Idyllic setting in a cute Cotswold village surrounded by thatch-roofed cottages
Tons of original features dating from the 15th century
Sloe gin, tea, coffee and shortbread cookies provided in the rooms
What To Know
A car is essential if you want to explore the area. The nearest train station (Charlbury) is seven miles away
It’s pet-friendly; dogs can be accommodated for an additional $30 per day
Spa treatments are available, but there are plans for a pool, sauna and steam room in early 2015
There is a minimum two-night stay policy on a Saturday
Parking on site
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A 15th-century riverside coaching inn bursting with bucolic charm in the heart of the Cotswolds
Surrounded by 60 acres of wildflower meadow, the Old Swan & Minster Mill is a 15th-century coaching inn in the heart of the Cotswolds, a 90-minute drive from London. Clad in traditional honey-hued stone, this idyllic country pad is as cozy as it is characterful. Inside, it’s a warren of creaky-floored nooks and crannies complete with beam ceilings, rugged stone floors and crackling fires. The property is split into two parts: The original inn is home to a pub, restaurant and 16 guestrooms, and the newer Minster Mill contains sleek chalet-style quarters overlooking the babbling river Windrush.
Bed and Bath
In the original chunk of the property, rooms are reached by a wooden spiral staircase and lead off wonky corridors dotted with arty photos. They’re named after local luminaries or previous guests (Richard III, Churchill, Gladstone) and have a homey country house vibe, with thick stone walls, beam ceilings and quirky alcoves. Mighty wooden bed frames are piled high with pillows and burgundy bedspreads, and hot water bottles are tucked under the covers as part of the turn-down service. Writing bureaus are topped with glossy Cotswolds mags, a decanter of sloe gin, tea pots and shortbread cookies, and light-flooded bathrooms are dressed with fresh flowers and stocked with products from the White Company. The 40 chalet-style rooms in the two-tier Minster Mill were added in the 1970s, and all have sleek bathrooms and giant windows overlooking the gardens and river. Some come with private courtyards with firepits.
Grab a board game or a newspaper and sip a pint of real ale by the fire if the weather doesn’t allow you to take advantage of the deck chairs in the garden. Hearty pub grub is served during the day, and souped-up gastro classics are offered in the evening (Oxfordshire farm belly pork with mash and cider jus, Wychwood Forest venison, a mammoth cheese board heaving with hunks from Gloucestershire farms). Breakfast is taken in a wood-paneled room off the bar decorated with gilt-framed oil paintings, tapestries and wrought iron chandeliers, and it showcases an impressive lineup of locavore treats including fresh honeycomb and eggs laid by hens in the garden. The grounds are home to a croquet lawn, tennis courts and a petanque court, and bikes and fishing equipment can be rented from reception.