There’s something about a townhouse that evokes a sense of regency like no other. It’s not necessarily something you’d associate with the quaint town of Shipston-on-Stour in the Cotswolds, but there it stood, The George Townhouse, in all its four-story glory. Located in the centre of the high street, it acts as both a watering hole for locals and a cosmopolitan bolthole for out-of-towners. The interior aesthetics of dark wood, cosy snugs and urban accessories mirror that of its sister property The Sheep on Sheep Street, but with an air of privacy and aloofness. This could also be said of the staff who didn’t possess the warmth and welcome nature of The Sheep sadly and often left us for long periods of time and weren’t shy to offer a sarcastic remark or two. Teething problems aside, we were keen to see our room after waging a bet that it couldn’t possibly be as impressive as The Sheep. Admittedly, there were no vaulted ceilings but a roll-top bath in the bedroom overlooking the town below had us in mutual agreement.
When staying in a hotel, it’s not necessarily the location or price that influences my experience, it’s the little things. And The George had these in bucket loads. From the beautiful iron radiators (it makes a difference, believe me!) and stylish bathroom tiles to the delicate biscuits and Temple Spa bath set – it had the makings of a perfect weekend – especially as the rain pelted down outside.
Unfortunately, a heavy cold prevented me from exploring the area further than the boutique shops in a 100m radius, but it did prove a perfect opportunity to experience the hotel. Feeling very sorry for myself, I soon perked up after nestling down next to the bar’s open fire with a peppermint tea in hand and a ham hock terrine with brioche on order. The food at The George was faultless – thoughtful, local and plentiful in portions – I couldn’t ask for more. Well, I would’ve preferred not to have been burnt by the waitress, but let’s not be picky.
Had I felt more human, we would have joined the gangs of locals in the bar and further sampled their extensive list of cocktails (the first was medicinal, obviously). Come 9 o’ clock, the atmosphere is less suitable for dining and more what you’d expect on a Saturday night. Sadly the two collide apologetically as the restaurant doesn’t have doors to separate the two, so if you’re expecting a romantic meal and intimate dinner conversation, it probably isn’t the best option. Fully prepared to unpack my earplugs once back in the room, I was pleasantly surprised when the noise faded with every passing floor and we effortlessly slipped into a bunged up but blissful night’s sleep.
The George Towhouse, 8 High Street, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, CV36 4AJ
Tel: +44 (0)1608 661453
The hotel is located in the pretty market town of Shipston-on-Stour in the Cotswolds. It’s a 20-minute drive to Stratford-upon-Avon and a 2¼ hour drive from Central London via the A40 and M40. There is a small car park at the rear of the hotel which you can access via Church Street.
Type of Hotel: 4-Star Boutique Hotel
Number of Rooms: 15 rooms with complimentary Wi-Fi
Make sure you sample the freshly baked pastries on the bar.
Price Band: Medium to High
Reviewer’s Rating: 7/10
Jessica Harris is a UK-based journalist with a background in fashion, beauty and travel journalism
Photographs courtesy of The George Townhouse