Where would you find a place to rest and recuperate after a hectic working week in the busy town of London, regain your strength, find peace of mind? Of course, this might all be done at home but wouldn´t it be delightful to skip all the chores and mundane things, and relax in a pleasant environment with every refreshment at hand for body and soul. That‘s exactly what we think, while sipping a glass of champagne at Paddington station on our way for a weekend in the Cotswolds. Here the picturesque villages seem to sprout out of the landscape contributing to a sense of serenity and tranquility. Come what may, you will find peace and quiet here and, quite probably, an invigorating adventure.
At Honeybourne station we are greeted by Rodney, who gives us a guided tour of the countryside on our way to Dormy House nested in a stunning rural setting between the bucolic villages of Broadway to the west and Chipping Camden to the east with views over the Vale of Evesham (The Garden of England) to the Welsh Hills. At last our most awaited exclusive luxury weekend has come. We have heard so much about this place, especially the Spa which promises a journey into the world of relaxation!
On our way through the beautiful landscape, many scenes filmed here come to mind. We can´t help but laugh at our rather eventful train journey where we met a charming Chef Jon Ingram. This encounter proved to be a befitting entrée to our feast at Dormy House chatting about food and wine so much so that we all missed our stop. ‘You are in charge, make sure we don´t miss Moreton-in-Marsh’ my wife had said to me. Well, it was likely, since that particular station glided by the coach windows due to the fact that I had, rather prematurely, started my relaxation in a dormy fashion (‘dormie’ is a golfing term for relaxing in a nearly unbeatable postion and a fitting name for the haven we were about to enter).
All is well that ends well. The hotel simply changed our pickup place to the next station, much to our relief. We arrived at the 17th century farmhouse, the very heart of the hotel, recently renovated and upgraded to include a stunning new spa focused on health and fitness. Once inside, you want to explore the lovely lounges, quiet corners treading on the flagstone floors; but that can wait, first we are shown our room in the Emily Wing with a 1950s retro-vibe and a hint of Scandinavian influence referring to the owning family‘s Danish heritage. It is pratical, functional, stylish, with a great view of the spa, the attention to detail is amazing: Egyptian cotton linen, marvellous mattress, iPod docking station, Nespresso machine and an en-suite tablet which we take full advantage of, booking our spa treatment: my wife a dreamy champagne facial and I a timely deep back massage after which we relax by the pool followed by a brisk swim. And we don´t miss taking advantage of the finnish sauna, the salt infusion steam room, the lavender sauna and , of course, the terrace hydro pool with the late afternoon sun bathing us as well as the massage jet water.
This journey has turned out to be magical, combining what one feels is the best of all worlds, the tradition of English country life, the glamour of Miami and the sophistication of the South of France. While I was very impressed with the quality and professionalism of one the house masseurs I will have to let my wife give her account of the glamorous champagne facial: ‘ I have never had one of those, and as the treatment is underway, the beauty therapist describes step by step what she is applying and how it will make me feel. ‘This feels a little bit tingly like a million bubbles of Champagne’, she says and immediately I imagine myself immersed in a giant bubble bath of Veuve Clicquot! Afterwards I feel younger and even get a comment from the usually silent and composed husband on how radiant I look’.
The Garden Room has impressive credentials with mouth-watering, innovative menus presented by the head chef Jon Ingram and ingredients from the Vale of Evesham. That is our choice for our first night dinner leaving the more rustic Potting Shed to be experienced for the second. One is elegant and couture while the other is more rustic with something more akin to great comfort food. We like them both and the service is great, attentive but not intrusive.
After exploring the nearby villages and completing our days with a visit to the spa before dinner we spend the afternoon before we leave in the spa resting space and in the bistro wishing this experience would take a little bit longer to end. There will never be a lack of alluring descriptions for a hotel of this kind that may or may not live up to the hype. Dormy House claims to offer character, great food, impeccable service, relaxed country glamour and a house spa that invites a sense of calm and serenity. As we leave this wonderful haven ready for another week of our busy town life we know that those words are, indeed, very much true. It is a place you will miss and want to visit again. Just like home – only better!
Dormy House Hotel and Spa
Broadway WR12 7LF
tel 01386 852 711