In a bid to beat the January blues, I always find escaping to the country is the perfect solution — getting out of the city into the fresh air, seeking some peace and quiet and importantly going on the hunt for cake… it is the weekend after all! This weekend, after (just about) surviving my first week back in the office after the Christmas break, I decided to treat myself to an afternoon in the Cotswolds with Charlotte. For those of you who are looking of a weekend getaway, spa break or even just an escape for the afternoon, Dormy House is the perfect place to retreat from the hustle and bustle of life and where you can really relax and unwind. Nestled on the Farncombe Estate on the outskirts of Broadway in the Cotswolds, you’re immediately made to feel at home as you pull up the winding driveway and walk up the lantern-lit stone stairs. Inside you’re instantly greeted by the crackle of roaring fires in the snug and library off the entrance hall, there’s plush seating to snuggle into at every turn, and staff are on hand to offer you drinks, snacks and escort you around the venue. With two restaurants (one gourmet – The Garden Room; one country-style pub – The Potting Shed), 38 rooms and suites, and an award-winning spa, this countryside gem is the perfect spot whatever the occasion.
As on this occasion we were travelling up to Dormy House just for the afternoon, we chose to dine in The Potting Shed, Dormy’s country-style upmarket pub, serving all the heartwarming dishes you’d expect at reasonable prices, from pies and battered fish and triple-cooked chips to vegetable risottos, burgers, steak and platters to share. Knowing we were looking to sample their amazing cakes in the lounge afterwards, we stuck to a light bite this time and went for the baked camembert with red onion marmalade to share, washed down with a glass of Prosecco in one of the cosy booths. Even when you’re not a guest at the hotel, the staff are so unbelievably attentive — nothing is too much, and they’re always checking you have everything you need. You can’t fault them here.
Jacket: Missguided; Jeans: Superdry; Knitted jumper: Mango; Boots: Zara; Bag: Louis Vuitton
COFFEE BY THE FIRE
If you’re like me and prefer your post-dinner drinks away from the table, Dormy House has a number of quiet spots to put your feet in front of the fire and order all manner of hot, cold and alcoholic beverages from the ‘Lounge Menu’, sample their homemade cakes or partake in a spot of afternoon tea. We decided to take our coffee (and let’s not forget the lemon drizzle cake!) in the lounge where we picked a spot in the beautiful bay window with a great view of the fire. It’s very easy for guests to while away the hours here, with a shelf lined with board games — one couple in front of the fire were playing scrabble with their Earl Grey. It’s all so laid back here. There’s no immediacy; no rush to be anywhere. It’s out of the way and unmistakably quiet. It is perhaps why Dormy House, and the Farncombe estate itself, has earned such rave reviews. One of the staff members even mentioned Lady Gaga rented exclusive use of Foxhill Manor (which sits within the grounds of the estate) while she was on tour.
For me, Dormy House has everything anyone could ever need for shutting themselves off from the World, whether it be just for a day or for a longer break. You’re surrounded by beautiful countryside in a warm and inviting environment that caters to your every whim. Fancy a dip in the pool or get a personal training session in the gym studio? No problem. Need to quench your thirst? The bar staff have you covered. Hungry? The chefs will whip you up a mouthwatering dish in no time. Need to indulge? Pick from the long list of treatments in the spa while sipping from one of the bottles of Veuve Clicquot lining the walls. Tired? Get some shut-eye in one of the beautifully finished rooms or suites upstairs. Need adventure? There’s outdoor activities from segways to clay pigeon shooting to entertain.
So…. what are you waiting for?