Welcoming in 2016 at Cowley Manor Spa

Cowley Manor Spa

Last year, LM, Betsy and I took ourselves off for a New Year break to Bath, where we stayed at the Queensbury Hotel and spent a day at the wonderful Thermae Bath Spa.

We headed there on New Year’s Day, when the rest of the world was still sleeping/recovering and had the most gorgeous, relaxing time. We had time to think, chat, ponder and wonder about the year ahead, while being wrapped in warm fluffy robes and reclining in a deliciously warm and comforting environment. It was heaven.

We decided then that this would be our New Year tradition and so this year, we followed suit and found ourselves somewhere equally extraordinary.

Cowley Manor Spa is one at the top of the Mr & Mrs Smith Cotswold spa recommendations and has been raved about consistently on Trip Advisor… so we were VERY EXCITED.

We booked ourselves a little cosy studio flat near Cheltenham on AirBnb for 2 nights – the 1st and 2nd January – and on New Year’s Day we jumped into Betsy and drove on the near empty roads (such a pleasure!) to the Cotswolds for a little foodie and spa adventure.

I don’t know very much about cars, but my little Fiat 500 could not be more perfect for these little jaunts away. The boot is large enough to fit everything in, the built-in sat nav is like a dream come true, she keeps us warm, she keeps cosy, she has EXCELLENT taste in music and she is so SO comfortable. (And I should say right now that LM is 6ft 4″.)

The Kings Head Inn Bledington

The Kings Head Inn, Bledington

We stopped off in Bledington at The Kings Head Inn for lunch, which I’d spied on Giles Coren’s top 25 list of pubs for foodies – it was number 3. Kaboom.

It was just as we’d hoped – low ceilings, exposed beams, roaring fires, loads of people in wellies devouring pints of ale and fantastic pub food… we both chose the venison cottage pie and it was so, SO good I tweeted it to the world…

Kings Head Inn Bledington

As we were eating, the heavens opened and the rain came pouring down with force and pace. We paid up, ran through the rain to Betsy, jumped in and continued our journey to Cheltenham….

Half an hour later we were there, unpacked, under blankets and drinking tea. I LOVE AirBnb – I’ve used it a few times now and each time it’s been superb. We stayed here and our host was absolutely wonderful… she’d left us biscuits, chocolates, milk, bacon and eggs… and plenty of other delicious treats. If you’re ever looking for a spot near Cheltenham, I can’t recommend this place enough!

We settled in for the rest of the day with books, biscuits and Netflix (addicted to Friday Night Lights at the moment – a bit late to the party) and then headed out to The Tavern in Cheltenham for a relaxed and very delicious dinner of sticky chicken wings and sliders…

The Tavern, Cheltenham

After so much traveling and amazing food, we both slept very well that night and woke up the next morning excited to head to Cowley Manor – a short 10 min drive from where we were staying…

And as soon as we arrived, we knew we were in for a treat…

Cowley Manor Spa

The outside heated pool… HEATED.

Cowley Manor Spa

Cowley Manor Spa

Cowley Manor Spa

Their award-winning C-Side spa has two gorgeous heated pools: a 17m green slate-lined indoor pool and an elegant 15m outdoor pool – both heated all year round… but because it was so, SO cold while we were there, we stayed indoors and didn’t brave the outside for a swim ;)  C-Side also has a gym (personal training can be arranged), a steam room and sauna…

Cowley Manor Spa

The indoor heated pool

There are four treatment rooms where they use our very own Green & Spring products – and I was very excited for the exfoliation treatment I’d booked before lunch!

Cowley Manor Spa

Cowley Manor Spa

Cowley Manor Spa

Cowley Manor Spa

Cowley Manor Spa

The treatment rooms are really lovely – calm and serene. I had a wonderful exfoliation treatment which left my skin feeling softer than soft… loved it.

Just as the pool started to get a bit busier, we left our loungers to head towards the main hotel, where we were booked in for lunch…

Cowley Manor Spa

The building is stunning and the last of the Christmas decorations were still twinkling away… The hotel has 30 spacious bedrooms which are all fitted with handmade furniture and fabrics created by British designers. All have airy bathrooms with huge bathtubs and showers, which is always a big draw for me. Half of their rooms are in the Main house, the other half are in the Stable Block…. and we ate our lunch in the Malt Restaurant.

The Malt Restaurant at Cowley Manor

The Malt Restaurant at Cowley Manor

Bread and butter

Butter

Cowley Manor Spa

The view from the restaurant – Cowley Manor sits in 55 acres of gorgeous rolling countryside, surrounded by parkland, woods and meadows.

Fresh salad with gravlax

Fresh salad with gravlax

Pizza at Cowley Manor Hotel

We both chose veggie pizzas…

Pizza at Cowley Manor

After lunch, we headed back to the spa for some final hours of R&R, before heading back to our Cheltenham hideaway, and the pool was almost completely ours alone…

Cowley Manor Spa

Cowley Manor Spa

Catching up on some weekend reading…

We loved it at Cowley Manor and have been telling everyone we know to go ever since! The following day, we packed up the car and headed home, via The Kingham Plough in Kingham, for a sensational roast lunch…

The Kingham Plough

The Kingham Plough

The Kingham Plough The Kingham Plough The Kingham Plough

The Kingham Plough

Cauliflower cheese

The Kingham Plough

You don’t even want to know. It was ridiculously amazing.

And then it was time to hop (crawl) back into Betsy to take us home to London. This Cotswolds break couldn’t have been more perfect – it was exactly what we needed to recharge and get ready for what is looking to be shaping up as an exciting year for us both… but more on all of that soon ;) Spa Days at Cowley Manor start at £125, which include treatments, a two course lunch and full use of all the facilities at C-Side… so if you’re looking for a new year treat to pamper yourself or a pal, I say look no further. And if Betsy isn’t doing anything that day, we may just join you. Poppy Loves - a London Lifestyle Blog This post was shot on my LEICA D-LUX – dinky but dynamic ;)

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6 thoughts on “Welcoming in 2016 at Cowley Manor Spa

  1. Sounds like you had a fabulous time! I really enjoy reading your posts Poppy and your pics are always amazing. Love your work xx

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