Emma McCall was swept off her feet at Foxhill Manor - in more ways than one.
Its ethos might sound like the title of a stroppy teenage drama, but the wealth of luxury and finesse to be soaked up at Foxhill Manor is certainly not a work of fiction.
Indeed, those fortunate enough to stay at this elegant Cotswold stone manor house nestled away on the Farncombe estate are actively encouraged to treat the exquisitely styled establishment as a home from home.
There’s certainly no standing on ceremony or fusty rules here. We were invited to explore every room and aspect of the hotel (when I say hotel, it’s more of a personal country house, with eight ginormous rooms and not a reception desk in sight) and to treat its cosy interiors and secluded private surroundings as our own.
This welcoming, friendly and relaxed ethos is reflected in where you dine, too — the choice of what, when and where to eat is entirely up to you.
Of course this novelty is daunting — the temptation to ask for lobster thermidor followed by candy floss is all hilarious at first — but, once you actually sit and think you realise, the world really is your oyster.
Luckily, head chef Iain Dixon was on hand to help. Iain enticed us to order the most delicious seven courses that my palate would never have dreamt up. However, if rich food is not to your taste, the staff would be more than happy to rustle up beans on toast at 4am. All you have to do is say the word – and the uncompromising, friendly hosts oblige.
Foxhill Manor boasts a beautiful combination of modern and classical art positioned amongst its chic, country interiors, which complements the taste of Sorensen family who own the estate.
One of the best spots is the drawing room that faces out onto arguably the best work of art—the breathtaking, uninterrupted view that stretches as far as the Black Mountains in Wales.
Some of our fellow guests chose this spot to dine, especially as the huge hearth of an open fire draws you in at dinner.
Built in 1909, the manor house also offers a cinema room that is amusingly decked out in comic strip wallpaper and, for outdoor types, there’s plenty of walking and wandering with wellies handily included.
It’s also possible to play tennis and Segway around the 500 acres estate. Archery and clay pigeon shooting can also be arranged at the drop of an arrow.
One of Foxhill’s major draws is its link to Dormy House, its larger sister hotel located further up the hill on the estate, at which guests are able to use all its copious facilities, including its own top-notch spa. A haven of tranquillity and relaxing treatments, I was lucky enough to indulge in an hour’s body massage.
I cannot speak highly enough of the spa’s acclaimed masseuse who managed relax me, which was no easy feat due to my boyfriend (now fiancé) proposing to me at he top of the hill just half an hour before my appointment.
As he eloquently put it afterwards: ‘Watch out, you’ll go out for walk, fall over and end up landing on one knee!’
That’s a pretty good reason to return to this quintessentially English piece of beauty, but I was already convinced before saying I do….
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Highlights: Views, an open-all-hours pantry (worth a visit in itself, as Foxhill offers a pay as you go policy on food and drinks) and the freedom of eating whatever, whenever and wherever
Summary: Perfect for a stylish pampered get-away set in the most beautiful and private spot
Did you know: It’s also possible to hire the whole hotel on an exclusive basis
Foxhill Manor, Farncombe Estate, Broadway, Worcestershire WR12 7LJ (01386 852711; foxhillmanor.com)