Cowley Manor

With the clocks about to change and the post-festival blues having kicked in (I'm just back from a music festival in Antwerp) this spa day at Cowley Manor was a very welcome treat! Set in the gorgeous Cotswolds countryside, the C-Side spa's design embraces the surrounding landscape with the use of Cotswold stone and floor to ceiling glass walls, offering inspiring views.

C-Side Spa

After a long swim (not me in the picture but I did have the swimming pool virtually to myself!), I indulged in the sauna for a good detox session. There's also a gym and four treatment rooms where a range of holistic treatments including therapeutic massages, advanced facials and speciality pregnancy treatments are on offer. I came out two hours later feeling thoroughly relaxed, rejuvenated and utterly ready for my mouth-watering two-course meal. Lunch is served at the Manor, a short walk through an enchanting park. On entering the lobby, I am pleasantly surprised by a modernist statement in this Edwardian building.

Reception hall

As I pass the lounge/chill area on my way to the restaurant, I am stricken by more stunning, bold and colourful decor. The furniture is signed Sarah Kay and Andrea Stemmer throughout the restaurant, lounges and the 30 hotel rooms. The vibrant textiles and rugs are made by Govindia Hemphill.


Finally, the Malt restaurant with its quirky bar and grand dining room awaits me. The Papier Mâché animal trophies on the walls of the bar are a humoristic take on the classic country manor dining area.

malt cowley manor

The dining room itself is spectacular. The white-washed pear wood panelling, high ceiling and gorgeous lighting hold the promise of a gourmet luncheon. Even so, the atmosphere continues to be very relaxed and the maître d' welcomes us with an informal chat and I go on feeling special without perceiving any pressure - which is appreciated considering the state of my hair and makeup after the spa session! 

Malt restaurant

The food arrives quickly and even for a fussy French eater like me, exceeds expectations. Absolutely delish!


The blues have now been dealt with and I go home feeling pampered, revived, taking away with me the good humour of the place.

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