Estelle Manor – Oxfordshire, England
The instant you turn onto the long gravel drive, and at the end of it are greeted by a team of attentive, highly polished staff, you know you’re in for a treat. Estelle Manor is a glorious mix of grand country estate and slick, contemporary living, where leaving the grounds (3,000 acres of parkland) whilst you’re here, will probably not occur to you. If you think the exterior is magnificent, with its extensive Riviera-style terraces and sweeping views, the interiors won’t disappoint.
Patterned wallpapers, custom made chandeliers, eclectic artwork, rich velvet sofas are juxtaposed with large stone fireplaces, mullion windows and wood panelling. It is chic and indulgent, where you most definitely come to enjoy life. The manor calls itself a hosted home – it’s a country retreat like no other.
At A Glance
Why We Love It:For its perfect positioning between Oxford and the Cotswolds, and its exceptionally lavish attention to detail
Style:Neo Jacobean splendour
Location:In North Leigh, on the edge of the Cotswolds – under two hours from London, 30 minutes from Oxford and a short drive from Woodstock
Rooms:108 splendidly decorated rooms, suites and cottages in the main house and throughout the gardens and estate
Swimming:25m pool on the terrace and five pools in the Romanesque bath house
Children:Take your little ones.
Accessibility:Many of the rooms and suites in the house and gardens are suitable for guests with mobility issues
Open From:All year round.
Price:from £450 per room, per night.
Ornately decorated and filled with antiques from Europe and beyond, each of the rooms, suites and cottages is sumptuously grown up. The rooms in the main house are for adults only – families have the pick of the suites and cottages around the gardens and grounds. King or emperor size beds, with handmade mattresses, soft rugs and antique furniture feature in them all, as do elegant marble clad bathrooms. The Suites are large and luxurious, with those in the main house looking out over the terraces and grounds.
For extra privacy or larger groups and families, the cottages and houses in the grounds are cosy and welcoming. They range from one to six bedrooms, with some having a Scandinavian feel, whilst others give off a true country estate vibe. And the mini bars are stocked with Ruinart and eye masks!
Dining is definitely meant to be enjoyed, and with a choice of four very different restaurants, make sure you try them all. Take breakfast in the Brasserie, with its own orangery and terrace, and enjoy classis fare, or sleep in and head there for brunch. The elaborate Billiards Room has a traditional Chinese menu, where the dim sum are the stars of the show. For family style dining and sharing platters, The Glasshouse in the walled gardens serves fresh produce in an informal atmosphere. For light meals and cocktails, the sumptuous Living Room is the place to put your feet up.
Take life at your own pace here. For the active guest, the gym has absolutely everything you could possibly imagine, together with a fitness studio that has a full schedule of classes from Boxfit to Pilates and everything in between. The Eynsham Baths, a magnificent Romanesque bath house, is home to one of the finest Spas we’ve seen, so we recommend pre-booking a treatment or two.
Out in the grounds, you might just want to take a picnic and soak up the peace and quiet, or explore the parklands and woods on foot or by bike. The Head Falconer is on hand to teach the art of falconry, and there’s archery and even axe throwing. Or you may prefer a little retail therapy in the extravagantly stocked boutique. If you do venture out, Oxford, Blenheim and Woodstock are on the doorstep for a cultural day out. Or head west and go deep into the Cotswolds.
This is an indulgent escape to the country with your children. Explore the grounds as a family, taking in the picturesque Oxfordshire countryside.
All the little details have been thought of, from electric vehicles on the estate to refillable bathroom amenities. Flowers come from within a ten mile radius, and cooking oil, once used, is repurposed.
In North Leigh, on the edge of the Cotswolds – under two hours from London, 30 minutes from Oxford and a short drive from Woodstock