A four mile drive from the heart of Cirencester, Barnsley House is tucked away in a picture-perfect, quintessential Cotswold village.
Nestled within four acres of fairy-tale gardens – including a meadow, potager and vegetable patch – the honey-stone hotel has its former owner, the late Rosemary Verey, to thank for its abundant grounds.
We checked in to one of the three Garden Rooms and were spoiled with a panoramic view of the gardens. The traditional country house features have all been lovingly preserved, and these are married with sprawling four poster beds, warm tones and textures and not one but two bathtubs to slip into. Equally indulgent toiletries by REN Skincare are provided.
Tip: for complete privacy, book the Secret Garden Suite or Potting Shed both of which you’ll find tucked away in the garden.
When evening rolled around, we headed for drinks in the small but perfectly formed cocktail bar before being seated at The Potager, mere steps from our room above.
With tables tucked neatly into the alcoves, the panelled dining room at Barnsley House lends itself to social distancing without a fuss. The menu is seasonal and many of the vegetables and herbs are harvested from the hotel’s own kitchen garden. Expect bountiful, local produce from garden to plate.
Sister property The Village Pub across the road also offers exceptional, hearty food at a slightly lower price. Expect thick cut chips and bacon jam, traditional butcher’s cuts and fresh, seasonal veg.
Breakfast is also served in The Potager where the traditional continental affair has been replaced with a two-course menu. Choose from fruit, granola or croissants ‘from the pantry’ to start, followed by hot options starring eggs from the farmyard.
Since the weather wasn’t on our side when visited, we were pleasantly surprised to discover the private garden cinema. This can be booked throughout your stay and we opted for a ‘showing’ after dinner. As throughout our stay, the staff were quietly on hand to accompany us down the garden path with a torch and set the film reels rolling.
In light of the situation with COVID restrictions, the spa at Barnsley House is strictly booking only for the time being. It is £130 for two hours of their ‘Spa Time’ experience and this includes a dip in the outdoor hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and a 55 minute treatment of your choice. Bliss.
Double rooms from £319 per night, breakfast included. For more information or to book, please visit barnsleyhouse.com
Review by Georgia Shepheard