BARNSLEY HOUSE – THE COTSWOLDS, UNITED KINGDOM
This is England at its best. The scent of blousy pink roses, a vegetable garden like a Mr McGregor pastiche (fat cabbages, rows of ruby rhubarb) and formal gardens designed by Rosemary Verey. In short, there’s something about Barnsley that makes you feel connected to a pastoral Britain of yesteryear.
In summer eat supper outside in a hidden nook (the Temple) in winter hunker down by a fire on a cosy sofa, dip into one of the best DVD libraries anywhere, or wallow in a grand, claw-foot bath.
Bedrooms are spot-on – pretty, lots of beams, big bathrooms – and the food is fresh and zingy, with just-baked bread to dip into garlic-infused olive oil, figs drizzled with honey and served with homemade ricotta, lemon sole doused in butter.
You’ll wake up to a glistening dawn and pigeons stirring in the rafters. The spa is also a lovely retreat, with treatments such as rose facials lasting 90 minutes (plus a mini hydro pool and a relaxation room). There’s a fun Sunday cinema club with popcorn and pink leather love seats. No wonder staff walk proud, a spring in their step.