Staying at // The Painswick

When we've got three nights to max-out, you'll find us on mainland Europe, wearing an excessively large hat. For any lesser period, a final destination under 90 minutes from our door guarantees an actually pleasurable weekend. At the centre of the beaut Cotswolds village of the same name, The Painswick's our nearest and dearest escape of choice right now, and totally winter proof.


A private house until the 1950s, The Painswick's retained a super homely vibe, whilst delivering on luxe, comfort and the sort of thoughtful extras that'll make you immediately send snaps to all your major WhatsApp groups. Heading out of the small but perfectly formed hotel, we were handed a strolling map and bottle of water, in addition to chef's hella good cookies from our room, which we'd already packed for snacking purposes. 


The Painswick's a place to lose whole afternoons to in front of one of the multiple log fires, in the treatment room or maybe in a roll-top bath. We stayed in Cuttle's Mill, a "medium" room which you should totally request if baths are your thang. Tucked away on the top floor of the garden wing, like many of the bedrooms, we had misty, sweeping views of the Slad Valley and pretty surrounds. The linen's as sink-in-to-me-and-never-leave as you're expecting, and there are enough pillows for you to rotate hourly.


Chef Jamie McCallum's kitchen focuses on modern presentations of old faves. If it's on, start dinner with the twice-baked parmesan soufflé which includes perf smoked haddock and spinach (£10). On mains, the roast stone bass was a flavour triumph (£21) and the beef wellington (£28) had us taking a break from our usual pescatarian world. But it's breakfast that you're going to need to budget as much time as possible for. Think thick, creamy Greek yogurt, a Virgin Mary station, then poached eggs, avo smash and dukkah (£10) — a blend of herbs, nuts, and spices with a focus on pistachios that just gets us. Oh, and the kitchen'll totally make subs and additions if anything on the breakfast menuisn't precisely what you fancy. But don't tell 'em we told you. 


The cocktail game's fierce, and the team come to wherever you may have found to hibernate among the strong sofa sitch. With tastes as different as it sounds, our party was split between the classic, woop-bang-thank-you-mam Negroni, and the Painswickolada, which was the bar's recommendation of the day, and uses Hoxton coconut and grapefruit infused gin mixed with fresh pineapple. Be sure to organise your day so you can have both. And that bath.


Should you choose to leave at any point, Painswick is fifteen miles from Tetbury, twelve from Cheltenham, and five from Stroud (where the team'll get you from if arriving by train). But don't leave. Cotswold walks abound, The Falcon is a super lovely lunch spot overlooking the village's olde worlde church complete with 99 yew trees. There's a cutsie gift shop out back, a deli in the centre of the village and a lover-ly art cafe called The Patchwork Mouse. And all those roaring log fires shouldn't be left unattended for too long.

Rates // From £154 to £204 on a room only basis. Check out last minute availability and packages here (hygge is our fave).