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LIVE LIFE WELL

The Lodge is an 18th-century rectory and has eight hotel rooms

A weekend AwAy At

Thyme

The Hollyhock room is set in its own secluded garden

A counTryside cookery school Turned chic coTswolds reTreAT

T

he go-to Gloucestershire bolthole for keen epicureans, Thyme started out as a cottage offering cookery classes but now better resembles a small village. Over a number of years, the site has slowly reworked derelict historic buildings and discreetly added new ones all under the watchful eye of Caryn Hibbert, Thyme’s founder and creative director. Today the estate contains everything from a luxurious hotel and rustic spa, to a working farm, country pub and the cookery school, which is popular as ever. ESCAPE IT ALL Most of the bedrooms can be found in The Lodge, a handsome building and quintessential example of Cotswolds

FEATURE PATriCk HAMiLTOn COurTnEy

The Ox Barn restaurant uses produce grown on the farm

stone architecture. There are three charmingly named room categories – Cosy, Elegant, and Divine – all of which are individually designed and have a vintage-glamour vibe. A scattered collection of outbuildings are available for larger bookings, the most expansive being The Tallet, a four-bedroom, open-plan living space with its own private courtyard. Wherever you end up, you can expect treats such as roll-top baths, True Grace toiletries, fluffy towels and homemade biscuits. COUNTRY GASTRONOMY The newest addition to Thyme is Ox Barn, a casual, contemporary dining room with low hanging beams and emerald-hued seating by Ochre. Head chef Charlie Hibbert’s seasonal menu includes braised beef with pickled walnuts, winter tomatoes with ricotta, and a delectable vegetarian dish of pavéd potatoes with cime di rapa and wild garlic.

Elsewhere, the celebrated cookery school attracts both hotel guests and day visitors, offering accessible classes that focus on seasonal British produce – most of which comes from the kitchen gardens and farm. This July, courses include breadmaking, simple suppers, a south east Asian masterclass, and Andalusian cooking with tapas maestro José Pizarro. OUT AND ABOUT When you’re not scoffing in Ox Barn or lounging in your suite, there’s plenty to explore. The sage-green Meadow Spa boasts an outdoor pool with natural spring water and treatments by Aurelia Probiotic Skincare. Thirsts will be quenched at The Baa or local pub The Swan. And, of course, the Cotswolds are right on your doorstep. HOW MUCH? Double rooms start from around £275 night. Thyme, Southrop Manor Estate, Gloucestershire GL7 3NX, 01367 850174, thyme.co.uk.

While youÕre there... EXPLORE A COTSWOLDS TOWN

VISIT THE HOME OF WILLIAM MORRIS

DINE AT THE ORIGINAL GASTROPUB

Eight miles away is the medieval town of Burford – known as the gateway to the Cotswolds, it’s a jumbled collection of old stone buildings and cobbled walkways.

Once the beloved country retreat of British textile designer William Morris, Kelmscott Manor displays some of the country’s finest decorative arts and furniture from his time.

For longer stays, venture to the sleepy market town of Northleach, home to The Wheatsheaf Inn. A good meal here is guaranteed – it’s known as the original gastropub. COunTry HOMES & inTEriOrS

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