The Cottage in the Wood Blog

Want more? Join The Cottage Club for the latest news, happenings & priority bookings (free to join).

Summer Fun

Summer is on its way! Why not plan a mini break in the Malverns? There is plenty to do, from quirky to mainstream and something for every generation.
See below for some of our recommendations.

Well Dressing Festival, 3-6 May, Malvern
A beautiful event organized by the Malvern Spa Association involving the dressing up of Malvern’s wells. The theme for 2019 is ‘flight’, and due to the multitude of possible interpretations, creativity this year will know no bounds! With dressed wells peppered across Malvern, strolling around this beautiful slice of the country becomes even more magical than usual. Be sure to check and see if the well at The Cottage in the Wood is dressed, too.

Eastnor Chilli Fest, 5-6 May, Eastnor Castle
Now in its 8th year, this super-hot event is a Bank Holiday must with its spicy food, crazy cocktails, lively music and cracking entertainment. Cookery demonstrations from Imran Nathoo (Food blogger and Masterchef 2017 quarterfinalist) The Beefy Boys and Lizzy’s Vegan Street Food add opportunities to pick up new skills and tips, whilst bands, stilt walkers, a fire show, and bhangra dancing workshops add to the festive fever. Don’t forget to miss the chilli eating competition, hosted by The Clifton Chilli Club, where participants will take the ultimate taste bud test.

RHS Malvern Spring Festival, 9-12 May, Three Counties Showground Malvern
This year’s floral celebration’s theme is ‘through the lens’ in recognition of the 180th anniversary of the silver-halide component used on photographic film or paper. Explore gardens and gardening through time, be inspired and be delighted. Find another celebration of flora at our very own floral art display at The Cottage in the Wood, on display 7-14 May. Designed by international floral designer Jonathan Moseley, the display will celebrate a trio of triumphs – The Cottage in the Wood’s centenary, the launch of XX exquisite new bedrooms and this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Show.

The Walled Gardens, mid-April to end September, Croome Court
This historical estate encompasses Britain’s largest Georgian walled gardens. Explore the romantic rose garden filled with 50 varieties of scented David Austin roses, before taking a stroll around the indoor and outdoor art exhibitions of works from artists such as Ian Marlow and Angela Palmer.

The Confetti Flower Field, 28 June – 7 July, Wyke Manor
Continuing the floral theme, The Confetti Flower Field is an unmissable, magical spectrum of colour. Only open to the public for seven days from 28 June to 7 July when the flowers are in peak bloom, it provides an idyllic countryside walk, or photo opportunity.

Lovells Vineyard, May to October, The Lovells, Malvern
Be transported to a wine lover’s heaven with a tour of our supplier’s vineyard. Elgar Wine Lovells Vineyard invites fans of the grape to explore the grounds and hear from their expert growers about their craft. From Wednesday to Friday during the summer book a tour and a wine tasting.

Eastnor Castle, May to September, Eastnor Castle

Welcoming visitors every Sunday and Monday from 21 July to 29 August, Eastnor Castle is an award-winning tourist attraction set in 5,000 acres of parkland with a Grade I 19th Century revival castle built by the 2nd Baron (Lord) Somers. Discover magnificent state rooms including the Great Hall, State Dining Room, Gothic Drawing Room, and Octagon Saloon, with expert guides. The glorious views, Arboretum, Castle Lake and Knight’s Maze enhance this fascinating experience.

Lakefest, 8-11 August, Eastnor Deer Park
Returning to the beauty of the Eastnor Deer Park for the eighth year, LakeFest promises a feeling of togetherness and celebrates a return to the roots of what the organisers believe a festival should be. This year will feature Kaiser Chiefs, Happy Mondays and Sophie Ellis-Bextor amongst others, a tranquil lotus garden, creative workshops, art space and spoken word “Talking Tent”.

Sunshine Festival, 23-25 August, Upton upon Severn
Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the ever-popular family-friendly festival includes a line-up of Scouting For Girls, Peter Andre, Boyzlife, The Osmonds and Claire Sweeney. Aside from the musical delights, there will also be a free circus for the whole family, with two circus skills workshops being offered free to daring visitors. An area full of inflatables, fancy dress competition and a food village full of culinary delights ensures there is something for everyone with both individual day or weekend tickets available. It really is the festival for every generation!

Celebrate your 100th birthday with a complimentary afternoon tea at The Cottage in the Wood

To mark our 100th anniversary this year we are inviting people who also turn 100 this year to book a complimentary Champagne Afternoon Tea for two.

Join us high in the Malvern Hills and enjoy spectacular views of the Severn Valley – such an exquisite setting for a centenary celebration! Feel instantly at home in our restaurant, 1919, as our warm and welcoming staff serve you an afternoon tea to remember. Savour classic finger sandwiches, freshly-baked scones and a selection of sweets, all made by head chef Mark Redwood, and a glass of Duchene Cuvée Leonié Brut Champagne.

Tempted? Then simply call 01684 588 860 to make the booking. Please bring a copy of your birth certificate, which we think are so beautiful compared to the typed versions of today.

We’re really looking forward to hosting centenarians from all over the country to commemorate our 100th birthdays together in style.

Did you know? The Cottage in the Wood was part of the Blackmore Park Estate until it was sold out of the family in May 1919. Since then, we have welcomed an array of esteemed visitors during our history, including renowned composer Edward Elgar in the 1920s, former prime minister Margaret Thatcher and Charlie Watts from the Rolling Stones.

For further information, or if you or someone you know is turning 100 this year, book today by calling 01684 588 860.

Five Reasons to Visit The Malverns

Be surprised and delighted by what you can discover in The Malverns in the autumn.

Enjoy local produce, visit historical gems and stride the hills, which turn into a vast palette of red, gold and orange hues.

Here are our five top things to do during at autumnal break to The Malverns.

1. Malvern Autumn Show – A Festival of Gardening, Food & Drink, Artisan Produce & Nostalgia at the Three Counties Showground on 29 – 30 September. Get stuck into a range of cookery demonstrations, gardening talks, vegetable displays, vintage tractors, crafts and more.

2. The Autumn in Malvern Festival runs from 22 September – 31 October and is a series of artistic events and exhibitions. All of the exhibitions and some of the events are free. You can see and hear from prestigious musicians, poets, writers, film-makers and other artists during this glorious festival. There are classical concerts performed by musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra, organ and choral recitals, brass bands, local historians giving guided walks on Great Malvern’s commemorative plaques and the Worcestershire Poet Laureates reading their own poetry on National Poetry Day – amongst a host of other delights.

3. Great walks in the Malvern Hills or in the towns. Choose a leisurely stroll or more challenging routes amidst hills ablaze with autumn colour. You’ll want to take a few moments or longer to soak up 360-degree views, stretching as far as the mid-Wales mountain range and the Cotswolds on a clear day. Order a picnic from the hotel and pick up a map from reception to see you on your way!

4. A taste of local culture – The National Trust introduces its 18th-century property Croome as ‘Expect the unexpected. Incredible innovation, devastating loss, remarkable survival and magnificent restoration. All in one place’ – and it’s worth a visit! It’s a neo-Palladian mansion surrounded by extensive parkland landscaped by Capability Brown, with delightful temples, follies and statues to discover. Also visit its RAF museum and learn about the Second World War secret airbase.


Meanwhile, The National Trust’s Brockhampton is a traditionally-farmed estate and medieval manor house and in the Autumn you’ll see orchards laden with fruit ready to harvest. Or, for a taste of the fruit of the vine, head to Lovells vineyard, just ten minutes’ drive from the hotel. Served in our 1919 Restaurant & Bar, varieties include ‘Promenades’, ‘Sorentina’ and ‘Elgar’, and are all named in gesture to iconic composer Sir Edward Elgar who lived in the Malverns.

5. Malvern markets – Lovers of markets will be in their element in the Malverns. Farmers’ markets take place in Malvern on the 3rd Saturday of each month and there are others at Knightwick, Welland and Tenbury Wells too.

Find out more about the Malvern area here.

Photographer: Alan Forsdike

Literary lunch with Sunday Times bestselling author Erin Kelly

Erin Kelly

As part of our centenary celebrations this year, we will be hosting a series of events including a special literary lunch on 22 May with Sunday Times bestselling author Erin Kelly.

Erin Kelly is the author of The Poison Tree, The Sick Rose, The Burning Air, The Ties That Bind, He Said/She Said, and Broadchurch: The Novel, inspired by the mega-hit TV series. Her last novel He Said/She Said spent six weeks in the Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller list.

Due out this month is Erin Kelly’s new novel stone mothers, a gripping new suspense story.

Hear all about the new novel from the author herself on 22 May. Our literary lunch event begins at 11am with lunch at 12:30. Tickets cost £18 and include a talk by Erin Kelly, a copy of stone mothers (RRP £12.99), book signing and photos with Erin, as well as tea/coffee and refreshments on arrival. A two-course lunch in our 1919 Restaurant & Bar with Erin costs an additional £20.

About stone mothers

Marianne was seventeen when she fled her home, her family, her boyfriend Jesse and the body they buried. Now, forced to return, she can feel the past closing in on her. And Jess, who never forgave her for leaving is finally threatening to expose the truth. Marianne will do anything to protect the life she’s built, the husband and daughter who must never know, even if it means turning to her worst enemy….but Marianne may not know the whole story and she isn’t the only one with secrets they’d kill to keep.

The Cottage Café menu

The Cottage Café menu Our newly-launched lunch menu has arrived at 1919, offering fresh, locally-sourced dishes perfect for friends catching up, busy people on a

Read More »

Are you making plans for Christmas and New Year’s Eve?

Still enjoying summer? Just hide this and you won’t see me again.