|Old Swan and Minster Mill|
After much deliberation as to what to do and where to go this half term, we have decided to stay in the UK and get cosy in the Cotswolds.
The last time we visited this neck of the woods Dougie and I went as a couple as Rory was away skiing with the school. We had a fabulous time at Barnsley House, where, if you remember, there was a huge bath at the bottom of the bed. Now this was all very well for a romantic few days a deux but when you’ve got a 15 year old lad in tow, it doesn’t bear thinking about.
So I did some searching on t’internet and I have found this gem, the Old Swan and Minster Mill, a gorgeous inn and country house set in 65 acres of meadows and gardens on the River Windrush. It is owned by the de Savary family and has undergone a multimillion pound refurbishment. It’s not cheap but it is beautiful.
The reason it ticks all the boxes for a family break is mainly the fact that it has inter-connecting rooms. I had a bit of a rant about the scarcity of these in a recent post. We have booked two rooms in the more modern Minster Mill block and they have discounted the second room, which is a big bonus.
The hotel does seem to understand what makes for a family holiday experience, albeit at the top end of the market. As well as family rooms and connecting rooms, it is dog-friendly (not that we’ve got one!) and has activities available for all ages including nature walks, archery, petting farm, duck races (?), fishing, table tennis, table football and arts/crafts. We even received a phone call asking if Rory would like to go to the children’s Halloween Party at the hotel during the week we are staying. I declined on his behalf as he would rather stick a hot poker in his eye, quite frankly, but we appreciated the offer nonetheless. Free wi-fi and a great pub menu were of more interest.
So, readers, I need some advice as to where to go for days out while we are there. We are sort of equidistant from Cheltenham (Dougie and I visited there last time), Cirencester and Oxford. I’d love a day in Oxford but, being a Cambridge girl, am a bit clueless as to what will be of interest for all of us. One good thing is that Rory now enjoys shopping (hoorah) and we’ve pencilled in a trip to Bicester Village for some discount bargain-hunting.
Let me know if you have any suggestions and, while you’re at it, tell me where you’re off to, if at all, with the kids this half term.