I first set eyes on Wales’ dark and brooding mountain range whilst visiting the new owners of the Cottage in the Wood, a small hotel and restaurant in the Malvern Hills with stunning views over the surrounding countryside.
These views inspired Tolkien I was told and I could well believe it. The Black Mountains being Mordor, Malvern Village, the Shire and the countryside betwixt and between “the journey”. Famous names then spilled out – CS Lewis was a regular, Elgar composed a movement or two here and even Margaret Thatcher loved staying. Well, I’m not surprised – it is a singularly spectacular view and her allocated room was overpoweringly blue in colour!
Nick and Julia Davies recently purchased The Cottage in the Woods and are intent on bringing it back to life to re-launch Spring 2017 with a revitalised hotel and a welcome new outlook.
Not trained hoteliers, this relocated couple have style, enthusiasm and courage for stepping out on this journey and I have every confidence having met them that they will be extremely successful.
The Cottage in the Woods, with accommodation split between The Main House, The Pinnacle (to be renamed) and Beech Cottage strongly reminded me of a mini-Portmeirion in its prime but am guessing that the proposed style will be more Tresanton-inspired – creating a comfortable oasis away from the travails of everyday life. I can’t wait to see what this determined and driven pair have in store as they clearly have a great design sense of their own and are nobody’s followers.
The locally-lauded restaurant which showcases local produce will remain in situ – happy news for its fans – with plans afoot to create a secondary dining area – The Orangery – to further tempt the local dining market and the travelling cognoscenti.
Watch this space and fellow hotelholics, make a diary date for 2017.
Contributor & photographer: Sue Lowry
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