An English Country Manor Worthy of Falling Down a Rabbit Hole

Located in the same estate that inspired “Alice in Wonderland,” Experimental Group’s history-laden Cotswolds hotel forays into the fantastical thanks to spirited touches by De Matos Ryan and Dorothée Meilichzon.

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Designer: De Matos Ryan and Chzon 

Location: The Cotswolds

On Offer: On the very grounds Edward the Confessor traded for those that would become Westminster Abbey, and upon which residences have been built since 1695, now stands the Grade II–listed Cowley Manor. It’s been a site of innovation for more than a century—the country’s first private home to use concrete, it was also the pastoral dreamworld that inspired Lewis Carroll to write Alice in Wonderland. This summer, it returns to the imagination as the latest destination by The Experimental Group, tucked into 55 acres of rolling meadows and pastures hydrated by a 19th-century water-staircase of fountains and watched over by head gardener David Masters—not to mention the stone eagles and lions, and flesh-and-blood llamas.

Standout Features: Dorothée Meilichzon designed each of the 36 rooms and suites with whimsical touches of checkerboard and maple, complete with four-poster beds and soaking tubs to stoke the imagination. You might even stumble down a hidden door or two. A postmodern structure houses the C-Side Spa with four treatment rooms and a pair of pools, including a 56-foot-long indoor iteration lined in slate. It wouldn’t be an Experimental without an adventurous liquor program. Why not sip on a spritz of Cotswolds Wildflower No.3 Gin, Thyme Infused Vermouth, Lemon Oleo, Soda & Taittinger Champagne? But the real draw might be falling down a rabbit hole into chef Jackson Boxer’s full afternoon tea service. A mad tea party worthy of Alice herself. 

(All photography by Mr. Tripper.)

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