Woodchester House is a gorgeous Georgian hunk of a place, but you might never see most of it. That’s because you’ll be glued to the glassy charms of the garden room. Winner of a RIBA award, this is a contemporary gem keeping watch over the private two-acre arboretum garden. Best of all, it comes with its own cocktail bar.
When you’re not dining, drinking and making merry in there, you’ll be sunning yourself by the heated outdoor pool or sweating it out in the poolhouse steam room. Explore the 36 acres, bring your dogs (but watch the wallabies), walk, cycle, horse-ride, golf or glide your way around the area. Go off-grid a little.
Inside, you’ll luxuriate amid the quirky beauty, snuggle on the big sofas, cook on the four-oven Aga, stream the BT Wi-Fi, bond over billiards and table tennis, load more logs onto the fire, and pile in to the garden room for the telly with a biryani from the Bengal Balti. Come home, but close your eyes and you’re back there once more.
You’ve 36 acres to explore but you’ll be drawn to the glass structure in the garden. That’ll be the contemporary, RIBA award-winning garden room. With its city-break art-gallery feel, this is the place to down cocktails from the bar, stream some TV, wander out to the croquet lawn, and watch the ever-changing tableau of the arboretum garden.
But don’t rush back indoors. No point ignoring the heated outdoor pool, offering 10.5 metres of summertime bliss and a stunning suntrap patio when you’re done. Towel off and head to the steam room in the poolhouse, bash the table-tennis ball around, eat your barbecued steaks around the terrace table. Oh, and say hi to the wallabies.
There’s a quirky luxury on offer here. Big snuggly sofas, a homely Aga flooding warmth throughout, logs to load onto the fire, and brandy to be sipped in the billiard room. Tuck in to log-lit cocktails in the garden room, then stream TV or dance the night away on the wooden floor under the old-style mirror ball.
The main house offers a contrast to the contemporary, although there’s nothing vintage about the BT Wi-Fi, the Bluetooth speakers or the iPod dock. Load another log onto the open fires and pop some Prosecco or Nespresso, while the kids raid the toys and books.
Beyond the great glass cocktail bar, you’ve two sitting rooms to choose from amid a palette of original Georgian features, contemporary art and minimalist furnishings. Kick back and be as sociable or serenely solitary as the mood takes you. Bring a book, bring your dog, bring your world-weary souls and be instantly revived.
You’ve got all the pro tools you need to create culinary magic. Stock up on fresh fare from the Saturday Farmers’ Market and wine from Raffles and get the electric fan oven and four-oven Aga with two gas hobs going. Or don’t. Call in the experts from Birch Catering or William’s Food Hall and put your feet up with a Prosecco.
Make it a great night in with a takeaway from Bengal Balti, Fat Toni’s or the Nailsworth Chop Suey House. Or wander out to three great local pubs: try Cajun-roasted courgette at The Old Fleece, pheasant terrine at The Bell Inn Selsley, or pan-fried lamb’s liver and bacon at The Royal Oak Inn.
For something special, sack off the Aga and head out to The Amalfi Nailsworth for traditional Italian hand-tossed pizzas, fresh pasta and risotto. Try Efe’s Turkish Grill for kleftiko and baklava. Or the tasting menu at Wilder, proud holder of three AA rosettes. Or try more multi-awarded menus at The Olive Tree.
Eat Italian at Sorrento and La Campagna, European and British menus at Birch, seafood treats at William’s Food Hall, a ploughman’s at The Butcher’s Arms, steak pie in front of the log fire at The Frocester George, or just afternoon tea and cake at the Ruskin Mill with its terrace and lake views.
Woodchester House sleeps 14 in seven double bedrooms, three of which split into six singles. Each one is a perfect exercise in carefully crafted, comfortable luxury. Relaxed, contemporary décor and original features complement the contemporary art and minimalist furnishings.
All bedrooms offer superking beds, apart from bedrooms three and seven, which are doubles, and bedroom three has a cot. The bedrooms share three luxury bathrooms.