Imagine lying in a bubble-filled rolltop bath, looking up at the blue sky through the skylight in your beam-filled rooftop room. A warm summer breeze blows the bubbles ever so slightly, a Cockrel cocodoodles in the garden, and the only thing to contemplate is how lovely your afternoon country stroll was and which dish to choose for your evening’s delight.
That’s how I felt during my stay at the Tudor Farmhouse Hotel near the Forest of Dean and on the edge of the Cotswolds. Utterly relaxed and ever so far from the madding crowd, a mood reflected in our video tour of the hotel.
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The drive to the Tudor Farm House was the only stressful part of our visit. Drivers be warned as certain makes of satnav will direct you to the center of a less salubrious town nearby and suggest that your destination is a furniture shop by a Chinese takeaway. It was, therefore, a great relief when we finally pulled onto the picturesque gravel driveway of the Tudor Farmhouse.
Style & Character
Initial impressions were good. Tudor Farm House is located in a pretty village and backs onto a grassy hill. As you approach the house from the car park, you walk through the most perfectly tended English country garden with just enough room for three tables with umbrellas on the lawn, surrounded by deliciously scented sweet peas and lavender bursting out of every crevice. Also crammed into this miniature but perfectly formed English garden was busy bees and butterflies, sunflowers, decorative daisies, and even a tiny gurgling stream. This exquisite garden was surrounded by Cotswold stone cottages backing onto fields with roses growing around the doorways.
The reception was reached by crossing a tiny wooden bridge over the stream. This leads to a bar area and the restaurant, complete with beamed ceilings and exposed stone walls.
We were staying in the Roost, one of their aptly named suites, complete with live cocodoodle sounds from outside and a stylish rusty metal chicken balanced on one of the numerous beams that make up the ceiling in the room. I counted them, and just from the bed, I could see 30 separate beams crisscrossing the ceiling, including the doorway to the bathroom, which was triangular due to the beams. The room was painted in crisp white with a wrought iron bed, sitting area, and modern, stylish bathroom with a freestanding bath sat upon a traditional slate floor. This in-eves room was very peaceful, but the low-hanging beams caught our heads on several occasions.
The rainforest shower in the bathroom was excellent, the bath relaxing, the views out of the teeny tiny window were cute, and the Bramley product toiletries were sweet-smelling and generous. The room was both immaculate and thought about. Under the TV was a Nespresso machine, homemade cookies, and fresh milk. Even the kids are catered for here with a brilliant bug collection kit which my son stored a rather ill-looking woodlouse for the duration of our stay.
Food & Drink
Downstairs the Bar is spread across a stylish conservatory room and lounge. Again there were lovely little touches; box games for the kids, almonds, and olives came with your drinks, and service couldn’t be more smiley and genuine. The staff here really want you to enjoy your stay to the point that I felt terribly guilty when the kind chap behind reception offered to lug my two heavy suitcases up the tight and historic staircase that led to our room.
The restaurant at the Tudor Farm House has an excellent reputation in the area, and the tasty gastropub food served was a joy. There was a good selection of menu choices from Lamb and Duck to Stonebass and Seabream. All were full of flavor, and there was a touch of brilliance in the desserts – my chocolate gateau was an absolute favorite – I chose it two nights in a row. It was that good!
The Tudor Farmhouse is the perfect antidote to city life. As I breathed in the scented air in the garden and selected the perfect spot for an evening drink on the lawn, I felt rather smug. Forget expensive massages and spa days. If you want to truly relax, go to the Tudor Farmhouse, take a long country walk, stuff yourself with their awesome lemon drizzle cake, and don’t forget to say hi to that Cockrel for me.
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