Posted 12th Jun 2018
Sitting at the heart of a small Gloucestershire village, Tudor Farmhouse is the perfect place to escape into nature with all the luxury of a boutique retreat
In 2003 Hari and Colin Fell decided to leave their lives in London and made their way to a former working farm among the string of stone cottages which make up the small village of Clearwell. Swapping the city for abundant countryside on the edge of the Forest of Dean, they have transformed Tudor Farmhouse into a unique place to stay which has become synonymous with comfort, luxury and relaxation.
As you step into the oasis that is the small but perfectly formed cottage garden and across a pretty footbridge into the reception, you are greeted with all the warmth of a returning friend. By the end of your visit that is precisely what you will surely hope to become, planning your return to this relaxing spot even before driving away. Staff are friendly and helpful, making your arrival a very simple affair as they show you around your room and point you in the direction of the bar for an afternoon tipple, the gardens in which you could easily sit for many hours or out on one of the myriad walks from the front door.
Set in 14 acres of ancient grassland, Tudor Farmhouse is surrounded by open countryside with fields rising to the rear of the hotel where you are welcome to sit out or explore. Here you will come across pens of ponies, sheep, chickens, runner ducks and rabbits hopping freely across the grass. Though you could easily spend a few days just sat on the hillside, wandering around the kitchen garden and enjoying the dishes cooked up in the restaurant, there is much to explore on the hotel's doorstep.
Just a 10 minute walk from your cosy bedroom you will find a slice of history in Clearwell Caves, natural caves which have been mined since pre-historic times. Travel a little further afield and you can wander through the Puzzle Wood, 14 acres of stunning ancient woodland which has become a popular film set in recent years. You can even get involved with foraging, flower arranging, wild swimming and cycling with guides from the hotel who have all the knowledge to show off the local area at it's best and help you learn a new skill.
After a busy day adventuring in the lush countryside, head back to your home away from home to enjoy a delicious and memorable meal packed with local produce in the restaurant, which has been awarded two AA rosettes, before making your way to the relaxed comfort of one of Tudor Farmhouse's 20 rooms. Organised in a pecking order which includes spacious suites, large 'cockerel' rooms and cosy 'hatchling' rooms, there is space here for everyone, no matter your budget.
Decorated in fresh neutral colours with contemporary country touches, exposed beams and flashes of stonework add a sense of history to every room. Sink into a comfortable bed dressed with duck feather pillows and luxuriously soft bedding and awake well rested. Enjoy the morning light with a coffee from the Nespresso machine in your room before heading into the restaurant for breakfast.
Pour yourself a glass of refreshing raspberry and apple 'rapple' juice from Ragmans Lane Farm and have your pick of pastries, fresh fruit, yoghurt and granolas while you peruse the breakfast menu. Choose smoked salmon with fluffy scrambled eggs on buttery crumpets for a lighter start to the day or opt for a classic Full English. Just as with the evening menu, everything you'll find on your plate for breakfast is sourced locally – sausages from Cowshill Farm, eggs from Pear Tree Farm, both in Gloucestershire, and bacon from the next village. And, if you can't find anything you fancy on the menu, the kitchen are more than happy to whip up a custom order for you.
Tudor Farmhouse really is an oasis of calm in a busy world and is perfectly positioned whether you want to merely immerse yourself in the country luxury of the hotel and garden or head out to explore all the natural wonders of this corner of the Forest of Dean. Whatever you choose to do during your stay, you are sure to leave well rested, relaxed, and eager to return.
Rooms at Tudor Farmhouse are available from £130 per night based on two sharing a Hatchling Double Room on a B&B basis. Book via www.tudorfarmhousehotel.co.uk or call 01594 833046.
Tudor Farmhouse, High Street, Clearwell, Royal Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, GL16 8JS
Tel: 01594 833 046