Tetbury may be Prince Charles' hometown, being the location of his Highgrove Estate, but The Old Surgery has to be the holiday home of choice for style-savvy parents. Built in the 1500s it was originally part of the Berkeley Estate, then owned by the same family for almost 350 years before becoming Tetbury's Doctor's surgery in 1942. Now transformed into a sympathetically yet fresh and contemporary restored house in the centre of this picture-perfect market town with more than its fair share of fabulous bistros and boutiques.
Owned by a talented photographer, the Old Surgery's Elizabethan walls are studded with fantastic original prints and fabulous contemporary art works. It's ideal for several families staying together since the four double bedrooms and three bathrooms are split over three floors allowing for extra privacy. On the first floor there is a spacious and stylish master suite, complete with adjoining dressing room (big enough for a cot) and limestone en-suite with bateau bath and hand shower. There is also a twin bedroom ideal for little ones who don't like to be too far from their parents. The second floor is home to a large bathroom with cast iron bath and a family room with double and single bed, whilst the top floor is romantic haven for frazzled parents, with its entirety taken up by a stylish bedroom suite with double bed and en-suite bathroom with double ended bath. The ground floor dining hall comfortably seats eight to ten in front of the magnificent original and working open fire, off which leads a cosy sitting room (where the PS2 and Wii can be found) and the vaulted drawing room come salon which features its own working fireplace, and leads out to the high walled courtyard garden that is more French than Elizabethan in feel.
The Old Surgery may be middle-aged in its architecure but its bang up to date in its interiors and its contemporary facilities including open access free WiFi broadband, PS2, Nintendo Wii and a game, DVD and book library to suit a wide range of tastes and interests. Add a useful list of baby and toddler gear (see grey box) and you've got the perfect pad for style saavy parents.
Guests at The Old Surgery will recieve a special 'Tetbury Passport' fille dwith discounts and bonus offers for local delis, pubs, bistros and boutiques including 1Duchy Home Farm - the Prince of Wales' own farm. Guests can claim 10% off local, seasonal and organic fruit and veg at their Veg Shed; and they do delivered boxes as well!
Tetbury is a somewhat overlooked jewel in the South Cotswolds that is well served by many boutiques and an excellent range of restaurants and bars from Cafe 53 to The Chef's Table and Blue Zucchini. London is only two hours away by car and Kemble is an hour and 15 minutes direct service from London Paddington.
For entertaining babies and toddlers, Fundays Play Barn in Bourton on the Water is a useful, if garish, wet weather retreat and has a special zone for very little ones plus a basic cafe with newspapers and magazines. More attractive is Cotswolds Farm Park which has indoor attractions including a lovely 'Touch Barn' and a play barn with electric and pedal power mini tractors.