Severn Bank House seems designed to lift the soul and restore energy to tired minds and bodies. The therapy begins as you meander through the tranquil Forest of Dean past the cathedral city of Gloucester, through vale and woodland, scarp slopes and valleys and landscapes peppered with free-roaming Welsh-mountain sheep.
Arrive in Minsterworth on the western bank of the salmon-rich Severn and stress will seem consigned to another life. Take in the river views from the boathouse balcony and let the rush of water calm your soul. Time your visit carefully and enjoy a grandstand view of the surfers riding the Severn Bore.
Cook up a storm yourself or be catered for while you put your feet up. Pop out for a pint to the rustic Red Lion. Sleep in silence that’s total apart from the calming sound of the Severn. Severn Bank House is the place to restore and renew, to pamper the spirit and remember what friendship and family really mean.
Fling open the French doors from the indoor pool and open up over half an acre of lawn, privet and total privacy. Recharge and relax with al-fresco dining on the long table against the soothing sounds of the salmon-rich Severn. Patio areas pop up here and there for pre-prandial Pimm’s or steaks under the summer sun.
Out here under the big blue skies there’s a detached games annex, complete with huge TV, table tennis, football table and darts. Drink in the views of the Severn and the pastures beyond from the picture window and balcony. But grab your towel and trunks, because you can’t stay out of that pool for long.
It’s seven-foot deep, well heated and well and truly indoors. The pool is a year-round attraction. Break out the fun inflatables and fire up the Bluetooth sounds. Splash around, lose a few cares, try to prise the kids from the water.
Beneath the oak beams, the kitchen’s big and beautiful. Next door, the breakfast room sits ready for juice and coffee and a croissant or two. Slide open the doors to the garden and let in an outside world of clean country air, birdsong and the babble of the rushing river.
If you feel at home on the range, there’s a fine one waiting for you here, with fresh fare from the butcher’s next door. Or put your feet up and let our chefs step in while you pop out for a cheeky one at the Red Lion. Need a butler and silver service? The panelled dining room with seats for up to 26 is made for it.
Try the Little Thatch Inn for homemade British classics and fine fish dishes. Head out to Hardwicke’s Pilot Inn for handmade burger with bacon and Double Gloucester or grilled sea bass fillet, all served up with canal views from the garden or conservatory. At the Fox and Elm, there’s real ale and a really warm welcome by the roaring fire.
Get out to Gloucester for Indian, Thai, Italian, Chinese, Nepalese and everything in between. Forget your knives and forks as you tuck in to authentic African at C&W’s, or try the best of the Med at Sebz. For truly fine dining, pick from four Michelin-starred eateries including Le Champignon Sauvage and 5 North Street.
Severn Bank House sleeps 24 in unashamed opulence, with five bath/shower rooms and eight bedrooms. Pick your preferred sleeping arrangement: party people will love the dorm-style room above the pool, while the all-pooped-out looking for 40 winks will want the rooms on the other side.
Wherever you sleep, soft furnishings are plush, mattresses deep and pillows plumped. Beams, oak doors and original features abound. You’ll squabble for all you’re worth to get a river view: wake in the master bedroom to pull back the swags, open up the doors and drink in the softly flowing Severn.
Bedroom one is a large ground-floor double with en-suite, while bedroom two is a large double. Bedrooms three to six offer singles that zip up into king sizes, and five comes with a balcony. Seven is a large double and eight is a single. Bedroom nine offers a sofa bed, and the dorm sleeps up to 11 in singles with en-suite bathroom.
Each room is a haven of peace in a tranquil river setting. Rooms come complete with white crisp linen, towels, robes, slippers and hairdryers; some have TV with wifi. Sleep deeply and recharge in the serenity of the rural silence, broken only by the call of the sandpipers and flycatchers that populate the river.