I would choose country life over city life any day
Enjoy a luxury dog-friendly break in the Cotswolds
Review by Kate Morfoot
Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire is a delight and rightly boasts being one of the most beautiful market towns in the UK. You can enjoy this historic town at your own pace. Walk, talk, eat, drink and sight-see in unspoilt surroundings.
This unique town in the Cotswolds seems to have resisted the passage of time, not losing any of its charm from days gone by with its elegant terraced high street made of honeyed stone buildings, its iconic Market Hall with ornate arches built in 1627 and refreshingly no chain stores, just unique independent shops.
The grand Cotswold House Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of the town and is frequented by many looking to enjoy a leisurely break. There’s plenty to see and do just a stone’s throw from the hotel including the Old Silk Mill, St James Church and the Market Hall. There’s great shopping for antiques, British made clothes and George Jensen designer homeware. There are no shortages of cafes, restaurants and hostelries in the town making this destination a one-stop break for fun and relaxation.
Cotswold House is dog-friendly making this hotel the perfect luxury stay for owners and their ‘fur children’ and if you like walking, Chipping Campden is the starting point of the 164km Cotswold Way walk to Bath.
Interestingly, we met many people embarking on the full walk or doing the short circular walk to Dover’s Hill, which we and our dogs accomplished taking in the stunning views of the Vale of Evesham. Amazingly this was the site of the original English Olympic Games in 1612.
The Cotswold House Hotel & Spa has been a hotel since the late 1930’s and boasts a two AA Rosette award in its Fig Restaurant. Tastefully decorated, the restaurant is perfect for a romantic evening where you will be served excellent food from the À La Carte or the seven course Tasting Menu with a wine flight option. The restaurant is also where you can enjoy a continental buffet or a cooked breakfast as well as their elegant afternoon tea.
Casual dining can be found at the Bistro on the Square, quite a buzzy part of the hotel frequented by locals and guests offering all day informal dining and one of the most extensive gin lists I have ever seen.
Our Junior Suite was luxurious, not just for us but also for our two poochies, Fizz, (Norfolk Terrier) and Isla, (black Labrador). The hotel supplied comfortable dog bedding, bowls and a doggy bag which included an ‘on the go’ water bottle and bowls with paw balm. We had a king-size bed and all you’d expect from home-from-home luxury. The bathroom was impressive with a super-sized stone oval-shaped bathtub – I bet the largest one in Chipping Campden! It had a huge walk-in deluge shower and double hand basins. The French doors from our bedroom opened up onto a private courtyard terrace and a small lawn with tables and chairs to sit and enjoy tea for two. Further beyond the fuchsia lined path we found perfectly manicured gardens, the Gin Terrace and places to sit, sunbathe and relax; although the hotel is in the middle of the town, the gardens are peaceful. Beyond the gardens, their spa is the place to enjoy a swim or steam and their range of Decléor treatments.
Opposite the hotel is their sister establishment, The Noel Arms. It is one of the oldest Inns in the Cotswolds. It has 28 bedrooms and apparently Charles II stayed there during the English Civil War. If you like curry, then you are in luck as the head chef, Indunil Upatissa, has been awarded the Great British Pub Awards for the Best Curry Chef on three occasions. I was excited to try this given the first-class reviews. I wasn’t disappointed with the delicious starter of Chicken Satay I really enjoyed my spicy main course, Black Lamb curry, it tasted award-winning to me!