Once upon a Thyme I went to the Cotswolds

It has a hotel, spa, restaurants, farm and cookery school, but Thyme owner Caryn Hibbert tells Wildflower why there’s room for so much more

4. DSC5537

Nestled in the heart of the Cotswolds, this “village within a village” sits alongside a beautiful boutique hotel on the stunning 150-acre Southrop Manor estate. It’s something its owner Caryn Hibbert is extremely proud of, as she tells Wildflower…

“My husband and I, along with our three children, moved out of London to Southrop Manor in 2002 and I worked closely with my father to carefully restore the dilapidated barns and farm buildings. The cookery school was the founding ingredient, with all the other elements of Thyme following organically. A lot of thought, time and consideration has gone into how best to use all the unique spaces, which comprise an enclosed collection of restored 17th-century farm buildings, houses and cottages.

 

“Calling the hotel Thyme just felt right — it’s a traditional culinary herb that we use in lots of our cookery school classes, menus and even grow on our farm, but it is also about spending time appreciating the local heritage and natural beauty of your surroundings. We want our guests to experience a real connection to the land, the seasons and to nature. My goal has always been to make Thyme more than just a place — it’s a way of living.

“Every room at Thyme has a botanical name, such as Lemonbalm or Sweet Cicely, and is unique. This encourages guests to really engage with us and with the flora and the fauna that is so special to the Cotswolds. My favourite room is Rivermint in The Lodge — it’s flooded with gorgeous natural light that can instantly lift your mood.

“I love that our kitchen gardens are just steps away from our Cookery School, creating an exceptional connection to the farm and surrounding area. Menus for The Swan, the Ox Barn and the Cookery School are strictly seasonal — meaning they are supported by what we grow on our 150-acre farm and kitchen gardens.”

Thyme is reopening its houses and cottages from 4 July, as well as its shop and Ox Barn restaurant. Individual bedrooms will be reopening on 27 August and guests can be reassured that new measures following government guidelines have been implemented to keep everyone safe.

LATEST STORIES

@wildflowermagazine