Experience Cotswolds chic and indulgent cuisine at Dormy House Hotel

Tempus heads out west for a slice of luxury country cottage life

* Dormy House Hotel

Our weekend at Dormy House began with a scenic drive through The Cotswolds, where we acquainted ourselves with what surely must be some of the country’s most picturesque villages; Broadway, Chipping Campden, Moreton-in Marsh and Stow-on-the-Wold. Although tempted to spend longer in the region's tea shops, local art galleries and artisanal stores of the surrounding villages, Dormy House was calling, and I already had a feeling I would want to make the most of every second there. 

Set on the 400-acre Farncombe Estate in Gloucestershire, Dormy House began life as a working farmhouse in the 17th century. It has been owned and run by the same family since 1977 and today boasts 39 bedrooms and suites, three restaurants and a spa that has earned a reputation as one of the best in the country. 

Upon our arrival we were met with the kind of stylish, cosy warmth from which the term ‘hygge’ surely derives its definition, and which we soon discovered is deeply embedded in every aspect of the Dormy House experience. For example our luxurious suite, The Loft, comes complete with contemporary country-cottage décor, vaulted ceilings with exposed oak beams, floor to ceiling windows overlooking the countryside and a tin roll-top bath beside the bed. After settling in, we set off for a bracing walk in the neighbouring fields to clear the cobwebs with the fresh countryside air.

Once back in the warm, glowing fold of Dormy House, we nestled in to one of the hotel's exquisite lounges, this one defined by panelled beams, flagstone flooring, Cotswold stone touches and an open log fire. Here we enjoyed a few steaming cups of tea and a couple of quiet hours of reading before dinner. As engrossed I was by my mid-century novel, it was hard not to be distracted by thoughts of how I could recreate my surroundings – the pinnacle of elegant countryside living with a touch of Scandinavian style – in my own home. 

From early evening, the atmosphere was sparkling as guests cosied into fire-lit corners tucking into moreish bowls of nuts, olives and glasses of fizz as a prelude to dinner.

Our dinner in the sleek, light-filled Back Garden restaurant – opened last year –  was a real treat, showcasing the very best of the Cotswolds both in its menu and elegant, cosy furnishings. The meal itself was the kind of indulgent, autumnal feast of which dreams are made: to start, we were served a radicchio salad with Farncombe Estate curd and smoked almonds followed by candied beetroot with iced wasabi, before our mains came. Mine was the Dormy Wagyu burger served with Nduja mayonnaise, beetroot ketchup and ‘Mayan gold wedges’, unanimously proclaimed by the table (of two) as “the best chips we’ve ever had”, especially washed down with a delicious Sancerre Rosé from the Loire Valley.

Our walk back to the room was chilly and starlit, the clear skies in the deep countryside creating a perfect, uninterrupted canvas for stargazing. To warm up after the frigid stroll, we took a long soak a deep, hot bath, after which we wrapped up in our luxurious white fluffy bathrobes to complete an evening of pure indulgence for all the senses. And thus we fell blissfully to sleep, our only worry in the world whether we’d opt for home-made granola or the full English in the morning (as it happened, we opted for both).

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