Tucked away in the rural village of Minster Lovell, The Old Swan and Minster Mill is a delightful boutique hotel, not only charming but the perfect place to relax after a hard days work.
With a new job and promotion, the past six months have been hectic. My life has resolved around catching flights, packing suitcases, hotel living, dinners for one and doing laundry on the one day I was back in Glasgow before jumping on another flight back down to south. Thankfully, the amount of travelling has calmed down enough for me to enjoy Glasgow living again.
The first of my travels took me to the rural countryside and the village of Minster Lovell which was 15 minutes away from Brize Norton, where I was going to be spending a few days with work.
I found The Old Swan and Minster Mill by chance and I certainly don’t regret it. All our work travel has to be booked on a centralised system and the “preferred hotel” was a little too far away for a daily commute. I chose The Old Swan & Minster Mill out of sheer laziness and ease. The location meant I could get an extra hour in bed in the mornings. Win win.
Set in 65 acres of gardens, woodlands and orchards on the banks of the River Windrush, The Old Swan & Minster Mill is over 600 years old and combines a Victorian mill with stylish, modern rooms and a late medieval inn, both bursting with traditional charm and period features.
With a 5-star rating, rooms are stylishly decorated and most rooms also have the added addition of a scenic garden or river view. An on-site gym, spa and tennis court ensures there’s plenty of opportunity to explore and relax. Sadly, I was unable to visit the spa during my stay, but I loved walking around the estate during sunset with nature as my backdrop. There is something so therapeutic with walking around the countryside, inhaling fresh air and listening to the water flowing down the river.
I stayed in the Windrush room for two nights, costing approximately £175 per night, and was impressed by how beautiful the room was. A wooden four poster bed was the focal point of the room and set the theme for the entire stay. Small touches such as bottles of water, nespresso machine, biscuits, a whisky decanter, magazines and high quality toiletries were also a welcome addition. My room had patio door access to part of the hotel grounds so if you fancied playing lawn chess a short stroll from your room or even sit and have a coffee during sunrise or sunset, you could.
Throughout my stay, I dined alone at their cosy bar and dining room within the Old Swan, first having the rib eye steak for main and sticky date pudding for dessert and then chicken and black pudding press for starter and lamb cutlets for main the next. I’m normally a little intimidated dining alone in new surroundings, however, staff were very welcoming and I was soon at ease after spotting a few other guests dining alone.
Food was cooked beautifully and from chatting with staff discovered that on-site vegetable gardens supply the chef with fruit, vegetables and herbs as well as fresh eggs from chickens and honey from hives. Great for sustainability. Breakfast each day was also served within the Old Swan; buffet style. I enjoyed fresh fruit salad with yoghurt then scrambled eggs with a mountain of toast. Great to set me up for a busy day ahead.
I throughly enjoyed my stay at The Old Swan & Minster Mill, my own little slice of the Cotswolds and cannot wait to return to try out their new garden spa and escape from the world, this time with a plus one.
Have you ever stayed in the Cotswolds before? Ever wanted to escape to the countryside? Let me know your favourite escape destinations in the comments below.