Located in a pretty and archetypal small Cotswold town, The Painswick is the finest hotel in this local area by some margin. It is also very much the place to enjoy a wonderful Cotswold afternoon tea, an offering that has quickly grown a reputation to match that of the property.
The quality on offer here is no surprise to anyone who is familiar with the other hotels in the Calcot Collection: Barnsley House, The Village Pub at Barnsley (see our review here) , Calcot & Spa and the Lord Crewe Arms.
These are all not only top quality historic properties, but all the hotels further stand out through stylish interior design, clear attention to detail, and impeccable levels of service.
The Painswick is a relatively recent 2016 addition to the collection, a glorious historic building in the heart of Painswick town. The buildings here are closely packed in charming abandon, as they seemingly tumble down a hillside, interwoven with a maze of narrow and picturesque streets and alleys.
It is not an easy job to navigate anything bigger than a mini down these winding streets and to the Hotel, but fortunately we managed to find our way to the stunning Georgian facade that looms four stories above the street, topped by a grand Romanesque pediment.
Originally built in the late 18th century at the height of the wool trade, the hotel was originally known as Prospect House, a name no doubt derived from the stunning views that stretch across the Slad valley from most of the rooms, as well as the gardens set to the southern side.
The main dining area is on the entrance level. There are plenty of historic features, rich parquet flooring, vintage church or blue leatherette chairs under industrial style lighting and cooling ceiling fans. There is a warm, informal and authentic bistro-style atmosphere.
The afternoon tea meanwhile is taken in the lounge; a cosy and calm wood-panelled room with a log fire crackling in an old stone fireplace reached via an equally atmospheric bar with an ornate ceiling and stained glass windows.
There are deep comfy sofas in rich coloured velvets, vintage wooden tables, wooden floors and tasteful lighting.
You can take a full afternoon tea with tea, coffee, prosecco, champagne or a cocktail, or just opt for a simpler cream tea with scones and jam. We opted for the full champagne version, taking the vegetarian option that misses out on pork pie but has a version of scotch eggs with a delicious mushroom wrapping.
Alongside a small and very tasty selection of finger sandwiches (including cucumber of course), were freshly-baked scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, plus two different cakes of the day – in our case an extremely rich chocolate brownie and a succulent carrot cake.
The champagne that came with our full tea was excellent quality and definitely worth the extra, rounding off a really good quality tea in extremely pleasant and relaxing surroundings.
It was not quite the weather to chill out for long on the outside terrace and enjoy the panoramic Cotswold views, however we enjoyed a leisurely walk around the gardens and immediately vowed to make it back to take advantage as soon as we possibly can.
Afternoon Tea at The Painswick is served from 12:00pm to 4.30pm from Monday to Saturday
For more information on oversight stays and short breaks visit The Painswick
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