RH restoration hardware Cotswolds England uk review

Review: Dining at the Stunning Restoration Hardware England – RH at Aynho Park, Cotswolds

by Zoe Bowker

RH England at Aynho Park: A Countryside Culinary Retreat in a Jaw-Droppingly Beautiful Setting

Located in the picturesque Cotswolds, RH England at Aynho Park (formerly known as Restoration Hardware) offers an enchantingly British blend of historic stately home, modern luxury interior design and leisurely, refined dining. Situated just 75 miles from central London, it’s a blissfully serene escape from the grimy, grey streets of the city and the perfect elevated foodie spot to visit when in the Cotswolds.

Furniture Store or Restaurant?

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The cream, the bone, the white, the off white, the ivory, and the beige*. Oh, and the brown.
*bonus points if you know the reference…

If you’re not familiar with high-end American homeware label Restoration Hardware, this is an understandable question. The brand is a furniture company first and foremost, having recently rebranded to the sleek and minimalist moniker, ‘RH’ – no doubt in an effort to distance the brand from what the original, rather industrial name ultimately conjures up. Cast iron gates, black-toned fittings and fixtures spring to mind, a world away from what they actually sell – think £9,460 ‘Greco Roman Caryatid Temple’ sculptures, for example, and £6,395 leather recliners (a snip at £4795 for members). RH describes their style as a blend of luxury, comfort, and timeless design; their aesthetic combines classic elements with contemporary sensibilities, featuring high-quality materials, neutral colour palettes, and sophisticated, understated luxury. That’s a sentence that says a lot without saying much at all, so let’s be real – it’s large, expensive furniture in warm neutral tones (and only warm neutral tones) for the multi-millionaire set.

The stately home (and we mean, stately) has been bedecked solely in RH creations, making the entire manor a showroom for the brand. Dogs are welcome to browse with their human slaves in tow, which makes us a little nervous – what happens should a four-legged browser evacuate their bladder upon a five-thousand pound sofa? Our dog-owning dining companion informs us this simply does not happen, as ‘dogs are trained’, but one does wonder… thankfully, Bertie the golden sausage does no such thing on our stroll through the RH showrooms. We are relieved.

Strategy and Brand Positioning.

Smartly, the brand has adopted in-store restaurants and fabulous-yet-easily-understandable cuisine as a way to wrangle the right folk into perusing, and purchasing from, their real-life furniture catalogues. A few glasses of vino certainly help when deciding on tens of thousands of pounds of furniture on a leisurely afternoon, no? (From our experience when we were a teenager working as a salesperson at a furniture retailer, they certainly do.) Their New York rooftop restaurant is popular amongst the fashion influencer set, as is the Cotswolds location (we discovered this locale via Victoria Magrath).

Interestingly, the brand is so haughty that they’ve deemed themselves simply too good for social media; they’ve eschewed Instagram and the like as, apparently, photos of the brand simply don’t do it justice. It feels like when you see a tagged photo of yourself versus one you post on your own feed…we’ve all had those moments, but is it a reason to cut yourself off from the social media sphere altogether? Feels a tad extreme to us.

The Culinary Outlets.

RH England boasts an array of dining venues to cater to various tastes and preferences – five, to be precise, with a sixth opening soon. Signature outlet The Orangerie provides a refined indoor fine dining atmosphere (though the menu feels smart casual), offering dishes like Whole Branzino with olive oil and lemon (£38), and Housemade Chips & Dip with Caviar, starting at £95 – hope you’re used to Dubai pricing. No dogs allowed here. (Honestly, for good reason we feel!)

The Juice Bar caters to health-conscious visitors with a variety of fresh juices, while The Wine Bar supposedly offers an extensive selection of wines, but we found them to be the same as the other outlets. There’s also The Tea Salon, offering variations on the classic afternoon cream tea. Our choice, The Loggia, stands out for its outdoor setting, panoramic views, and pet-friendly policy. Additionally, RH England is set to introduce a new dining venue very soon, The Conservatory, (the finishing touches were being applied when we visited in June 2024) which promises to be an exciting addition to their culinary offerings.

The Loggia.

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Honestly, beyond gorgeous.

We chose to dine at The Loggia at RH, a chic-yet-relaxed outdoor restaurant and wine bar featuring cozy fireplaces and a dog-friendly atmosphere, (dogs really are a recurring theme in the Cotswolds, everybody seems to have one). The Loggia offers a relaxed setting with wood-fired pizzas, charcuterie boards, and rustic shared plates – think picturesque winery vibes. Whilst that makes for a somewhat limited menu, the good news is they will let you order from The Orangerie menu also, a touch we loved.

We kicked off our meal with the charcuterie platter as some of our party were starving, and this was a quick option. Despite featuring marcona almonds (our absolute weakness), the platter showcased just one type of salami, two very small portions of cheese and some (admittedly delicious) fresh bread, falling far short of expectations given its steep price (£22). Fortunately, the culinary experience took a turn for the better with the arrival of a fabulous truffle pizza (£24) and a fresh salad (£12) accompanied by delightfully crispy truffle fries (£16). Our dining companions were equally pleased with their rotisserie chicken salad (£20), even though it wasn’t quite as expected – think a slab of chicken sat atop a half butter lettuce. We were tempted by the £48 steak sandwich but decided against it, finding it a bit extravagant given our managed expectations. The margaritas were well-crafted, and the wine pours were generous.

Service and Atmosphere.

The service, while friendly, seemed somewhat inexperienced, and attentiveness was inconsistent. However, the staff managed our table’s multiple allergies competently, which was commendable. Despite the high prices – comparable to those in Dubai – the overall dining experience was truly gorgeous. The grand buildings and expansive views make this place truly something special.

Exploring the Grounds.

Post-lunch we strolled leisurely through the expansive grounds, debating whether the small multi coloured animals we were gazing upon in the fields were lamb, llama or deer (they were, in fact, the latter). Aynho Park, a historic manor built in the 17th century, offers rich historical significance, and is truly a stunning setting worth a drive. Every RH Restoration Hardware furniture and decor item within the manor is available for purchase, and while the rooms are undeniably stunning, the monochromatic beige and brown palette did become somewhat repetitive. Nonetheless, the setting offers an ideal backdrop for a fabulously country-luxe afternoon.

Our Verdict.

Discovering RH England at Aynho Park was the highlight of our Cotswolds trip – truly. It’s a very special spot, and one we would return in a heartbeat. It’s the perfect spot for a long, relaxing lunch in the British countryside – weather permitting, of course. Convenient valet service is available, making the visit hassle-free – you can even text them to have your car ready and waiting for you when you depart.

At the time of publish (June 2024), RH Restoration Hardware Aynho park hours are Monday to Saturday from 11 AM to 8 PM, and Sunday from 11 AM to 5 PM.

For more details on Restoration Hardware RH England at Aynho Park, visit RH England.

Visiting the UK? Read more of our reviews here.