If chilled out comfort, incredible food and a rather excellent spa appeals, a visit to Greenway Hotel in Cheltenham will tick all your weekend break boxes

Great British Life: The Elizabethan manor house offers pure luxury in every spaceThe Elizabethan manor house offers pure luxury in every space Greenaway Hotel and Spa may just be moments from Cheltenham, but it’s truly an oasis of calm. Part of the Eden Hotel Collection, a carefully curated selection of unique hotels, resaturants and spas around the UK, The Greenaway occupies a gorgeous 16th century manor house, set in beautifully cared-for grounds (croquet, anybody?) and takes your comfort very seriously indeed.

On arrival, we were greeted by a very smiley hotel manager, who settled us with a pot of tea in the lounge, giving us time to gain our balance from our journey down from Cheshire before being shown to our room. In the newer section of the hotel, our room was huge, light, bright and beautifully designed. We may not have enjoyed stone mullioned windows, but the view across the green meadows surrounding the hotel was uplifting enough – and yes, there were horses, of course, in a county known for its famous racecourse.

Great British Life: Stroll the gardens, then relax in English country styleStroll the gardens, then relax in English country style As the sun was shining, we decided to enjoy a slow stroll around the gardens before heading to the spa for some committed R&R. The gardens are lovely, a mix of controlled and riotous, clipped lawns (for the aforementioned croquet) lead to a ha-ha and meadow beyond. A kitchen garden is netted to keep the rabbits out, and a small knot garden is a nod to times gone by. The bar opens up onto a small terrace, draped with wisteria, and just cries out for a few moments of quiet reflection, and gin.

Eden Spa has been awarded five Bubbles by The Good Spa Guide, and offers a warm pool, with hydrotherapy jets, a sauna, steam room and a sanarium – like a sauna, but less overwhelmingly hot and with a mild humidity, which I for one found very relaxing. There is also an outdoors spa pool, in the walled spa garden. We chose our recliners, and set about some concentrated relaxation, before I disappeared off for a Work It Out massage, you know, the sort that you wish you hadn’t chosen while it’s going on, but afterwards your entire body feels like it’s vibrating. My no-nonsense therapist promised me she was tempering the pressure she was applying in this deep tissue massage, which began with a full body brushing, and used lavender, juniper and cyprus essential oils to detox and stimulate the circulation and lymphatic system. She tutted over the state of my shoulders, and stretch my legs in long, powerful strokes, leaving me in a state of deep relaxation.

Great British Life: Relax in the Eden SpaRelax in the Eden Spa

The hotel has four AA Red Stars, and the Garden Room restaurant three AA Rosettes, so before you’ve even set foot in the place, you can relax in the knowledge you’re in for a treat. And oh my, dining at The Greenaway is indeed a treat.

Best described as ‘modern British’, the menu offers flavours from across the globe, which the well-travelled British have very much adopted as our own. Leading with a delicate amuse bouche of light-as-air chicken liver parfait, with homemade chutney on a crisp, seeded cracker. An exciting taste of things to come.

Great British Life: Full of flavour and deliciously prettyFull of flavour and deliciously pretty For starters, Mike chose a classic terrine, which arrived pretty as a picture, painted with drops of piccalilli and served with toasted brioche. My choice of heritage tomatoes with a pesto dressing was sweet and light and fresh as can be, and so presented so prettily it felt almost a crime to break it up.

Usually, we head in different directions for our main courses, but on this occasion neither of us could resist the Lamb Rogan Josh. Unlike the usual curry house favourite, this was what they describe on Masterchef as deconstructed. Two perfectly cooked lamb loin steaks rolled in a dusting of spice, softly collapsing lamb neck in aromatic, flavoursome sauce, a quenelle of the most fabulous dhal ever, and a slice of Pommes Anna with a south Asian twist. Oh my, just fabulous from start to scraped plate finish.

We completed our meal with a plate filled with strawberries all ways – compressed, tiny meringues, a fabulous sorbet and, to add a little acidity, a frozen yoghurt quenelle.

The menu changes regularly, as the chefs work closely with the seasons and local produce, but whenever you go, you are guaranteed something quite marvellous.

The following morning we managed to find room for a full English (him) and fresh fruit and pastries (me) before heading off to see what the Cotswolds fuss was all about. With no racing on at Cheltenham, we unravelled the joys of a quintessentially English landscape, taking ourselves to Lower Slaughter, where we sighed over golden-stone cottages with a stream running by, and then onto Bourton-on-the-Water. We soon discovered why it’s often nicknamed the Venice of the Cotswolds, with six pretty bridges spanning the slow moving river, and why it is regularly voted the prettiest village in England – it's so pretty it could be a Hollywood film set built for a Miss Marple mystery. A quick fuel stop in a local café ended our Cotswolds experience, then it was back in the car for the slow drive north.