This estate hotel is as enchanting as they come...
Looking for a charming hotel set in the rolling hills of the Cotswolds? Stick The Fish Hotel at the top of your wish list, says Lisa Oxenham, as she embraces her country-girl roots.
This estate hotel is as enchanting as they come, with super-chic rooms and quirky pied-à-terre retreats set on 400 acres of hilly woodland. Perfect for those who enjoy a ramble through vast expanses of countryside with glorious views and cosy evenings around the fire.
You come to The Fish to zone out and escape the digital world, soak up the country air and gather your thoughts.
If you feel sporty on weekend retreats there is a modest fitness suite, a serene yoga studio and archery. But when you are in grounds this stunning, it’s all about lacing up your trainers for a very scenic jog or borrowing a pair of wellies and roaming the fields. After just 45 minutes, you’ll end up on the High Street of Broadway village with its boutiques, antiques shops and cafes.
As the evening rolls in, most punters get back from their walk and make a beeline for the fireplace, kick off their boots and rest their feet by the fire or huddle up outside with a hot chocolate to take in the after-dark illuminations – trees strung with fairy-lights.
We love the Shepherds Huts – pretty grey caravans with private balconies, cosy living rooms and hot tubs for two. They are the perfect romantic setting in both summer and beneath winter skies.
The Treehouses with rope bridges feel like they’re fresh out of a fairy tale; atmospherically set in the woods, they feature a dash of minimal Scandi design inside and cosy heated floors. On a clear day you can see as far as Wales. The rooms in the Outhouse, Coach House, The Farmhouse and The Stables are large and homely (the same can be said of the beds!)
First class service, delightful cuisine and an unbeatable location. Not only is the restaurant set amidst the trees, but it boasts an Insta-friendly, au naturel-inspired interior designed by Hannah Lohan.
Dinner is a smörgåsbord of traditional British favourites in good-sized portions. Don’t miss the traditional style breakfasts or the Sunday roasts with all the trimmings.
What to pack
The Cotswolds' rainy reputation makes a waterproof, sturdy umbrella and a pair of boots savvy suitcase additions.
Worth a note
You have to be nimble to get to the The Forest Huts, but the public areas are wheelchair accessible and some rooms have been adapted for wheelchair users. Children are catered to – in fact, they’ll lap up the quirky accommodation and there are cots and babysitting available on request. Some of the hotel rooms are dog-friendly, but check availability before booking.
Be prepared for excursions and do what the country folk do: layer knitwear and outdoorsy coats that you can casually shed. A Barbour can be costly, but well cared for it can last a lifetime so is worth the investment.
Don’t worry about packing your wellies as the hotel has a whole selection available. And with that you'll just about be prepared.
If you're coming from London, hop on the train at Paddington and jump off at Moreton-in-Marsh 90 minutes later. Get a 15- minute taxi to the hotel. Voilà.
Rooms start at £120 a night. For reservations and general enquiries, email email@example.com or call 01386 897855.
The Fish Hotel, Farncombe Estate, Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7LH
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An award-winning health and beauty writer, stylist and creative director, Lisa Oxenham is one of the UK’s top beauty editors and the Beauty and Style Director at Marie Claire UK. With 20 years of editorial experience Lisa is a brand partnership expert, and a popular speaker, panelist and interviewer on a range of topics from sustainability to the future of beauty in the digital world. She recently spoke at Cognition X and Beauty Tech Live and is on the Advisory Board for the British Beauty Council’s Sustainable Beauty Coalition.
A well-respected creative director she works on celebrity, model and influencer shoots with the highest calibre of photographers, filmmakers, make-up artists and hairstylists to create timeless images, attention-grabbing videos, digital events and masterclasses. Most recently Lisa has directed covers such as Lily Cole and Jameela Jamil, films such as Save The Arts featuring Francesca Hayward and sustainable fashion shoots such as Be The Change. Supporting the beauty industry over the pandemic has been a top focus, directing the British Beauty Council’s six inspirational short biographical films for their Bring Back Beauty campaign.
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