Travel review: A Georgian gem in the Cotswolds

COUNTRY HOUSE CHARMS: The Rectory Hotel is on the edge of the Cotswolds.
COUNTRY HOUSE CHARMS: The Rectory Hotel is on the edge of the Cotswolds.
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The Rectory in Wiltshire has been revamped as a chic country retreat, writes Sophie Lam.

The Georgian Rectory in Crudwell has been recently updated by its new owner, a first-time hotelier who’d had his eyes on the Potting Shed pub across the road. The only snag was that it came with The Rectory. He swiftly consulted friends Charlie Luxton and Dan Brod, the duo behind renowned West Country boutique inns The Beckford Arms and Talbot Inn, for their guidance, and re-opened the hotel this summer.

Location: On the fringes of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Rectory is in Crudwell, a village at the apex of Wiltshire, a border-hop from Cirencester in Gloucestershire. Closer still is the market town of Malmesbury, around five minutes away.

Ambience: The premise is of a low-key country house, and that’s exactly what has been achieved with the contemporary Georgian décor and young, friendly staff. The drawing room, with its log fire and deep, velvet sofas, is the multi-functional hub: sink in for afternoon tea or a nightcap, watch a film on the projector screen or bring your dog down for a relaxed breakfast.

Accommodation: There are 15 rooms, ranging from “big” to “small” (which 
are still generous) in the main house, and three more in an exclusive-use cottage.

Food and drink: Start with a cocktail in the sylvan-toned bar before heading to lunch or dinner. The smart restaurant spills into a conservatory, where you can feast on comforting classics, catch of the day or continental contenders such as stuffed squid with chorizo, butter beans and salsa verde.

What to do: There’s lots to do nearby, though a car is handy. The Cotswold Country Park and Beach re-opens for watersports and walking trails at the end of March. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is open year-round, with 15,000 trees and a modern treetop walkway.

Ask the concierge: If you have a car, make the 20-minute journey to the Griffin Mill Antiques Emporium near Stroud. It’s a treasure trove where beautiful antiques go hand-in-hand with house-clearance bric-a-brac.

The Rectory, Crudwell, Wiltshire SN16 9EP (01666 5771 94, therectoryhotel.com). Doubles start at £150 B&B.

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