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Fleeing the city to the Cotswolds in spring is always a treat, but never more so than when you trade home for a whirl at style-drenched Dormy House. From this season, stays at this luxe manor house just got that little bit more spoiling too, thanks to a chic new spa.

dormy house

Who says you can’t have a romantic country break with a little one in tow? A family escape to a sophisticated Cotswolds boutique hotel seems such a fabulous idea… Then you get to your fashionable bolthole, everyone else is wafting around romantically and your crew rocks up, spills their chattels everywhere, whacks up the decibels, and everyone wishes you’d stayed home. Thankfully the welcome to Dormy House couldn’t be warmer: whether you’re a seclusion-seeking couple (see Alice Stone’s fresh Mr & Mrs Smith review), or this child-wielding threesome…

Broadway SketchbookArriving on Saturday afternoon, we had time for a romp around watercolour-worthy* Broadway before supper. (*As my artist grandmother’s 1975-published sketchbook (pictured, left)  attests, it’s just as charming today.) Since locavore dining at Dormy is a highlight, we were happy to work up appetites for the Potting Shed. The hotel’s in-house inn delivers cut-above pub-grub in designer surroundings we could happily have hung out in all evening; thankfully though for the Mr and Mrs Smiths all around, we were happy to retire to our cute cottage-feel quarters leaving the remaining lovebirds free of the sound of me cajoling my daughter into eating all her kale as well as the insanely delicious hand-cut chips if you she wanted to share some sticky toffee pud with ice-cream.

house spa

After a night for Kitty on a pink-sheeted blow-up bed, and us sprawled happily across a heavenly mattress so large Liberace would have considered it indulgent, (and of course a mega breakfast from an as-though-art-directed spread), we were at the House Spa on the dot of 9am for our allotted family-friendly slot in the House Spa pool…

dormy spa pool

That cool bluey-purple infinity water may have looked best suited to honeymooners, but my six-year-old revelled in having her wicked splashing way in it for the hour and a half she was allowed in. The best part for this mum was I could sneak in some spa time while keeping an eye on her… When does that happen for an on-duty parent? Thanks to a pool-view glass-walled sauna (one of a few sweetly scented steam rooms) I relaxed in lavender-enhanced heat while my sea monster deflected the subtle scowls from bath-robed lovers stretched out on the sunloungers.

Of course it was important to me that Kitty enjoyed quality daddy-daughter time too, so to sneak off for my ‘Champagne and truffle facial’, I dropped her like a stone lovingly handed her to her pa to play with. And I’m delighted to report from this mother’s me time (OK, shoot me now for using the phrase ‘me time’), that the new House Spa is that rare breed of boutique-hotel wellness centre: it is high-end yet anything but sterile, pretty as an interior-design showroom, with super-friendly therapists who are as competent as they are professional…

And relax.

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