the children and tennis courts make this a much revisited hotel with families looking to keep the young ones entertained. The spa boasts a dedicated children’s swimming pool, and for rainy days you’ll find a stash of board games in the lounge – a great opportunity to teach my husband how to play ‘Guess Who’.
Calcot Spa is well recognised as one of the loveliest in the county and the trendy café (where I had a fresh pressed pear juice) and outside courtyard with hot tub make it a place to linger from dawn until dusk, especially as the days lengthen. Even when the sun goes down it’s a great space to enjoy a cocktail due to the outside wood fire.
But there is just as much to entertain inside, from the sauna and steam room to a 16 metre indoor swimming pool and an impressive state-of-the-art gym, but frankly I was too busy enjoying a blissful hour-long full body massage with specially selected Aromatherapy Associates oil and music, decadent-sounding opera combined with a back massage being an experience I long to repeat.
Calclot Manor have all the amenities of a five star English resort coupled with the happy informality of a four star. As with all great hotels, the only thing I disliked about my stay was how quickly the time seemed to pass. One night is definitely not enough if it’s your first experience here. Before I knew it, I needed to get out of my fluffy white robe and change into something more appropriate for dinner. Enjoy an aperitif out on the lawn, watching the sun set whilst reclining in rocking-style chairs as a couple of children kick the hotel ball around. Husband rather enjoyed kicking it back to them when it came our way. Calcot really do make relaxing effortless. If you can’t unwind here you can’t unwind anywhere.
Calcot Manor, Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL8 8YJ For more information and to book please visit the website.