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Enjoy the essence of The Cotswolds

Foxhill Manor exterior

Sydney Paulden is a guest at Foxhill Manor, now an exclusive venue

I was dreaming that I was asleep in a four-poster bed in a huge bedroom in a beautiful manor house in the Cotswolds - and that I was lucky enough to have a house butler and chef.
Then I woke up – to find it wasn’t a dream. I was in Foxhill Manor!
Foxhill Manor was built in the Arts & Crafts architectural style in 1907. It was a stately home on hills overlooking the village of Broadway. It has just been totally refurbished and is now available as a country retreat for exclusive use.

Inside it is impossible to walk past a window without looking out over the countryside. These are not simply views. They are vistas. They take in forests, grassy slopes, fertile valleys leading the eye over miles of fields to the Vale of Evesham, the Garden of England. The only interruption is likely to come from the movements of roaming deer, pairs of pheasants and flocks of sheep.

Foxhill Manor has just eight suites, lounge and dining room and, of course, its own kitchens. It is difficult to imagine a venue more likely to stimulate thought processes for brainstorming in undisturbed privacy. It will become a favourite for gatherings of boards of directors and spouses and for upmarket anniversary celebrations. Wi-Fi is freely accessible throughout. And it is not as costly as one might imagine. The whole 8-suite manor house, with the polished service of the highly experienced English butler, Mairek (pronounced Merrick), is £3500 per weekday.

Foxhill Manor is located in the 400-acre Farncombe estate that takes in corners of Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire. A mile away, but still on the same estate, is Dormy House Hotel, whilst, tucked away in one of the dips in the hills, is the self-contained 89-bedroom Farncombe Conference Centre which has a range of meeting facilities in a village-like cluster of buildings.

Transport is provided immediately on request for transfer between the manor house and the hotel, where there are two restaurants.

The Garden Room Restaurant, recently voted Best Hotel Restaurant in the Cotswolds, has floor-to-ceiling windows to make the most of the enchanting garden views. It is fine dining, but on the Farncombe Estate there is elegance without being stuffy or over-formal. General Manager of Dormy House and Foxhill Manor is Sarah Stacey and she describes the ambiance as: ‘Five-star, but you can walk on the grass’.

The Potting Shed provides traditional English pub food, but cooked, in my opinion, to 5-star standards. How else can you explain 18-hour roasted pork melting in the mouth like butter? Or ice cream served in an array of ramekins, each with flavours such as salted peanut, vanilla, chocolate or pistachio?

Dormy House now boasts the recently opened House Spa. Its masseuses are Harley Street trained, there are two separate gyms, one exclusive to hotel guests, and a 16-metre pool for a good swim.

The essence of the whole experience is the quality of English country hospitality coupled with friendship and a keenness to serve. Visit the estate’s website It conveys it remarkably well.

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