We were visiting the area for a celebration which was to be held at The Highworth and so obviously it was a convenient place to stay. Incidentally, Highworth is a fab base for visiting the Cotswolds, Wiltshire and beyond. Though it has I think ten or twelve rooms,The Highworth feels more like a bar/restaurant that has accommodation. The atmosphere is one of elegant informality, if that's not a contradiction and very personable. Certainly there is none of the computerised check-in (or out) procedures that are the norm nowadays; and you get a real key to your room not a card! As we arrived into the beautiful Georgian hall, we were greeted by a smiling Front of House manager, who had our details and key on the hall table. Something that jarred a little at this point was being asked (Friday afternoon, just arrived) if we'd like to settle our accommodation bill there and then. This seemed a little odd since we would probably putting e.g. drinks on our room bill. We were told it was because 'There probably won't be many people about on Sunday morning' We said we'd take our chances.
The public areas are lovely. There's the dining room of course, then the light and airy main sitting area which is referred to as 'The Conservatory'. Elegant, modern furnishing, fresh flowers, charming artworks and effective lighting all add to the atmosphere. The bar is off this room. At the back is a large patio area.
Staff are attentive, courteous and very friendly without being familiar. The owner and host Adrian Wiley is most interesting and completely charming. He seemed to be constantly buzzing around, geeing-up his staff and making sure everything was a.o.k., while taking time to chat with guests.
The bedrooms are all "High...." something or other e.g. Highflier, Highclere. Our room was delightful. At the back of the hotel where it's quieter, it was a very large square room, with kingsize bed(extremely comfortable), sofa, tons of storage space and well though quality decoration. The bathroom had twin bowls and again very attractive decorative touches. Throughout the hotel, cleanliness is of the highest standard.
We ate in the restaurant and had a delicious meal, which was remarkably good value. The menu included Pigeon, monkfish, wild mushrooms, salmon ravioli, goats cheese risotto and yummy sounding puds. We had two courses and without wine it averaged at around £16.50 each.
There was a bit of a disappointment at breakfast. We didn't ask, but neither was there any indication that a substantial breakfast would have been an option had we wanted it. Continental breakfast was included. Breakfast pastries, toast, cereal and fruit juice were all available but it was all a little lacklustre. I think it was the manner of their presentation that was a let down. I can't really put my finger on it but it felt like the breakfast was an afterthought or a 'we've got to give them something' situation. The pastries -pain au chocolat, croissants and cinnamon whirls- were tiny things more like little bouchées really. The bread was 'plastic' sliced stuff, cereal as you would expect was the individual 'Variety' pack type and our 'portions' of everything were waiting for us on the table. The lady who seemed to be the sole person on duty, was pleasant enough but not of the same standard as the rest of the staff we'd met. After the highest quality in everything else the night before, it all felt rather ordinary and perfunctory. Not the end of world at all, though an area they should look at I think.Breakfast on Sunday was similar.
The Front-of-House manager need not have been concerned for surprise, surprise, on Sunday morning there was our bill waiting for us on the hall table!
Even considering the breakfast disappointment, I couldn't recommend the Highworth highly enough. At £65 per night per ROOM it is amazing value and I'd have no hesitation in going back.
- Also Known As:
- The Highworth Hotel Bar And Restaurant Wiltshire
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