Situated in the picturesque Cotswolds not even an hour’s drive from Bristol The Rectory is an amazing haven away from home, as soon as you pull into the drive you feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
A 12 bedroom former rectory with beautiful walled gardens, croquet lawn and outdoor swimming pool, it’s the perfect base to hideaway and recharge or explore the surrounding area.
The rooms, which are all individually designed, featuring an eclectic mix of antique finds, updated with more contemporary pieces, suit the building perfectly. Our room Leckhampton was just so lovely, incredibly bright and spacious with dual aspect views of the gardens and a modern en-suite bathroom with separate shower and roll top bath. The bed was a dream, exceptionally comfortable with beautiful Egyptian linen, there is a discreet flat screen TV and Roberts digital radio to keep you connected to the outside world if you wish. Room rates range from £95.00 – £195.00 per night, this includes breakfast, there is a minimum 2 night stay over bank holiday weekends or public holidays.
The local area offers something for everyone, if you fancy some fresh air just 15 minutes away is Westonbirt Arboretum with its 18,000 trees and shrubs, over an area covering approximately 600 acres, makes for a great day out and for the more adventurous The Cotswolds Water Park has a range of activites from lakeside beach to cable wakeboarding. If some retail therapy is in order take your pick from the Cotswolds triangle of Tetbury, Malmesbury and Cirencester, historical towns which all have something to offer, a highlight for us being Hobbs House bakery in Tetbury.
The inviting hotel bar has worn comfy sofas and glass perspex tables carrying on the eclectic mix of modern and stylish, however tempted we were by a pre dinner G and T the aromas coming from the kitchen lead us straight to the Dining room, a beautiful wood- panelled room with views out to the garden, feeling thirsty we ordered a couple of Cotswolds Lagers brewed locally by the Cotswolds Brewing Co. a great change from the norm which hit the spot, we then choose a bottle of the house white, Escasses Vin de Pays, Cote de Gascogne 2008 at £16.50 which stood up really against the incredibly varied menu choices to come.
Our meal began with canapés of Cod Fish cakes and pork rillettes with a plum jam, both delicious and I continued on the rillette theme choosing the fried duck egg, duck rillette, leek and bacon puree and new season girolles, the oozing duck egg acted as a rich indulgent sauce for the meat, puree and girolles, my fellow diner opted for the seared scallops, butternut squash puree and crispy parma ham, a lovely dish with perfectly cooked scallops enhanced by the sweet almost caramel butternut squash puree and the parma ham which shattered when touched and provided shards of salty crunch. I can never resist dauphinoise especially a rosemary scented one, accompanied by an expertly cooked roasted chump of lamb with roasted root vegetables and rosemary jus this dish was the very taste of autumn, although I have to say I was extremely tempted by the seared sea bass with crushed potatoes and mussel velote, again perfectly cooked, the sea bass and rich plump mussels were the highlight of a really fabulous dish.
Usually we have quite different and set dessert choices, generally apples verses chocolate, but this evening we both unanimously choose the peanut butter parfait with rum and raisin custard and I am so pleased we did, the parfait was smooth but with the added crunch of crushed peanuts and the barely set rum and raisin custard tasted of early Christmas in October, a scattering of raspberry’s lightened the dish, this is the kind of dessert that just makes you very happy and we were so glad we both ordered it avoiding any dish envy!
If you are staying for more than one night or fancy a slightly more relaxed environment then just over the road 100 yards away is sister business The Potting Shed Pub, recently crowned Pub of the Year by The Good Pub Guide, previous awards include Newcomer of the year in 2010 and Dining Pub of the Year in 2011, all of these awards are thoroughly deserved. The Potting Shed combines the traditional feel and warmth of a pub with fabulous, beers, wines and dining and is well worth the trip even if you’re not staying at The Rectory.
Breakfast is taken in the dining room, with continental options laid out at the back of the room as well as a menu of hot dishes to order. We both opt for the Cotswolds breakfast which is fantastic, well cooked and sourced eggs, bacon, sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms and black pudding are all delicious. As we pack up and get ready to head for home we are more than a little sad at the thought of leaving but look forward to a return as soon as possible.
The Rectory offers everything we could ever want, the staff are incredibly professional but also helpful and friendly. The house, grounds and rooms are a delight, dining is a treat and best of all everyone is welcomed equally including our 2 little four legged furry friends!