The Cotswolds is one of England’s most picturesque regions, thanks to its many well-preserved towns and villages built of beautiful yellow limestone, quarried locally. Narrow streets lined with elegant old buildings glow golden in the early morning and late afternoon sun, appealing to anyone interested in history and well-preserved architecture.
One such small town is Chipping Campden, where we recently enjoyed a short break.
Dating back to 1815, Cotswold House Hotel & Spa spreads across three neighbouring buildings along Chipping Campden’s main road, originally built as private residences. First converted to a hotel in 1930s, the property was bought by the Bespoke Hotels group in 2012. Bespoke invest in regular refurbishments, to ensure both bedrooms and public spaces are bright, attractive and in great condition. They have also updated the property’s food offerings and facilities, including a popular afternoon tea and a spa with pool and steam room.
The hotel’s core customer base is couples. Many visit from London, seeking an oasis of tranquility that’s only a couple of hours drive from the capital. Others come from around the UK and overseas, keen to explore the ‘quaint’ historical villages and rural landscapes. The Cotswolds encompasses swathes of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, and parts of North Somerset, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire, so there is plenty to enjoy.
As you’d expect from a hotel housed in such grand old residences, ceilings are high, windows are big enough to let in plenty of light, and there are oodles of original features to ooh and aah over. I am especially drawn to the art deco stone fireplaces, and the spiral staircase in the main building is a marvel!
Rooms are also impressive, achieving that wonderful balance of original features and modern design an comfort. There are 28 in all, with some located in the main buildings, overlooking the beautiful high street or the garden to the back, and others within cottages in the garden behind the main buildings.
Our assigned room is a stunning junior suite on the top floor of one of the main buildings, and it’s wonderful! Lots of space, a huge bed, one of those gorgeous stone fire places, and a slightly kitsch but glorious kidney-shaped sofa. The bathroom is a masterpiece featuring a roomy walk-in shower, a luxuriously big bath tub, double sinks and a view out to neighbouring rooves.
But as it’s two floors up and I struggle with stairs, I ask if there are any ground floor rooms available instead. We are quickly switched to a Cottage Room, housed in one of the charming stone cottages in the garden behind the main house. Whilst the room isn’t quite as enormous as the junior suite, it’s arguably even more charming with its original wooden beams, deep-set windows, large bed, comfy armchairs and another beautiful bathroom. We love it!
Also good to know is that cottage rooms are listed as dog-friendly, cottage suites have a private patio, and two have the added luxury of private hot tubs.
The garden area is a peaceful spot and includes outdoor seating that no doubt comes into its own during warmer months.
We arrive just in time for afternoon tea, which is served either in the Fig restaurant’s front lounge or the larger room behind. At £25 per person, the afternoon tea is very popular, and we are surprised by how busy it is on a weekday afternoon out of peak season. It’s not just for tourists like us; locals have embraced it too for special occasions or an indulgent treat.
We sit in the front room, where I’m utterly mesmerised by the stunning (£1000 a roll) wallpaper. It’s a real feature
and works so well with the fireplace, flooring and bold gold mirror.
A choice of teas or filter coffee is included, though you can add a G&T or glass of fizz if you fancy. The distinctive cake stand and tea and coffee pots were designed by Robert Welch (1929-2000), a successful silversmith who established a workshop and studio in Chipping Campden. Rather appropriately, Welch’s studio was located in a converted silk mill that had once been the site of Charles Robert Ashbee’s Guild and School of Handicraft (Ashbee being one of the founders of the Arts and Crafts movement).
Sandwiches (thick-sliced ham and mustard, smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese, egg may) and plain and fruit scones are excellent – I’m delighted that the kitchen is generous with the clotted cream, as I favour an outrageously thick spread over strawberry jam! The sweets (unusually on the middle rather than top layer) are mostly very good – superb carrot cake, and shot glasses of sweet and silky lemon posset topped with sharp berry compote – but a (tasty) coffee creme choux has been filled too far in advance resulting in soggy choux, and the pistachio slice tastes more of coconut than pistachio.
Dinner is another delight, served again in the Fig restaurant. Having worked with him previously, the hotel’s general manager Craig Webb poached chef Chris Coates to run Fig restaurant last year. Chris’ menu is elegant and appealing.
For our starters, we enjoy Twice Baked Double Gloucester Souffle (£8.5) and Cured Mackerel, Confit Tomato, Beetroot (£9). Flavours are well balanced, and delicious.
Pete’s Supreme of Corn Fed Chicken (£19) comes with fondant potato, roasted shallots, oyster mushrooms, greens, and a sherry vinegar jus. It’s tender, tasty and quickly demolished! I have Glazed Duck Breast (£22) which comes with a smooth onion puree, potato dauphinoise (which I can seldom resist), green beans, roasted carry, greens and a juniper berry jus. The duck is cooked just right and I love the contrast between savoury duck, sweet onion, creamy, rich dauphinoise and the wonderfully full-flavoured gravy.
Greedily, we squeeze in desserts. Pete declares the Lemon Meringue Pie (£8) one of the better ones he’s had, admiring its crisp thin shell, tart lemon curd, sweet torched meringue, and confit orange garnish. My Hot Chocolate Fondant (£9) is decadently rich with a decent cocoa hit, and pairs perfectly with a sharp, fresh raspberry sorbet.
If you fancy a drink before or after dinner, you can pop into Bistro on the Square, a bar as well as a more casual eating space that is also part of the hotel. During our visit, guests could choose to dine in the bistro instead of Fig if they wished, though only one menu covered both.
It’s also where breakfast is served in the mornings.
Breakfast has all the right options available – full cooked breaky, eggs benedict or omelettes supplemented by your choice of croissants and pain au chocolat, fruit salad, cereal etc. You are asked to make and hand in your selection the night before. Our cooked breakfasts are mostly pretty good but let down by the kind of sausage you’d be served by a budget hotel chain – an anomaly against the high quality of dinner.
If you stay for more than one night, you might like to take a meal at the Noel Arms Hotel, opposite. Also owned by Bespoke Hotels, the pub-hotel offers real ales and traditional pub food alongside award-winning Sri Lankan cuisine cooked by head chef Indunil Sanchi.
Chipping Campden itself is a delight to explore. The old Market Hall was built in 1627 by one of the town’s wealthy benefactor, Sir Baptist Hicks, to provide shelter for the town’s traders. Vendors traded goods such as cheese, butter and poultry. Nearly sold to an American in the 1940s, locals raised the money to buy it instead and donated it to the National Trust to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy it.
There are many delightful details to discover around the town.
The Woolstaplers Hall was built in 1340 and for hundreds of years functioned as the local area wool exchange, were merchants came from far afield to buy wool. Wool was one of the key industries in the area during the mediaeval era. The colourful bee keystone above the door was added by Charles Ashbee in 1904.
A few doors along is the Old School House, still sporting it’s stone carving of a teacher’s hand weilding a cane, a nod to the once-much-approved use of corporal punishment. The studded wooden door is rather grand, despite its small size.
There are many other buildings to appreciate, including the large town hall (built in 1520), churches, and an array of houses, pubs and shops, some grand and others a little more modest. The two stone dogs guarding the stairs of Bedfont are cute!
If you have time, do visit St James Church. The church dates from 1180 but the original smaller building has been enlarged and added to over the centuries, with significant additions throughout the 13th, 14tha nd 15th century. The tower (added in 1500) is home to 8 ringing bells, the earliest cast in 1618 and the latest in 1737. The church is usually open during the day, but you may want to check opening hours with them directly.
Further afield, short walks to enjoy from the hotel include a round trip to Broad Campden (just over a mile away) or to the Broadway Tower (3.3 miles away). If you’re a keen walker, Chipping Campden is the start (or end) point of the Cotswold Way, a 102-mile path that traverses scenic, undulating Cotswold countryside all the way to Bath.
Shopping is another popular activity for visitors who appreciate the prevalence of independent shops in place of national chains. There are shops selling arts and crafts (such as a traditional milliners, and an art gallery); vintage garden furniture, and Robert Welch kitchenware (for fans of his distinctive designs), as well as florists, and interior design specialists.
Chipping Camden has two fabulous delis, Tokes (focusing on cheese and wine) and Fillet and Bone (which offers a small fish and meat counter, homemade savoury pastries and pies, fresh fruit and vegetables and a range of honeys, chutneys, and drinks). If you’re heading back home after your visit (or continuing your holiday in self-catering accommodation), a visit to either (or both) before you leave is well worth it – we picked up top quality, locally-picked purple sprouting broccoli and smoked trout fillets from Fillet & Bone for that evening’s meal.
Cotswold House Hotel & Spa is a lovely place to relax, and makes the perfect base for exploring Chipping Campden and the many attractions of the Cotswolds. The hotel showcases a confident design ethic that effortlessly combines period features with modern luxury; service is friendly and professional; and afternoon tea and dinner are a treat!
Kavey Eats visited Chipping Campden as guests of Cotswold House Hotel.
Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!22 Comments to "Cotswold House Hotel & Spa in Chipping Campden"
Excellent! It sounds like a lovely place to stay for a weekend trip. Food looks really good.
I love reading your reviews.
Thanks, yes it’s a great base for exploring the Cotswolds!
The Cotswold house hotel looks like a visitor’s delight. Every corner of the hotel is spilling with luxury featuring impeccable design and decor. And the lavish set up of the tea stand with a choice of treats was a visual treat.The entre strip including the St. James church and the intricate designs of the doors and facades is amazing.
It’s definitely a delight, the decor is lovely!
Cotswold House Hotel and Spa looks perfect for a relaxing weekend. Sign me up for the afternoon tea, the price is reasonable too. It really has old world charm and delicious dining. Private hot tubs sound great!
Yeah I’d definitely be too for a room with a hot tub next time!
Wow – what an experience to stay at the beautiful Cotswold House Hotel in Chipping Campden. The afternoon tea looks divine! Great that the cute town also offers some sightseeing.
The afternoon tea was lovely and yes a great town to sight see!
I have passed this property several times during trips to the Cotswolds but have never stayed there. Having seen the interior it has now found a place on my list of places to stay. Love the stairwell and dining room and the cream tea looks delicious!
We have also noticed it for the last several years but not stayed. I did look to stay a few times as it’s very much our kind of hotel, but was fully booked when I tried (as I left it too late!)
Cotswold seems to be a piece of dreamland. I am intrigued by the yellow limestone buildings indeed. That’s a great hotel spa you mentioned of. The afternoon tea experience seems to be really amazing. Loved the details of the place.
Yeah it’s a lovely region of the UK, very beautiful, lots of charm. And the hotel is a great choice to explore from.
The hotel is really nice. I like your Cottage Room than the Junior Suite, and it’s dog-friendly. Your afternoon tea and dinner at the Fig sounds amazing, it makes me drooling. With only a couple hours away from London, no wonder it became a favorite destination for couples who look for weekend getaway.
Yes we loved the cottage room, although it’s a lower ranked room, we thought it just as gorgeous as that junior suite. Definitely a great place for a short break!
I love it here, we stayed just before the lockdown in 2020 whilst working nearby. It’s the perfect base to enjoy wonderful food, great service and see the local area.
Aah lovely, good to hear you also enjoyed it!
This structure’s robustness is incredible. I like how the yellow limestone has been preserved, giving it an antique feel. The lodgings are beautiful, and the food is delicious! The fact that there is a garden to relax in is something I love.
Yes the architecture of the whole town, including the hotel, is beautiful and very well preserved!
I enjoy their afternoon tea, but their dinner is even better. Always get the Glazed Duck Breast!
Wow! This place is beautiful and charming. Love the spiral staircase. It adds to its vibe and personality. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. Your photos are stunning and you have captured them really well. I enjoyed reading your post.
The yellow limestone houses look pretty. I am wondering how these old houses are still as strong after so many years.
Lovely hotel and town however it’s called House Hotel and Spa but I didn’t read any description of the Spa or even if it’s open to non residents.