You’ve been to London more times than you can count. It’s always a good time. On your next trip though, this hotel is worth the field trip outside of town. There’s something about tucking away in the Cotswolds for a summer weekend that is pretty appealing. No one quite does hospitality like the English, with their high-brow formalities yet wickedly witty sensibilities. It’s nice to know you can be refined but not take yourself too seriously. Welcome to Thyme, a chic Cotswolds hotel and your countryside getaway.
The Location: The Cotswolds
If after a year of sitting in your tiny studio on the Upper West Side has you yearning for sprawling meadows, the Cotswolds is your next adventure. The over 800 square miles of endless countryside is filled with rolling hills, historic castles and farm-fresh food and drink. Famous for breathtaking garden landscapes and woodlands, the Cotswolds is a destination for those looking to leave the big city to recharge. And the casual atmosphere, even in the best pubs and hotels, means that you won’t have to take off your wellies. The accommodations have come a long way in recent years, with more contemporary Cotswolds hotel options. We have one that is a gem.
The Cotswolds Hotel: Thyme Hotel
Kate Moss wouldn’t choose just anywhere to get married. Thyme is a secluded getaway where a beautiful ceremony can take place in movie-worthy hidden meadows. Thyme was originally an old cookery school. But now, it is a glorious estate with suites spread across cottages, barns and farmhouses. Everything they do at this Cotswolds hotel revolves around sustainability. They grow their own food and even heat the pool with solar panels. The spa and rooms are stocked with with eco-friendly products and toiletries.
Each suite is designed to maintain the estate’s 17th-century charm with elevated touches. The characteristic pigsty arches and large-beamed ceilings provide glimpses into what life was like when the estate was a working farm.
As part of the sustainability foundation we mentioned earlier, an on-site farm provides most of the ingredients for the Ox Barn restaurant. The Ox Barn is run by the hotel owners’ son, who was trained at Soho’s Quo Vadis. England isn’t always usually lauded for its cuisine, but English favorites like ricotta and beans on toast and poached fruit and yogurt are crave worthy.
The hotel has a spa that features relaxing treatments for the whole body from head to toe, so after strolling the grounds, you can loosen your muscles with a nice massage. And one of the best parts about Thyme is that everyone there loves the countryside as much as you will.
What to Do: Everything
There’s no shortage of activities on site and in the area. The kitchen runs half- and full-day classes that teach French cookery skills, focaccia making and pasta making from some of the best chefs in the area. In the garden, you can learn to create stunning bouquets and press the pretty flowers you find along the meadow. You also have access to a pool and tennis courts, and you can horseback ride, shoot clay pigeons or simply sip afternoon tea. All in all, you will never get bored. But most importantly, you will always be connected to the countryside in a meaningful and soul-soothing way.