When you live in London, it’s so easy to adapt to the concrete jungle. High rise buildings, traffic on Regents Street, people everywhere… But remember, human beings aren’t designed to live that way and it’s amazing how it can affect you in a negative way. Being from Wales, I’m fortunate that I can visit my family there whenever and when I do, I always come back more relaxed and calm. With the trees, hillsides and big gardens it’s definitely a more relaxed way of living. I don’t know how people in the city cope without this escapism.
That was until I visited the Cotswolds for the first time. Now I’d heard about the Cotswolds, usually from people who are at least into their thirties, who aren’t the raving or partying type and who may or may not drive a fancy car. It never seemed my cup of tea until I reached the age of about 28 and then that’s all I could think about. Getting into ‘the country’ and driving through the windy lanes with rapeseed fields sprawling either side of our car, it seemed like an amazing place to be.On Saturday, Daniel told me to get into the car because we were going for a surprise. Totally reliant on a sat nav, I managed to spend the entire time not having a clue where we were going. As I saw a sign for Bicester Village, immediately I thought I’d be taken on a shopping trip. We pulled in to the car park and headed straight for the nearest restaurant. No time for shopping though (WHAT) and after my first Matcha Latte (I know, where have I been) and some chicken we ventured back to the car and he plugged in another address. “You will have reached your destination in three minutes” the phone later shouted. What, where on earth are we? Then I saw that cute little dark brown road sign directing us to Dormy House. My heart was racing, I’d stalked the website for a good year or so and never really mentioned it to Daniel because there was never the right occasion to go there and lets face it, the price tag is on the higher side of a normal weekend away so I always thought it’d be a ‘no’.
After a meet and greet by attentive staff, we checked in and had a quick tour of the hotel and spa. Already I’d eyed up the cocktail menu and picked our table for the evening meal. I couldn’t wait to go for a treatment at the spa and see what the little drinks bar in the front had to offer. We were taken to the room which was huge and even had it’s own little outdoor patio. Leaving our bags we went for a stroll in our bathrobe and slippers, of course ending up in the beautiful spa. A sauna, steam room, lavender infused heated room and swimming pool peppered with loungers comfortable enough to send even insomniacs to sleep. Ok maybe not proven but it certainly felt like it.
All this spa work obviously makes one super hungry so after a quick shower, we ventured for dinner. We ate in the Garden Room with a menu boasting fresh ingredients from a chef who uses local produce, I knew it was going to be pretty epic. Whilst we devoured an amuse bouche of beetroot and goats cheese macaroon with a caviar, salmon and cream cheese cone, I decided on a first course of ‘Billy’s Hen Egg with Jersey Royals, garden nettles and truffle’ (same as Daniel) followed by an Onion Tarte Tatin with ceps, salsify and sprouting broccoli. Dan on the other hand ordered the Halibut with cauliflower, curry and lime. Total food envy. For dessert it had to be the Soufflé with madagascan vanilla and apple crumble – by far their most popular. Daniel chose the Valrhona Chocolate with cremeoux, cookie and violets. I’m still dreaming of that desert now.
After a nightcap of Prosecco, whiskey and a ‘Dormy Sling’ for me, we chatted about life, our future, how important it is to get a break from London and how much we loved Dormy House.
Prices start from around £300 for bed and breakfast, meals from £45 per person and spa access is free. You can take a look at the pretty places to visit nearby and spend your time relaxing in the spa. The hotel is completely unpretentious but just focused on making sure you have a good time.
Have you been to Dormy House? What did you think? Xx