For a stylish babymoon or fun family weekend in the Cotwolds, there's plenty of stylish choice in the village of Lower Slaughter.
Lower Slaughters Manor House: a stylish escape
The 17th century Slaughters Manor House is a an old stone country retreat – complete with a selection of Dubarry wellies for guests to borrow, and plenty of temptingly comfy sofas to sink into. Having been completely transformed by huge renovations, and reopened earlier this year, it now provides luxurious and elegant accommodation for couples and families looking for a weekend getaway – in fact, it would be the perfect place for a UK-based babymoon. If you are unfamiliar with the area, the Cotswolds is what American tourist dreams are made of. The pretty nature of the area's villages and small towns are the epitome of the word quaint. If you are travelling with a family, it would probably make more sense to stay at the hotel's sister property, The Slaughters Inn, across the road, which has all the family-friendly room additions over 31 luxury suites and cottage, that you would expect from a Brownsword-owned hotel.
Lower Slaughter is easy to reach by road. Cheltenham is about half an hour away and you are within walking distance of the famed Stow-in-the-Wold, which is a 'chocolate box' of a Cotwolds village. There is plenty of free parking at the hotel. The journey to the hotel itself, winding through the Cotwswolds, is a lovely experience. The village itself is small and perfectly formed. A river winds through it and if you follow, will lead you to a small watermill complete with tea room, and shop selling honey, lavender and other countryside-inspired and grown bits and bobs. Children (and grown ups) will enjoy feeding the ducks that gather here.
The weathered stone outer belies the modernist revamp that has undergone inside The Slaughters Manor house. But although the woodwork has been polished, modern art hung, hot pink high backed chairs and Philippe Starck-style furniture scattered around, it has been done to complement the traditional features in perfect visual harmony. So, yes, there is a Rolling Stones print hung in the billiards room (the awesome billiards room), but it is set against a huge fireplace, traditionally grand chairs that have been covered with duck egg blue fabrics, and an old school pool table.
There are 19 bedrooms, divided between the main house and the coach house, right next door. On the other side of the hotel is the village church – making it also the perfect place to host a wedding reception, perhaps? Check with the hotel regarding room requirements, and the reason for your stay, as they all have varying, wonderful features. For example, Antoinette in the main house has a four-poster bed, with stairs to climb up into it! Valentine in the Coach House has a fireplace and his-and-hers baths. Valentine and Magnolia, also in the coach house, both have their own garden area complete with private whirlpool tub. Note: Not to spoil ALL your fun, but if you are pregnant, do check with your doctor before using any kind of hot tub.
Chef Nick Chappell has earned the dining room at the hotel Three Rosettes in the AA Restaurant Guide – making it one of the most highly acclaimed in the Cotswolds. His menu is a celebration of local British produce, including the freshest meat, seafood and vegetables. The eight-course tasting menu is elegant, and serves small portions of treats that will tantalise those tastebuds. You can request not to have certain things, like shellfish, on the menu, beforehand. The heritage tomatoes actually taste like tomatoes! You can also stop by the lounge rooms to enjoy a lighter lunch, or afternoon tea, which sounds so appealing. There is the regular scones-type fare on offer, but why not try the 'Gentlemen's afternoon tea'?... English cheese & charcuterie, cheese & onion scone, beer onions, welsh rarebit, gala pie & a bag of bread, £25.00 or £32.50 with a bottle of Cotswold's beer or cider.
Lounging and having a lie in would be the order of any well-spent day at the Slaughters Manor House. But, if you are feeling like a walk, you can borrow the aforementioned wellington boots at no cost, and take a stroll along any of the recommended routes in the area. Staff are very helpful, and you can ask anyone at the concierge desk. Head over to the Slaughters Inn for a cosy lunch or dinner.
There are beautiful gardens at both hotels, if you don't fancy going too far, as well as a tennis court at Slaughters Manor House for if you are feeling super active - and a croquet lawn, if you aren't.
Double rooms from £195 per night. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi. Visit the Slaughters Manor House online for more information, and to book.