Dormy House, the jewel in the crown of the Farncombe estate, offers spas, Scandi-chic and splendour in the Cotswolds
The fire in this Cotswolds Scandi-chic retreat never goes out, not once, not ever. Come icy winter’s day or blustery British spring, staff ensure the embers burn brightly to complement your post-massage glow.
Dormy House, a very British farmhouse in the heart of Farncombe estate, is full of these Nordic quirks brought over by its Danish owners. And just 100 minutes from London Paddington on a quiet train line, the hotel even offers pick-ups from the little station in its swish Range Rover. I was sipping my first drink just two hours after leaving the grime and bustle of London.
Waking after a late night testing out their set menu – be sure to leave room for their knee-trembling board of local cheeses – I needed some milk to wash down the fresh cookies waiting for me in my room. No shabby packets of long-life milk here. Instead it’s a quick tap on your in-room iPad and a tiny, chilled bottle is brought up to you.
Having plumped for a giant full English rather than the sensible Scandi choice of poached haddock, I enjoyed it in leisurely fashion in the restaurant, overlooking the perfectly manicured lawns. Then it was time for a dip in the indoor infinity pool before resting aching muscles in the Lavender Infusion sauna – sourced from Cotswold lavender fields. I even braved the dry heat of the Hot Juniper Finnish cabin, though I think my temperature gauge was a bit too English for that one.
Already a well-loved bolthole for London professionals, Dormy is more than a hotel. A quick trundle around the grounds reveals that this is what Hollywood producers dream of when they close their eyes and think of England. Indeed, if a rom-com set designer conjured up an ideal Cotswolds setting it would be Dormy’s sister, Foxhill Manor. Part of the Farncombe estate, the Grade II-listed Arts and Crafts country house has been restored to a movie-ready standard. It even comes with a games room and a different James Bond in each of the ladies’ bathrooms: photos, not the real thing, though I wouldn’t be surprised to find him, too.
If it seems Dormy’s luxury or Foxhill’s glamour might break the bank, the owners have recently opened a pared-back experience, The Fish. A little further away, with no access to the spa facilities, it has the best views and cheapest rooms on the estate. And you still get the Danish style and that all-important wood-burning stove. Just make sure it doesn’t go out.
Dormy House: staying there
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