Worth getting out of bed for
The Georgian charms of Cheltenham are a few pleasant miles’ drive away. Have a nose around town, or attend an event at one of the festivals: there’s jazz in May, a series of science events in June, music in July and literature in October(www.cheltenhamfestivals.co.uk). Horseracing fans will know that the famous Cheltenham Gold Cup is held at the nearby racecourse (www.cheltenham.co.uk), but there are plenty of other race meetings throughout the season. You're also close to Batsford Arboretum and delightful Cotwolds towns including antiques-shop heaven Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water. Give something back to the community and take part in dry-stone wall reparations or tree-planting projects organised by local groups (www.gvcv.org.uk).
Set in a honey-coloured rectory in Upper Slaughter, the whisper-quiet, romantic restaurant at Lords of the Manor is known for its on-trend British cuisine (+44 (0)1451 820243). At the Royalist hotel in Stow-on-the-Wold, 947AD (+44 (0)1451 830670) has a menu that reads like a mediaeval banquet of meat, fish and game, including ox cheeks, mackerel and guinea fowl. Next door, its gastropub Eagle and Child (+44 (0)1451 830670) is a popular lunchtime stop-off, serving British favourites cooked with flair – we love the steak, kidney and thyme suet pudding. Booking is advisable at both on busy weekends. In Chipping Campden, have a pre-dinner champagne cocktail at the bar in Hick’s Brasserie at Cotswold House hotel, before moving into Juliana’s Restaurant to enjoy its excellent Modern British and Mediterranean menu (+44 (0)1386 840330).
March The Cheltenham Festival horse-racing fixture culminates in the famous Gold Cup (www.cheltenham.co.uk). May Cheltenham Jazz Festival (www.cheltenhamfestivals.com) brings in big musical names for goateed men to nod along to. September Find a tuffet to sit on and enjoy the curds and whey at Cheltenham’s Great British Cheese Festival and British Cheese Awards (+44 (0)845 241 2026). Tastings, workshops and cheese tossing!
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Smith extra at Lower Slaughter Manor
A half-bottle of house champagne in your room on arrival, and late check-out (12 noon)