Situated on the edge of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham boasts a famous racecourse, a variety of festivals all year round, the Ladies College and one iconic figure. Please allow me to introduce the new and improved Grande Dame, the Queens Hotel.
The red carpet was rolled out for the grand re-opening on Wednesday evening and there was a real buzz of excitement as we were welcomed in to a gathering of guests. Drinks were flowing as people stood chatting in the reception area, admiring the decor and features of this stunning building, I couldn’t wait to explore!
As we sipped on the hotel’s signature drink ‘Chelspa’, a Cheltenham Brennan & Brown Gin based cocktail, guests were entertained by the incredible card magician Chris Burton. I’m not sure if it was the gin or perhaps I blinked at the wrong time but I was left with amazement and curiosity, how did he do that?! This guy has got serious trick skills, I’ve had to watch his videos in the hope of finding some conclusion to how it’s done!
After tasting a couple of the canapés on offer I was eager to sink my teeth into something a little more substantial so we headed into the dining area for more food delights.
I admire how the hotel provides all guests with food that support local artisans, including Hobbs House Bakery – best known for their Fabulous Baker Brothers fame – and Patisserie Box, former pastry chefs from Harrods. We were spoilt with a feast of delights to choose from, from meat and breads to sweet treats, I wanted to try everything. Of course I restrained myself but still admired what was on offer.
The restaurant decor exudes elegance and luxury, whilst still feeling homely and comfortable. I adore the design and colour palette of the room, a tasteful setting to dine with friends, family and colleagues that looks out to a private garden.
Dinner devoured and as we were just about to make our way back for seconds, we were all ushered into the function room for speeches, which included a few short words from Cheltenham Mayor, Councillor Duncan Smith.
My visits to the Queens pre-makeover can only be counted on one hand and were usually fleeting (despite being a self-claimed Cheltonian) but now that the hotel has teamed up with MGallery by Sofitel collection for an exquisite refurbishment, I’ll be a regular visitor. It’s simply beautiful.
MGallery own a collection of unique hotels that are full of character and exude luxury, perfect for weekend breaks. It’s collaboration with the Queens is a match made in heaven, reviving the hotel’s historic features with an elegant and contemporary design which really enhances it’s personality in the town. A significant feature is the striking wallpaper by Pugin, a rather grand statement which makes for a real talking point for guests as they make their way up to their suite.
We were shown around by one of the lovely staff members who escorted us to one of their 4 superior suites. With a lavish dressing/waiting area, a free standing roll-top bath, gorgeous antique furniture, garden views… what’s not to love about this room?
I approved of the new digs so much, I thought I would make myself at home…
The colour schemes are based on the Georgian palette so lots of soft shades are used around the hotel and within the 84 bedrooms – which include 28 Deluxe rooms and 4 Deluxe Suites. Perfect for groups, couples or lone travellers for many different occasions, the Queens offer a lavish experience in the heart of a beautiful regency town. You can find out more and book accommodation here.
After our whirlwind tour of the suites, we headed to the place where most enjoyable evenings out end – the bar.
Aside from the relaxed vibes that the room oozes, I couldn’t help but admire the listed solid carved wooden bar which was a gift to Lord Napier from India. Whiskey Sours were being poured as we made conversation with another couple around the bar, the vibe was mellow yet lively as fellow guests enjoyed the celebrations.
A fabulous evening amongst great company, I couldn’t praise the hotel more for it’s wonderful service and experience – I can’t wait to return! I’ve also heard that their Tiffin Tea is rather decadent so I feel a cake date one afternoon with the girls is in order…