Stylish Weekends | March 21, 2016 | Travel
Glamour on the farm:
Country stays with urban comforts
No air miles? No problem. Britain has stacks of farmhouse retreats offering an alternative country experience, trading in dated barns for upscale boltholes, furnished with luxe touches. Pack your Hunters and Barbour – it’s time to head to the British countryside.
The Dandelion Hideaway, Osbaston, Leicestershire
Image source: The Dandelion Hideaway
Escape to the Leicestershire countryside, where this working dairy farm has ditched conventional country farmhouses for canvas cottages.
Picture the scene: You enjoyed a lazy soak in your rolltop bath this morning. Now, you’re lounging on a vintage Chesterfield in front of a warming wood-burning range, G&T in hand of course.
Not finished relaxing, you head out under a blanket of twinkling stars for bubbles of the warm kind, provided by your private wood-fired hot tub. Come morning, you venture out onto the veranda, enjoying a brew fresh from the whistling Le Creuset kettle, as you enjoy the views of open countryside. Repeat as required.
Red Doors, Honiton, Devon
Image source: Red Doors
In rural Devon, behind a 500-year-old thatched farmhouse facade, lies an idyllic retreat with all the modern touches you could ever hope for.
Full of rustic charm, the farm offers fresh eggs, ancient beams, welcoming log burners and flagstone floors. And if you’re itching for luxe comforts, you’ll find them here. Beauty therapist to your cottage? Check. In-house chef? Oh yes. Evening sitters to watch the little ones? Sold!
Soho Farmhouse, Great Tew, Oxfordshire
Image source: Soho Farmhouse
Celebrities and the media set beat a path to this Oxfordshire bolthole – part of the Soho House group – for its 40 cabins, a farmhouse, a cottage, Cowshed spa, indulgent feasts and rustic-luxe interiors.
It’s definitely the countryside reinvented, but all the farm favourites are there, including working stables, boathouse and farm shop. Plus all the non-country essentials you could ever want; cinema, ice rink, mobile bar or Japanese grill, anyone?
Shadymoor, Dorrington, Shrewsbury
Image source: Shadymoor/Facebook
Sandwiched between Shrewsbury and Ludlow, this historic 200 acre farm dates back to the 13th century. Offering both B&B accommodation and glamping, there are plenty of added quirks that we love; the floating trampoline on one of the farm’s many lakes, because why not and the log-fired hot tub for a relaxing soak after a long day of fresh country air – it’s a tough life.
Once a deer park, there are still plenty of farm animals to enjoy, with fallow deer, pheasants, horses, sheep and cattle trotting around on site.
Cooks can source venison, rabbit, pigeon, duck or pheasant but if you’re taking a break from the stove, the farm is smack bang in a gastronomic hotspot, close to two Michelin-starred restaurants and a clutch of gastropubs.