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Washbourne Court - Review

SET ON A RIVERBANK in a timewarp Cotswolds village, Washbourne Court has a hard-to-beat picture book setting. But step inside this handsome boutique hotel, and it’s more metropolitan Chelsea than trad Cotswolds.

Olde-worlde surrounds are contrasted with cool decor and new-world comforts. Washbourne Court’s Cotswold stone walls, beamed ceilings and mullioned windows are teamed with bold and contemporary design. Outsize mirrors, exposed brickwork and canvas-mounted artworks – whether Andy Warhol or Old Masters – set off walls painted in shades of mink, pistachio, mulberry or seal grey.

Once a cramming school for young Etonians, Washbourne Court sits in four grassy acres complete with resident ducks. New wings and cottage suites have been discreetly added to the rear of the original 17th century manor, and the riverside terrace is an idyllic spot for a summertime jug of Pimms.

Clawfoot baths


Bedrooms underline the cool Cotswold retreat feel, and some signature rooms have very special bathrooms too. We loved Mustians – nicely private with a vast bed and huge bathroom with clawfoot bath. Cotton Hall is another favourite, with a clawfoot bath right in the bedroom where you can soak while gazing over the gardens. More secluded, split-level courtyard cottages in the grounds have an added downstairs lounge.

Cooking is a highlight at Washbourne Court, and the mirrored walls, charcoal grey chairs and splashes of scarlet make Eton’s Restaurant a suitably sophisticated setting for delicious modern British and French dishes. Scholars gastro bar offers less formal surrounds, with its big stone fireplace and squishy sofas – just the place for a latte or a light supper.

Outside, it’s quintessentially Cotswolds. Ducks waddle across the lawns, the river burbles past and the waterside terrace – perfect for al fresco drinks or lunch in summer – is as pretty a setting as you can find. Wander along footpaths past olde-worlde cottages to the sister village of Upper Slaughter, or further afield. Friendly, unpretentious staff will be pleased to provide walking maps and point you in the right direction.


Washbourne Court was reviewed for Room for Romance by Amanda Kingston.

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