Old Swan & Minster Mill
What We Love
- Full English breakfast is included in the rate
- 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
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
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.
How to Get There
Overall a very enjoyable stay in a beautiful Cotswold hotel. In the main everything was really nice and we loved such things as the log fires in the lounge, the relaxed atmosphere and the staff were really friendly. However its the smaller, finer points being covered that takes a hotel from being really good to great and unfortunately this is what they missed out on. We weren't given relevant information upon arrival, I had to ask question and after question to get the information I required and, at dinner the same happened with the waiter not telling us certain things on the menu were unavailable until we ordered them, he also kept coming over asking if we had finished even though it was quite obvious that one of party was still eating, it was quite apparent it was the end of his shift and he wanted to get home. Really nice but with training they could do better
Same old..lovely place but staff don't have a clue and don't care!
Afternoon tea...wrong drinks. No check back and once complained no better!
Staff just interested in chatting in a corner.
No manager apology didn't care at all
We stopped here after a walk. Lovely cream teas on offer as well as full resturant. Also has rooms to stay. Full of old world charm. Staff freindly and helpful. Food and drink at sensible prices. Really cant be faulted
We had one nights stay at the Old Swan on Friday 30th November. We arrived Friday mid morning and received a very warm welcome from the reception staff. We were greeted with prosecco from the hotel staff and they had kindly arranged for flowers I had had delivered to be put in our room. We stayed in the main house in the Richard III room, which was steeped in history. We had a beautiful 4 poster bed, separate living room and a newly fitted bathroom suite.
I booked my wife in for a facial treatment at the spa and I had the mud treatment. The spa is limited to a small number of users at a time which is nice as it isn't massive, but apart from one other couple we had the entire place to ourselves. My wife really enjoyed her facial and the mud treatment was nice, although I would say its better done as a couple. The staff were very helpful and accommodating. We raised an issue with the steam room not having much of a menthol smell, which they addressed very quickly.
We had our evening meal at the restaurant, which was relatively quiet. I had the venison stew, which was delicious. The service was prompt and we weren't kept waiting for more than 15 minutes between each course.
Overall we had a brilliant one night stay and the service throughout was fantastic.
This review is just for the dining experience. when we arrived two members of staff totally ignored us, carried on with there own conversation. we sat in the restaurant and waited 15min before we had any service, ordered our drinks and food, food came and drinks afterwards. The food was average, we were so excited about coming here so very sad we won't go back. Staff very slow and talking to each other ignoring other customers who walked in and out looking for help, dreadful.