Recently named Hotel of the Year in The Sunday Times’ Ultimate 100 British Hotels, The Painswick is a fresh and fun Cotswolds getaway
Words Hannah Hopkins
What is it?
A restaurant-with-rooms in the heart of Cider with Rosie country – the latest and coolest boutique hotel from the Gloucestershire-based Calcot Collection, aimed at a younger crowd than the already-successful Barnsley House and Calcot Manor.
Trendy London types who want to escape to the country, without being deprived of their creature comforts and cool interiors – expect neon signage, pineapple-print wallpaper, industrial light fittings and a spot-on mix of antique furniture and contemporary mirrors.
Why go now?
Autumn is the perfect time for a Cotswold break, as the leaves turn shades of orange, red and brown, making this beauty spot even more picture-perfect. Take a ramble across the emerald hills of Cotswold Way, then return to the hotel for Martinis, sipped by an open fire.
Are retro-chic with Bakelite phones, Roberts radios and primary-coloured bird prints on the walls. There are 16 rooms in total, all with sumptuously-soft beds and plaid armchairs. We loved the special touches – miniature cakes and macaroons on arrival and a plethora of reading material that makes you feel right at home. Our tip? Opt for a room with views of the stunning Slad valley.
With a kitchen headed up by Michael Bedford – who earned a Michelin star for The Trouble House pub in Tetbury – dishes at The Painswick are described as a ‘contemporary-contradiction’. With a background in French cookery (Bedford worked with the likes of Pierre Koffman and Raymond Blanc), there is a precision to the food, but it’s delivered in an unpretentious way. Expect to dine on chicken kiev with mash, parsley & garlic butter, twice baked Parmesan soufflé with smoked salmon & spinach and rabbit leg in red wine with bacon & mushroom. Christmas menus are already out and booking up fast…
The jewel-like box bar housed in a former chapel and the alfresco terrace where, on a sunny day, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the Tuscan countryside. If you’re heading out and about, it’s worth stopping off at the 18th-century Painswick Rococo Garden or checking out the Saturday farmer’s market in Stroud.