Cowley Manor – a story unfolding, telling the tales of the past 300 years
A manor house at the heart of England’s history for more than 300 years. The first iteration constructed in 1695. A property once owned by the kings of England. Exchanged by Edward the Confessor for the land in which he built Westminster Abbey. A building designed by the renowned R.A. Briggs. A safe haven for from German air attacks. The inspiration for Alice in Wonderland.
In 2023, Cowley Manor turns a new page and enters the next chapter of its life. After purchasing the 55-acre estate in early 2022, Experimental Group reopened Cowley Manor after a significant refurbishment and redesign of the property. Led by designer Dorothée Meiliczhon, the hotel, restaurant and bar has an entirely new design across each of its 36 bedrooms, F&B offering and spa.
Taking inspiration from each chapter of Cowley Manor’s book, spanning 1695 until today, Meilichzon carefully weaves together classical inspiration with contemporary elements. A sort of joyeux bordel, a happy mess. Baldaquin beds at the heart of each grand bedroom complemented by blurred maple and Verdigris. Touches of rattan, mixed with bold colours and glossy lacquer. And of course, a nod to Lewis Carroll’s iconic Alice and her merry band of misfits: a small hidden door here, a touch of checkerboard there.
The Restaurant and Bar
A place for guests and the community alike. The new restaurant & cocktail bar at Cowley Manor is a place to celebrate a milestone, or simply enjoy a wonderful meal. Celebrated chef Jackson Boxer leads the team as Chef Consultant. A menu woven with extraordinary local produce and a Gallic nod. Gloucestershire’s finest offerings, locally grown and forever celebrated. Over time, dishes made with herbs, fruit and vegetables plucked from our very own garden. Unpretentious, yet memorable. A place to return to again and again, for cocktails, dinner or lunch. A place where time is frozen, much like the fate of Carroll’s White Rabbit, where there is simply no time to do anything else but sit back, relax and enjoy.
An escape to nourish the soul, relax the body and emerge rejuvenated. C-Side Spa reopens for hotel and day spa guests. An iconic post-modern building carved out of the land flanked by two heated pools, indoor and out.Behind the doors, local vegan skincare brand Monu Skin is at the heart of each treatment. 100% natural, a combination of plants and essential oils. A tonic for tired skin and sore muscles. An exercise in self-care, discreetly tucked away.
Gently enveloped by meadows and pastures, with Italianate gardens at the heart. The original Cowley Manor gardens date back to the 19th century when fertile soil was planted with ginkgo biloba, Atlas Blue cedar, grand Sequoias and later, cypresses. Seven natural springs are at the heart of the gardens, with the upper lake flowing east to the middle lake on the River Churn. Delicately flowing through a Grade II listed water-staircase comprised of fountains and pools, created at the hand of James Hutchinson in the 19th century. Overlooked by ornamental statues of eagles and lions carefully carved from stone. Early morning brings promise of wildlife encounters and birdsong from woodpeckers, kinglets and kingfishers. Throughout the day, alpacas graze on pastures in the surrounding fields. A veritable playground for nature lovers, a place where head gardener David Masters can lead guests on a trail of discovery. Welcome to the next era of Cowley Manor.