SUE SMITH nips over the border to Gloucestershire to find the perfect spot for some well-earned relaxation

OUR visit to Tewkesbury Park found it a work-in-progress but it was enough to give us a tantalising taste of what was to come.

But now that the ambitious £9 million renovation project has been completed, along with the Cotswold Suite with its breathtaking floor to ceiling glass, the hotel is well and truly a multi-faceted destination venue.

Set in a 167-acre site, the 18-hole golf course, a leisure and fitness suite with gym, tennis and squash courts, a spa and croquet lawn, ensures that most needs are catered for here. The Par 72 course was designed by famous golfer and course designer Frank Perrick.

We arrived just after lunch, in time for a welcoming chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc on the terrace which has stunning panoramic views of the Cotswold escarpment with the Malvern Hills and the towns of Cheltenham, Gloucester and Worcester.

The hotel also overlooks the famous site of the 1471 Battle of Tewkesbury between the House of York and the House of Lancaster, which was one of the deciding battles in the War of the Roses. That accounts for the names on the nine suites in the main building, which take their cue from key characters, King Richard, King Edward, the Duke of Somerset, the Prince of Wales, Lord Wenlock, Margaret of Anjou, Lord Hastings, the Marquess of Dorset and the Earl of Devon.

Our waiter, Alberto was charming and saw to our every needs before it was time for afternoon tea (18) in the conservatory.

On one of the hottest days of the year we would have welcomed some air-conditioning but that was easily forgotten when presented with delicate cucumber , smoked salmon and ham and mustard sandwiches. Little bite-sized scones and small cakes were just the right size and not too filling.

There was just time before dinner for a Swedish massage from Jade who sent me off to the land of the nod with her gentle strokes and aromatic calming oil.

The rooms here are stylish and traditional with Hypos beds, and are priced and graded by in categories such as A Touch of Class, Cosy, Opulence or Indulgence, all with stash windows and sumptuous drapes.

The Nespresso machine caused great excitement on arrival until we realised we really needed George Clooney to explain to us how to use it, but I don’t think we are at all typical in our lack of knowledge there, just inexperienced coffee afficianodos.

Top quality crisp white bedlinen, soft fluffy towels and a very generous-sized bathroom including a Grohe rainshower and The White Company toiletries, all add to the feeling of luxury here.

For dinner we were seated in the dining room which is on a lower level than the hotel but because the heat had not yet gone from the day we asked to eat instead on the terrace and our table was effortlessly replicated without fuss or question.

We were then able to enjoy our meal and watch the sun go down. The menu changes seasonally but could include Line Caught South Coast Cod with new potatoes and crab fritters and wilted spinach, coconut mango and lemongrass broth or Loin of Fallow Deer Venison with confit potatoes, kale and blackberry jus.

Starters can include Wood Pigeon Breast and Duck Leg Rissole with sweetcorn and red pepper salsa. Puddings err on the side of the traditional - Chocolate Mousse with Orange Curd, Sticky Toffee Pudding or Baked Custard with blueberry and caramelised apple.

Starter are from £5.95, mains from £17.95 and desserts from £6.95 and a bottle of house wine is £19.

Communal areas in the hotel are well defined, there is a cosy area for coffee and newspapers, a games area and a smart lounge pre-post dinner space with a bespoke sofa costing £5,000 and sink back comfy chairs.

Staff never miss the opportunity to Karate chop the cushions which seems to be the fashionable trend of the moment with interior designers. It was only the childish streak in me that wanted to go around after them and ‘unchop’ them, but I didn’t.

Tewkesbury Abbey is only a ten minute walk away and the hotel can organise transport to nearby places of interest.

I loved the deck chairs around the Croquet Lawn which along with the romantic façade made me think on occasions I had a bit part in a romantic TV drama.

The hotel dates back to the 14th Century when Edward Le Despenser was Lord of Tewkesbury Manor and the estate was used as a hunting lodge.

It was opened as a hotel in 1976 but had been in the doldrums for a while before it was bought in 2014 by the McIntosh family from Washington Hotels.

It has taken time and a great deal of money to bring it back to its former glory and they have done a good job.

If you are looking for a place to chill out or potter about it ticks all the boxes.

Tewkesbury Park Hotel is at Lincoln Green Lane, Tewkesbury GL20 7DA. Room prices start at £135 per night. Tel 01684 272300