New Cotswolds retreats to rival the classics

Weekending at Water Meadow Cottage and Dormy House

The “Top Notch” room at Dormy House, the Cotswolds
The “Top Notch” room at Dormy House, the Cotswolds | Image: Ray Main

For history within weekending distance of London, consider Water Meadow Cottage (www.watermeadowcottage.co.uk; from £425 per night, second picture). This newly converted 19th-century two‑bedroom retreat is squirrelled away on the Duke of Marlborough’s Oxfordshire Blenheim Estate in the Cotswolds, and has Cole & Son wallpapers, Royal Doulton mantelpieces and silk-trimmed drapery, which speak of its aristocratic provenance. Or Dormy House (www.dormyhouse.co.uk; doubles from £180, first picture), a 40-room hotel near Broadway. The 17th-century farmhouse sports Todhunter Earle interiors – English florals, silver and suede – and a spa opens in February, which will put Dormy House head‑to-head with those Cotswolds weekending classics, Barnsley House and Calcot Manor.

Water Meadow Cottage, a two-bedroom retreat on Blenheim Estate, Oxfordshire
Water Meadow Cottage, a two-bedroom retreat on Blenheim Estate, Oxfordshire
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