To start the week with a fresh set of eyes, there's nothing better than an imaginary escape to the Cotswolds, London's most popular, yet under-rated weekend destination. A little while back, a lovely gentleman took me to the English country side for a little romantic getaway. For the first time since I'd moved, I saw the beauty that lies beyond the capital's borders and immediately fell in love with English nature and culture.
After a smooth two and half hour drive out of London (on the left side of the road, mind you), we were both still alive- and better yet, we were ecstatic. The beauty of the landscape took our breath away and it was as if we could have stayed glued to the scenery like glued to a Van Gogh painting. The next morning, we woke up in our small bed and breakfast to take a stroll through the teeny tea-cup-seized village of Cirencester. After lunch we meandered slowly towards the Barnsley House Hotel and Spa for some much needed R&R. Built using local natural stone the spa features Cotswold Stone floors, dry stone interior walls, floor to ceiling glass and English hardwoods, the heavenly contemporary spa is comparable to a Swedish winter spa. One massage, one twirl in the outdoor thermal pool and one sweat in the steam room later, we were finally beginning to feel the after-effects of too much relaxation and rejuvenation- basically we were in heaven.
The Barnsley House is a historical mansion built in the 17th century and absolutely worthy of the adjective "historical." This special place tucked away between the multitudinous hilltops of the gorgeous Cotswolds countryside could not be more breathtakingly beautiful. I found myself being blown away by the untouched and virginal feel of this perfect story-book, doll-house style property.
Strolling through the romantic gardens, and breathing in all the fantastic floral and herbal scents, I could have stayed there forever- just moved all of my things, my life, my belongings from London and migrated to this English haven of peace and tranquility. The only potential problem would have to be the price of the hotel rooms, but hey, it's always good to dream, right?