Gloucestershire: 'Big cat' seen at a fishing lake in Haresfield
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Among the Grade II listed Regency Manor House is the ground’s private gardens, where there are three dome-shaped dining pods: The Old Spot, The Mallard, and The Fallow. These beacons of light amidst the winter night are a source of intrigue for guests and, luckily for me, I got to experience the VIPods first hand. Easily walkable from the four-star hotel, my party and I strolled along the garden path to enter the exclusive Old Spot dining pod.
Fabulously warm, with mellow background music in the background, we selected our seats and all cooed over the canopy of flowers overhead.
Joining us for dinner was General Manager Gavin Jones, who shared with us how the enforced closure during lockdown resulted in a strengthened community spirit.
Having more time on his hands, Gavin volunteered to help out at a local shop nearby, not knowing at the time how valuable his contribution would be.
Chatting to the locals, strong connections were formed, and when businesses were back open, people supported one another.
Taking pride in the newfound locally sourced cheese and meat, Bowden Hall’s Chef, Shaun Lewis, and his team prepared a new British menu for us that is coming in for the New Year, January 2022.
Starting off with twice baked double Gloucester cheese soufflé, followed by a trio of Gloucester lamb, fondant potato, tenderstem broccoli and redcurrant jus, the ingredients highlight exactly where Bowden Hall is – Gloucester.
And credits to the Chef – the food was hearty, delicious, and beautifully presented.
Keeping with the local flavours, Woodchester Valley Vineyard supplied the wine, which is ideally located nearby.
Guests also had the option of sipping on the Cotswolds’ Distillery gin.
As for dessert, a pear and blackberry frangipane added even more flavour to our palates.
While we – as a party of six – enjoyed the VIPods for the evening, they are available to book for brunch, lunch and afternoon tea.
If you do book a VIPod during the day, you will become aware of the lake, where dabbling ducks bobble along the waters.
Also in sight is an apple tree in the landscaped gardens where, at dusk and dawn, deers have been seen grazing on the fallen fruit.
While enjoying good company, we learned that the hotel is also dog friendly.
There are six rooms reserved for guests who would like to bring along their beloved companions – and some of the pods welcome fur friends too.
Retiring to one of the Classic Bedrooms, the walls were adorned with quotes from children’s author Beatrix Potter, who created one of her most loved characters in Gloucester.
An eclectic style – mixing original features and a modern twist – is seen throughout the hotel.
For instance, an 18th-century decorative stove still resides in the residence, while the breakfast room is bright and modern.
Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall VIPod bookings start from £21 per adult.
For more information on staying at Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall in the Cotswolds, please visit mercuregloucester.co.uk.
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