Cowley Manor Experimental – A Cotswolds Escape

Cocktail-juggling Paris-based hoteliers Experimental Group – known for their innovative collection of restaurants, hotels and cocktail bars around Europe (like hotels in Venice, Biarritz, Mencora, their home town) – has acquired Cowley Manor in the Cotswolds, marking the group’s first UK property outside of London. A storybook unfolding, telling the tales of the past 300 years. In 2023, Cowley Manor turns a new page and enters the next chapter of its life. The Grade II listed property, again designed by Dorothée Meilichzon, who approves every last glass and teaspoon, is home to 36 bedrooms complemented by a spa, restaurant, cocktail lounge, library, mudroom and plentiful living rooms.

The first iteration constructed in 1695, the property designed by the renowned architect R.A.Briggs was once owned by the kings of England. Inspired by the rumour that Lewis Carroll, a frequent visitor to Cowley Rectory, partly based Alice in Wonderland here, the design riffs on rabbits’ heads, playing cards, chess boards and a discombobulating sense of scale. A touch of checkerboard and bold colours, complemented by warm maple wood, muted tones, lots of boxy shapes, scalloped edges, glossy lacquer and intricate patterns run throughout the property.

At the helm of the restaurant and bar at Cowley Manor Experimental is celebrated British chef Jackson Boxer who crafts menus that reflect the local area, with a nod to French cuisine. Gloucestershire Old Spot croquettes and Stinking Bishop gougeres to snack on in the cocktail bar. In the main restaurant, Roasted cod with fennel butter and smoked tomatoes is a highlight. A place where time is frozen, much like the fate of Carroll’s White Rabbit, where there is simply no time to do anything else but sit back, relax and enjoy.

Cowley Manor and C-Side Spa are tucked away into 55 acres of a postcard landscape of rolling hills and sprawling views. The spa is inspired by the backdrop of the Cotswold countryside, and each of the holistic remedies uses natural, organic products. A spectacular 15m outdoor pool and a 17m slate lined indoor pool are open all day, year round. C-Side has four soothing treatment rooms plus a gym, relaxation area, steam room, rainfall showers and a sauna.

Watching a classic movie outdoors during a warm summer night or wandering around the gardens there are plenty of activities to experience at the Manor and in its beautiful park. From an eclectic collection of trees and beautiful plant life that blooms throughout each season to unique sculptures dotted around the grounds, the gardens at Cowley Manor are an inspiration throughout winter, spring, summer and autumn.

Cowley Manor Experimental
Cowley Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL53 9NL United Kingdom