Slow Cotswolds

  • Make time for the Maytime

    I spend alot of time assessing and reviewing accommodation throughout the Cotswolds, both for The Telegraph and also to ensure that only the very best (not necessarily the most expensive), or should I say the most worthy makes it into Slow Travel: The Cotswolds.

    One such is The Maytime Inn at Asthall. Located in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, Asthall is pleasantly remote and rural. It's not actually all that far from the quintessentially Cotswold town of Burford, or expanding Witney, but, nonetheless, wander the tranquil lanes through the village and you're far removed from the stresses and strains of daily life.

    Asthall is the perfect place for a ramble beside the pretty River Windrush (page 171), a tributary of the River Thames. The Windrush is seen deeper into the Cotswolds at Naunton, Bourton-on-the-Water and, latterly, Burford - and it flows at the end of the garden of The Maytime Inn on its way to the Thames. The views are sublime.

    The Maytime Inn has all the charm of a traditional country pub but there's plenty of modern day, high-class chic. The long frontage of the Cotswold stone building, adorned with tubs of flowers, is soothing on the eye, but then so is the garden, lined with roses and gorgeously scented herbs.

    Indoors there's a relaxed vibe with squidgy leather sofas, a large wood burning stove, candles and low-level lighting that bounces off arched mirrors. Fresh country flowers sit on the tables made from reclaimed timber.

    As for the food, well, attention to detail is evident. All dishes are made on the premises, including the bread, biscuits and ice cream and ingredients are locally sourced.

    If you're looking for a snuggly place to stay, I highly recommend here. There are six bedrooms, each reflecting the surrounding countryside using designer papers as a feature and furnished imaginatively with bespoke reclaimed timber furniture, shutters at the windows and soft leather seating. Beds are lavishly comfortable while guests can feel luxuriously pampered in the en-suite bathrooms with supplies of Cotswold toiletries. A high-quality tea tray includes fresh milk and homemade biscuits.

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