If there is one thing, I have been looking forward to, it was our trip to the Cotswolds! I love London – no doubt about it, but I love going to the countryside just as much! When you have a baby, you simply need to get out of the big city from time to time! Sometimes the buses, the black cabs, the people and the noise gets too much for me, and I long for a place to be soothed, healed and have my senses put back in order! The Cotswolds do that for me!

I fell in love with this high hulk of land in the very heart of Britain years before moving to London and every time I go back, I fall in love all over again 

My mum always say “Be careful, when driving with gold in your car” It is a Scandinavian saying, that means, that when you bring loved ones with you in your car, you have to drive safely 

“Safe” is the first word, that comes to my mind, when I think about the new Volvo V60, that got us to the countryside. Being a Scandinavian, I was brought up with Volvo – and it really is the ultimate family car! The great thing about this model is, that even though it is Volvo’s smallest estate, it still has the largest boot along with one of the biggest cabins in any premium mid-size estate! 

We brought our Silver Cross carseat and Surf Special Edition pram with us – and there was plenty of room for a couple of suitcases too! (As you can see, little Clara was all set and ready for new adventures!)

A car without a GPS is just not an option, when you go to new places!  I can honestly say, that Frenchie was MORE than pleased with the 12.3 active driver’s information display ( Sensus 9 connectivity and entertainment!) The navigation has a touch screen, and it doesn’t take ages to input an address! 

Time to get started!

Standing in front of the quintessential The Slaughters Country Inn

So what is it about the Cotswolds, that makes it so spectacular? Well, if you think of old-world England, chances are, that you will get a vision of the Cotswolds! White sheeps and honey-coloured cottages is the true heart of the country! And as mentioned earlier it is delightfully cloistered from roaming roads and big city tensions! Just what my little family needed! It is however worth mentioning, that even though the modern world seems lightyears away amongst the cottages and rolling pastures, serious sophistication is only a short drive away! Oxford, Cheltenham and Stratford-upon-Avon are all within easy driving distance

The Slaughters Country Inn is located in of one of the most picturesque Cotswold villages! I highly recommend that you visit this place for its charm, stunning surroundings and lovely food made with the best local produce

We shared the popular “Country Inn Platter”: Carved ham, pork pie, smoked mackerel pate, cheddar cheese, stilton, chutney, pickles & selection breads (with naughty fries on the side)

Roaring log fires to warm the cold winter months…

Bonus-info: The Slaughters Country Inn is located on an area formerly known as Washbourne’s Place. In the early 1920’s the cottages were converted into a large private house before it became an Eton cramming school. The boy’s assembly and dining room was located in what is now the Inn’s bar area. The barn building was a recreation area, with the upper floor covered by a large model railway. After it’s school days Washbourne’s Place reverted once again to private ownership and in 1988, the house opened as a hotel, known as Washbourne Court. In 2011 the Brownsword family bought the hotel and reinvented the property as a traditional country inn, renaming it The Slaughters Country Inn (source – The Slaughters Country Inn)

Warm drinks and lots of cuddles! We were in our happy place!

Frenchie and Clara walking down to The old Mill Museum…

Quite idyllic to go horse riding here! On my wish list! 

You will find The old Mill at the western end of the village. It is built in the nineteenth century, and last used commercially in 1958. The Mill now has a tea and gift shop

Bonus-info: Lower Slaughter has been inhabited for over 1,000 years. The name of the village derives form the Old English term “slough” meaning “wet land”

Visiting The old Mill gift shop and museum!

This is as British as it gets, if you ask me! And i love it!

After our visit to Lower Slaughter it was time to find our accommodation for the night! We had decided to stay near Cheltenham – but still a bit remote, which is why we chose Hatherley Manor Hotel

There was a wedding going on, when we were there – and if you look closely, you can see a very curious person in one of the windows waiting for the bride to come out! (I love weddings!) 

– and there she was in all her beauty! The driver forgot his hat on the top of the car, so when they started driving, a kind lady ran after the car desperately trying to make them aware of the situation! She succeeded! It was quite a funny scene!

We had a really lovely room with lots of space for a pram, suitcases and a travel cot as well!

Mother and daughter cosy times

I think someone really enjoyed this bed!

Clara and I waited by the bar, while Frenchie was getting us a black cab into Cheltenham, where we had booked a table for dinner

On our way into the restaurant in The old Courthouse, Cheltenham

I loved it from the moment I stepped inside!

The Old Courthouse was designed in an “Italianate style” by the surveyor of County Courts, Thomas Sorby and built between 1869 and 1871. It is a stunning building with many of its key features still intact for all to see. The courtroom is more or less unaltered after all these years with huge marbled columns reaching up to a glass window feature in the ceiling and well-worn wooden docks which would have some tales to tell – if they could only talk.

All set up for Halloween! There was a really cosy/ relaxed atmosphere in here – a very romantic place to eat, if you ask me!

We were even allowed to bring Clara’s big pram in here! It felt a bit awkward at first, but everyone were so friendly and they found us a great table… And then Clara started to become very, very naughty!

The staff were great! They could see, that we were uncomfortable with Clara fussing and crying! But instead of kicking us out, we got the best seats in the room – with the perfect view and no neighbours to disturb! What a relief! Hands up for Team Old Courthouse

Our starters and nibbles were: Chicken liver pâté with apple and cider chutney served with granary toast

Crispy baby squid with mango and chilli sauce! (my favourite starter)

Garlic prawns

– and pork chipolatas with honey and mustard. (Frenchie’s favourite starter)

Frenchie was in the mood for deep-fried cod in beer batter with chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce as a starter! It was super delicious!

 – and my crispy beef salad with sweet chilli sauce and roasted cashew nuts won the price of best looking dish! I really, really loved it! We did not have dessert that evening, as Clara was tired – and we were more than content with the food, we had eaten!  If you are in Cheltenham, this place is truly worth a visit (for its food – and for its history as well!)

A full English breakfast is always the perfect way to start a long day – and there was plenty to choose from at the buffet at Hatherley Manor

– but before leaving, I wanted to have a quick look at the new luxurious spa facilities 

I was offered a full body massage – and I really wished, that I have had the time, because this look very, very lovely, doesn’t it? (Photo by Hatherley Manor)

(Photo by Hatherley Manor)

(Photo by Hatherley Manor)

We had a really nice stay here – and if you want to live close to Cheltenham, but not in the town itself, this is the perfect solution!

Welcome to Cheltenham! 

Cheltenham is the most complete Regency town in the UK and provides the backdrop to a year-round internationally renowned event programme, enviable foodie scene and buzzing nightlife!

The first time I came here, I attended a Polo match at Cirencester Park Polo Club! For most people, I guess that it doesn’t come as a surprise, that this place is known for its horse racing (as well as festivals and first-class schools)

It was a cold and rainy day, so we had to dress up warm! Luckily Cheltenham is known as the food capital of the Cotswolds! Independent restaurants spring up on every street, and you can easily find family- and Michelin-starred restaurants here! 

No. 131 has always been a favourite of mine, so I decided that I wanted to show it to Frenchie

I love the eclectic mix of traditional/ modern at this place!

We decided to get some hot drinks…

 – and a classic avocado on toast with poached eggs for lunch. (I will never get tired of this dish!)

This is Montpellier! Here you can find individually styled shops and boutiques! As you might have noticed on the photo, Montpellier Walk is decorated with a line of Caryatids/stone sculptures (modelled on The Acropolis in Athens) 

The wide leafy Promenade has a distinctly Continental feel! “The Prom” as it is known by the locals, is home to House of Fraser, Jo Malone, Cath Kidston and LK Bennett. It is regarded as one of the finest shopping boulevards in the country! Here I am in front of the Municipal Offices as well as The Neptune Fountain designed in 1892 by Joseph Hall (and clearly took its inspiration from the beautiful “Trevi Fountain” in Rome! 

“The Hare and the Minotaur Statue” by Gloucestershire based artist Sophie Ryder can also be found on The Promenade. It is a truly peculiar statue, and although not everyone loves it, it is worth a stop on your visit. (Read more about the statue here)

Tip: If you plan to visit Cheltenham, make sure to check out what is going on before booking! It can get quite busy here, so unless you want to attend some of all the amazing events, you should probably book in the not-so-busy weekends!

This was part I of our trip to The Cotswolds! Next up on the blog is our visit to Broadway! 

Thank you, Volvo, Visit Cheltenham and Hatherley Manor for helping me planning this trip. As always all opinions are my own