For my birthday, my husband treated me to a weekend at The Manor House, a luxury hotel located in the gorgeous Cotswolds village of Castle Coombe – often named ‘England’s prettiest village’.
Affiliate links disclosure: I may receive a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. This is at no cost to you.
The Manor House hotel
The Manor House dates back to the 14th century although it has, of course, been renovated throughout the centuries. There are 50 rooms in total, 21 within the main building and 29 in the mews cottages just a short stroll away.
It is quintessentially ‘British countryside’ in its decor, with large fireplaces, coats of arms and dark wood paneling.
Of course, the weather in England is never guaranteed – even in Summer – so wellies are provided should you need them! You can also scan the QR code for walking routes. Note the cute jar of dog treats for furry guests.
As expected of any good British hotel worth its salt, The Manor House serves afternoon tea, however bookings are highly recommended. It is served in two lounges and also outside on the terrace – weather permitting, of course.
We didn’t have the full afternoon tea, however we did indulge in a cream tea when we got back from lunch on the Saturday afternoon. The scones were absolutely delicious and the setting was very cosy.
The Manor House also has a lovely bar – The Full Glass Bar – where we had a couple of drinks. I loved how they made their own crisps, rather than serving crisps in a packet!
The bar has historical significance as it is where Margaret Thatcher sat and wrote her memoirs.
You can also have light meals in the bar, but again, bookings are highly recommended to avoid disappointment.
We stayed in Doolittle, which is one of their Plush rooms. It’s located in the mews cottages rather than in the hotel itself. The hotel prides itself on the fact that no two rooms are the same.
I have to say that the photos on The Manor House website really don’t do the rooms justice. The room was so much nicer than the website photos depicted it as! The photo of this room on the website makes it look a bit old fashioned, however it has been renovated. They have changed the wallpaper behind the bed, the upholstery on the chairs, changed the curtains and the bedding and cushions are all much more on trend. It really is a lovely room.
The bed was large and very comfortable. I appreciated that they had both soft and firmer pillows, to cater to everyone’s taste. The bed linen was also luxurious. There is a large sitting area as well as outdoor seating – which would be lovely in Spring or Summer.
Lionel the lion, who sits on the bed, is actually the ‘do not disturb’ sign! You place Lionel outside your room at night to let the staff know you are sleeping and do not wish to be disturbed.
The room is equipped with tea and coffee making facilities and there are bottles of water placed next to the bed. There wasn’t a mini fridge, however, there was the cutest little bottle of milk that didn’t need refrigerating.
The bathroom was really large with double sinks, a lovely big bathtub and a massive double shower. One of my pet hates in a hotel is when the water isn’t very hot or the hot water runs out. I’m delighted to say that the water at The Manor House was piping hot and plentiful.
I loved the tap feature in the bath – really quirky! Also, it was great to see the hotel’s commitment to sustainability, with the refillable Molton Brown toiletries.
Even the vanity set is plastic free and the Molton Brown soap and body lotion are also refillable.
My only gripe about the room was that I couldn’t figure out how the lights worked. The bathroom light didn’t seem to switch on unless you turned the master lights on, which turned the light on in the bedroom. Not ideal during the night!
If you dine at ByBrook during your stay, you’re in for a treat. Headed up by Chef Rob Potter, this Michelin-starred restaurant will delight your taste buds. The restaurant has also recently been refurbished and had only reopened the week before our stay.
The tasting menu serves seasonal and classical food combinations and is influenced by the produce harvested from the grounds of The Manor House. We thoroughly loved every single course! I was pleasantly surprised to see that the wine list had a bottle of Pongratz sparkling wine from South Africa – one of my favourites. The service was also excellent.
Breakfast at The Manor House
ByBrook is also where breakfast is served in the morning. There is a small buffet with fruit, yoghurt, pastries, cereal, and juice and then you can order hot food from the menu. On the first morning I had Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon, which were perfectly cooked. On the second morning I had the full English breakfast, which was delicious.
Dinner at The Castle Inn
As well as their Michelin-starred restaurant, The Manor House owns The Castle Inn pub, which is about a two-minute walk away from the hotel. It’s a gastro pub with two AA Rosettes and has been awarded a Top 50 Gastropub in the UK.
It’s charming, with a large fire place, three dining areas and dogs are also welcome. We had dinner here on the Saturday night and both the food and the service were great. I’d definitely recommend booking lunch or dinner here.
Leisure activities at The Manor House
The Manor House has an 18-hole championship golf course, which is set in 365 acres of countryside. There is also a gym as well as The Potting Shed, where you can have a facial or a massage.
The hotel has beautiful Italian gardens, which you can have a wander around. They are also open to the public and you will definitely spot lots of dog walkers!
Within the Italian Gardens you’ll find a few bellcotes. These are grade II listed buildings, which means they have historical and architectural significance. They do look quite fairy-tale like!
What to do in Castle Coombe
Castle Coombe is really small and to be honest, there’s not loads to do in the village itself. There are two pubs, a cafe, a church and a small shop… and of course The Manor House hotel – and that’s it.
It has been the location of a few films, including War Horse, Stardust and Doctor Doolittle – hence the name of our bedroom!
You can walk around the village in about 10 minutes! And it does get very busy, as it’s so popular with tourists. There are some very pretty houses to see along the brook so it’s far walking further down.
If you have a car, you can of course drive to other nearby villages or to Chippenham or Bath if you fancy a bigger town. There are also taxis but they are quite expensive and not readily available. Thankfully there’s enough to do at The Manor House to occupy you for a weekend.
How to get to Castle Coombe from London
We got the train from London Paddington to Chippenham, which is the nearest big town to Castle Coombe. It took around an hour and 10 minutes so is really close to London. We had then booked a taxi to drive us to The Manor House, which took around 15 minutes and cost about £20. I’d highly recommend booking your taxi in advance as there are not many taxi companies and no Ubers.
Overall thoughts on our stay
We were pleasantly surprised by our room and found it to be large, well decorated and very comfy. The hotel is beautiful and well appointed – there were lots of different lounges and rooms to explore. The food and drink were excellent and we loved that they had a pub just down the road so that there was choice where to eat. The staff were all very friendly, professional and really helpful. We loved our stay and would definitely return.