For our mini-break last week we decided that rather than attempt the 5 hour drive (best case scenario) from Manchester to Dorset, we would split the journey in two and treat ourselves to a luxurious overnight stay in the Cotswolds area. Secret Escapes are full of this kind of thing, as I am constantly aware from their daily emails, so that’s where I went to find us a fantastic deal for a stay at a lovely country Cotswolds hotel.
We paid £144 (including the Secret Escapes commission on top of the advertised price of £139) and for that we got a 1 night stay for 2 at Hatton Court Hotel, a cream tea on arrival, a 5-course taster dinner, and a full breakfast in the morning. I think the hotel more than lived up to my expectations so I ended up being even more pleased with that deal than I was when I first bought it!
The hotel itself is in the middle of the countryside, which is perfect for a retreat away from the city hustle and bustle. It was perfect for what we wanted, but I would say that you’d need a car if you wanted to use it as a base for seeing the Cotswolds as it’s pretty isolated. The views over the sprawling hills are fantastic, and you can enjoy these to best effect from the outdoor decking area by the bar. This is where we enjoyed our “cream tea” on arrival, which (to our delight) was upgraded to a full-blown afternoon tea complete with sandwiches and cakes, simply because they’d made one up in the kitchens by mistake. Right place at the right time eh?!
So that was a great first impression, and we loved our room too. It was only a classic (standard) room, but even so it was lovely, spacious and bright, with a bed big enough for 3 people and a giant corner bath, which I made sure I took advantage of! I loved the Cotswolds country touches, from the rustic colour scheme to the Georgian leaded windows.
And as I mentioned, we also got a 5-course taster menu dinner as part of the package. This was an experience! The food was lovely and quite different from anything we probably would have chosen off the standard menu, so it was a lovely treat. The amuse bouche of tomato soup and freshly baked bread obviously didn’t last long as I didn’t get a photo, but the other delicious courses are below.
Wiltshire pork fritter with artichoke and rhubarb
Brixham seabass with cockles, pearl barley and baby vegetables
Moroccan lamb with lamb shoulder, cous cous, red pepper and courgette
Carrot cake with caramelised carrot
We had a fantastic night’s sleep here as well as all the eating, and it was the perfect interval for our drive down south. I’d definitely recommend the hotel itself (particularly if there are any similar deals available) and I’d also recommend Secret Escapes for finding little gems like this one-night package.