Looking for the latest in luxury yet fancy a muddy walk through nearby countryside? Emily checked into The Painswick, and struggled to leave.
I’d heard a lot about The Painswick. It seemed to be one of those Instagram favourites which always looked glorious – soaked in sunshine, settled in a Cotswold village and filled with beautiful design and great food. I’d also heard it had won numerous awards including The Sunday Times Ultimate Hotel of the Year. This place seemed to have style and substance.
We drove there from London – a mere 2 hours on the road and you’re careering down twisty lanes before arriving at the grand entrance. I say it’s grand, but it’s also the type of place with wellies in the hallway. Staff are brilliantly (as in 5 star) efficient, yet it’s not snooty or stuffy here – they’re dressed in denim and flat shoes so they can nip up and down the endless staircases and across the lawns at a moment’s notice.
The rooms are beautiful – all designed to an incredibly high quality with everything you need and more. Our roll top bath had a book stand on it with a fresh copy of ‘Cider with Rosie’, the latest magazines are in a rack next to the loo, there’s a notebook and pencil by your bed for late night thoughts and there were fresh Madeleines for us to snack on when we arrived. The beds are huge and the linen is exquisite – you really are encouraged to embrace the indulgence of real relaxation here.
Make sure you make a reservation for dinner – we visited mid week and the restaurant was already buzzing. If it’s good weather, have a drink on the terrace first and if it’s cold outside, find a window seat (life goal) or a cosy pair of armchairs and start the evening how you mean to go on. Move to your table and let the feasting begin. The kitchen here are really producing outstanding dishes – we tried the lamb sweetbreads and the grilled octopus to start both of which had us completely swooning – the flavours, the textures, the presentation. The options change regularly (this is the heart of seasonal foodie heaven and local produce) but the main courses of salmon and lamb were both excellent.
You’ll sleep deeply and peacefully here. There is something utterly satisfying about the silence that surrounds this magical corner of countryside. Full stomachs, great beds, fresh air and beautiful surroundings make for a wonderful night’s sleep and a struggle to wake up and tear yourself out of bed the next day. If you’re really struggling with that, room service is available.
However room service means you miss out on the full selection of breakfast delights. From a juice table that Wholefoods would be proud of (think the usuals done well, with extras like Apple and Beetroot and a ‘Chef’s Tonic’ rich with ginger) to homemade crumpets and delicious sourdough bread. Order your flat white and opt for the Poached Eggs on Toast with Avocado and Dukkah – your Instagram stories are going to be chockablock.
Whether you stay for a night or decide to make a longer break, there’s something really special about The Painswick which makes leaving feel sweetly sad. It’s a place that clearly works – for all sorts of people – and stays with you long after you wind back up the hill and spend the rest of the week dreaming about that bed, and those terraces, and that cold glass of wine you had looking out over the English countryside…
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