“ Address: Station Road / Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2ER / Gloucestershire „
The epitome of rural English cosiness must surely be the Cotswolds. When I think of i, chocolate box villages and stunning scenery spring to mind alongside very cosy comfortable hotels and bed and breakfasts. My fiance, his family and I recently attended a wedding in the Cotswolds and luckily for us the B and b we stayed at for to nights lived up to our expectations. This was Hooly House in the very picturesque ton of Bourton on the Water. We really had a lovely stay at this comfortable guest house. Holly House is quite a small intimate B and B with six comfortable bedrooms housed in a lovely Cotswolds stone detached house. Its owned and run by David Clark and Jane Conroy who take great pride in the running of this delightful four star establishment. And it was a pleasure to stay there as it felt like a home from home.
I did not actually book the B and B so can not comment on the ease of booking but I have looked at the website and it looks easy to book on line. Rooms vary between £70 and £85 per night which whilst not cheap sounds about right for such a popular and touristy area. At the moment they do special rates for last minute rooms in August during the week.
OUR WARM WELCOME
If you are looking for a B and B right in the centre of Bourton Holly House may not be the one for you. It's located on a main road, Station Road on the outskirts of Bourton but do not worry its only a five minute walk to the centre of the village. Its fairly easy to find once you get onto the right road. For those arriving by car there's enough parking for one car per room.
On arrival we were warmly greeted by Jane who showed us around the property and the rooms we had booked. We were also offered a complimentary welcome drink of wine or something soft once we had settled in. I thought that this was a really nice thoughtful touch. Throughout our stay I found the service to be friendly and personable. They seemed genuinely interested in the wedding we were attending. I was also impressed they remembered everyone's order for breakfast and asked if we wanted the same one the next day.
STAYING AT Holly House
The bedrooms at Holly House are named rather than numbered. I liked this touch, as it felt a bit more individual and boutique like. We had booked the Naunton, Bourton and Sherbourne rooms which were all double rooms with an en suite shower room. The other three rooms in the property consist of two twin rooms and the Windrush which is the biggest room in the house with a bath rather than a shower and a king sized bed. All the bedrooms are located on the first and second floors of th house. There's no lift and the stairs especially between the first and second floor are quite steep so I would not recommend Holly House for those with a disability. The other thing to note is that they do not accommodate children under 12 so is not one for families. . In a way I quite like this, as it means there are no screaming children running around when you are trying to have a quiet breakfast. For this reason I would especially recommend Holly House to those looking for a quiet romantic break away. However it meant that my fiance's brother who has an 18 month old was not able to book in with us and had to find alternative accommodation.
Our room the Naunton was on the second floor. The first thing to remember was not to trip down the step immediately in front of the door when you enter the room. Once in we were greeted by a very clean, pleasantly decorated, reasonably spacious bedroom. . It was quite neutral with magnolia walls and white bedding but it did have lovely gold and brown cushions and a gold runner on the bed. The carpet was a terracotta colour. There was enough room to walk around the room without the furniture being too cramped and packed in together. The furniture was all light pines and fitted in with the country feel, as did the two wicker chairs. There was adequate storage space comprising of a chest of drawers that double up as a dressing table and a very homely looking wardrobe unit with one tall cupboard, drawers and hanging space concealed behind a curtained glazed panel. The only problem with the room was that there was nowhere to hang anything very long inside the wardrobe, as there was a bar in the middle of it. My fiance ended up hanging his suit for the wedding behind the room's door. What we did find when looking for decent hanging space was a mini ironing board and iron hidden in the wardrobe.
Next to th wardrobe there was a table containing the hospitality tray with a nice selection of coffee, tea and hot chocolate and some fancy biscuits. On the downside there was not any fresh milk in the mini fridge underneath the table, as advertised on the website. Instead there was just the normal little cartons of UHT milk. There were two cups but my fiance's mum felt they could have supplied mugs, as some of the sachets could not be easily contained in one small teacup. The other nice touch in the room was a couple of bottles of mineral water just in case you got thirsty in the middle of th night.
In room entertainment comes courtesy of a portable TV on a bracket on the wall. Its ye olde world , as its only got four channels because freeview is not easily received in this part of the country. I was not too disappointed, as we only had the tv on ion the background and for the all important football scores late on the Saturday evening. Luckily wi fi is available and is free of charge throughout the building.
To your left when entering the room is the bathroom. Its not a bad size at all and like the bedroom was spotlessly clean (although finance's mum felt the shower head on her room could have done with a descale!!). The shower was a nice big corner one and was very powerful. It was a joy to shower in it. Hanging on the towel rack were four white fairly soft towels. I liked the little details in the bathroom from the print hanging on the wall to the little duck on the end of the pull cord for the light. I especially liked the Kinu toiletries in their holder which reminded me of a test tube rack in a science lab. It looked funky, modern and luxurious.
Our room overlooked the side of the house so we could see the open countryside of the Cotswolds. There must have been horses nearby, as we heard them whinnying one morning. Luckily that was all we heard so we were able to have a peaceful uninterrupted sleep. I found the temperature to be reasonable so no lying awake in an overheated room. The bed was quite high and at first I found it a bit hard but then got used to it. I slept like a log both nights.
The other bedrooms were similarity tastefully decorated. The Bourton room's colour scheme was g white and burgundy whilst the Sherbourne had a beautiful turquoise Chinese style duvet cover . If I had not purchased bedding recently I would have been very tempted to ask them where they bought it.
Downstairs there is a small lounge or guests to use. We found this handy for meeting in before going out. Adjacent to this is the breakfast room housed in a very light and airy conservatory. There was a choice of coffee tea or hot chocolate to drink. . On the first day those that had coffee chose to have it with cream for a little bit of luxury. The cold breakfast items were presented on the shelves of a pine dresser where we could help ourselves. There were mini boxes of cereal, yoghurts and a variety of fresh fruit and mixed nuts. Also on the dresser was the orange juice. The hot breakfast selection is just as good. On the first day I ordered a vegetarian breakfast and was delighted to find there were vegetarian sausages, as they were not listed on the menu. I was very pleased, as they were the potato and stuffing type sausage rather than the ubiquitous Quorn. Fiance was happy, as there was black pudding with the full English, again tis was not listed on the menu. For th second morning I preordered kippers for breakfast, as these need to be ordered the day before. It was nice to have something different for a hot breakfast although the landlady found it weird I wanted then with baked beans and eggs!!
Competition in this sector must be high due to the number of establishments catering for a vast number of guests. I am glad to say Holly House can stand it own amongst this competition, as it was a pleasure to stay at this cosy home from home in the heart of the Cotswolds.
Holly House B & B