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
Wonderful old buildings with amazing scenic walks in the grounds. Food is fantastic and the staff are amazing and friendly. We had sandwiches and a cake platter which was suitable for all the family. Good walk just up the road to the historic ruins and witney is also really close.
Everything about this hotel is perfect- the staff are all delightful, the place itself is just beautiful, the rooms are fabulous(we had a Heritage room) and the food cannot be faulted. Our third visit here and definitely not our last!! One of our favourite places to stay in the whole of the U.K.
We spent a night at the Old Swan and Minster Mill and have been quite disappointed with the service.
First of all we had booked a room in the Minster Mill (more modern dependance) and, at our arrival, we were told this was not available as the system cannot guarantee the preference... I wonder why they even bother asking then...
Therefore we were given a room in the Old Swan. This is with no doubt a pretty medieval house featuring traditional British architecture. However it would benefit from a refurbishment and the amenities provided are by no means those of a 5 stars luxury hotel. Bed is old and uncomfortable. No frigo bar, not even a proper wardrobe. Some of the staff is rude and dismissive. Room is clean but not impeccable.
All this would be totally acceptable for half of the price but not for a hotel which claims to be a 5 luxury hotel and charges the price of a luxury accommodation.
Excellent food and wine, lovely rooms. Spa treatments very relaxing, with well trained staff. Only downside was the extremely small ladies changing room - more like a corridor. Beautiful surroundings and countryside.
My wife and I, together with two friends, have just enjoyed a two night stay at the Old Swan and Minster Mill. The weather was perfect and the buildings, gardens and grounds looked like a film set for a 19th century drama set as they are beside the rushing Windrush with roses in full bloom.
The interiors of the buildings were just as picturesque, marrying authentic “olde world charm” with modern comforts (our rooms were in the Mill buildings). All of the staff, reception/dining/housekeeping, were friendly, welcoming and helpful ensuring our stay was comfortable and enjoyable. We took delight in walking by the Windrush before breakfast seeing a few birds, we would probably have seen more if we had kept still, including a Heron that had a favourite breakfast spot. The short walk in the early morning sun helped stimulate our appetite for the delicious breakfasts; so many options to choose from a weeks stay would not have exhausted them.
The menu at dinner suited our varied tastes, plain and simple to inventive flavour combinations, and we were all tempted to eat far more than we normally do as a result and thoroughly enjoyed our meals. Our stay was all to brief but we all felt relaxed and refreshed by the peaceful and attractive surroundings.