There are few things more comforting than the traditional countryside B&B. I’ve had the pleasure of staying in some hidden gems over the years but The George Townhouse set the bar to a new height.
Two hours outside of London, just beyond The Cotswolds is the picturesque town of Shipston-on-Stour. We drove down winding country lanes that were flanked with rolling green hills until we reached the quaint high street. The George Townhouse stood proudly in the center, a vision of exposed brick and late 18th century features.
The George Townhouse has been a prominent figure in the town Smart Watch for as long as its locals can remember. Earlier this year it was treated to an extraordinary makeover that has breathed new life into the building, whilst remaining sympathetic to its original features.
Upon arrival, we parked in the car park at the rear of the building and entered through the gardens, which were drenched in sunshine and buzzing with life.
I was immediately struck by the eclectic interior; elegant exposed light bulbs suspended from the ceiling, casting a golden glow on diners below, juxtaposed to this was the vibrant sky blue bar, where punters cradled their wine glasses. Vintage jars were scattered around, filled with sweets in jewel colours, others were filled with fresh water, ice and slices of fresh lemon. This was no ordinary pub.
Upstairs, The George Townhouse has 15 en-suite rooms, we were booked to stay at the very top of the building in The George Townhouse suite. We climbed up and up the winding staircase, on the walls hung art-deco mirrors and more beautiful exposed bulbs that hung delicately from black wires.
The George Townhouse Suite had a casual luxuriance about it. It was decorated in a soothing palette of grey and powder blue. My eyes were immediately drawn to the exposed dove grey beams that oozed old world charm.
I have always appreciated the little things and there were many thoughtful gestures in the suite, from the complimentary tea and homemade shortbread biscuits to the luxury Do Not Disturb relaxation collection by Templespa in the bathroom.
The bathroom was the epitome of relaxed elegance, decorated in cool grey hues. The crown jewel was the claw foot bathtub that stood proudly underneath a window. I ran the bath and threw open the window; I was greeted with the warm summer air and the sound of the birds that cooed harmoniously as they nestled on the roof. I rifled through the Do Not Disturb kit and took out the Quietude calming mist, which I squirted generously in the air and as instructed, on the white fluffy towels and hung them on the radiator to warm. The air was filled with the scent of essential oils; grapefruit, orange and rosemary.
As instructed I took the silky lavender pillow and put it under my pillow on the bed. I poured a third of the bottle of Drift Away Bathing Oil into the hot clear bathwater and watched the water turn hypnotically milky.
I sunk into the aromatic water with only the birds for company. After using the Quench Face Mask and Sugar Buff Mediterranean Body Scrub, I emerged feeling as though I had just enjoyed a day at a luxury spa. Finally I wrapped myself in the towels that were now warm and smelt of refreshing citrus aromas. I slathered the Duvet Firming Body Cream onto my skin. It is designed to emulate the feeling of sinking into a deluxe feather duvet. It was rich in omega oils, fig and vitamin E and left my skin feeling nourished and smooth.
After an indulgent few hours, I was famished so I headed downstairs to the bustling restaurant for dinner. Food is taken very seriously at The George Townhouse, supporting local suppliers is paramount.
The George Townhouse serves the finest quality outdoor-reared pork and beef, delivered from the award-winning Todenham Manor Farm, which is just 4 miles away. Their artisan bread is courtesy of Blackman’s bakery, which is just 11 miles away and is served with the famous Cotswold Gold rapeseed oil, which is grown and pressed just 14 miles away.
To start, I chose the Twice Baked Cheddar Cheese Soufflé with Spinach and Grain Mustard. The soufflé was delicate and bursting with flavour, it swam in a moat of rich cheesy sauce, which was complemented by the earthiness of the spinach, and the tender bite of mustard.
This was followed by The George Townhouse’s famous Townhouse Burger, which most definitely lived up to its reputation. It was served on a bronzed bun with crispy gem lettuce, juicy tomato, creamy burger sauce, Swiss cheese and accompanied by golden salty triple-cooked chips.
Too full for dessert, I happily returned to the suite for a long uninterrupted sleep on my now lavender scented pillow.
In the morning I awoke the distant chime of church bells that disrupted the birds above. They flew through the cloudless sky until they disappeared amongst the rolling emerald hills beyond. England may be famed for the B&B’s that are dotted around the country but The George Townhouse has redefined what is at the heart of a good B&B, it has mastered the delicate art of simplicity and sophistication.
The George Townhouse
8 High St, Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire CV36 4AJ