Monday, 21 May 2012

A Touch of Luxury - The Wheatsheaf Inn

A couple of weeks ago, hubby and I set off on a romantic, relaxing babymoon in the Cotswolds. Full of cream teas, cake, chocolate and roll-top baths, it was just what I needed to unwind…

But, really, it was the hotel that made our trip so amazing. It’s one of those rare, rare discoveries (made via Mr and Mrs Smith, I can’t take all the credit!) – a luxury hotel at an affordable price.

So, for anyone who wants a relaxing stay at a tip top hotel, here we go. Introducing the Wheatsheaf Inn

Sam x

“Combine the chocolate box prettiness of the Cotswolds with the rock star glam of the Sex Pistols, Kate Moss and, um, Bloody Marys, and you end up with one of the best hotels I’ve ever had the pleasure to stay in.

The Wheatsheaf Inn is that perfect combination of old-school English, great pub food and gorgeously modern accessories. Think classic country with a luxury twist (the pub itself even smells like an old smokery).

Take the dining room, for example – row upon row of Victorian portraits adorn the slate-coloured walls (Farrow and Ball, natch). Then, nestled away in a corner, a Kr├╝ger painting of Kate Moss dominates the wall. They like Kate Moss around these parts – she famously put her wedding guests up in the Wheatsheaf Inn after her big day last year.

Anyway, I digress! Based in the picturesque Gloucestershire village of Northleach, this cosy coaching inn and its 14 bedrooms were revamped by husband and wife Sam and Georgie Pearman just last year. And wow, did they do a good job!

From the decadent colour schemes, to the crispest bed linen around, each bedroom is now luxury personified. Better still, all rooms feature a statement piece, such as a ginormous pewter bathtub, or original works of art. 

As soon as we arrive, we are instantly charmed by the barman who, after pouring us coffees, settles us into the charming Game Bar until our room is ready. The bar area itself smacks of tradition, and they have really made the most of its period features - think wooden floors, beamed ceilings and cosy fireplaces - all while furnished with vintage treasures.

Feeling instantly soothed by the laid-back charm of the inn, we are then lead through a maze of winding corridors to our “Excellent Room” (the upper category). 

The room was gorgeous - the bed itself, clad in a mustard yellow mohair throw, was a sin to get up from, while the Bang and Olufsen TV kept my hubby quiet for many hours - but nothing could prepare me for the luxury of the bathroom. I'm a bit of a hotel bathroom snob, but this was one of the best I've ever seen.

Accessed through gigantic wooden double doors, it was the epitome of glamour. In fact, it was my dream bathroom. A beamed ceiling and traditional wooden floors were offset by a modern-looking roll-top bath. The bath itself was framed by a gigantic mirror and surrounded by luxury bath products (more on that another day!), it was decadent, a little bit naughty and utterly, utterly relaxing. 

The rest of the bathroom was just as luxurious. His and hers sinks were nestled into a corner, while a huge shower cubicle dominated the other side of the bathroom. It was the kind of room which I could have (and, to be quite frank, I did) spent hours in, soaking in the bath with a battered old book.

But while it seemed a shame to leave the bedroom, the luxury of the Wheatsheaf doesn't stop there. Oh, no! No stone has been left unturned in this magnificent makeover.

Even if you don't stay in one of the rooms, you need to sample the food because it is to die for! Hubby was left drooling over his starter of Devilled Crab, while my beer battered cod and chips was presented with the best homemade Tartare sauce I have ever tried. Breakfast was much the same story...jugs of freshly squeezed juices, freshly-made bread, pastries and ginormous bowls of fruit and yoghurt make up the tables. But, if you want to go one extra (and why the hell not?!) you can order from the A La Carte menu.

I indulged in the fluffiest pancakes I have ever tasted, while hubby was daring and opted for Devilled Kidneys on toast. Both got our thumbs up...

From the separate, rustic treatment room (I enjoyed my first pregnancy massage there, and emerged so relaxed and pampered that I almost fell asleep in the bar) to the vintage Wendy House for children and the glamorous private dining room, this is the perfect country retreat.

There is nothing to disappoint - they have literally thought of everything. In fact, you can see why former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon set up camp here for weeks. Now, there's a thought..."