Going back to school might be painful for some, but you’ll relish the chance to get together with 21 friends, hens or stags just four miles from the heritage spa town of Bath, bursting with top bars and restaurants. Spread the party across four properties, make the most of the wifi, dip in the summer pool or hot tub.
Together, the Residence, the School Rooms, the Coach House and the Lodge sleep up to a maximum of 22 in rooms far more luxurious than in ancient days of chalk, talk and ink-blotted desks. Five-metre-high ceilings, en-suite doubles, multiple dining spaces and flat-screen TVs await. Cook in one of the two kitchens or be catered for. It’s your call.
Old Brook School House and The Residence (which form Old Brook Estate) offers a flexible stay: configure folk how you like around the 10 bedrooms across the estate. However you cut it, a stay here adds up to an education in the art of good living.
Out beyond the gates, the ancient streets of delightful Box wind their way down the main road past honey-coloured houses and wooden-beamed pubs into Bath.
On site, you’ll want to make the most of the one-acre grounds. Pack a picnic, try a little croquet or cricket, or just fire up the gas barbie and get the sausages and steaks going. Uncork the wine, light the candles and make a night of it on the terrace.
Bring your towels and slippers and hop into the seven-seater hot tub with waterfall and fountains throughout the year. Between May and September, dig out the inflatables or lounge on deck chairs around the pool, which is a generous ten metres by five.
Check in, spread out and gear up for a party, celebration or getaway to remember!
The grand lounge that once echoed to the chatter of schoolchildren and the shrill rebukes of the schoolmistress has become a modern classic: light, bright and welcoming, and taller than a double-decker bus.
An L-shaped sofa sits beneath the giant arched windows and heavy drapes. You can pick at nuts or fruit from the table and sip coffee or Cabernet as you dial into the flatscreen Sony TV or tap into the fast broadband. You can even play music from your phone through the TV or head over to the piano at the Residence to create your own.
Accommodation here is adaptable. The Residence alone has space for 12 but, with so many properties on site, you get more options, more social spaces, more flexibility and even more fun.
You can fire up some friendly competition on the Residence’s Xbox or tap into the high-speed broadband for streaming video and Netflix. Raid the DVD collection at the Coach House for a film night and break out the board games and shoot some pool back at the School Rooms; there is fun for everyone at this expansive accommodation.
Thanks to the open-plan arrangement in the Old Brook Estate, you’ll segue neatly from living-room sofa to pool table to antipasto around the large dining table. Cook up a storm on the two gas ovens (one range-size), and three hobs. Or carry on with your pool or Prosecco and let our chefs take the heat.
Eat around the chunky dining table, with light flooding the room from the giant arched windows. Or head out to the terrace to the gas barbecue and table and chairs to sit in the sunshine with steaks and sausages. After dinner, maybe a dip in the pool beckons?
The Residence offers another fully equipped kitchen and further dining space for you to make the most of the fine local fodder. Be sure to stock up the American-style fridge-freezer with Cotswold-style Gloucester Old Spot pork, Tewkesbury mustard, Bibury trout, Stinking Bishop cheese and Hobbs House bread. You’ll also get a drinks fridge, five-burner range cooker and dual oven, plus all the glasses, utensils, pots and pans you could ever need. When you’re done, dump everything in the dishwasher and help yourselves to coffee from the cafetière.
Head out for a ploughman’s, a summer salad or a steak-and-kidney winter warmer at The Queens Head in Box, take a walk up to The Quarryman’s Arms, or grab some gastro at The Northey Arms, with extensive food menu and great wines. Or try The Birdhouse Café for salads, quiche, Portuguese custard tarts and lovely décor.
Go Indian at The Bengal Bear and take your own bottles, or try The Ivy Brasserie for relaxed yet sophisticated all-day dining, or The Methuen Arms for partridge and chips or broccoli risotto.
Let the battles begin for the bedrooms. The Residence’s large master comes with its own fireplace and delicious en-suite that features a freestanding bath and rain shower. The queen room is also an en-suite with antique wooden bed and bath. Choose the double junior room if you also need a cot. Or the attic if you like the view from a mezzanine.
The complement of bedrooms is complete with a double queen, a single and the sofa bed in the lounge, totalling 12 spaces in the Residence alone.
Across the Old Brook School House’s three properties, there is room for more in sumptuous, swish and elegant bedrooms, which are supplemented by further sofabeds in the living area, offering total accommodation for up to 22 across the entire site.
The School Rooms comes with three bedrooms. The first is an en-suite kingsize, the second a double en-suite, and the third offers twin singles along with en-suite. In The Lodge, ideal for a couple, you’ll find a kingsize en-suite, while The Coach House comes with a double.
Wherever you sleep, you’ll enjoy fluffy towels, crisp sheets and classic furnishing.