24 hours with Thyme in the Cotswolds

The-group-at-ThymePrologue: Several moons ago, when I was a younger lass with big travel dreams, I got to talking with a former boss about his travels. Not only was he the go-to person for restaurant recommendations in Brussels, but he had great taste in hotels. He did not skim the surface when he travelled, but really tried to get to know a place. He forwarded me a link to a delightfully named website for boutique hotels which I would continue to drool over for years to come: Mr & Mrs Smith.

Fast forward a few years later and a (slightly) more grown-up but still as travel-obsessed Jessica checks her e-mails to find an invite from the team at Mr & Mrs Smith to escape to the Cotswolds for 24 hours (ok, technically 25 hours) to celebrate the launch of their new 24/7 travel team – Smith24.

*pause here for dramatic re-enactment of an excited Jessica solo dancing in her living room* 

It is actually pretty incredible what you can get up to in 24 hours…we were to meet at The Artist’s Residence in Pimlico for brunch with the Smith team, then we would drive to Thyme in the Cotswolds, have a cooking class, gastropub dinner, cozy night’s sleep, breakfast of kings, full tour of the grounds and back to London in time for cocktails the next day. It was the stuff short luxury breaks are made of and – at least from my point of view – that’s because of two things: true projects of love and attention to detail.




Eating-at-ThymeWhen it came time to pack our bags and head back to London, we all agreed that 24 hours was simply not enough. I wanted to explore the countryside more and get lost in a long walk (my very brief encounter with a field after I woke up early on our day of departure resulted in an overly friendly greeting from a cow). We tried to capture the last little details we’d noted – from the made-in-Cornwall Rockfish wellies that lay in the foyer, to the Chris Levine portrait of the Queen hanging in the barn.

And then we realised that that’s half the fun of boutique hotel stays like this: there are so many little details in unique properties to love that you simply can’t write them all down… but you can look forward to planning the next trip… and in the meantime, give the dogs a parting hug.

Helen-with-DaphneI have to thank Mr & Mrs Smith for such a wonderful and thoughtful stay (if you are wondering what makes a Smith hotel, this is a great read.) The brand has both a wonderful beginning (a couple looking for a guide that spoke just to them for romantic weekends away) and exciting future rumblings (24/7 travel service and an increasing number of exciting international locations for starters).

Other links worth checking out: 

Mr & Mrs Smith on the 7 steps of modern jetlag (because it spoke to me personally…) 

The Thoughts from Thyme blog (check out Caryn’s posts on seeds) 

The Swan at Southrop (the village pub) 

Olivia von Halle (for making me think about investing in about silk pjs)  

  • It’s amazing how we managed to pack so much in 24 hours and best of all I can’t even pick a favorite, it was all like a dream!

  • Tatiana

    still dreaming about that delicious nightcap and coming back to cosy beds warmed with water bottles….genius is in the details as they say

  • What a great recap of our adventure! I love your photos and descriptions of everything we got up to. Also, I need to hire you to be my new hair photographer. I had no idea the back of my head could look so good! :)

  • Thyme looks like such a dream! What a gorgeous post Jess! I can’t get over how lovely the house is, and that cookery class looked amazing! xxx

  • Le sigh….

  • I used to work for Mr & Mrs Smith :) Thyme looks dreamy!

  • Sarah

    Such a great post! I love your writing style and your photos are beautiful! This is pretty much my idea of a perfect way to spend 24 hours :)

  • wonderful!:)

  • HandLuggageOnly

    Looks amazing Jess!!!

  • Thyme is jaw-droppingly stunning. The dishes you prepared at the Cookery School looked fab. I’m a fan of the little touches at turndown with Mr. & Mrs. Smith too. Such beautiful photos Jess! xo

  • This place is awesome. Everything looks like from a fairy tale or a movie.


Twelve years ago, Jess moved to Europe for what was supposed to be a one-year stint. Fourteen years later, life abroad is just as entertaining. She blogs about it here.