Being a londoner, I’m all too accustom to the constant ringing of sirens, musky smell of traffic fumes and unrelenting shoulder barges by discontented commuters. During these inner-city days, my home city of Bath has never felt more further away and missed.
It’s for this reason that country escapes are some of my most favoured breaks. Clean air, warm quintessential dishes and some of the best spas you can find – the greatest ‘switch off’ setting that exists.
With temperatures dipping, I was on the hunt for a classic British getaway which would allow me to curl up in front of a fire, indulge in some guilt-inducing dishes and relax into a warm steam room or two. To Barnsley House we go!
Located in the Cotswold village of Barnsley, Barnsley House is a renowned classic countryside escape. An abundance of greenery comprising the likes of impressive topiary and vegetable gardens homes 18 guest rooms within a romantic stone house, several outhouses makes up this homely yet grand setting.
Our room was breathtaking. Led in through our own private walled entrance, the ‘Secret Garden’ gifted us a completely glass fronted suite with lounge area, bathroom (which was legitimately larger than my London apartment), and bedroom with one of the comfiest king-size beds I’ve ever plonked my bottom onto and impressive free-standing egg bath. Blissful seclusion.
The sensation of naturally waking up in marshmallow-esque sheets to the sound of birds and the flickers of autumn sun through the blinds is every British spa cliche I have ever wished for. Ordering room service for breakfast, we eased our way into the day with eggs benedict and some continental favourites with my sister’s ‘Sunday chill’ playlist (it’s MUCH worse than it sounds) gracing the bluetooth speakers.
A short wander through the grounds brought us to the spa. The large outdoor hot tub, several steam rooms and relaxation area were offered with a view over the neighbouring fields which played host to some four-legged friends (or food……). We unfortunately didn’t organise ourselves well enough to book a treatment, but the people coming out of the treatment rooms appeared to be either doped or in a deep state of relaxation. Assuming it was the latter, the therapists know a thing or two.
The main house homed ‘The Potager’, one of the two restaurants of Barnsley House and the one which we visited for two extremely piquant meals.
The locally sourced beef and venison we enjoyed for dinner was some of the best meat I’ve had in very long time. Soft and tender with perfectly complimentary sides dishes. Our waiter also made up our own bespoke cocktails to accommodate our unrelenting fussiness which gets any restaurant a huge thumbs up.
We also made time for a spot (understatement) of afternoon tea before we bid farewell to our venue of quintessential bliss. Three tiers of sweet treats and crustless classics, washed down with a glass of bubbles and pot of loose-leaf tea.. Need I say more?
Barnsley House has earned itself an elite ranking in my travel diaries. Attentive staff, warming atmosphere and faultless setting. An unparalleled slice of countryside heaven.
*my stay at Barnsley House was complimentary but all views are my own