Our Staycation to the charming Cotswolds to visit Dormy House & The Fish Hotel at the gorgeous Farncombe Estate.
Like all of us this year my wanderlust has been muted, thankfully I was lucky enough to get away with the Mr to Porto for my Birthday in February earlier this year before everything went all sci fi.
Since then and unsurprisingly, I have put together a lot of Staycations for my clients and have been overwhelmed and stunned by how many incredible places there are to stay at in the UK. One of my favourites is The Farncombe estate, which after receiving fantastic feedback from sending my clients there, it was clearly high time for me to try it myself!
My partner and I had never been to the Cotswolds and so we were pleasantly surprised that the drive to Farncombe Estate took a leisurely 3 hours from our home in Hove. The scenery getting more and more stunning as we neared our destination.
Farncombe Estate is LARGE, 400 acres of rolling Cotswold countryside, overlooking the picture perfect village of Broadway.
On arrival at Dormy house, the luxury vibe was obvious. The car park was full of sports cars and SUV’s, the terrace hosting couples relaxing over drinks and pre-dinner nibbles.
I always take comfort when I see a 'Small Luxury Hotels of the World Plaque' and true to form we were given a world class welcome during an efficient check in process in their homely and luxurious lounge.
I should mention, because I know we are all concerned about Covid security, that it is necessary to wear a mask whilst moving around the hotel. This, and the visible and thorough cleaning on display really put us at ease that the situation is being taken seriously.
Dormy House is stunningly atmospheric with comfy sofas perfect for snuggling up to loved ones and that is exactly what we did as Mr enjoyed a drink to relax after the drive and we planned our next move.
By now we had already been shown to our room, a Splendid, and indeed it was. All of the modern amenities were here, including a Nespresso Machine and luxurious Temple bath products, as you would expect from a hotel of this quality. The star of the show was the bed, listed as king size, however it felt much bigger and the linen was so luxurious I couldn’t wait to get in.
But first dinner, the restaurant at Dormy house is classy and sophisticated and the ambience buzzing. Tables were perfectly spaced with candles flickering and lights twinkling. The service was relaxed and smooth and the food elegant as you would expect. Breakfast the following day was cooked to perfection and the restaurant, now drowned in light felt like a different room. I had my favourite, smashed avocado with poached eggs and smoked salmon with an oat milk latte!
Dormy house boasts a spa and treatment rooms and during Covid guests must book their sessions before arrival - we enjoyed the pool and outdoor jacuzzi. Numbers were limited, which, I felt made for a more enjoyable experience as we had the jacuzzi to ourselves and I shared the pool with only one other. Unfortunately the current regulations meant that the steam room and sauna were closed. By now Mr was getting bored watching me swim lengths so it was time to don our hiking boots and enjoy one of the many trails the area has to offer.
Leaving the estate itself requires a winding and energetic climb and we quickly realised that the late summer sun was warmer than we realised when we set off in autumnal outfits - thankfully we had plenty of water.
The climb continued through the woods and when we emerged we were greeted with the first stop on our jaunt, Broadway Tower, majestically a top a hill overlooking the village of Broadway. Our next stop on our trip out of the Estate. Tickets can be purchased to go inside.
Broadway is quite simply one of the most beautiful villages I have ever had the pleasure to visit, even Mr commented on the postcard perfect cottages built from the unmistakeable Cotswold Stone. The village is named after the wide high street or broad way which was once the main road between London and Worcester.
The High Street is upmarket and buzzing with well heeled locals and tourists. After a quick turn around a gallery and a boutique clothing shop, it was time to quench our aching thirst. The affable chap at the gallery recommended a table outside the Broadway Hotel, sadly no tables were free so we took his second tip, a seat at The Swan opposite for a glass of vino and some people watching.
Following a further mooch up the high street stopping at the deli - highly recommended for their unusual culinary and alcoholic treats and a delicious gelato further up the Broadway, we realised it was time to return to the Estate. I will admit we decided to get a cab back as the walk back is pretty steep and we wanted enough time to enjoy our private jacuzzi before dinner.
Earlier, we had checked out of Dormy House and I wanted to experience as much of the estate as possible so decided that we should spend our second night at The Fish hotel. There was a hip and more family feel at The Fish during check in and this continued throughout our stay there.
The hotel hosts a sprawling arrangement of rooms around a main area boasting a lounge and The Hook restaurant.
Our room was Hilly Hut number 1 - set in the woods, the scene was tranquil and secluded, perfect for relaxing in the hot tub attached to the room, whilst the flames from the chiminea entertained us.
For larger groups and families staying at the hotel, The Tree Houses offer larger accommodation with two rooms (including bunk beds for the kids), a generous deck and two outdoor tubs and The Stables offer a cottage style setting. Our room was cozy and more than suitable for a couple staying a night or two.
Dinner at The Hook was as accomplished as the food at Dormy with a focus on fish as you might expect. The atmosphere was less formal and more cozy, which I loved.
One thing that sets The Fish apart from many luxury hotels that I have enjoyed is its private cinema.
In normal times the cinema schedules films for guests to enjoy. Currently it can be booked for private film showings for individual groups and after dinner we enjoyed our own screening, watching Rocketman, which we absolutely loved.
The experience was much better than you would receive on the high street with comfy sofas, a huge screen with sound to match and complimentary popcorn - an epic way to cap off a great mini break. All that was left was a final dip in the hot tub with some champers and a good nights sleep - once again the luxury cotton sheets did not disappoint.
It has been wonderful to experience what The Farncombe estate has to offer. If you would like experience these hotels for yourself, please do not hesitate to get in touch so you can enjoy the benefits of booking with Blake Private Travel.