HAVE you ever wondered why anyone would spend £400 a night on a hotel? So did we until our visit to Foxhill Manor, just outside of Broadway.
By Standard and Observer reporters Beth Sharp and Aaron Wise.
AFTER experiencing a night in this luxurious Grade II listed building we can honestly say we left feeling giddy and sad to be returning home.
Built in 1909, during the arts and xrafts architectural movement, Foxhill Manor is completely dazzling incorporating the tradition building with a modern decor.
Initially named as Furzehill, the manor became known as Foxhill in its early life. For generations it was a family home.
During out visit we were talked through the concept behind the hotel which has been designed to make ever guest feel like they are in their own home. Whilst other venues have their same concept none that we knew of or could imagine met this as well as privately owned, 400-acre, Farncombe estate nestled in the Cotswolds.
Our tour began with a golf caddie ride around the estate where we got to explore the rooms, bar and later the spa.
The caddies are used to transport guests to their rooms which makes a nice welcome treat.
Upon arriving at the manor we were shown around our rooms, and were completely blown away.
In total their are eight spacious bedrooms and suites with stunning en-suite bathrooms and amazing views.
Each one is individually styled and named after trees, the bedrooms are called the Juniper, Birch, Willow, Chestnut and Maple while the suites have been named Hazel, Beech and Oak.
All the rooms have a flat screen TV, in-room tablets, wired and wireless Internet access, a radio with an iPod/MP3 docking station, a Nespresso machine, homemade biscuits and complimentary water.
As well as this they also benefitted from having a 24-hour in-room dining, laundry and dry cleaning and full turn-down service, wellies on request and access to the Dormy House Spa.
One of the more delightful surprises we had was meeting the butler Mirek who welcomed us and offered to attend to all of our needs. We were told there had been occasions where people had requested steak sandwiches and beans on toast at 1am in the morning, which they were more than happy to do for them.
After freshening up we were invited for champagne and canapes which had all been freshly made by the chef, using local produce.
We got to enjoy fennel crusted lamb fillet, goat’s cheese and beetroot meringues, truffle and cep custard, parmesan sable and razor clam tartar with yuzu gel. Each one was delicious in their own right and set us up for what was to come at dinner.
After being seated we were brought freshly baked bread roles while we waited for the first course.
Whilst waiting for out first course we were told how there were no set menus or meal times at Foxhill Manor and the chef ran a ‘whatever, whenever’ policy. A daily four course menu is prepared but this is not compulsory, there are a selection of house specials – available at lunch too – or if guests are craving a particular dish the team will do their best to rustle it up. Gourmet picnic hampers can also be prepared.
Guests can also pop into the kitchen and ask chef to rustle something up or ask the host to drive them to The Garden Room or The Potting Shed at Dormy House when every they want.
To start we had heritage tomato salad with mozzarella ice cream before being treated to a tapas styled main.
This included lobster thermidor, chateaubriand, cafe de Paris, fine beans and almond beurre noisette, rocket and parmesan salad, dauphinoise potatoes, chantenay carrots and truffle and parmesan chips.
The concept was a create a family dinner with lots of dishes to share around.
To finish we were brought cookie dough, bourbon milkshake and vanilla ice cream.
The meal was divine, nothing on the table was left untouched and was all clearly freshly made.
After this we were invited to the drawing room to enjoy a cheese board and Foxhill sweetshop petit fours.
Rates start from £375 per night per room mid-week and from £425 per night per room at weekends.
This includes a full breakfast, a well-stocked drinks trolley with an array of tipples and ‘help yourself’ cakes and petit fours.
There is popcorn and cinema snacks for the media room and the pantry – a cupboard of goodies on the first floor, containing a selection of premixed cocktails, soft drinks, snacks and half a bottle of champagne.
After retiring to our rooms, the Maple and the Chestnut, to find our beds ready, dressing gown and slippers out and the curtains and blinds drawn.
Before going to sleep we both took advantage of the stand alone tubs in our rooms and the supplied bath oils, shampoos and conditioners.
The next morning we both woke replenished and ready to start the day.
For breakfast, there was no menu, you simply just asked for what you wanted whether that be pancakes, eggs benedict or a full English.
We were then given a tour around Dormy House and full access to the spa.
There is no shortage of things to do with endless adventures available on the site from woodland strolls to nature trails and a game of tennis on the estate. Visits can also enjoy shooting, mountain bike riding, segway, horseback riding, cycling, archery and much more can be arranged.
Farncombe Courses range from photography and cookery to arts and craft classes which are held on the weekends throughout the year. The team can also book private wine and whisky tastings and a casino or karaoke night.
As well as this there is also an 18-hole Broadway Golf Club on the estate’s doorstep and special rates are available for guests of Foxhill Manor.
A dedicated wedding co-ordinator is also always on hand to cater to every style of wedding at Foxhill Manor whether it be weddings church service or civil ceremony, full wedding breakfast or champagne reception, large floral arrangements or intricate cake decorations.
The Ballroom can accommodate up to 28 delegates boardroom style, 40 cabaret style and 75 for a seated dinner.It is also available for high-level executive meetings, team away days, strategy and brainstorming retreats.
There are also photo opportunities throughout the estate, including the private Japanese Garden making it ideal for weddings.
There are not enough words to decribe the luxury experience, rooms and food offered at Foxhill. No amount of pictures or words can really give this hotel justice. The staff go above and beyond and work as a family and make everyone feel like royalty in their own home.
Visit foxhillmanor.com for more.