Winter Wonderland in the Cotswolds, England January 12 – 19, 2015

192 owlpen manor topiary south copy_1

OWLPEN MANOR, Cotswolds, England

January 12 – 19, 2015

7 nights in the Cotswolds.

Owlpen Manor is recognized as on of the most romantic manor houses in England. It’s situated in the royal triangle in the Cotswolds. The manor house dates back to the c.1200 but it was rebuilt in the Tudor period between 1464 – 1616. 

The estate is set in a picturesques valley within the Costswolds. It’s located one mile east of the village Uley and three miles from the town Dursley.

In recent years, Owlpen Manor has been used as the location for a number of TV feature films, game shows and documentaries. They include Most Haunted (Series 4, 2004); The Fly and the Eagle (a BBC drama about the romance of Bristol poet laureate Robert Southey and Caroline Anne Bowles); The Trouble with Home (a documentary about the Manders at Owlpen made for HTV West); What the Tudors did for us; Countryfile; The Other Boleyn Girl; Watercolour Challenge; as well as antiques, cookery, gardening, travel, and art programmes. The holiday cottages and restaurant featured on BBC1’s Holiday programme, presented by John Cole and introduced by Jill Dando.

Owlpen Manor appears as Bramscote Court in the BBC’s period drama adaptation of Tess of the d’Urbervilles (autumn 2008), starring Bond girl Gemma Arterton.

Owlpen Manor has been the inspiration and title of a number of 20th-century poems, including well-known verses by U.A. Fanthorpe, John Burnside and Reginald Arkell. The house is reputed to have inspired scenes in novels by John Buchan and Wolfgang Hildesheimer.

NANCY GERBAULT, Archaeologist/Art Historian and Director of Abroad Writers’ Conference. Nancy will be teaching six one hour lectures and three days of historic sites visits. The first lecture is on the History of Food and Drink in the Middle Ages and the second, Medieval Architecture.

HOLLIS GILLESPIE, Bestselling author and NBC Today Show Travel Expert. Hollis will be teaching a Travel Writing & Blogging workshop, this is a four day class for three hours a day.

SARAH GRISTWOOD, TV regular commentator on Historical and Royal Affaires and Bestselling British Historian author. Sarah will be teaching a workshop called, Women in History, this is a three day class for three hours a day.

JACQUELYN MITCHARD, #1 New York Times Bestselling author and an Orange Prize finalist. Jackie will be teaching a Fiction workshop and a Full Manuscript Edit & Critique–no limit on pages. This is a five day class, three hours a day.


At Owlpen Manor we’ll be staying in 9 separate historic cottages in a historic backdrop of 500 hundred years. A timeless hamlet of Cotswold buildings and a Tudor Mansion.

Owlpen Pictures 041

72 ManorFm Bed TH-S

Owlpen Pictures 419_0


Owlpen Pictures 418

Marling's End Dining Room_0


January 12 

2:00 – 5:00 Workshop Hollis Gillespie

7:00 Welcome dinner at The Cider House

January 13

7:30 Breakfast in Grist Mill cottage

8:00 – 11:00 Workshops Hollis Gillespie

11:00 – 12:00 Nancy Gerbault History of food 

8:00 – 12:00 Jacquelyn Mitchard’s Full MS

12:00 Excursion: Broughton Castle in Sarah and Nancy’s workshops 

7:00 Dinner

January 14th

7:30 Breakfast in Grist Mill Cottage

8:00 – 11:00 Workshops Hollis Gillespie

11:00 – 12:00 Nancy Gerbault Architecture

8:00 – 12:00 Jacquelyn Mitchard’s Full MS

12:00 Lunch at **Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham for those signed-up for the extra excursion

6:00 Reading by Hollis Gillespie

7:00 Dinner

January 15

7:30 Breakfast in Grist Mill cottage

8:00 – 11:00 Workshops Hollis Gillespie

11:00 – 12:00 History of Food

8:00 – 12:00 Jacquelyn Mitchard’s Full MS

12:00 excursions: Stratford-upon-Avon–excursion with Nancy & Sarah’s workshops

7:00 Dinner

January 16

7:30 Breakfast in Grist Mill cottage

8:00 – 11:00 Workshops Sarah Gristwood

11:00 – 12:00 Nancy Gerbault Architecture

8:00 – 12:00 Jacquelyn Mitchard’s Full MS

12:00 Lunch: The Manor House in Castle Combe

6:00 Readings by Jacquelyn Mitchard

7:00 Dinner

January 17th

7:30 Breakfast in Grist Mill cottage

8:00 – 11:00 Workshops Sarah Gristwood

11:00 – 12:00 Nancy Gerbault Food

8:00 – 12:00 Full MS

12:00 excursion: Sudeley castle–Sarah & Nancy’s workshops

6:00 Readings by Sarah Gristwood

7:00 Dinner

January 18th

7:30 Breakfast in Grist Mill Cottage

8:00 – 11:00 Workshops Sarah Gristwood

11:00 – 12:00 Nancy Gerbault Architecture

12:00 Lunch at Thronbury Castle

7:00 Dinner Celebration in the Cider House

Price: $3,500 based on double occupancy and $500 surcharge for single occupancy



Add on Excursions


Special Lunch option in the Cotswolds

January 12 – 19th

**Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham

Three course lunch at the Michelin two star restaurant


Thornbury Castle, Thornbury

Three course lunch at this magnificent Tudor Castle


*Bybrook Restaurant at The Manor House, Castle Combe

Three course lunch, Michelin one star restaurant

Price $225



A Taste of the Past and the Best of the Present

London, UK

January 8 – 12, 2015

Four Days in London with bestselling author and British historian Sarah Gristwood and Archaeologist Nancy Gerbault. Participants will visit Historic London sites and eat in some of our favorite restaurants.

Sarah Gristwoodheadshot


After leaving Oxford, Sarah Gristwood began work as a journalist, writing at first about the theatre as well as general features on everything from gun control to Giorgio Armani. But increasingly she found herself specialising in film interviews – Johnny Depp and Robert De Niro; Martin Scorsese and Paul McCartney. She has appeared in most of the UK’s leading newspapers – The Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph (Daily and Sunday) – and magazines from Cosmopolitan to Country Living and Sight and Sound to The New Statesman.

Turning to history she wrote two bestselling Tudor biographies, Arbella: England’s Lost Queen and Elizabeth and Leicester; and the eighteenth century story Perdita: Royal Mistress, Writer, Romantic which was selected as Radio 4 Book of the Week. Presenting and contributing to several radio and tv documentaries, she also published a book on iconic dresses, Fabulous Frocks (with Jane Eastoe); and a 50th anniversary companion to the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as well as collaborating with Tracy Borman, Alison Weir and Kate Williams on The Ring and the Crown (Hutchinson), a book on the history of royal weddings. 2011 also saw the publication of her first historical novel, The Girl in the Mirror (HarperCollins). In September 2012 she brought out a new non-fiction book – Blood Sisters: the Women Behind the Wars of the Roses (HarperPress).
A regular media commentator on royal and historical affairs, Sarah was one of the team providing Radio 4’s live coverage of the royal wedding; and has since spoken on the Queen’s Jubilee, the royal baby, and other royal stories for Sky News, Woman’s Hour, Radio 5 Live, and CBC. Shortlisted for both the Marsh Biography Award and the Ben Pimlott Prize for Political Writing, she is a Fellow of the RSA, and an Honororary Patron of Historic Royal Palaces.

A Taste of the Past and the Best of the Present

London, UK

January 7 – 12, 2015

Six Days in London with bestselling author and British historian Sarah Gristwood and archaeologist and food historian Nancy Gerbault. Participants will visit Historic London sites and eat in some of our favorite restaurants.

January 7th

3:00 pm Check-in Think Apartments Tower Bridge

4:00 – 6:00 Sarah Gristwood Discussion group

7:00 Dinner

January 8th

8:00 Breakfast at The Wolseley. An institution among the capital’s breakfast-lovers. “Breakfast is everything. The beginning, the first thing. It is the mouthful that is the commitment to a new day, a continuing life,” writes chef A.A. Gill in his introduction to his book, “Breakfast at The Wolseley”.

Hampton Court The beloved seat of Henry VIII’s court, sprawled elegantly beside the languid waters of the Thames, Hampton Court is steeped in more history than virtually any other royal building in England. The magnificent Tudor red-brick mansion, begun in 1514 by Cardinal Wolsey to curry favor with the young Henry, actually conceals a larger 17th-century baroque building, which was partly designed by Christopher Wren (of St. Paul’s fame); though both have a wealth of stories to tell. The earliest dwellings on this site belonged to a religious order founded in the 11th century and were expanded over the years by its many subsequent residents, until George II moved the royal household closer to London in the early 18th century.

Dinner at HINDS HEAD, chef Kevin Love, Michelin star 15th-century-pub. Hinds Head was build in the 15th century, at the dawn of the Tudor age. Although the building’s original function is still the subject of speculation (some say it was a royal hunting lodge, others that it was a guest house for an Abbot), it’s known that it was converted into a hostelry around 400 years ago. Hinds Head has provided hospitality to the British Royal Family. Wine not included.

Hinds Head serves several historical dishes including “quaking pudding” from the Tudor period.

January 9th

8:00 – 11:00 Sarah Gristwood workshop and discussion group

1:00 pm A four course dinner at DINNER by Heston Blumenthal, ranked 7th The World’s Best 50 Restaurant. Hester Blumenthal created a unique menu of historically inspired British dishes, some are dated back to c.1390. Wine not included

January 10th

Brunch at the Village East, Bermondsey

Afterwards we’ll visit the Borough Market near Bermondsey. The Borough Market is London’s most renowned food market; a source of exceptional British and International produce.

It’s a haven for anybody who has interest in food. It’s the meeting place of locals, chefs and restaurateurs, passionate amateur cooks and people who love eating and drinking.

Dinner: 8 Course Tasting menu at THE LEDBURY, chef Brett Graham. Rank no. 10 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and it has 2 Michelin stars.

January 11th

9:00 Brunch at the Duck & Waffle.

Tour of the Tower of London Nowhere else does London’s history come to life so vividly as it does in this minicity of 20 towers filled with heraldry and treasure, the intimate details of lords and dukes and princes and sovereigns etched in the walls.

The oldest tower is the White Tower, William the Conqueror who began the central keep in 1078.

Dinner at RULES, the oldest restaurant in London. Rules was established in 1798 by Thomas Rules. Wine not included

The restaurant has been featured in novels by Graham Greene, Dick Francis and Evelyn Waugh.


Check-out 10:00

Price $2,750 per person

$300 supplemental fee for single room


5 dinners, 3 in Michelin Stared restaurants

3 Breakfast

Entrance fees to Hampton Court, Tower of London



Add on Excursion

Learning about the past by visiting a living museum, Weald Open Air Museum

January 19 – 22nd

January 19th

9:30 Depart from the Cotswolds to Bath

Tour the city of Bath

1 1/2 hour visit to the ancient Thermae Bath Spa. Here you’ll refresh your senses in the aroma steam rooms and bath in the indoor minerva bath.

1:00 Lunch at the Michelin star Bath Priory Restaurant

Bosham, West Sussex: We’ll be staying at Millstream Hotel for three nights and have a special three course dinner at their restaurant.

Bosham is a delightful ancient village situated on the arm of Chichester Harbour. Bosham has a long history; it is thought that it was one of the first sites in Sussex where the Saxon St Wilfried preached around the year 681 AD. There’s a superb 11th century Saxon tower and chancel arch.

January 20th

8:00 – 11:00 Workshop Hollis Gillespie

Vist Chichester

The historic city of Chichester is one of the real highlights of any visit to West Sussex. The city was founded by the the Romans. The prize of Chichester is its superb medieval cathedral, the only English cathedral visible from the sea. The cathedral was built on the site of a Roman building and later a Saxon church.

Pallant House Gallery, is one of the best art galleries outside of London. Here you’ll find the works of Picasso, Cezanne and Henry Moore.

The Roman city walls still survive. They have been rebuilt several times during the medieval period and today the wall stretches along the walk of the city. 

January 21st

9:30 – 4:30 Special workshop for our group at Weald Open Air Museum

Historic Rural Life
The Museum explores the lives of the ordinary men and women whose working, rural lives were tied to the rhythms of the seasons. We term what we do as ‘interpretation’ because we can never fully recreate or re-enact the past but we strive to base our demonstrations and information on all available sources.

All the houses are vernacular – the homes of peasants, labourers, farmers and tradesmen, and to tell the story of the people who built and lived in them we have furnished several of them as authentically as possible, using replica furniture and artefacts. Different methods are used to describe the lives of these people: sometimes they use display panels; occasionally audio-visual commentary and most buildings contain folders with explanatory information. But most important of all they have stewards in the houses who will talk with you about the history of the house and the lives of its former occupants. They will guide us closely to understand the seasonal and ritual year and they demonstrating their traditional skills, practices and domestic lives as closely as possible, bound by the seasons as they were.

In the Tudor kitchen participants will discover the tastes of the period.

 January 22nd 

Departure at 10:00 to London

Instructors: Hollis Gillespie & Nancy Gerbault

Limited to 10 participants

Price $1,500

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.