A Place to Stay – Cotswold House Hotel & Spa
Photos Courtesy of Rob Tysall, Tysall’s Photography.
Ann Evans took a trip to the Cotswolds and discovered a luxurious and relaxing retreat in Chipping Camden.
If you are taking a break in or around the Cotswolds area, then the perfect place to stay is the Cotswold House Hotel and Spa. Situated in the pretty town of Chipping Campden, this 4 star, award-winning hotel offers luxuriously comfortable bedrooms and suites, roaring open fires and a fine dining dinner service in the Fig Restaurant, which was awarded 2 AA Rosettes in 2018.
The Cotswold House Hotel and Spa is situated in The Square with parking in front of the building for ease of booking in, and free parking at the rear of the hotel. Delightful gardens and cobbled pathways lie in between, along with the Spa which is complimentary to all the hotel residents. This comprises of six treatment rooms, a hydrotherapy area with heated hydrotherapy pool and an aromatic steam room. The hotel’s therapists are available seven days a week and they offer massages, body treatments and facials.
On my visit there recently, there was no mistaking an air of tranquillity about the place as you arrived, along with warmth from the crackling fires and a friendly welcome. There are 28 air-conditioned rooms, and I have to say my room was magnificent. High ceilings, plenty of mirrors an enormous comfy bed with a huge padded headboard that reached way above my head.
Darkly elegant bedroom furniture stood alongside a desk, coffee table and a large comfortable sofa. There was uniquely stylish modern lighting and some lovely touches that spoke of attention to detail and consideration for the guests by manager Craig Webb and his team, such as fresh fruit and a little box of a box of handmade chocolate bonbons. Even the tea making facilities had their own elegant and luxurious style of kettle, teapot and cafetière along with delicious cookies in a little glass jar.
The rooms all have a refrigerator, a LED TV and free Wi-fi. And had it been a summer’s day rather than a rainy November, then I could have taken tea out on my own little patio. As for the bathroom with its complimentary toiletries and bathrobes, this was absolutely stunning in a modern contemporary style that was nothing less than beautiful.
You could enjoy a drink at the bar/lounge with its amazing choice of gins and eat either in the Bistro or The Fig – or if you didn’t want to leave your lovely room, there was the option of the 24-hour room service. Complimentary breakfast was served from 7.30am – 10am with a wide choice of English, Continental and vegetarian dishes.
I ate in the award-winning Fig Restaurant, which also provided the loveliest of settings in white, cream and gold. Sommelier and restaurant manager Ediua Szabo clearly takes great pride in the restaurant and the food and wines it serves, and her attentiveness to all the guests ensured that everything was perfect for them. Ediua is originally from Hungary where she worked in Michelin star restaurants, and she is passionate about her wines, devoted to bringing the best and the unusual to compliment the dishes cooked by the Head Chef Gareth Hawcroft. Gareth trained to be a chef whilst serving in the Royal Air Force and has created a fabulous a la carte menu and a full 9-course tasting menu (£65 pp) – the latter being my choice for the evening, along with the Wine Flight (£35 pp).
Dinner began with a platter of homemade warm soda bread, a creamy smoked paprika butter and Maldon sea salt. This was served with a pink Cava from Spain, made unusually from 80% Trepat grapes – Catalonia’s local grape. This was followed by a lovely soup of carrot and coconut with pumpkin, spiced with paprika, coriander and sage. The spice of the soup went perfectly with the dry smoothness of the wine.
Our next wine was a Pino Grigio 2016 from France ABV 13%. This was a little bit oaky, a little bit bready with hints of Champagne. Full of flavour and went perfectly with the full flavours of the next course – Cauliflower, black garlic and quinoa. Another white wine followed; this was a 2017 Bolla ABV 12% from Italy. With Ediua talking us through the different wines she said, “The truffle and gnocchi of the next dish come from Italy, and so we have an Italian wine.” This dish smelled wonderful and was so flavoursome – wild mushroom, gnocchi, truffle – and the wine fitted one hundred percent perfectly with the rich flavours of the dish.
Sea bass was served next on this amazing taster menu, and certainly not a small portion. The sea bass was served with a Bourguignon sauce, pomme Anna and baked chicory and Ediua’s choice of wine was a Bourgogne Hautes Cote du Nuit ABV 12%.This pairing was surprising being a red wine served with fish, and as I’m not usually a lover of Burgundy, I had my doubts. However, Ediua had worked her magic again and this really was a blend made in heaven.
Beef fillet served rare – unless, like me, you really need beef served medium to well done, served with oxtail ravioli and salt baked celeriac. Ediua served a Malbec Argentinian wine which she explained was a late harvested wine giving it a complex flavour. At 14% this also worked perfectly.
A lovely lemon posset was served as a pre-dessert, followed by raspberry and passion fruit mousse, chocolate tarte and blackcurrant sorbet with a Chateau Grand Jauga Sauternes ABV 13.5% dessert wine. And finally, after coffee and petit fours was an amazing selection of local English cheeses.
A superb meal, superb wines, created and selected by a chef and sommelier who are absolutely dedicated to bringing the very best to their customers. And, as Ediua divulged, there are some special changes underway from 1st December, with a new exclusive dining experience starting in a bid to gain 3 AA Rosettes. This exclusive dining experience will include cocktails, canapés and three tasting menus. Watch this space!
Cotswold House Hotel & Spa,
The Square, Chipping Campden, GL55 6AN, United Kingdom