There are loads of places to cosy up in the Cotswolds, and when winter hits, this is one of our favourite things in the UK to do. If there’s lounges by a log fire, creaky old bedrooms with wooden beamed ceilings, and some good grub to eat, we are sold. A recent visit to Dormy House gave us all these simple pleasures in spades, but this is one Cotswolds hotel that also has a few extra tricks up its sleeve.
Set in an old stone 17th century farmhouse building just outside the village of Broadway, Dormy House is classic Cotswolds chic. Driving up in the pouring rain from London one Friday afternoon, it was a relief to get inside our room for the night, The Attic Room (yep you guessed it, it’s in the attic). At the top of the house, you feel as though you’re in your own private apartment, with sloping ceilings and old wooden beams providing plenty of character.
There’s a small living room area with leather sofa, as well as underfloor heating in the bathroom which felt oh so good on our cold wet feet. The bathroom also has a free-standing tub, plus a huge double shower. At the other end of the room is a big king size bed, set in front of red patterned wallpaper, which adds a nice dash of colour to the otherwise neutral tones of the room.
You wouldn’t really guess it from the outside – it looks like a fairly small low key hotel – but Dormy House also has an excellent spa, which is an amazing touch. We wasted no time in getting down there to swim a few laps in the heated indoor pool, sweat out all our sins in the steam room, and lounge about in the outdoor jacuzzi. There’s also massage and beauty treatments available if you really want to treat yourself.
The other way in which Dormy House sets itself apart is the food. There’s more casual options such as The Potting Shed for more low key dinners but if you’re after something bit more special, make sure you book in advance for one of the 12 kitchen counter seats at MO. Chef Sam Bowser is in charge here, having cut his teeth working for the likes of Raymond Blanc, Michel Roux Jnr, and Phil Howard. The eight course tasting menu (£110 per person) is worth splashing out on, and includes dishes such as duck liver parfait; turbot with pickled shallots and beurre blanc; and venison with artichoke puree. There’s also some incredible local goat’s cheese and a cheeky play on a Magnum ice cream for dessert.
We’ve been lucky to visit a few little boutique hotels in the Cotswolds now and we can safely say that Dormy House is up there with one of our favourites. It’s got all the classic elements that you want from a cosy countryside hotel plus the spa and some epic dining options which make it stand out from the crowd. It’s definitely one to consider for your next weekend escape from the city.
Willersey Hill, Broadway WR12 7LF
Words: Joel Porter