Thyme is an idyllic Cotswolds retreat, made up of a cluster of stylishly restored farm buildings and cottages, serving fabulous food, and with a naturally nurturing spa.
In its own words this ‘village within a village’ has been lovingly restored and restyled by the owner and her family over the past 20 years. The Thyme estate sits in over one hundred acres of gardens, meadowland, orchards and woodland and there’s a restful at-oneness with nature vibe about the whole place. Bedrooms are lie-in inviting, food is nourishing, and the Meadow Spa is the kind of place where the only stress around is the knowledge you’ll have to leave.
Originally set up as hotel rooms plus a cookery school, great importance is placed on food at Thyme. As the name suggests, it has a plant-inspired philosophy which runs through the décor, food, botanical spa products and artisanal craft sessions.
Meadow Spa, is a gentle, restorative haven with a spring water-filled outdoor hot tub and pool. Its mindful treatments address emotional as well as physical wellbeing and include elements of traditional healing.
The multi-talented owner was a doctor in a previous life, and this comes through in the holistic treatments, where benefits are more than just skin deep. Treatments incorporate ancient and modern wellbeing philosophies and are tailored to individual needs at the time, combining targeted massage, herbal poultices, body brushing, hot stones and breath work as prescribed.
The spa offering will be further extended in spring 2022 with the opening of the new Botanical Bothy which includes a private spa space with hammam-style wet room, heated stone loungers and a pair of outdoor bathtubs overlooking their own private garden.
Importance is placed on connecting with, and being nurtured by, nature. Meadow Spa’s two product ranges both have an emphasis on natural ingredients. Bertioli Beauty, Thyme’s own botanical brand, offers a range of luxurious bathing and breathing products, and fellow all-natural brit brand, Aurelia London, provides probiotic skincare.
Rooms are characterful and charming, decorated in natural pastel tones and ticking the stylish box while leaving the ‘corny’ and ‘twee’ boxes happily unchecked. Linen is crisp, lighting is soft, and the beautiful bathrooms are scattered with fresh Bertioli products. We love the spacious and classy Cedar of Lebanon suite on the first floor of the Lodge, where you get a great view of the gardens from the feature bath in the window. And English Rose shares the vista, and has its own large freestanding bath, plus a fireplace with a backdrop of chalky blush walls and twinkling chandeliers.
If you’re looking to take your children or dog, the Old Walls cottage in the village welcomes kiddos and canine companions, all other accommodation is adult only.
wining & dining
Dining is in the Ox Barn restaurant, one of the beautifully restored outbuildings. Food is seasonal, sustainably sourced, mainly local (many of the ingredients are from its own kitchen garden) and delicious. The menu is streamlined but perfectly formed. Children are welcomed for lunch, but evening meals are a strictly adult affair. If you fancy a change of scene, or menu, the Swan Pub, a stone’s throw away in Southrop village, has great reputation for upmarket pub grub.
And for drinks, the Baa Bar, welcomes you to their sheep seats, where you can sample the delights of Thyme’s botanical cocktails and cordials, garnished with herbs and edible flowers.
why so spavellous?
Thyme is one of those places that just ‘gets it’ and excels at everything it turns it mind/fork to. From the beautifully restored buildings to the décor and country-love vibes, it makes you feel privileged to share its delights. Thoughtful touches are everywhere – fresh flowers from the garden, pre-lit fires and its botanical Bertoili products in bathrooms. And the spa offers the best kind of relaxation where everything just seems to naturally slow down, instilling a sense of calm as soon as you step over the threshold.
Remember to take any of your unfinished Bertioli Beauty products home with you, as encouraged.
Check ahead to see if there are going to be any creative classes on while you’re there
If you have a treatment booked and fancy a dip in the pool too (which you will), head to the pool first as the herbs in the oils and poultices will keep working their magic after your treatment’s finished.
I can’t wait to try the outdoor bathtubs
The whole spa smells divine
My treatment made me feel really special and the pool’s lovely too
Make time to visit the shop – it’s full of gorgeous things and you can buy Bertioli products to take home