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Food, quiet, luxury, under 300 pounds per night

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I suspect I can only get 3 out of the above 4 criteria, so they're pretty much in my priority order. In between Oxford and London, I'm looking to spend 2 nights this July at a country house hotel where I can lounge outside in a garden reading or strolling if the weather is nice or inside by a fire if not. A spa for massages would be a bonus.

I've looked at Manoir aux Quat' Saisons but the only rooms available on my dates are 900 pounds per night!! Lords of the Manor looks very promising, but is sold out. Barnsley House also looks good, but they're not taking arrivals on the date I need. Gidleigh Park is a bit too far off my route, I think, as are most of the other recommendations in previous threads. (Both the Lake District and Cornwall are off the table, I think, although if I could get a quick train to the Lake District from Oxford, I might be persuaded...)

So, any other suggestions? (Thanks in advance!)

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  1. Late add: Calcote Manor, affiliated with Barnsley House, is available, looks good and is within my budget. Any comments on it?

    1. The moderators don't let us talk about hotels per se. I guess if the food is mentioned, then it's OK. You can get reviews of places on www.tripadvisor.com.

      You might try Googling 'Country House hotels near Oxford.' It comes up with some names there.

      2 Replies
      1. re: zuriga1

        I was hoping the fact that "food" was my first criteria would let this slide....

        1. re: waldrons

          Michael Wignall at the Latymer at Pennhyhill Park?

      2. We stayed at Lords of the Manor last year. Lovely hotel. Food experience definitely not Michelin standard.

        How about the nearby Lower Slaughter Manor? No experience of it but it might be worth doing a bit of research.

        It'd be a long schlep to the Lake District for a couple of nights but you're right, it's probably *the* place for the country house hotel experience. If you do decide to go that way, shout up - the north west is my part of the world and I can think of several places that would fit.

        1. Maybe Cliveden but we're straying into hotel territory.

          I'd try the Mr and Mrs Smith website - very good and also always has significant comment on the hotel restaurant/s.

          1. Waterside Inn in Bray. Not far from London and restaurant is 3 michelin stars. Friend went last year, said accommodation was good.

            4 Replies
            1. re: brokentelephone

              Restaurant is first rate and worthy of its 3 stars. But I don't think the hotel side of things meets the OPs "country house hotel" .

              1. re: Harters

                Who can be bothered to read an entire post?

                How about Coworth Park? It's a Dorchester Hotel so should be quite good.

                Or the Four Seasons Hampshire? Its an ex-country house and looks pretty swish. Dining might not be michelin star level but Four Seasons seldom disappoints.

              2. re: brokentelephone

                Now that you mention it... Waterside Inn or Fat Duck were going to be my other splurge, but a couple of weeks later.
                So, next question... if I switch things around and do Bray at the end of July, is there a good restaurant with country house hotel attached near any of the Eurostar stops to Paris (maybe Ashford in Kent)?

                1. re: waldrons

                  Logistically tricky, but doable from Ashurst. Visit Sissinghurst Castle whose gardens were transformed by Vita Sackville-West (its National trust but has some accommodation - but it isn't a Country House Hotel).

                  Then have a long, long degustation lunch at The Sportsman in Whitstable a very renowned fine dining pub with impeccable sourcing - its a drive between the two.