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
The staff at the Old Swan are very efficient and helpful. The food is excellent, served in a lovely dining hall. Everything is cooked to order including the breakfast food. The short walk up to the Minster ruins was very worthwhile too.
I stayed with a friend on a spa break. Room was comfortable but be sure to let the hotel know in advance if you have any mobility issues.
The spa treatment was lovely. The spa itself is small so you are allocated a two hour window. It was clean and quiet but the changing room was tiny.
Dinner and breakfast were delicious. Staff were helpful and attentive.
I would definitely stay again.
We were lucky to enjoy a Willow Trust Spa break the service was fantastic and the spa treatment was very enjoyable. I'd definitely recommend visiting. You don't have to stay the night you can enjoy a cream tea
Excellent accommodation and friendly helpful staff. Enjoyed our stay and will be back to make the most of all the facilities. Had to leave after one night so did not get to use the spa. Good location and dog friendly rooms which is a bonus!
Wonderful old hotel, spa was beautiful, treatments were of high quality, immaculate room with everything you could need, welcoming, friendly staff and a gorgeous bar to chill in. Don’t bother looking at other hotels choose this one!