Famed for its stunning landscape gardens, Barnsley House – the decidedly grown-up Cotswold country break destination – is just what you need for a spot of pampering this winter
Words Hannah Hopkins
What is it?
A 17th-century Cotswold stone country house that operates as a chic boutique hotel. As well as having contemporary rooms, memorable food and a dreamy spa, it’s also just four miles from the pretty, bustling market town of Cirencester.
Grown ups looking for an immensely relaxing retreat (note the state-of-the-art spa with hydrotherapy pool), couples looking for a romantic weekend break not too far from London or babymooners in the market for a UK break.
Why go now?
Enviable winter breaks don’t get much better than at Barnsley House, where roaring fires are lit, long lazy lunches are served, the gardens are frostily beautiful and you can plunder the steam, sauna and treatment rooms for a well-earned spot of pampering.
The six bedrooms in the main house range from large attic suites with fabulous views over the garden to the hotel’s smallest, but still generously sized, double room looking onto the front drive. Creamy furnishings enhance engaging artworks, all based on the theme of nature – a row of bird houses; a chandelier cleverly created out of flower pots. Bathrooms are a big draw here, with features such as roll-top baths, twin sinks, walk-through showers and flatscreen TVs. We’re big fans of Room Seven, which has its own conservatory and garden.
Home-grown vegetables, salad leaves and herbs plucked straight from the kitchen garden are the USP of the super-fresh dishes at the on-site Potager restaurant. Breakfasts are particularly pleasing, when tables are topped with linen napkins and sprigs of rosemary, ready for you to tuck into freshly baked breads and eggs.
The 11 acres of grounds, designed by former owner Rosemary Verey, legendary gardener, designer and writer. With a distinctive ‘secret garden’ vibe, you can spend hours seeking out the beautiful ponds, hanging seating and vegetable plots hidden inside.
Rooms start from £249. Visit barnsleyhouse.com for further information.