Boarding the train from London, the tone was already set for an idyllic Cotswolds weekend.
Our tickets were to Moreton-in-Marsh, a station just under two hours outside of London with a name that recalled escapades from jolly hockey sticks children’s books and episodes of Escape to the Country.
On our arrival we were met by a driver from a local taxi company with a sign for our final destination: Dormy House Hotel. Ten minutes later and we were pulling up outside the hotel itself, tucked away on the beautiful Farncombe Estate, near Broadway, where Dormy’s equally stylish sister hotels The Fish and Foxhill Manner are also situated.
Rural retreat: Tucked away in a quiet corner of the Cotswolds, Dormy House Hotel offers the perfect country escape
Ultimate relaxation: A 16m swimming pool forms the centre-piece of the House Spa, which is at once cosy and stylish
Tucked away: Quiet corners give guests the perfect place to relax and unwind as they take in the colourful surroundings
Premium accommodation: Vaulted ceilings and large windows add a sense of space to this ‘top notch’ room at Dormy House
Indulge: Guests are able to enjoy a little pampering at the Veuve Cliquot Champagne Nail Parlour inside the House Spa
I want to say stepping into Dormy House was like walking into our own home but – given that we live in a slightly cramped one-bedroom flat in London – that would be to do it a grave disservice.
Rather it was like arriving at the doorstep of a dear friend, one with impeccable taste and an eye for creating rooms that are irresistibly welcoming.
Dormy House brings the best of country living – think exposed beams, grand fireplaces and stone floors – and combines it with a sense of style, comfort and considered design that gives it its charming yet modern homey feel.
The reception is manned by wonderfully friendly and helpful staff. It acts as the central hub for the building, opening out on to two of the hotel’s restaurants, The Potting Shed – a relaxed gastro-pub with unpretentious British food – and The Garden Room, which delivers fuss-free fine dining.
Home from home: Soft colours and plush furniture combine to create bedrooms and suites that are perfect for a leisurely stay
Sanctuary: The House Spa, pictured, offers treatment rooms alongside a string of sensory experiences to sample
Time out: When guests aren’t sampling the dozens of spa treatments on offer – the pool is the place to laze the day away
Rain still pelting down outside, we spent the day indulging at the multi award-winning House Spa. We wiled away the hours flitting between the outdoor hot-tub, candlelit indoor swimming pool and the enticingly named Thermal Suite, which boasts a lavender infusion sauna, salt steam room and refreshing cooling drench showers – a personal favourite.
The following day we each chose a massage from the carefully curated spa menu, although the facials, nails and scrubs on offer were terribly tempting.
It might have been difficult to ever leave the spa – our fingers were wrinkly before we finally dripped out of the pool for good – if the bedroom that was waiting for us was not so inviting.
Soothing: Carefully chosen lighting and calming colours create an oasis of relaxation inside the indoor area of the House Spa
Catching up: The Potting Shed was abuzz with activity during our stay, with guests enjoying a morning coffee – or a nightcap
Country charm: Each of the stunning rooms and suites at Dormy House have been individually decorated
We spent the night in the Den (prices from £385), one of the spacious suites in the main farm building. With a separate living, bedroom and bathroom (packed with Temple Spa products), it felt more like we were in a small flat than a hotel.
The room, with a slanting ceiling that added to the charm, came with thoughtful touches including a tablet and Nespresso coffee machine.
It meant the following morning, before we slipped into our plush bathrobes and slippers one final time, we could switch on the radio, sip our coffees and enjoy a lazy morning – just as if we were at home.
Privacy: The Rose Cottage, pictured, is a traditional Cotswold cottage with its own private courtyard and hot tub
Character: Floral decor, exposed beams and original features bring warmth into the stand-alone Rose Cottage, pictured
Personal space: The elegantly decorated Attic, pictured, is one of the largest of the seven suites on offer at Dormy House
Rates at Dormy House start from £240 per room per night inclusive of breakfast and VAT. For more information or to book visit www.dormyhouse.co.uk or call 01386 852711.