What a birthday treat and how lucky we have been to enjoy a few sunny days in the Cotswolds, in the Slaughters to be precise. We started with a high tea in Moreton-in-Marsh and followed this with a lovely long amble / bimble / walk around and through Guiting Wood. You can’t beat the dappled shade of a wood on a hot summers day. We were lucky enough to be have tea and an overnight stay at Lords of the Manor, an iconic hotel set in heart of Upper Slaughter – was once the home of the local vicar. Set amongst well tended flower gardens, with an ambling path that meanders through the trees and round in fishing lake – set against a backdrop of rolling fields and ancient oaks. Dating back to 1649 – it is an impressive Cotswold honey-coloured stone manor house. As the website will inform you “The Lords of the Manor was originally a much smaller house which has been added to and altered over the years. The Slaughter family (originally Sclostre meaning “a slough or muddy place” who take their name from here), purchased the Manor from Henry VIII.”
The following day – as if all this wasn’t fab enough, we then visited Chastleton House: “A rare gem of a Jacobean country house, Chastleton House was built between 1607 and 1612 by a prosperous wool merchant as an impressive statement of wealth and power. Owned by the same increasingly impoverished family until 1991, the house remained essentially unchanged for nearly 400 years as the interiors and contents gradually succumbed to the ravages of time. With virtually no intrusion from the 21st century, this fascinating place exudes an informal and timeless atmosphere in a gloriously unspoilt setting.” – And a gem it was indeed, the cracked plaster and cobwebs and faded paint are a perfect preservation of time and a reminder of the precarious nature of power and wealth.