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Travel Blogs from Barnsley
... beautiful - and being made of bath stone is much lighter inside than most cathedrals. We met Dave and Janet, Catherine and Geoff for dinner at Witherspoon's (those with English connections will know the brand). It was steak night - steak with salad, veg, chips or baked potato and a wine, beer, soft drink for 9 pound each. Came home and enjoyed cheese and biscuits - ...
(Photos to follow in a couple of days) We woke to beautiful sunshine and gusty winds, perfect fall weather. After breakfast on board the couples split up for the morning, each going our own ways prior to meeting for lunch. Jackie & I did the market square, a warren of shops inside and outside, where we found a tea and coffee shop. Loose teas in large tin jars and blended coffees from all over the world. We bought some Ethiopian pea berry ...
I have to write a paper tonight (yeah I am still in school ew) so my post (should) be a little shorter tonight.
First off...a random fact I learned and forgot about last night!
- "Gargoyles" is a very misleading title. We normally associate gargoyles with those scary things perched on top of buildings. In actuality, it is only a gargoyle if it is attached to a drain pipe and water comes out of its mouth. They are named gargoyles because of ...
... help wishing that was you.
Not to mention the town itself is old and vintagely beautiful in nature. You can understand what inspired so many people to use it as settings for their stories.
To get there, we took a coach, with our tour guide, Brit, once again. Not going to lie, I love Brit, but it was 8 am and the speaker system kept squeaking. I mostly just wanted her to be quiet so I could sleep until we got there. ...
... they had a cricket team practicing. It was legit. The only thing that wasnt legit was my croquet skills. I felt bad for the poor guy on my team. Never the less the game was fun and James drunk croquet antics were more than amusing. Once we had enough pummeling, we ate some tex-mex UK style and took the last train back to London. FYI when they say its hot its hot! Though I missed it the word on the street is that the Oxford crowd knows how to party.
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Barnsley House
Just returned from a trip to Barnsley House and had high expectations. House and gardens are lovely and reception area is nice with the modern blending in really well with the old stone house. Our room wasn't going to be ready until 4ish which wasn't really a problem so we went over the Village Pub across the road owned by Barnsley House. Very pleasant staff who made a real effort and food was good, solid pub food (roast beef etc). Our room was fantastic (room 9) and consisted of lounge and bathroom downstairs and excellent bedroom upstairs. All kitted out with the latest TVs and Bose sound systems, even a mini plasma tv at the end of the bed. One of the best rooms we have ever stayed in. We had booked a table in the restaurant for 9pm and headed down to the small bar shortly before. Bar is very trendy but cosy and we liked it. Drinks were well prepared although expensive (Bloody Mary £10 plus compulsory service for example) and service good. Dinning room was nice and about half full. Despite this the service was unbelievably slow and staff seemed to be in a dreamworld. Didn't matter too much to us but could see other diners getting annoyed and heard some complaining afterwards. Food was fine and the Vincigrassi pasta certainly worth a mention. Coffee in the morning room afterwards with log fire was a nice end to the evening. On our way to bed we stopped at reception to ask if we could keep our room for an extra hour the next morning as we had been delayed 2hours from the check in time we were given before leaving London by guests before us checking out late. The evening receptionist wasn't interested in helping so called the owner who was still around and he was less bothered and rude about our supposedly ridiculous request. The next morning we were phoned at 1055 and told if we weren't in reception ready to check out at 11am we would be charged. As we were paying our bill to the receptionist the owner rudely stood over us supervising, not speaking a word until we were out the door. All in all it could have been amazing but couple of little silly things ruined it. Some very helpful and pleasant members of staff but management only want your pound note and don't seem particularly interested in ensuring you enjoy your stay or even saying hello! Stick to Cowley Manor or Chewton Glen for the same money and better idea how to run an upmarket hotel.
Romantic and Relaxing
Spent a very enjoyable weekend at Barnsley House. The Room (#2) was great with a superb bathroom. Just what was needed for a relaxing break from the kids. The food was also good and the Vincisgrassi highly recommended for pasta lovers. No evidence of poor service, as others have mentioned, since we found it excellent and the staff were attentive and friendly. The only niggle (hence a 4 rating rather than 5) is that the bar and lounge are small and therefore in the evening tend to get taken over by non-residents arriving for dinner.
However this didn't spoil our stay and we would definitely go back
Fawlty Towers comes to Barnsley House
'We're better than Babington House', said the Reservations Manager. No hot water all night: the chef's not doing sandwiches; cold coffee and a 35 minute wait for breakfast to list a few of the endless problems. A small discount was the only ackowedgement of these relentless disappointments and a month later and despite chasing through Mr & Mrs Smith no reply to our letter of complaint. Certainly not Babington House, maybe Fawlty Towers - if only Basil could have charged £365 for a night!
Try it for lunch & enjoy the garden
With such a famous garden now closed to the public and the hotel prices so very high, it was suggested to us that we go for lunch & then tour the garden. We very much enjoyed it. Booked in for a 12:30 Sunday lunch, had a cocktail on the patio, strolled through the laburnum arch. Inside we enjoyed a lovely lunch for £25 each without drinks. Very good food, nice service, elegant surroundings.
We found the bar to be a weird space, overly draped in dark fabric (trying to be a somber copy of the Delano?) and very small. So, go in good weather & drink outside.
The garden is NOT being maintained to previous standards, so visit it soon !!!
An Exquisite Haven
We had a very memorable evening last Saturday night. It was our first weekend away alone without our children for some time and although we had decided to stay at Cowley Manor which was wonderful, we were very keen to experience Barnsley House after everything which we had read. Although we had expected something very special, it really surpased our expectations. They have created an exquisite haven in which to relax. The food was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed everything. We look forward to returning to stay very soon.
Well done for creating such a perfect place to unwind.
Why this is one of the "top 50 hotels in the world (conde nast traveller)" I dont know. Distinctly lacking in atmosphere and service.
Having read various flattering articles about Barnsley House over the last year or so - I thought this would be an opportunity to see if it was a suitable hotel for mother and step-father to stay on future visits, to be within striking distance of 3 of their several children.
This place is heaven on earth. Small country house hotel which has been sumptiously refurbished throughtout. If you are looking for amenities that a larger hotel offers this is not the place for you. Whereas if you want to spend a weekend of pure luxury with your loved one this is it. Only nine roons we have already been back 3 times in the last 6 months and all have been stunning. Modern yet romantic. Room 2 is lovely with a hugh jacuzzi perfect for sipping the free bottle of champagne you receive on arrival and then the larger suite of room 8 we preferred room 6 in the eaves which is possibly cosier. The small yet wonderful morning room with a log fire is what you would expect of a country house but the real shock is a small quirky trendy/boudoir type bar which wouldn't look out of place in a hip bar in London. The Food is good but there are better Chefs delivering higher quality food from their kitchens. However we felt it is about the whole experience and this place wins hands down than anywhere we have stayed in the UK.
There are good things and not so good things about Barnsley House. On the plus side, the location is convenient to visit the rest of the Cotswolds, the house and gardens enchanting and the decoration impressively modern. Our bedroom (I think Room 2) had a big comfy bed, excellent linen, seating area, fresh flowers and fabulous views over the gardens. There is an equally large and beautiful bathroom with a jacuzzi bath and shower big enough for a rugby team. Free champagne and fresh orange juice are put into your room each day. Staff mainly good.However despite all of this being up to expectations, some other aspects of our stay were a disappointment - especially at Â£350/night. The main problem concerned the slamming of doors all night long. The main culprit seems to be a service fire door into the kitchen which shakes the walls every time someone goes through. Each time I complained someone offered to leave it propped open. A few hours later - slam - there it goes again. I was woken at 6am both mornings (presumably setting up for breakfast) and kept awake both nights. I can truly say it was the least peaceful night I have had in a hotel for a long time (I think since back-packing in Delhi 20 years ago). On departing, when I told the manager and owner how much it had spoiled my stay it became clear that they had received complaints previously. However they seemed not remotely bothered and seemed to have no suggestions of how they could improve this unacceptable situation. I told them that I would not recommend the place because of this.Other minor disappointments...the house is on a pretty busy road - although set back. Therefore rooms on the front of the house are likely to get traffice noise at some times (although not likely during the late night) and this detracts from the perfection you may be expecting. The other annoyance was that it seems everyone is booked to come to dinner at 8pm. We had made our booking for this time and went to the bar for a drink and to look at menus. However there was no space for us in the bar, the reception area or the morning room. So we had to go straight into the restaurant. There we waited 30 minutes to have our order taken (meanwhile no drink except water) and then a further 30 minutes for starters to arrive. The food was excellent - but an hour at a table waiting for a starter is not good enough. They should pace the table bookings better.All in all I came away feeling that the place is nearly excellent. If they have solved the slamming door problem then I would recommend it. If they have not - and the attitude of the people I met indicated that they are not motivated to do anything about it - then definitely do not go unless you sleep soundly through loud bangs and shaking walls.
Everything looked lovely on the website, so we decided, with my 6months-pregnant wife, to book a few days with them. My wife made a reservation for a special offer they had for ?295 per room per day half board for 4 days, which did sound attractive, and was told on the phone the cancellation policy was 10 days, but the whole booking needed to be paid upfront. So she paid. The next morning, she slipped on ice and broke an arm. When we phoned back to cancel immediately, we were told we should have checked on the website that this particular offer was not refundable under any circumstances, but that they were going to check with the owner the following week, as he was away -and this despite our mention of their own staff's mention of 10 days' cancellation policy on the phone! And the owner refused to re-imburse us. It so happened that my wife works in the financial services and her phones are recorded, so we extracted the tapes where the Barnsley House employee does indeed mention the 10 day cancellation policy about this particular booking, and let Barnsley House know that we had that evidence. Only then were we told that we may -subject to the famous owner agreeing- get a credit note, but under no circumstances our money back. We are now working on this. The place still looks pleasant on paper, but be warned, the owner likes to keep any cash he manages to extract from you, fairly or not, and in our case a four-figure sum which is not negligible for us, even if he had to turn down nobody as a result of our cancellation, his own staff had misled us about the cancellation policy, and there were medical grounds for our inability to travel.