The Inspector is unimpressed with this Grade II-listed Cotswold hotel

Plastic plants and clashing colours: The Inspector is unimpressed with this Grade II-listed Cotswold hotel

  • The Inspector checks into Ingleside House in Cirencester
  • The 11-room hotel is connected to a theatre and restaurant 
  • He describes the decor as ‘try-hard’ and starts to ‘hanker for the bland’

There’s a lot going on at Ingleside House during our Saturday night stay.

Barn Theatre is putting on a production of The Girl On The Train; Teatro restaurant is heaving (‘We can fit you in at 7.45pm because you’re a guest at the hotel’) and a big birthday party is in full swing.

Presiding over all this activity on the outskirts of Cirencester is a local couple, who only added the 11-room hotel to their theatre and restaurant operations last year.

The Inspector reviews Ingleside House in Cirencester (pictured)

‘Dramatically different’ is the slogan, with the website going on to say that it’s the ‘antithesis of your bland Cotswold country hotel’.

Yes, but I start hankering for the bland when confronted with some of the try-hard decor: the plastic ferns and palms, dispiriting art, clashing colours and general airlessness.

Its best feature is the Georgian hall and staircase — and there’s a pretty courtyard for al fresco eating and drinking in summer.

Our room is called Needham. Strangely, it has frosted windows (which only open a couple of inches), a red velvet headboard and dark green walls. Beatrice’s line from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, ‘There was a star danced, and under that I was born’, is framed and hung above the fireplace but without any attribution.

On the way down to Teatro, we notice that the corridors and staircase are in bad need of a hoovering. For the management not to be on top of this, while charging £200 B&B for some stays, is a poor oversight.

We enjoy our dinner, seated at a black-and-white chessboard table.

The Inspector isn’t a fan of the hotel’s ‘clashing colours’. Pictured is one of the guest rooms 

The hotel’s best feature is the Georgian hall and staircase (pictured), says the Inspector

But the three paintings of feathers with streaks of orange are grim and we feel sorry for the cheery staff who try to avoid banging their heads on the silly lights hanging from the low ceiling.

Next morning, while checking out, we ask the taciturn receptionist about the recent history of the Grade II-listed house.

She says that at one time it was a private school but beyond that she hasn’t a clue.


Ingleside House, 5 Beeches Rd, Cirencester, GL7 1BN. Doubles from £80. For more information call 01285 648230 or visit


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