If you’re looking for some Cotswold charm without the hoards of tourists, then look no further than Minster Lovell. It’s a pretty village, not far from Oxford, situated on the River Windrush.
We stayed two nights at the Old Swan & Minster Mill, which is actually two separate properties. The six hundred year old Old Swan village inn and the 18th century Minster Mill. Our room was in the mill and looked out over the lovely gardens.
The room, although compact, was very comfortable with thoughtful touches such as a hot water bottle, magazines and beautiful glassware. There was a Nespresso machine, kettle and plenty of teas and coffees to choose from. The spa was just down the corridor and the aromatherapy scent drifting down to our room was gorgeous.
Beware if you decide to have a cuppa in the pub garden. A pot of tea for two is £8. Better off sticking to the cider if you want value for money.
Dinner on both nights was at the Old Swan, and the food I thought was exceptionally good. My dessert on night two was a chocolate and passion fruit delight and I could have licked the plate clean. There is a dining room or you can choose to eat in the bar. We did a bit of both for variety. The bar is doggy friendly which appeals to me – one waitress even brought a cheeky sausage out for someone’s little Manchester terrier.
Breakfast was self serve, which initially jarred with me as this is a five star hotel, but I have to say the quality was top notch and I was immediately converted.
The hotel has really interesting gardens for those who like a wander. An Archimedes Screw has been installed in the grounds which harnesses the power of the Windrush and provides energy for the hotel.
There is some lovely planting, including veg and herbs. You never know, you might even come across Parker, the pub cat, who is a real sweetie.