If country house hotel to you spells out chintz, floral eiderdowns and a stiff upper lip, then you should be prepared for something a little different at boutique bolthole Cotswolds88. Set in the rather picturesque village of Painswick, London co-founder Marchella De Angelis, has taken the stereotype and turned it on its head. The result? A whimsical kaleidoscope of patterns and print, with striking monochrome brightened up by bold splashes of colour. It’s all a bit psychedelic 60s, with some Art Deco thrown into the mix. Sounds crazy, but it works.
The eclectic style continues to each of the 17 rooms, which are a mix of eye-catching artwork and traditional features like leaded windows. The designs vary enormously from room to room. The Palladium room has heavily patterned black and white wallpaper, a dark wood four-poster bed and a candy-striped chaise longue; Suite 88, on the other hand, is more refined in style, with a mosaic-type headboard at the bed and a huge lounge with whitewashed walls, a perspex table and some cracking countryside views. Bathrooms are no less impressive, with a mixture of claw-foot roll-top baths and a smattering of more modern tubs.
Downstairs, with its plush black and white striped carpet and walls, the bar has the feel of a candy box – it’s all a little Alice in Wonderland. The restaurant is similarly striped but has splashes of lime green and reds in the chairs. You can choose to eat here or outside on the terrace, to take in the views over the Cotswolds Hills.
- The rolling countryside that surrounds the hotel
- The eclectic mix of furniture and striking wallpaper
- The Jacuzzi baths and Molton Brown products
- Chef Lee Scott’s award-winning food in the restaurant
- Afternoon tea out in the terrace in the sunshine
- The quirky interiors might not to be everyone’s taste
- The spa is a little on the small side
Need to Know: Cotswolds88
Number of rooms: 19
Check-in/ check-out times: 2pm and 11am
Room service: Yes
Swimming pool: Yes
Spa: There’s an onsite treatment room but it’s quite small and you need to book in advance.
Dogs welcome: No. But there’s a dog sitting service available nearby
Eating and drinking: There’s an intimate bar for cocktails for a pre (or post) dinner drink, before moving through to Lee Scott’s award-winning restaurant. Previously working alongside Gordon Ramsay, Scott has put together an impeccable menu of British classics (which you can even try your hand at recreating if you enrol in one of his cookery classes).
Near to? This is the countryside, so there’s not a huge amount to 'do' - although a hearty walk up to the nearby Painswick Beacon followed by a Cotswolds pub lunch should clear the cobwebs nicely.
Getting there: Stroud Train Station is around 5 miles away by car; Birmingham is just over 1 hour's drive away, while London is about 2 hours and 15 minutes.