TravelNoise: Tewkesbury Park Hotel, Cotswolds
It is not easy for most people to get away for a night: Jobs, commitments and childcare can be all encompassing but it’s really important to make an exception and when you do, make sure the exception is worth the trouble.
Suzie and I unwind on the drive over, each leaving our toddlers in the capable care of our husbands; we’re free for a night and needing rejuvenation. Despite travelling in rush hour traffic, finding Gloucestershire based Tewkesbury Park is surprisingly easy, positioned just 5 miles from the M5 in a stunning rural setting.
A Golfer’s Delight…
As we made our way up the extensive hotel driveway our first impression is of golf! And well it might be with a 72-par course set in 163acres of beautiful surrounding parkland. Every direction contains lush green space, overlooking the site of the Battle of Tewkesbury backed by the soft purple hues of the Malvern Hills, views across to the Cotswolds and even a glimpse of Tewksbury Abbey.
Tewksbury Park has just undergone a two-year luxury renovation project and we are keen to see the result. Having left spaghetti strewn kitchens at home, walking through the doors of the hotel the effect was smart and welcoming, with crisp new paint barely dry on the walls, the new luxury décor has an exquisite clean contemporary feel.
Duke of Somerset…
The bedroom, named the Duke of Somerset, is one of many rooms that take its name from a key person who fought in the 1471 Battle of Tewksbury. I love the idea of a meeting in the Duke of Gloucester or Earl of Warwick conference room.
The bathroom is quite frankly palatial, there is certainly room to swing a golf club. A Nespresso machine in the bedroom produces a well-timed caffeine perk and a beautifully presented fruit platter promises more goodies for the palate, not icey cold and tasteless from the fridge but nearing room temperature, full of flavour and absolutely delicious.
The 19th Hole…
By now we are starting to feel nearly human, so we head back downstairs in search of dinner in the Garden restaurant to experience a menu created by award-winning executive chef, Anuj Thakur. Seated in the Orangery, with stunning views of the grounds we were impressed to see the restaurant buzzing on a Wednesday night and after a quick look at the menu it was not hard to see why. With locally sourced ingredients such as Reville’s Farm Asparagus, Brixham Scallop, Cheltenham heritage beetroot and Cerney Ash goat’s cheese, it is with great difficulty that Suzie and I select our dishes, accompanied with promises to share everything.
My Pan Fried Brixham Scallop (£10.95) served with a shellfish foam, chorizo crisp, bacon powder, pickled radish and seas herbs is exquisite. The favours are perfectly complementary but it is the rich tomato based sauce that leaves me wanting more. Suzie’s Cerney Ash Goat’s Cheese (£6.95) is worthy of its World Cheese Award, and is served with Cheltenham heritage beetroot, balsamic pearls and beetroot crisp – a beautifully well-balanced contrast of flavours and textures.
The house white, a 2015 French Vermentino Vieilles Vignes (£19.50) with IGP Pays d’Oc mark of quality makes an excellent complement to our meals; we found that it worked well as a crisp, palate-cleaning uncomplicated accompaniment.
We don’t have to wait long for our main course to arrive. When in Gloucester, go for the Gloucester Old Spot Pork Three Ways (£17.95). A spiced ham hock croquette is a surprisingly flavourful textured and complex addition to the dish, the loin escallops have good dense meaty texture, with the softer more flavourful belly portion the champion of the dish completed with purple sprouting broccoli and Willy’s cider sauce. (We discovered that Willy is a local cider maker, rather than one of the chefs.) Suzie’s Norwegian Skrei Cod Fillet (£17.95) with a Jersey Royal tartar, green beans, confit grapes, wild garlic sauce is divine and perfectly cooked, with the cod flakes just sliding apart beautifully under gentle pressure form the fork. Triple Cooked hand cut chips (£4.95) are unnecessary but delicious addition to what is already ample sustenance.
I finished my meal with Chocolate Orange Mousse (£7.95) made with layers of chocolate and orange jelly which made for an unusual combination of textures. But Suzie certainly won the dessert race with a Hazelnut Praline Parfait (£6.95) which was delicate, light and unbelievably moreish, served with caramelised banana and salted caramel ice cream.
After such a good meal we were ready for our Hypnos beds, air conditioning, stylish black out curtains and Moroccan Mint tea which room service arrived with barely minutes after our request.
The final unwind…
In the morning a light continental style breakfast with deliciously indulgent home-made granola layered yogurts, set us up for the day. Suzie went off in search of the leisure facilities which include a gym, indoor swimming pool, sauna and steam room and of course a thriving golf club. Meanwhile, I went off to experience a massage in the newly renovated spas rooms and returned well and truly space-cadet level relaxed.
Mission accomplished; revived, rejuvenated and relaxed to the very core, we are ready to head home and take back the toddler trials. I’m not sure how I will console my three year old that I didn’t meet Dr Foster in Gloucestershire, nor was there a shower of rain, in fact quite the opposite.
What you need to know:
- Dinner, bed and breakfast in an Indulgent Historic Room costs from £298
- There are four grades of room; Just Right, Touch of Class, Indulgent Historic Suite, Opulent Historic Suite
- Just Right rooms start at £134
- Dogs welcome in certain rooms
- The Wedding and events suite is due to be complete in July 2017