Rules are, of course, essential to the functioning of a civilised society. They keep things fair, they prevent and settle disputes; they stop us making fools of ourselves and they (mostly) keep people standing on the right side of the escalator.
However, it does become a little stifling sometimes, doesn’t it? All that being told what to do, where to go and how to behave can get a touch, well, tedious. No one wants their lives to run on rails all the time.
That’s why, when we were first setting up Foxhill Manor, we decided it should be somewhere where the usual rules didn’t apply. Not a pocket of complete anarchy, obviously; but somewhere a little more flexible than your usual hotel, where you could let your hair down, stay up later than usual, and throw caution to that balmy Cotswolds breeze.
Before we opened Foxhill’s doors, we wrote a little rulebook for the hotel – just so we could tear it up. Here’s what was in it…
1.Keep your feet off the sofa
Both sofas and hotel stays are supposed to relax you, which is rather tricky to achieve if you’re expect to sit like a guest at the Queen’s dinner party all the time. At Foxhill, we’re big fans of the horizontal, so if you want to put your trotters up and sprawl for a while, then by all means, lift up those legs, grab an extra cushion and we’ll fetch you a cup of tea.
- Keep out of the kitchen
Many hotels treat their kitchens as some sort of sacred space that must never be sullied by the public, and their chefs as some sort of secret wizard who must never be disturbed as they work their juju on a bacon butty. Not at Foxhill. Head Chef Richard and his team have an open-door policy, so if you want to come in for a chat, a bite to eat or just to watch them at work, just wander on in.
- Don’t eat after midnight
In the witching hour, coaches turn to pumpkins, horses turn to mice and hotel room service menus turn into depressing lists of cold sandwiches that no amount of crisps and flaccid salad garnish can rescue. So what if it’s 3am? If you’re peckish, you should be able to peck. That’s why Foxhill Manor has a help-yourself pantry stashed full of delicious gourmet treats that you can raid whenever the urge takes you.
- Sit at the table
We’re not your mother. You don’t have to eat at the table. If you want burgers in the bath, lobster in the lounge, or a four-course TV dinner, then why the devil not?
- Don’t take without asking
There’s no need to stand on ceremony and ask for permission at Foxhill – if you want something, go ahead and take it. That extends to drinks from the lounge, snacks from the pantry and cakes from the trolley but not, we should point out, other guests’ possessions (sorry, we don’t set all the rules).
In the four years that Foxhill Manor has been open, this unconventional approach seems to have paid off – judging by all those ‘best boutique hotel’ awards (not that we like to brag). Just goes to show: you don’t get to the top by playing by the rules. Fancy breaking a few? Book a stay at foxhillmanor.com
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