This weekend I traveled to the sleepy village of Painswick in the Cotswolds as a belated birthday weekend away for Mr. S&S. We stayed in a beautiful hotel in the centre of the village, Cotswold88. I originally found the hotel through Mr & Mrs Smith but decided to book directly through the website - I researched which room I wanted to book, what there was to do in the area and any extras I wanted for the room; the trip was going to be perfect!
Upon arrival, through the narrow lanes and beautiful sandstone buildings we were greeted with this - breathtaking...
We arrived a little early so decided to have a wander around the village and grab a bite to eat - more on this later.
Once in the hotel we checked in seamlessly and were showed to our room - I had chosen the Junior Detmar room for the sole reason that it had a roll-top freestanding bath...the icing on a romantic weekend away, surely!?
The room was ideal, so pretty and just big enough - perfectly shown in the snap from the website. The small details, such as the gold-painted beams, 'snakeskin' sofa and stool and the adorable dressing table made the room feel very feminine yet luxurious; not at all like you were in the attic as the photo perhaps makes it look. I had asked for chocolate-dipped strawberries to be put in the room, these didn't last long enough for a photo I'm afraid - delicious!
After a lovely long soak in the tub, accompanied by some amazing smelling complementary Molten Brown products, we made our way down to the bar. Now I should point out here that the hotel interior is the brain-child of London bar Lounge Lover co-founder Marchella De Angelis - elegant, yes but subtle it is not. With a selection of beautiful wallpaper throughout you really do get a sense of plush luxury mixed with a splash of extreme urban-cool courtesy of the eclectic props and accessories - like this child mannequin for example...
The bar itself was pretty small and personal with added charm through the beautiful collection of furniture. While seated below we were served canapes, along with a G&T, whilst choosing our meal selection from the menu.
The restaurant, 88Room, is visually striking, with bold monochrome wallpaper and spacious tables, creating a sense of privacy in what is essentially not a huge dining room. One thing I was immediately put off by was the standard price of £60 for a three course meal. Don't get me wrong, I am more than happy to pay this and have definitely been elsewhere that surpasses this for extravagance, but I had a slight problem, a couple in fact; firstly I wasn't all that hungry so would have been more than happy with a shared starter followed by a simple main, secondly, I really wasn't all that taken by the menu. The food all sounded delicious, for a foodie, and with a kitchen headed by Lee Scott (previous employer being Gordon Ramsay) I'm sure it was all brilliant but unfortunately I'm a country girl at heart and, when I'm on a country weekend away, I'm more than happy with some good old pub grub...unfortunately the pub was fully booked. Never the less I finally made my choices, with a couple of substitutions along the way.
The meal started well. The brilliant waiting staff served fresh bread and an amuse bouche to begin - a little pretentious but I wasn't entirely surprised. After a comfortable gap we were served our starters, I opted for the cod option, it was lovely. After another good length of time we were served our mains, I had chosen smoked beef with cheek. The smoked beef was lovely, unfortunately that's where it ended for me, I just couldn't eat the rest. Mr. S&S thoroughly enjoyed his lemon sole with minted Jersey royals so I'm sure it wasn't the cooking at all, the downfall came with the sheer lack of choice on the menu. I'm not a particularly fussy eater, I don't really like shellfish and that's about the extent of it.
Upon returning to our room we were greeted with a dainty little bag hanging on the door handle, inside was a thoughtful combo of Molten Brown goodies - shaving balm, mouthwash and eye cream. We also had sweeties on our pillows!!
Now for the important bit - the bed itself. Incredibly comfortable, soft, and snug with the added luxury of crisp white sheets and the fluffiest pillows - bliss. Unfortunately the only let down was that our room seemed to be somewhere above the kitchens, all we could smell was food!! It wasn't a huge deal, we just had to close the bathroom door as this seemed to be where the smell came from, but still the hotel isn't cheap, you don't really expect to wake up/go to sleep to the smell of frying.
We awoke to a complimentary Sunday paper of our choice, you really can't beat Sunday morning in bed, tea in hand, flicking through Style magazine!
Finally to the breakfast: 3 syllables - A-MA-ZING!!
On the whole the hotel was brilliant. The staff were all hugely helpful, well mannered and attentive. The hotel itself is beautiful and extravagant and excessive and all-round amazing. The food, judging on the breakfast, is completely delicious. Painswick is adorable. Taking everything into consideration, I'm not sure the prices quite match the offering but I would 100% recommend this hotel for a couples weekend trip, I had a brilliant time and would love to go back.