We stayed on their Sunday sleepover deal (valid on long weekends!) for one night in May. This includes cream tea, breakfast, newspaper, accommodation and, most important, a late 2pm checkout. On arrival it is like a picture postcard, with the most stunning gardens I have seen in a good while, and a charming checkin. The delightful woman who manages the whole operation is charming and always available to ensure smooth running, and the staff seem well picked and well trained (with one exception).
Our room was in the Minster Mill section, and to be honest we would opt to stay there rather than the Old Swan on our next stay also. Whilst all food is served in the Old Swan, the gardens and river windrush in the Mill section are quieter and prettier. The room (103) was nicely redecorated, although the bathroom could do with an update. It was clean however (with the exception of the area under the sink which was easily accessible through cupboard doors, and really does need some urgent attention!).
The dinner was good quality food, and our pacing was fine, we like not to be rushed between courses. However our waiter seemed to also be responsible for something across the road at the Mill, and was run slightly ragged. At the end of the meal we needed to go up to the bar to settle up as he had disappeared completely.
Breakfast was superb, served buffet style, but fresh, hot, constantly restocked and very good quality. Scrambled eggs were some of the best I have had in ages.
The only slight downside on the service was the cream tea - this is ordered at the bar, and the man we eventually tracked down to serve us after quite some time of standing around was brusque to the point of rudeness. He also then delivered us the wrong tea with our rather heavy, dry scones.
None of these slight niggles would stop us from returning, and they only really stood out because the remainder of the stay was so good.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located just 15 miles from Oxford and 11 miles from Blenheim Palace, the Old Swan & Minster Mill is nestled in 65 acres of idyllic grounds in the picturesque village of Minster Lovell. This quintessentially English inn and adjoining mill seamlessly blend the rural charm of these historic buildings with modern design, luxurious comfort and delicious menus crafted from the best seasonal produce. The magical gardens, wild flower meadows and woodland which enclose the mill and inn come alive during the summer months – fishing, walking, croquet and tennis are the order of the day while throughout cooler weather roaring log fires provide a welcome retreat. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Old Swan & Minster Mill Hotel Witney
- Old Swan And Minster Mill
- Old Swan & Minster Mill Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire