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From foraging for wild herbs to exploring natural woodland grottos, a weekend at foodie haven Tudor Farmhouse in Gloucestershire is a great way to get away from it all, says Lisa Harris.
‘Owners Hari and Colin Fell have created 20 chic bedrooms at this former working farm. As we climbed the spiral staircase to our 16th-century bedroom, we were greeted with plump tartan pillows, a huge bed and a clawfoot tub under the eaves. Don’t fret, though – all this historical charm comes with mod cons like under-floor heating and Wi-Fi, and we loved thoughtful touches like the spare wellies by the front door, homemade biscuits for post-walk munching, and even spare reading glasses in case we’d forgotten our own.
There were dozens of gorgeous walks straight from the hotel. We scrambled through the mythical 14-acre Puzzlewood, with its gnarly trees and natural grottos that reputedly inspired JRR Tolkien’s fabled Middle Earth forests. We also spent a morning with the hotel's own foraging expert, Raoul van den Broucke, picking wild sorrel and fennel fronds, floppy little wood-ear mushrooms and tufty Jack-by-the-hedge flowers, which have delicious mustardy seeds. My favourite bounty was bruscandoli (wild hop roots), their elegant tips waving above the hedgerow. We ate them that evening and they tasted like earthy asparagus.
Food is central to any break, and head chef Rob Cox wowed us with a six-course tasting menu whose ingredients had all been sourced within a 20-mile radius, including Old Gloucestershire beef, Lydney Park game and Ancre Hill wines. The hotel can direct you to local artisan producers if you want to stock up.’