It’s that time of year when the sense of ‘stuffocation’ is overwhelming.
Hot off the conveyer belt of Christmas, we’re stuffed with way too much turkey; stuffed with presents; stuffed with obligation and for me, the only way to break the cycle is to step outside the M25, in search of some country air and down-time.
This year instead of seeking a hotel break, I was tempted by the idea of an authentic country cottage – thatched roof and all. My prayers were answered by the clever people at Beachspoke who offer a hand-picked selection of impressive homes and cottages in and around the UK (think airbnb, but better) and all seemingly designed with the millennial traveller in mind. By that I mean they come complete with blue tooth speakers; Nespresso machines; decent and complimentary Wi-Fi and a wine delivery service!! What more could a girl ask for?!
Beachspoke’s Yarrow Cottage was our chosen home. It can be found in the quaint little village of Churchill. It is impeccably well-appointed, with two spacious double bedrooms, it easily sleeps four adults or a family of four. It’s cosy and super comfortable. So much so, our plans for mega country walks were quickly replaced by ‘Netflix and Chill’.
Having stocked-up on a few supplies en-route, we rustled up lunch in the cottage’s fabulous kitchen (deciding to ignore ‘Dry January’ in favour of sampling the local spirits, left as a very generous amenity during our stay). Then lighting the wood burning stove, we settled in for the afternoon.
Yarrow has been so sensitively designed and kitted-out that your every need has been accounted for. Soft towels and dressing gowns await you in the vast bathroom, which comes complete with a double-sided-giant-copper bathtub and dreamy underfloor heating (no cold cottagey drafts to worry about here). Soaps and shampoos all come direct from the Bamford Spa at the local Daylesford Farm. The beds are huge and sheets soft. Wardrobes offer ample hanging space and the fully functioning wood burning stove is the icing on the cake. What better accompaniment to a cosy country afternoon, than the warmth of a fire?
Being surrounded by a bounty of top rated local pubs, we forced ourselves out for dinner. The Wheatsheaf Inn, in neighbouring Northleach was packed on a Tuesday night – steaks and British Classics were all delicious. The Chequers – which sits approximately a two minute walk away from the cottage, was also a reliable and super-convenient option for a relaxed dinner. Lunch at The Daylesford Farm was also excellent. Likely because it followed two of the best spa treatments we’d ever had, courtesy of their Bamford Spa. Truly a ‘must visit’. Their sister pub, The Wild Rabbit, is also excellent but it was sadly closed during our stay.
Yarrow’s location means that you really can make the most of everything that the Cotswold’s has to offer. The culture-hungry and those looking for something to do as a family can visit Blenheim Palace: The birthplace of Winston Churchill; Chastleton House: arguably the finest Jacobean Country House in Britain, or The Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens which exhibits over 260 different species of animals and is the largest privately owned zoological collection in the UK.
In the name of ‘wellness’ we took the lazy option and headed for more pampering at Dormy House, where their day-spa package offers access to their well-curated facilities (Jacuzzi, indoor pool, sauna, and steam rooms) as well as a number of spa treatments and lunch.
There could be worse ways to spend the day, before a final night by the fire in our little piece of Cotswold’s heaven.