Samantha Freedman


Travel just two hours outside London, across Oxfordshire and out to the meadows of Southorp, the Cotswolds and you wont just find a beautiful hotel in Thyme, you’ll find a heavenly array of converted cottages that make up this extremely British five star retreat.


After transforming a few of the buildings, including a derelict medieval barn, which has now become a cookery school, and cottages that now make up the bedrooms- it wasn’t long until founders, Caryn Hibbert and film director husband Jerry, began expanding on their now 150 acres, into what feels like a tiny Thyme village.


They wanted Thyme to not just be about the place, but the tranquil lifestyle; which is why every herb, vegetable, fish and meat on the menu has been grown, picked and farmed in and on their grounds. Fruits are savoured into homemade nightcaps, herbs are sprinkled into cocktails and wild flowers are freshly cut from the fields and displayed in each room. There’s a beautiful sense of serenity, together with a cheeky yet tasteful eye for interiors. It’s cosy and comfortable, the perfect home-away-from-home.



Their latest, and perhaps their greatest new addition to ‘the village’ is their idyllic botanical spa, a gorgeous herb coloured Greenhouse where guests are welcomed before entering the treatment rooms. Facials and massages have been exclusively curated by award-winning British skincare brand, Aurelia Probiotic Skincare, who share a mutual philosophy with Thyme for natural ingredients. Their custom rituals have specifically been devised to heal the mind and body, using unique probiotic ingredients, that all Aurelia fans have grown to adore.


Treatments take place at the Meadow Cottage and are completely tailored to your wants and needs. Feeling drained, tired and jet lagged- then ‘Vitality’ an energising, deep tissue massage will restore your limbs. Or if its hormones, anxiousness and sleepless nights that are troubling you, then smooth strokes of the ‘Peacefulness’ massage will be installed in your therapists technique.


But that’s not all Thyme has to offer, book in for yoga classes overlooking their fresh spring water Swimming Pool, specially filtered by a pioneering technique that ensures the water is 100% free of chemicals. Walk across the grounds and visit their impressive vegetable and fruit gardens, meditate by the lake or embark in their legendary cooking courses.


Thyme isn’t just a hotel, it’s a lifestyle, and the perfect getaway. What’s more they also send you off with a take-away bag of homemade fudge. And who doesn’t love a going-home present?



Contact: 01367 850174 /

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