Review: We Check in to Cowley Manor & C-Side Spa
It’s the attention to detail that makes Cowley Manor stand out. The rack of Hunter wellies at the door, to wear while you stroll around the exquisite Grade II listed gardens, the golden triple cooked chips that compliment the club sandwich, the funky, Scandi-style rugs and throws. From the service to the salt cellars, everything feels like it’s been carefully and lovingly thought out.
Cowley is cosy and chic on the inside, but the exteriors of the 19th century manor house are gloriously untouched. There are 55 acres of land to explore, including two large lakes, a 13th century church and a stunning old fountain lined with stone lions. We were lucky enough to spot a deer darting through the woods, too.
Despite the size of the land, Cowley has just 30 bedrooms, so you can wander the wild, country gardens with a rare sense of privacy and solitude – you really do feel like you’ve been transported back to another era. Indeed Lewis Carroll, a regular visitor to the village of Cowley, was said to have been inspired to write Alice in Wonderland while walking in these grounds.
Nestled tastefully to the rear of the main house is the glass fronted C-Spa. There’s an indoor pool with a lovely green slated bottom, big enough to do decent lengths in, and a heated outdoor pool – heavenly on a crisp sunny November morning. There’s also a gym, steam room, sauna and four treatment rooms. In the summer, you can eat and sunbathe outside on the terrace.
I’m lucky enough to try the Green and Spring Massage. A one hour body massage, incorporating elements of acupressure and reflexology and using Green & Spring products, made from local, natural resources, including the spring waters and herbs found in the grounds of Cowley. The massage was masterful, and the oils were refreshing and subtle. You can choose your own music, too!
The 30 bedrooms are light and spacious, fitted with handmade furniture and fabrics created by British designers. All have airy bathrooms with huge bathtubs and showers. Half of the rooms are in the Main House, the other half are in the Stable Block.
Located in the Main House, with the exception of one located in the Stable Block, Great Rooms are Cowley’s larger rooms, some with views over the top lake and others that are well suited to small families with the ability to interconnect. With King size beds (or twins on request), large trademark Cowley bathrooms with full size Green & Spring bath and body products, tea and coffee making facilities, complimentary WIFI and much more, all the comforts of home are here for you to enjoy.
With a commitment to working with the seasons and trusted suppliers, the menus feature sustainable produce and the finest ingredients. Malt is led by Head Chef James Graham. Reflecting Cowley Manor’s own unique blend of contemporary design and home-from-home comfort, the menu allows you to share and socialise in beautiful surroundings. We chomped on a delicious wild mushroom & wild leek risotto with 24-month aged parmesan and healthy salad of beetroot & goats cheese with pickled pear & salsa verde. There are also a selection of lighter dishes, pizzas and entree size salads, and the restaurant will rustle up a picnic in the summer so you can spend all day exploring the area.