As Ferris Bueller, once said, “life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once a while, you could miss it”…
It’s definitely a thought I’ve found myself echoing recently. Honestly, I can hardly wrap my head around the fact that we’re already more than halfway through 2016! When did that happen?
Well, last weekend I decided to take a much needed time-out and escape to the English countryside for the day with my parents. Our destination – the picturesque market town of Cirencester in the Cotswolds…
Setting out from central London mid-Sunday morning, we arrived at the Kings Head a couple of hours and several winding country-roads later, just in time for lunch.
The hotel is an integral part of the town’s community, with records showing that it existed as a coaching inn all the way back in 1550!
It recently underwent an extensive refurb, which whilst adding a contemporary touch, simultaneously accentuated several original features – from the preserved piece of Roman mosaic in the reception area, to the gorgeous exposed Cotswolds stone.
With the hotel’s entrance leading quite conveniently into the bar area, it was all too easy for us to embrace the #WeekendVibes…
A refreshing mix of gin, elderflower liqeueur, apple juice and lime topped off with ginger beer – my Kings Guard cocktail was exactly what a summer’s Sunday should sip like!
We lunched in the hotel’s cosy restaurant, taking our pick from the Sunday specials and regular deli menu.
A boldly-spiced curried butternut squash soup and veggie ciabatta were spot on, irrefutably proving that sometimes there’s nothing quite as comforting as the combination of a hearty soup and well-done toastie. There was much to appreciate too, in the delicate finesse of tender asparagus stems artfully laced with truffle oil and honey…
For mains, father enjoyed a tender and gently-seasoned grilled sea bream.
While I virtuously opted for a super food salad loaded with kale, roast heritage beetroots, walnuts, goji berries, pomegranate and crushed blueberries. Although beautifully textured, I thought the salad was missing one key ingredient… a sharply binding dressing. It was nothing that a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil didn’t fix though…
… Before we moved on to dessert, a classic sticky toffee pud. Lusciously moist yet not overwhelmingly sweet or stodgy, it hit all the right notes to round off our lunch with a flourish.
We walked it off with a wander around the town, starting at the striking Parish Church of St Baptist, located right across from the hotel in the market square.
And soaked up the sun, the peaceful charm and the quaintness of the historic town, which is said to have been one of the largest towns in Roman Britain…
… Heading back to the Kings Head for a spot of tea and a chat with the hotel’s rather awe-inspiring magician, who’d kept us fabulously entertained over lunch with his nifty sleight of hand.
We had time to explore the labyrinth-like hotel before leaving, convincing us of the need to plan another visit soon.
The property is actually quite large, comprising several adjacent and adjoining buildings. There’s even a terrace tucked away somewhere inside, perfect for a tipple on a warm and breezy evening!
I also loved how quirky historical features had been preserved in the basement, not to mention the tranquil enclave that the hotel’s spa presented.
The hidden cellar was a real gem too. I’m told that it’s to be the site for Cirencester’s largest cocktail bar with jazz evenings, casino nights and all sorts of other fun in the works!
The wonderfully relaxing daycation proved to be exactly what I’d been needing, as I returned to London rested and suitably recharged for another busy week ahead.
Have you been on a daycation recently?
The Kings Head Hotel, 24 Market Place, Cirencester GL7 2NR
We were guests of the hotel, but as always, all opinions are mine and mine alone.