You’ve completed your 40 hour week, Friday after work drinks ended at 4am. Your body is riddled with sin. What’s better than a modern day rehab in the countryside. Exploring quintessentially English villages in the heart of the Cotswolds. Driving, leaving your sins behind, you come across an 18 room country house set in the beautifully landscaped countryside.
2.5 hours from Manchester is Barnsley House and Spa. Not far enough to send a postcard home to your parents but feeling a million miles away from the city. The honey-coloured stone boutique hotel with postcard picturesque gardens has rooms individually designed with its own character and to such a high spec. Every little detail is considered from the pillows lined up like soldiers to the perfectly placed magazines. We were fortunate to have two roll tap baths, double sink, Bose music system and a 4 poster bed. The pinnacle of luxury and no arguments over who sits at the “plug end”.
The unwind from the week wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Barnsley spa and skin care centre. They offer an extensive treatment list, outdoor hydrotherapy pool, sun loungers and a relaxation room. That hangover is drifting away, but also being topped up with a cold beer in the outside tub!
Once relaxed enjoy a movie in the on site private cinema, one for the girls as it’s complete with pink leather sofas. Enjoy afternoon tea in the restaurant and lounge areas or have the friendly folk organise free bike hire, horse riding, river rowing, fishing, shooting, golf and polo all of which can be arranged in the surrounding areas.
Food is always at the top of my agenda, especially when it’s fresh and prepared using local produce. The bread is that fresh, it’s baked at the on site bakery. Before sitting down for dinner enjoy the gin bar with over 21 different Gins. Sip your “gin and juice” whilst studying the menu. Bit of a combination, they offer best of British from Italian head chef, serving home grown favourites alongside a taste of Italy. It actually works, menu highlights are Arancini or the house speciality Vincigrassi all served with “Crop Favourites” just picked, veg, jellies, jams, and pickles all grown in the garden grounds. The menu tells a story. Introducing the local fish monger, butcher and even giving the background on the chicken, where he grew up, his family, egg colour, name… no hang on, too many gins!!! Almost seems a shame to eat it when you know the hard work the team have gone through to grow and rear such spectacular meat and veg.
The dining room is set in an aroma of Rosemary placed on perfectly pressed napkins. Our seat over looked the gardens….each bush uniform and trimmed to perfection. If eating and gardening is your thing then don’t miss lunch with Stephen Anderton on 19th May. Be sure to order all 3 courses, wash down with some wine and be tempted by the buffet style cheese board!
A perfect weekend, in perfect surroundings.
Bedroom rates start at £209 per night with breakfast included and use of spa facilities.
Barnsley House, Barnsley, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 5EE.
Tel: 01285 740000
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