Set over 220-acres of rural meadowland, deep within the Cotswolds, Calcot Manor might have been around for the better part of three decades, but its regular updates from guest room refurbishments - done every few years - to revised spa menus that strive to offer the latest cutting-edge beauty treatments, has meant the property steadily retains its status as one of the best countryside retreats to visit in the area.
Its latest refresh is a new food concept and interior at The Gumstool Inn. The more casual of the hotel’s two restaurants, the pub’s laid-back cosy environment, makes it the perfect spot to ensconce yourself with a glass of red wine on a chilly Autumn afternoon. Designer Nicky Farquhar’s choice of rustic wood furnishings complement the cool slate flooring and handsome Bath stone of the original farmhouse, creating a rugged setting for the robust menu of British comforts - like sausage and mash or fish & chips - and Euro offerings that includes bresaola from the hotel’s own beef. It is however, the new fireside grill that is the star attraction. Set within the room’s original fireplace, the indoor barbecue churns out perfectly seared meat from 28 day dry-aged beef to succulent calves liver in full view of salivating guests.
After a day spent in the spa, wallowing in the outdoor hot tub or perhaps reaping the benefits of one of the five Elemis Biotec facials, nestle in one of the squishy sofas, scattered around one of the many living areas of the main house, with a good book and a glass of champagne before tucking into the expertly prepared whole Dover sole at The Conservatory. Pet-friendly and with a certified on-site creche to boot, Calcot Manor is one of the few - if not only - retreats that really does cater to all needs.