Cowley Manor and Spa

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A complimentary bottle of house champagne

COWLEY MANOR IS FOR THOSE who love their country dished up with plenty of urban pizzazz. Outside, Cotswold country-pile stone grandeur and 55 acres of landscaped grounds complete with lakes and Victorian cascades are every bit the setting for a lush period drama.

Inside, metropolitan surrounds tell a wickedly different tale. Trad goes out of the window inside this grand Italianate manor set in idyllic English country parkland.

Cowley Manor’s winning combo of hip and heritage mixes classic settings with flamboyant modern design. Forget the chintz and draughty windows of Georgian piles in the shires, and walk into a world of cowhide chairs, glossy bathrooms, witty sculptures and sleek townie technics.

Split between the mansion and the stable block, bedrooms come with custom-made designer furniture and fabrics, boldly coloured feature walls, warm wood floors and rattan carpets. Trademark eye-opening bathrooms have outsize shower heads and indecently big baths, while the gadget quota includes wi-fi, iPod dock and a state-of-the-art Loewe TV complete with PlayStation.

Split-level Suites

Jauntily classed as Good, Great, Better, Exceptional and Best, bedrooms vary in size, shape and layout. Some are split-level, some have a private terrace or an open-plan sitting room, while at least one has a bathtub at the bottom of the bed. All are light and spacious, with wall-mounted CD players, and a well-stocked minibar.

Who stays? Metropolitan A-listers, naturally. Hugh Grant, Kate Moss and others have bedded down here.

Bliss out in Cowley Manor’s C-side spa, built into a hillside. You’ll find two gorgeous pools – one indoor, one outdoor – and all the trimmings, plus a full treatment list and gym.

There’s also a funky bar where you can sip a cocktail, watch the sunset or get toasty by the fire, and a fabulous suntrap terrace with glorious views over the Grade II listed grounds where you can just chill with a book.

This hip retreat for stressed urbanites also scores on the food front. Tuck into modishly done comfort food – bangers and mash, fish and chips or cottage pie – in Cowley Manor’s restaurant, or devour a picnic lunch in those picture-worthy grounds on summer days.

© Room for Romance

Cowley Manor and Spa was reviewed for Room for Romance by Holly Morgan

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