Grown-up parties just grew up. Gathering of every kind can sip cocktails in the bar, chill in the hot tub, and enjoy a spot of ice hockey or pool in the games room. Dine grandly beneath the glinting chandeliers, paint nearby Bath any colour you like, then it’s off to your themed luxury bedroom.
The House in the Shoe, on the edge of the Cotswolds’ honey-coloured cottages, ivy-covered inns, meandering streams and rolling hills, sleeps 24 friends, families, kids or revellers. Celebrate big days, special occasions, imminent nuptials, or just life itself in something grand, gracious and very, very grown-up.
Switch on to the superfast fibre broadband, connect to the Naim Mu-so2 music streaming system, or get all cosy old-school and gather round the grand piano, spin some vinyl or battle it out over bar football or table tennis in the games room. In the evenings, let the logs burn as you load up a movie or a match from Now TV. Sleep deeply in crisp cotton.
Take the party outdoors, with an acre of gorgeous grounds for fun and frolics. Dine or drink on raised terraces that sit either side of a lawn that’s ripe for cricket or croquet. Savour the silence as the pub sign creaks in the wind.
Belt a ball around the garden, watch the kids wear out the trampoline. Then, as darkness descends, dive into the hot tub, built for nine and stare upwards. Only Bath’s eerie light disturbs a night sky that glitters with a billion stars.
The is a techno-dream as well as a cradle of elegance. Tap into the excellent wifi connection, fire up your tunes on the two Naim Mu-so2 Bluetooth systems, or dial up a movie or a match on Now TV.
Prefer old school? Sing along around the grand piano, spin some vinyl on the record player and fascinate the kids, or get yourself to the games room for eight-ball pool, ice hockey, bar football, table tennis or darts. You’ll be warmed by two open fires and two log burners (logs supplied).
Once a pub, The House in the Shoe pays homage to its past with a delicious gentlemen’s club (ladies welcome)-style snug that’s all velvet chairs and panelled walls. Pour a pint or create a cocktail from the bar, light the candles, chuck another log on the open fire and settle back to tell tall tales into the small hours.
Make yourself at home among the eclectic décor. The main lounge mixes modern minimalism in funky shades of orange and brown with herringbone floors and a rough-hewn mantel. The House in the Shoe fun, but it’s flexible, too: get together in gregarious groups or raid the bookshelves, bag and book and find a quiet corner.
Start the day with Fresh orange and croissants at the kitchen dining table in the Apple room and watch the sun come up, whilst warming by the log burner. When the evenings draws in, chill around the breakfast bar whilst the dinner is cooking, and have the banter, with friends and family.
Then retire to the grand dining room, with its period wallpaper, marble floor, panelled walls and chandeliers, and feel like a king or queen in the head chair. You’ll get two cricket teams around the banquet table. If you’d prefer the heat from the hot tub to the heat from the kitchen, get out. Call up our chefs from Baraka Catering, Hand made by Clara Hand, or The Canape Kitchen for one-off celebrations or fully catered breaks. Or tackle takeaways from Tollgate Pizza, Tale of Spice, or The Bell Inn fish and chips.
Stock up at Waitrose in Chipping Sodbury, Central Stores and Deli in Marshfield, and Marshfield Bakery. For farmhouse cheeses, charcuterie, homemade patisserie and ready meals, try The Fine Cheese Company in Bath. Wash it all down with red or white from Great Western Wine in Bath.
Eat out at The Catherine Wheel and The Lord Nelson, both Cotswold-stone pubs with real ale, great food and roaring fires. Overdose on quaint at The Quarryman’s Arms, or take a terrace seat at the Gladstone Arms for crisp belly pork or confit duck leg. Or go full fancy pants for glittering cuisine at Bath’s Michelin-starred The Olive Tree or an amazing food adventure at Menu Gordon Jones.
These aren’t bedrooms, they’re full-on retreats. Enjoy themed, quirky bedrooms replete with four-posters, raised baths and funky décor. Pick the room that’s got you written all over it. Fossecombe House sleeps 29 in eight bedrooms.
Bedroom one, “Tranquillity bedroom” offers either a super king or twins, thanks to the wonder of zip-and-link.
Bedroom two, “The old library” has a large en-suite with a zip-and-link super king and a large sofa bed, sleeping four.
Bedroom three, “The Serengeti bedroom”, you’ve got a zip-and-link super king and a large sofa bed, sleeps 4.
Bedroom four, “The Hacienda bedroom” is a large room with en-suite, with super king and large sofa bed, sleeps four.
Bedroom five, “Old Macferdens lair” has a super king four poster with a large double sofa bed and an en-suite bathroom, sleeps 4.
Bedroom six, “New York, New York”, has a zip-and-link kingsize double and a triple bed, sleeps 5.
Bedroom seven, “The Hatch”, has two adult bunks, sleeps 2.
Bedroom eight, “The peacock suite”, has a zip-and-link super king, a single and a double sofa bed, sleeps five. With a large en-suite, bath and walk in shower and a Kitchen area with breakfast bar.
Kids love big houses and kids love holidays. Put them together and you’ve got the world’s largest game of hide and seek. Around the Cotswolds, there’s plenty to excite curious minds and exercise growing bodies, but you don’t even have to venture off site to stimulate young senses.
Two large-screen TVs serve up, Freeview, Netflix, Iplayer, ITV hub, channel four, and Now TV for Sky sports and movies – order what tickles your fancy, and settle back in the living room or playroom for a film or the footy. Or fire up the wii or Xbox. It’s all the better with the logs burning away. The garden offers an acre of cricket, croquet, a kickabout, or just handstands on the lawn. Make hours vanish on the trampoline.
For surfing, connect via the “4 bar everywhere” wifi to superfast broadband. Get your music going on the state-of-the-art Naim Mu-so2 system, or stare dumbfounded at the circular vinyl and work out where the sounds come from.
Keep the old school coming with mum and dad and gather round the grand piano and sing your hearts out. Or head to the games room to beat the rellies at bar football, eight-ball pool, ice hockey, table tennis or darts. For the bookish, the shelves are groaning. At Fossecombe House, every room’s a winner for kids.