Earlier this year, Tom and I spent a great afternoon at Slaughters Manor House in Lower Slaughter enjoying an afternoon tea.
You can’t really get anywhere more quintessential Cotswold than the Slaughters – Upper and Lower Slaughter villages. It was in Lower Slaughter that residents complained when a pensioner had the audacity to park his yellow Citroen on the high street supposedly ruining the picturesque scene – you can still read about it in the Telegraph.
A Honey-coloured Cotswold Manor
The Slaughters Manor House is based in Lower Slaughter and is built from the honey-hued stone you expect to find in the heart of the Cotswolds. The manor dates as far back as 1004 AD, but in 1443 it became a convent for nuns from the order of Syon. The Dovecote from this period still stands on the ground.
By the 1600s the manor was gifted by the crown to Sir George Whitmore, High Sheriff of Gloucestershire. The family-owned it for generations before it was turned into a hotel in 1964 and was purchased by the luxury hotel owner, Andrew Brownsword in 2011 (he who established Forever Friends!).
If you are looking for a modern Downton experience, you could do worse that Slaughters Manor. There’s a doorman ready to usher you inside and an army of staff. We were given a short tour downstairs by a very knowledgeable gent who described each room’s best features from local artwork to grand fireplaces.
Afternoon tea at Slaughters Manor House
In 2016 the entire ground floor was renovated to restore the building and expose its architectural details. The afternoon tea is served in the bright, fresh and elegant front room with hot pink furnishings looking onto the gardens. It was busy but didn’t feel rammed like some tea rooms you go to. I enjoyed sitting in by the wide-open windows.
We opted for the full afternoon tea (£30 ahead) which included cucumber sandwiches (no crusts, of course), egg mayo rolls and savoury pastry wheels, fruit scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, jaffa-inspired sponge squares, raspberry fancies and waffle cones filled with vanilla creme patisserie. It was all delectable.
Served with a choice of Newby London teas or coffee. There was just the right amount, we both came away feeling pleasantly full.
If you’ve more time it’s worth having a drink in the hotel’s bar which was launched in partnership with Sipsmith, the new bar features cut glass, brass and leather furnishings lending that plush feel. It’s well-stocked with Sipsmith’s traditional small-batch gins. Or work off the cake by taking a stroll through Lower Slaughter, you can do a nice loop towards the traditional watermill.