Barnsley House – Nr Cirencester, Gloucestershire
If you dream of a hotel that’s not too large and not too small, somewhere effortlessly chic yet close to nature, with not only a famous garden but also a discreet spa and intimate cinema, then look no further than this gorgeous Cotswold retreat. Since becoming sister hotel to the admirable Calcot in 2009, Barnsley House has never looked better. The handsome 17th-century manor house is set in an intricate yet natural garden created by renowned horticulturist Rosemary Verey, whose centenary of birth is celebrated in 2018. No two bedrooms are the same, yet all are cool and comfortable, blending classy furniture and state-of-the-art facilities (such as cinema surround sound and plasma screens in bathrooms) that blend with traditional elements like old beams, stone fireplaces and wooden floors. As for lovely The Potager restaurant, its elegant, fresh and unfussy food is served in a cleverly-mirrored white and cucumber-green room, which leads to a pretty terrace overlooking that entrancing garden.
The beautiful gardens in bloom, designed by the ‘doyenne of the gardening world’ Rosemary Verey, and have a potter around the kitchen garden.
The house speciality, Vincigrassi, a moreish mix of porcini mushrooms, Parma ham and home-made pasta, perfected by Italian Head Chef Francesco Volgo.
Pop down to the Village Pub, which is part of The Calcot Collection and just across the road from the hotel, for local beer on tap or a long lazy Sunday lunch.