Wild Rabbit, Kingham
What’s so special?
This could well be the poshest pub in Britain, says Jan Moir in the Daily Mail. It is the latest venture from Lady Carole Bamford, a “pioneering champion of luxury eco-chic and all things organic”, and founder of the Daylesford Organic farm shop, a place where “every tomato is heritage and the beetroots are shaved not pickled”. She has spent more than £1m renovating this former Tollgate pub, which is situated in the “idyllic” Cotswold village of Kingham.
How they rate it?
Bamford has really worked her magic with this “sparklingly pure renovation”, says Daisy Finer in Condé Nast Traveller. “It’s not often you find somewhere this pitch perfect.” It has 12 bedrooms – eight in the main building and four dog-friendly ones in an outbuilding – and the beds are “giant clouds of soft linens with duck-egg throws”, with a a couple of indigo scatter cushions “providing the only blast of colour” in an otherwise muted palette.
The food is “rustic”, says Finer, yet “wholesome and inventive” – think sweetbreads and pig’s cheek croquettes.
A double room costs from £105, including breakfast. See www.thewildrabbit.co.uk, or call 01608-658389.
Wild Thyme, Chipping Norton
What’s so special?
Hotels in the Cotswolds have a knack of allowing style to win out over substance, says Fiona Duncan in The Daily Telegraph. You book and think you’re going to love them, then the bill arrives, and disappointment descends. Single-handedly, Wild Thyme, set in a diminutive spot in the market town of Chipping Norton, has “restored my belief that the Cotswolds can do things simply, well and inexpensively”.
How they rate it?
If you want “a really good-value, not-too-expensive weekend away in this beautiful part of the world, and hugely enjoyable food”, you’d be hard pushed to beat the Wild Thyme, says Duncan. Its three bedrooms are “as honest and as charming” as their setting, and are “pretty, cosy and well equipped”, with delicious homemade biscuits on the tea and coffee tray, fluffy robes and DVD players, as well as TVs.
The chef “cooks from the heart”, says Duncan, and if Michelin was less formal in its approach to food, it would surely award him a star for dishes that are full of flavour and enjoyment, with a “concise but interesting wine list to match”. Dishes include double baked goats’ cheese soufflé followed by local rabbit three ways.
Double rooms from £85 a night, including breakfast. See www.wildthymerestaurant.co.uk, or call 01608-645060.
Hotels with a literary flavour
If you’re a book lover, what better way to indulge your affair than to spend a few nights at the Library Hotel in New York (pictured), says Laura Holt in The Independent. Each of the ten floors is given a theme based on the Dewey Decimal library system for classifying books. So one floor is dedicated to literature, another to social science, and so on.
The 60 rooms have a collection of books that relate to its floor’s given topic. The hotel also has a 24-hour reading room that contains hundreds of books.
• Double rooms cost from £297, including breakfast – see www.libraryhotel.com.
The Andaz in Amsterdam is a former public library, and was transformed into a five-star hotel last year. It features interiors by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and is “within easy reach of the city’s arty Jordaan enclave”. Perks include a free minibar and use of bicycles.
• Double rooms from €370, on a room-only basis. See www.amsterdam.prinsengracht.andaz.hyatt.com.
The Pavillon des Lettres in Paris has 26 rooms, each representing a letter of the alphabet, and they all honour different authors, ranging from Baudelaire and Goethe to Ibsen and Yeats. “The tone throughout is refined and unfussy, with the featured writers’ words printed across walls and modern-day amenities, such as in-room iPads, that add a contemporary feel.”
• Double rooms from €220, room-only. See www.pavillondeslettres.com.