“Cotswolds weekend away?” my friends asked. I rolled my eyes out loud. Imagining headscarves, tweed jacket and cafés called ‘The Huntsman’s Horn’, I just couldn’t commit. Then I remembered I had three children and a very needy rescue dog and offered to drive. Cotswolds here we come.
I did exactly what I tell the kids not to do…imagined I wouldn’t like something without trying it and shame.on.me. The Cotswolds was all kinds of fabulous. We hit Tetbury first and the shopping & scenery were gorgeous (and some seriously cool bars and eateries to boot). Granted, there was a fair bit of tweed and the odd lesser-spotted Sloane-ranger, but it was way more contemporary than I anticipated and the house we stayed in provided some seriously insta-grammable moments.
With a morning coffee from Café 53 on board we hit the shops running and the mix of antique emporiums, high end interiors and edgy little independents satiated the urge to splurge. We bought vases for spring flowers, scandi short candles and the most gorgeous interiors accessories from a shop called Cwytch. There were a few Spring wardrobe purchases too, though for me, Tetbury will always be synonymous with interior. Domestic Science was the definitive home store – so many cool brands and quirky finds for any interior taste and style. You want vintage? They’ve got floors of that too. If they don’t love it, they don’t sell it. My kind of shop.
Seriously impressive was the Close Hotel in the high street . With an uber traditional exterior, I expected this to house predictable Cotswolds-classic interiors…wrong again. Clearly subject to a recent renovation, the interiors here would not look out of place in a top magazine. Gorgeous furnishings, artwork, and fabulous paint choices. Excellent stuff. I really loved the gallery wall in the bar and the colour palette in the dining rooms was spot on. The fabrics and dark walls worked so well with the large windows and fresh spring flowers and potted herbs.
In a manoeuvre the Red Arrows would be proud of, we performed a starburst move to collect the cars, wine and made a quick detour via the cake shop before heading back to our house for the night #allthefoodgroups
Mixing styles & periods is my favourite interiors look (aside from full-blown-art-deco) and our accommodation did this brilliantly. A quaint Cotswolds cottage down a winding lane in a tiny hamlet, but SO MUCH MORE thanks to an amazing architect-led renovation. Contemporary prints on fabrics and cushions with period wing-back chairs and vintage slate floors. Yum. Modern bathrooms concealed behind sliding walls with hessian floors and exposed roof timbers. Yay. Fashionable and quirky modern art hung aside a traditional open wood fireplace….you get the idea.
Classic wallpaper and pops of contemporary colour
Predictably, some might say, the evening was fairly liquid and led to the early on-set of pyjamas, more fizz, and an 80s-inspired kitchen disco ( it was massive and lent itself to some long-forgotten dance moves) Perfecto then that the bedrooms were gloriously comfy, and decorated in fabulous prints or jewel-like tones. The mix of family-treasures, contemporary art, hero pieces of classic furniture and some very clever architecture meant waking up wasn’t the horror it should have been.
The weather was our only challenge on day 2 and sensibly, coffee and papers in front of the fire prevailed. Plenty of pinch-me moments occurred as we realised no one had; waited outside a cold church hall or on a side-line in a wet field, refereed a squabble or cleared up an unsavoury accident for nearly 24 hours. We had also finished several drinks whilst they were STILL HOT. Eureka.
Calcot Manor – breezy but beautiful in the garden
Sunday lunchtime approached and the Cotswolds weather no better than oooh lets say the Artic circle, we swerved into Calcot Manor for some re-fuelling before re-entry into the atmosphere of family life. The Gumstool Inn was just what we were after and Mac & Cheese all round worked a miracle (or that was possibly the treacle tart ?)
Here we did spot a couple of headscarves ‘n’ tweed but am pleased to report only on the over 70s couple lunching with their grandkids and they didn’t try and shoot us nor hang us up to cure. The interiors at Calcot were as good as the food with beautiful Spring flowers on every windowsill and plenty of gorgeous touches throughout the hotel . Neither boring and staid, nor pushing any interiors boundaries, its just a lovely, chic hotel together with a relaxed and welcoming vibe.
I will hold my hands up #lifeafterlondon continues to inspire me and I thoroughly enjoyed my Cotswolds adventure (even though it was artic conditions). What a beautiful spot with some incredibly creative and cool outposts. Am definitely going to make this a regular blog category !
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