Review: Thyme- A Unique Country Destination

ABOUT

Less than 2 hours from central London, 1 hour from Heathrow, 35 minutes from Oxford, Thyme is nestled in the heart of the Cotswold village of Southrop.

An enclosed collection of restored 17th century farm buildings, houses and cottages. Collectively, they form a peaceful hamlet environment and evoke a ‘village within a village’, epitomising the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

ACCOMMODATION

Thyme has 31 bedrooms situated in a Georgian rectory known as the Lodge and a 17th century Farmhouse; and Courtyard & Village cottages. In addition, there are five Garden Rooms each with its own private garden.

All bedrooms are unique, having been thoughtfully designed by Caryn Hibbert, taking inspiration from the natural world, with botanical names such as Lemonbalm, Mallow and English Rose.

Six-time Chelsea Flower Show gold medalist, Bunny Guinness helped Caryn to create a series of classic country house gardens that not only frame the barns, houses and cottages creating delightful spaces in which to relax, but also working gardens and orchards on the farm that supply flowers for the house, food for the kitchen, and herbs for the spa.

FOOD & DRINK

OX BARN

This is their main restaurant under the direction of Head Chef, Charlie Hibbert. Rooted in a passion for the local land, food and entertaining, the carefully curated menus are farm-based and plant-inspired.

Signature dishes include: Leeks with Fried Wiltshire Truffled Egg, Roast Southrop Lamb with Braised Beans and Salsa Verde, Hazelnut Cake with Poached Pears and Cream – all sourced within just metres of the kitchens. As well as a traditional à la carte menu, there is an evening set menu with optional wine- pairing.

The nineteenth century former oxen house with soaring archways and original Cotswold stone rubble walls, now houses a modern, dining destination – including a contemporary bar and open kitchen. 6pm – 10.30pm Sunday 8am – 4pm

We recommend: Definitely get the bites at the start! You won’t be disappointed. The anchovies were our favourite.

THE BAA – The Bar

Situated in the old lambing sheds and drawing inspiration from the farm’s two flocks of rare breed sheep, the bespoke ‘sheep seats’ characterise this space.

Bartenders create homemade cordials, shrubs and infusions which together with fresh flowers and herbs from the garden, create a cocktail menu that tells the story of the land.

The use of actual straw blades in drinks and the composting of yesterday’s paper menus into the garden are often guests’ first experience of the commitment to sustainability and the drive to remove single-use plastics from Thyme.

OPENING HOURS Monday – Sunday 7.00am to midnight Residents only … (Booking available for diners at The Swan)

THE SWAN – The Local Pub

An award-winning village pub, The Swan sits at the heart of the village. Its history dates back as far as 1606 when it was known as the Bakehouse, serving bread and ale to the farm workers.

Recently refurbished, it enjoys low ceiling cottage areas, sofas for cosy feasting, the Old Bar for simple merry-making and ‘bar bites’ and a spacious garden room which opens onto two walled courtyard gardens for lazy, long summer lunches.

Head Chef Matt Wardman continues the tradition of simple and honest food which celebrate the ingredients and flavours of the farm’s heritage. A bar menu ensures a country pub feel and, combined with a table menu, they feature a simpler, more rustic style of cooking.

Locally distinct brews, wines and non-alcoholic drinks give The Swan a friendly pub atmosphere, offering a less formal style of hospitality.

We recommend: Going for lunch, get yourself a lovely Rhubarb Gin and Gingerale and dig in to some bar bites.

PRIVATE HIRE & CORPORATE EVENTS

Thyme features the perfect accommodation for a Corporate Away Event and also has various activities on site including a cookery school and SPA.

PRIVATE SPACES

From impeccable parties to business events …

The Tithe Barn ~ after an award-winning restoration, the grandeur of the medieval Tithe Barn creates an unforgettable atmosphere for life’s special occasions.

The Balcony Room ~ nestling in the eaves of the Tithe Barn with views of the barn space from its large gallery and the farm from its doors, the perfect space for lectures and board meetings.

It is also possible to book rooms in The Farmhouse & The Tallet for meetings and lunches.

COOKERY SCHOOL

As one of the first of Thyme’s offerings, the Cookery School perhaps best showcases their ‘love of the land’. They run a programme of classes throughout the year and also specialise in bespoke, private cookery classes.

They are led by the seasons focussing on what is best to buy, cook & eat right now. Taking culinary influences from around the world using the freshest ingredients, our classes are:

• Seasonal, produce-led & underlined by an ethos of sustainability.

• A combination of hands-on cooking & demonstrations.

• Skill-based with top tips from our chefs.

• Easy to follow recipes.

• Suitable for all levels of experience.

• Accessible, inspirational, fun & friendly in beautiful surroundings.

THE SPA

Nurturing peacefulness, stillness and beauty from within, the botanical spa is an idyllic haven of peace and tranquillity.

Guests are welcomed into the Greenhouse reception & water bar before being shown through to the Meadow Cottage for a bespoke menu of Thyme treatments in partnership with award-winning, natural British brand, Aurelia Probiotic Skincare. Sharing a mutual philosophy for natural ingredients and a ‘love of the land’, treatments are tailored specifically for mind and body harnessing unique probiotic ingredients to protect, restore and balance the skin from within.

The spa also encompasses a pure water swimming pool and a hot spring water tub, as well as a yoga and pilates studio, tennis court and a range of country pursuits including local walking and cycling routes.

THE FARM

The 150-acre working farm. The river Leach runs through the lower eastern side of the farm with its water meadows and rich alluvial soils; it is the perfect place for the kitchen garden situated on the edge of the meadows, safe from the flooding that happens naturally every year.

Thyme’s vegetable gardens are carefully managed ensuring abundance from the land whilst protecting and maintaining a healthy rich soil. Featuring a newly planted herb garden, cutting gardens and poly-tunnels to extend the seasons, the garden is productive all year round, growing carefully selected flavoursome and unusual varieties to supply and inspire the restaurants, cookery school and spa.

OUR THOUGHTS

This is one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in! You feel tranquil as soon as you arrive. We love the fact that there are loads of different houses on site which is great for a group trip away. There is so much to do from cooking classes and spa treatments to long walks and Gin & Tonics in the pub!

A big shoutout to the staff who were all so accommodating and so friendly.

What topped off the stay was that when we got back in to our room at the end of the evening there was a hot water bottle in the bed! What a lovely treat. It’s small things like that, that make it memorable. Thyme is a must go to!

OUR RATING

5/5

FIND OUT MORE

To book please book via venuefinding@missjonespa.com and to get further information.

Visit https://www.thyme.co.uk/

Check out Thyme in out BlackBook here