This 13th-century honey-hued coaching inn is nestled in the unbelievably pretty of Broadway, for which the term “chocolate box” and “picture postcard” seems to be invented. A lot’s changed since King Charles I and Oliver Cromwell stayed here (not together), including a 2018 refurbishment which has pimped the hotel up to present day. It’s the most impressive building on the street; all leaded bay windows and flagpoles hinting at its royal connections. While preening Insta influencers flock to over-saturated countryside retreats Soho Farmhouse and Babington House in the vicinity, Lygon is the real deal. There are 82 rooms comprising of an old building and more modern, courtyard rooms in renovated outbuildings. Hunter wellies are stacked up ready for loan to the ill-prepared city folk (guilty) to go walking in the country. Otherwise, you can spend all day reading papers on sink-in sofas in front of crackling log fires in the warren of intimate lounge rooms in the old building.
The village of Broadway sits on the edge of the Cotswolds, two hours by train from London (train to Moreton-in-Marsh and then a 10-minute taxi ride). Walk straight out of the hotel and you’re on the main high street, where you can window-shop in quaint delicatessens for Cotswolds honey and marmalade or in the upmarket outdoors shops selling Joules and Boden to out-of-towners. There are some cracking walks nearby too – including to the Broadway Tower, and a nuclear bunker which reopens in March.
The Lygon wine bar combines the best bits of a country pub (warm atmosphere, slate floors) with cool design touches of a slick after-hours drinking den. Bottles line the walls and there’s a huge selection of vintages. Food is fresh and light – snacking olives and crisp pizzetas are perfect snack-and-share food.
Stay for Sundays in the Lygon Bar and Grill, where Beef Wellington is the star of the menu (if you can finish it). The restaurant is in a dramatic arched dining room, bang up to date with orange leather banquettes and white marbled tables. You’ll be glad of the Elemis spa after a muddy day’s walk too. It specialises in facial treatments, and there’s also a pool (with a retractable roof that opens in the summer) gym, jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms.
Bedrooms are decorated on the traditional side, with tartan headboards, mismatched patterned pillows and heavy aged oak furniture – each piece looks antique. In the 650-year-old coaching inn building, manoeuvre around groaning floorboards and duck under aged wooden beams up lopsided stairways. Rooms are steeped in history, but some are a little inconvenient (some bathrooms are set apart from the bedroom, for example). But renovated courtyard suites are spacious and modern, with a small patio outside. All rooms come with an iPad (no crinkled hotel brochure here) with which you can make spa and dinner reservations and call the front desk.