Check In: The Courtyard by Marriott Abingdon*

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When it comes to travelling, I’m always a fan of trying out a new hotel. Not only is it fun to stay somewhere fresh and new, but I love the crispness of somewhere where you can still almost smell the paint drying. So, when we were down south a few weeks ago, we couldn’t resist trying out the new Courtyard by Marriott Abingdon which had newly opened near Oxford.

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Close to major transport links, this is a hotel that’s been designed for the modern traveller – with plenty of parking outside, and a chic interior which would feel at home in  London. It’s the perfect spot to choose if you’re looking for a couple of nights away, or if you need a quick spot on an overnight journey.

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Check-in was smooth and super-quick, and before we knew it were were in our room on the sixth floor. With huge super king bed, sitting and working area it was so lovely to get to spread out, unpack and relax a little before dinner. If, like me, you travel with a lot of electrics (hello laptop charger, camera charger, hairdryer, straighteners etc) there was plenty of space to get everything plugged in and charging, and the room was positively littered with USB outlets, which is perfect if you want your phone within arm’s reach at all times.

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After relaxing for a bit (and catching up on emails) we headed downstairs for supper. The hotel is home to the Oxen Bar & Grill, which serves up a menu filled with local, seasonal produce. Since the hotel sits on the boundaries of the Cotswolds, this means world-class meats, vegetables, and fish is sourced nearby.

The space is absolutely beautiful with exposed brickwork, on-trend geometric tiling and open kitchen, so you can watch as their chefs rustle up supper. The menu was wonderfully balanced, and we spent a while trying to narrow down our options.

After rather a lot of discussion, we opted for for a classic in the form of the Rib Eye Steak (£28). It came perfectly char-grilled with a generous handful of fresh peppery salad and perfectly crisp triple cooked chips. The dish was finished off with a rich and creamy Béarnaise Sauce. After a day spent outside explore the country, this was exactly what was needed for a hearty supper!

I couldn’t resist the Creedy Carver Duck (£20) which came served with a croquette, sweet potato, braised pak choi with a soy, sesame and honey sauce. It was absolutely delicious – the duck was rich and incredibly flavourful, and it paired perfectly with the exotic sauce. It was one of those dishes that inspire you to get into a kitchen to try and recreate it.

 

After such a glorious supper, we headed back upstairs to enjoy the room. With a huge flatscreen tv on the wall, comfy sofas to kick back on, and a supering bed, there was more than enough room for the two of us to relax and unwind.

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We enjoyed the best night’s sleep on the super-sized bed, and woke up raring to go (which was a good thing, as we were faced with a three-plus hour drive up to Manchester). Breakfast is served downstairs in The Oxen, and check-out was an absolute breeze, the hardest thing was driving away from such a stunning room!

You can find out more about The Courtyard by Marriott Abingdon here.

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