Three great country house hotels

From a new opening in Somerset to a foodie haven in the Cotswolds. Chris Carter reports.

The Manor House in Castle Combe
The Manor House in Castle Combe has a golf course and a Michelin-starred eatery
(Image credit: © The Manor Exclusive Hotels/Amy Murrell)

The opening of The Farmyard at The Newt will be “music to the ears of anyone who has tried to book a room” at this spectacular country house hotel in Somerset this summer, says Jade Conroy in The Daily Telegraph. The 17 new bedrooms, lying in a “small valley, just beyond the estate’s apple orchards… are split across a collection of original honey-hued Hadspen stone buildings”, comprising the former farmhouse, cheese-packing house and cider press. While the 17th-century Hadspen House (now the main hotel building) boasts “sharp and stylish features pasted on top of classic Palladian proportions – think colourful Patricia Urquiola chairs next to 17th-century oil portraits – the Farmyard’s neutral interiors feel more Scandinavian: clean-lined four-posters and wood-burning fireplaces under pitched ceilings”.

The old threshing barn now houses the farm-to-table restaurant, with its “towering picture windows framing endless sky and pastoral views”. Elsewhere, a cedarwood hot tub has been installed where there used to be an old turning circle for the horses. When the Glastonbury festival finally returns, The Farmyard will be the hottest place to come afterwards to unwind.

From £950 for two nights,

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One for the food lovers

The Manor House, in “the Cotswold honeypot of Castle Combe”, Wiltshire, is “one for the food lovers”, says Marianna Hunt for Spectator Life. Not only does the 14th-century hotel have its own Michelin-starred restaurant, the Bybrook, but it is also surrounded by some of the best gastropubs in the West Country. It also boasts a championship golf course, and the village’s famous racing circuit is just a mile away. You can book a morning of racing around the track in a sports car and follow that with a relaxing afternoon spent rambling along the brook to the pretty nearby villages, such as Ford, “with its excellent waterside pub”. The rooms at The Manor House are “characterful, with four poster beds and carved fireplaces”. From £190 a night,

A luxurious and lordly manor

The 16th-century Double Red Duke, in the pretty village of Clanfield, south of Burford near Bampton, Oxfordshire, “looks every bit the lordly manor with its elegant gables and wisteria-clad brickwork”, says Jenny Coad in The Times. A new plant-filled garden room has been added behind the restaurant, with “statuary and comfy moss-green banquettes”, along with a new treatment room in “a sleek black shepherd’s hut outside, a greenhouse that’s lit up at night, and an outdoor bar in the courtyard with the promise of lazy summer afternoons under red-and-white-striped umbrellas”. There are also six new rooms in timber outbuildings to complement the 13 in the main building. The whole place just feels luxurious, with fabric wallpaper by French brand Casamance, handmade sinks and baths, and toiletries by 100 Acres. From £120,

Chris Carter

Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.

Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.

You can follow Chris on Instagram.