I'VE seen photos of the Cottage in the Wood over the years and it always looked like a lovely picture postcard setting where you could unwind and get away from it all

I'd also heard good things about its 2AA rosette restaurant 1919 and head chef Mark Redwood, who has been cooking up a culinary treat for locals and visitors alike.

So it was with some relish my companion and I visited on Saturday.

A ten minute drive from the centre of Malvern, and we arrived at a winding road which led to that picture postcard location, nestled just below the top of the Malvern Hills.

And what a location - it certainly lived up to the photos. There are stunning views across the Cotswolds, Severn Valley and Vale of Evesham to be enjoyed.

The hotel is split into three sections, all within a couple of minutes walk. We stayed at the Coach House.

We were greeted by our friendly hosts, who proved to be helpful throughout.

All the rooms are individually styled and I was lucky to have superb views from my bedroom, which was furnished in period style.

The decor was tasteful and understated, and nice touches included a pair of binoculars to enjoy the views from the the hills just above.

After a bracing walk on the hills, for which I was grateful my companion had a better sense of direction than I, and a quick change and shower in the spotless bathroom, it was time to eat.

We adjourned to the bar for pre-dinner drinks. The bar itself was relaxed and informal as family groups and couples enjoyed a drink and nibbles.

The hotel has an extensive range of wines and the staff were well-versed in their provenance.

The house red, a fruity number called Madregale Rosso certainly hit the spot being both light and a good all-rounder for the meal.

The restaurant 1919, which was full on Saturday, is furbished in a contemporary Georgian style and was a beautiful place to dine.

There was an excellent choice of food on offer including a signature cottage pie and exquisite fish and vegetarian choices.

After some deliberation I chose cured sea bream fillet for starters.

The dish was beautifully presented as we were all the dishes on the night.

The sea bream had just the right firm texture and had a little kick with the chilli and garam masala spices blending well.

My companion opted for the pan-fried scallops, which came with smoked butternut squash, pork apple and squid ink rissotto.

She declared it a hit and said the scallops were tender with that melt in the mouth quality - the combination of flavours were delicious.

For mains my companion chose a sirloin of beef, which came with cabbage pesto, white onion, ox cheek, carrot and pinenuts.

She said the steak was tender and juicy and once more the flavours melded well.

I opted for the the catch of the day, fresh from the Cornwall day boats, and was delighted with my choice.

The cod and prawn combination in a butter sauce was a taste sensation. The flaky white flesh of the cod combined well with the succulent prawns and rich sauce. One of the best fish dishes I've had in this country.

We both enjoyed our desserts.

My pistachio and chocolate dish was an indulgent treat, while my companion was impressed with her caramel mille-feuille with liquorice ice-cream.

The service was friendly and discreet throughout and fellow diners were at ease and clearly enjoying the evening.

Breakfast the following morning was a hit too - a wide range choice for the buffet and several cooked dishes available.

My smoked salmon and scrambled eggs were cooked to perfection and I cast a rather envious eye at my companion's avocado, bacon and poached egg on toast, which she clearly enjoyed.

If you're looking for a tranquil spot to get away from it all with superb views and exquisite food, then the Cottage in the Wood comes highly recommended for both a meal and/or an overnight stay.


The Cottage in the Wood is currently taking bookings for Christmas and New Year.

For more details call 01684 588860 or e-mail reception@cottageinthewood.co.uk

For more about the Cottage in the Wood log on to cottageinthewood.co.uk

The restaurant 1919 was refurbished in the spring in a contemporary Georgian style

Head chef Mark Redwood uses local suppliers such as Cotteswold Dairy, Holywell Water and the Friday Beer Company

Address: Holywell Rd, Malvern WR14