I had never been to Malvern previously, but have now been 3 times in the past 15 months. Two of these were to photograph a multiple Olympian’s wedding (good old lockdown meaning one small wedding and another for the original guests) and third an overnight stop en-route to a week away with friends. 

The spa town of Malvern is located around 3 hours from London by car in Worcestershire and accessible directly by train from Paddington. There are numerous attractions nearby to keep you occupied which can be researched at www.visitthemalverns.org. I was here for food and accommodation though at the picturesque www.cottageinthewood.co.uk, allocated 2.5 miles out of town atop a hill with far reaching views. For me there is pleasure in arriving via a steep access road with switchbacks – it offers a sense of intrigue and suspense. I was not disappointed when into view came not only the main house, but Beech Cottage and The Coach House, each offering a different feel. If waking up to a spectacular view is high on your list of requirements, then book a room that overlooks either the Severn Valley, Vale of Evesham or the rolling hills of the Cotswolds. Mine had views over the Severn Valley which were stunning. 

It was the 1919 restaurant I was really here for though, with Rob Mason installed as Head Chef just as the first lockdown was put into place. I had an opportunity to sit down with him and discuss his 3 favourite dishes on the menu in detail.

Cottage in the Wood