Thyme Hotel – The Cotswolds, England
Organically evolved over the last two decades, Thyme Cotswolds is a beautiful collection of barns, a rectory and manor house, transformed into a luxury rural village haven. Set in one of the most beautiful spots in the Cotswolds, it’s an intimate and wholly unique English country retreat. We couldn’t resist Thyme’s story – one of a family’s passion for conservation, sustainability and a love of the land, where nature is the most important element.
It’s a 150 acre working farm, with water meadows, gardens, orchards and a natural spring, with much of the produce grown and reared here. Exquisitely decorated with touches of nature everywhere – flowers straight from the cutting garden, botanical infusions and cocktails, and early bird walks – it exudes freshness and life. This is the place to come for quiet weekends, special celebrations, or simply to breathe deeply and restore your own natural balance.
At A Glance
Why We Love It:For its individuality, farm to fork dining & Cotswold charm.
Location:Situated in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold Village of Southrop.
Rooms:30 beautifully designed bedrooms dispersed across the Thyme hamlet.
Swimming:Outdoor spring water pool & hot tub.
Children:Children are welcome, but only to stay in the two-bedroom, self-catered, Old Walls cottage.
Accessibility:There are 12 ground-floor rooms that can be accessed by wheelchair users.
Open From:All year round!
Price:From £475 per room, per night.
Each named after flowers and plants found in an English country garden or wayside, the hotel’s 30 bedrooms are spread across the Farmhouse, Lodge, Courtyard and Garden Rooms. Intimate and individually styled, their interiors are delightfully crisp and fresh, with elegant furnishings and exceptionally comfortable beds. Each of the rooms are sold on a B&B basis with a delicious breakfast served in the Ox Barn.
Except for the self-catering cottage (where children and dogs are welcome) which is only a short walk from Thyme in the village.
It’s food steps at Thyme Hotel, not food miles. With fruit, vegetables and herbs picked daily from the kitchen garden, Southrop lamb from the fields, and eggs from their own hens and ducks, the menus are seasonal and utterly divine. Further afield, Artisan producers from around the UK are handpicked for their ingredients and quality. The gloriously airy Ox Barn is meticulously restored with a modern feel designed and guests dine in style.
Thyme’s own pub, The Swan, was once a coaching inn, and keeping its role in the centre of the village, it’s an informal and relaxed place for lunch or dinner. Make sure you leave room for pudding! The old lambing sheds are now The Baa – a comfortable space for soup, a sandwich, afternoon tea or cocktails. If you’re looking for a private dining venue, the grandly restored Tithe Barn can be booked, with its mouthwatering and seasonal menu.
Thyme began as a cookery school, and we would definitely recommend booking a lesson or two, whether it’s to learn how to make bread or pick up some top dinner party dishes. You’ll be taken through the kitchen garden to pick seasonal ingredients and taught by one of Thyme’s chefs. There are also demonstrations, tastings, foraging tours and talks. If total relaxation is what you’re after, there’s no better place to appreciate the tranquility of country living than in Meadow Spa.
You’ll find a range of bespoke treatments, all using natural ingredients, designed to restore your balance. In the walled garden, there’s an outdoor pool and hot tub, fed by water from Thyme’s own spring, naturally filtered through Cotswold limestone. For exercise you can take bikes to explore the local surroundings and villages, or play tennis on Thyme’s court. For us, it’s just as tempting to find a quiet spot in the garden with a book.
The prevailing ethos at Thyme is a profound respect of the past and the future, and most importantly, a love of the land, nature and the seasons. From the painstaking renovation of the buildings to the careful farming of the land, every aspect of the estate and its operation has sustainability at its heart. The landscape is managed to encourage biodiversity, and the evidence is all around. Otters, kingfishers, water voles and much more, together with a huge ecosystem of wild flowers are all in abundance.
Set on the water meadows of the River Leach, the land is rich and fertile and productive all year round. From rare breed sheep grazing in the pastures, to heritage fruit and vegetables grown in the kitchen gardens and honey from Thyme’s own bees, much of the produce on the menus comes from the estate. Relationships with local producers and suppliers are strong, ensuring a thriving local economy and reducing the carbon footprint, and all the while, their packaging all strictly reusable. Suppliers further afield are chosen for their quality and sustainability, and likewise, any overseas producers have proven records in helping their community. All this has gained Thyme three stars (the highest rating) in the Sustainable Restaurant Association, and it is also a member of the Slow Food Movement. There is a strong commitment to the local community too, with involvement in charity projects and events, and more globally, in conservation programmes such as Tusk. The entire estate is energy efficient, with the use of ground source heat pumps, wood chip boilers and revolutionary heat recovery systems. Thyme is committed to removing the use of single use plastics, with refillable bottles, pencils not pens and beeswax food packing. Nothing is left unused – plate waste is anaerobically digested and used as natural fertilizer, or composted and returned to the gardens. Everywhere you look, there is a connection to nature and the land.
Cotswold Village, Southrop
Situated in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold Village of Southrop. Thyme is about a 90 minute drive away from London or a 40 minute drive away from Swindon train station, an hour's train from London. Transfers to can be organised from London airports and the train station.