Having never visited The Cotswolds, yes I know how did we get to our ripe old ages without visiting one of the most beautiful places in England, we were excited to visit and stay at the Lords of The Manor luxury country house hotel. Having recently been named Good Hotel Guide ‘Country House Hotel of the Year’ we had high expectations for our stay. As we pulled up we knew straight away that we were not going to be disappointed. The exterior alone is magnificent, the hotel is made from stunning Cotswolds stone and it is set in gorgeous and well maintained gardens. They are perfect for wandering around or sitting at one of the many table and chairs and just enjoying the surroundings.
Lords of The Manor is located in Upper Slaughter, a beautiful village near popular Cotswold towns such as Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold. I’d personally say you’d need access to a car to explore everything the area has to offer. Although, if you don’t and you love walking, not to worry, as the scenery and buildings close by are so beautiful you could simply just wander to your heart’s content. I made a passing comment to the receptionist that we were planning on heading out for a walk and she instantly supplied us with copies of three different routes in the area.
First Impressions and Check In
I’m sure our first impression was obvious from our faces, as we had to pick our jaws off the floor. As we turned into the driveway and the honey-coloured stone former rectory came into view we knew we were going to have a lovely stay. The second Mr ESLT switched the ignition off we were greeted by the porter, who instantly took our bags and led me to the reception whilst Mr ESLT drove the car round to the car park at the back of the hotel. Check in was very swift, and as Mr ESLT rejoined me, we were shown up to our room on the first floor – Wrigley which is one of the Rectory Rooms situated in the main house.
Our Room (Wrigley)
Our room was lovely and very much in keeping with the rest of the property which I would describe of mix of old world luxury and homely comforts and very in keeping with the age and style of the house itself. It felt like we were staying at a family members house rather than a hotel. Our room had everything we needed for a very comfortable night’s stay including a lovely king sized bed, tv, bathrobes and slippers, in room safe, tea and coffee-making facilities and not forgetting a big window which let in a lot of natural light and offers fantastic views of the gardens. Even though the room did not have its own iron and ironing board, one was delivered within minutes of Mr ESLT ringing down to reception for one.
The bathroom was of course en suite, in fact it was actually down a few stairs off the bedroom. It was complete with a free-standing bath tub AND massive walk in shower. It was a great space to get ready, I just wish that I had, had more time to relax in the bath for an hour or two as it was the perfect setting, especially as delicious smelling complimentary L’Occitane toiletries are provided in each room.
Bar Area and Pre-dinner Drinks
After a quick shower and change we headed down to the bar area for a quick aperitif before dinner. The bar area is very cosy with plenty of tables and comfortable chairs. We ordered from the drinks menu which we found on the table – a glass of Pinot Noir for Mr ESLT and a gin and tonic for myself. We were served by a very attentive barman who presented us the dinner menu along with canapés and our drinks. As we pursued the menu we enjoy the very delicious canapés which gave us a hint as to the quality of the food we were to be served. With only three choices per course it didn’t take us long to make our decisions and place our order. Ordering a bottle of wine to accompany our meal, on the other hand was an extremely difficult decision to make as the wine list was one of the most extensive I have seen and having recently returned from wine tasting in the Alsace region in France we finally opted for a Pinot Gris.
Dinner & Amazing Food
We were shown through to the dining room and were instantly greeted by the maitre d’ who poured our wine and welcomed us. Having never eaten at a Michelin Star restaurant before I really didn’t have a clue what to expect from the food. In my head I thought maybe the dishes would be maybe a bit to far out for my tastes and the portions would be tiny, so much so we would have to drive out to the nearest village for snacks. However, I tried to put the thoughts out of my head and left my preconceptions at the door, and I’m very glad that I did.
Me: Salmon – Marinated Loch Duart Salmon, brown crab emulsion, braeburn apple and buckwheat
Mr ESLT: Quail – Ravioli of Norfolk quail breast and foie gras, thyme, infused consommé
Me: Beef – Belted Galloway beef fillet, Jerusalem artichoke, oyster mushroom, Alsace bacon Bordelaise
Mr ESLT: Lamb – Best end of herd wick lamb, salt based celeriac, pickled celery, candied black olive
Both: Chocolate – Bitter chocolate tart, garden mint and lime curd ice cream
With each dish looking like a work of art, it seemed a shame to eat them, but I guess someone had to and I’m glad I did. Each course was a taste sensation. With the menu being very limited I took a chance when deciding on my starter as I am not the biggest salmon fan, but I couldn’t have been more surprised – it was delicious, it all was. When I ordered beef, I was worried that it would be too rare for me to eat as I like my beef well done (or spoilt as Mr ESLT refers to it as!) so I requested that it be cooked for a bit longer and of course my request was met. It was well done yet still tender and juicy – perfect. Fantastic food in a fantastic setting, although a little bit of background music would have been welcome just to create a bit more of a relaxed atmosphere.
After a great night’s sleep we woke early to the sound of the birds outside. Once showered, changed and packed we headed down to the breakfast room to see what delights were on offer. We grabbed a table in the breakfast room and were instantly offered tea or coffee and toast. Even though we were still full from our feast the night before, we both opted for the full English breakfast, I chose poached eggs and Mr ESLT opted for the scrambled eggs and we can both confirm that our breakfasts were delicious and very filling. With a range of cooked options available and a continental buffet offering fresh juices and fruits, cereals and pastries, Lords of The Manor offers something for everyone and really set us up for the day.
We loved our stay at Lords of the Manor from start to finish, we really did feel that nothing was too much trouble. The house is amazing and the perfect place to stay if you are looking for a luxury country retreat which offers mouth-watering quality cuisine. As Lords of the Manor is pet friendly, you can even take your four-legged friend along with you. The gardens and grounds are magnificent too and we certainly enjoyed wandering around and admiring them. Lords of the Manor is also a wedding venue and it’s easy to see why, if we weren’t married already, it would have been right up our alley. The Cotswolds are beautiful and Lords of the Manor hotel is beautiful – the ultimate winning combination.
- We were hosted by Lords of the Manor hotel on DBB basis in exchange for review.