hour and a half from London,
you’ll be struck by a faint scent of geranium, lavender and
peppermint – plus something unrecognisably delicious.
Arriving to the Daylesford cottages in
Gloucestershire – self-catered apartments in a large
farmhouse conversion – the characterful cosiness is the
immediate charm, and easily succumbed to as you shrug off the
shackles of the city. Thick stone walls dressed with the shovel and
sickle of their former lives are spruced up with the creature
comforts of modern life, blending past and present with a vision
sustainable future (an ethos that runs throughout the estate).
Rustic but refined, organic but manicured, ethical
but excessive, Daylesford is an oxymoronic escape for organically
minded urbanites in need of a breath of fresh air.
solo or in a brood of six (plus the dogs), the cottages cater
to all parties. Fresh flowers in the living room, bath salts in the
tub and king-sized beds layered in silky linen – there’s a refined
luxury in every nook, cranny and crevice. Our favourite spot? The
semi-private patio with table and chairs, perfect for some
What’s for breakfast?
Kitchens come fully equipped with a Nespresso machine and
Daylesford’s own tea as well as fresh bread, organic eggs and milk.
For those less inclined to make use of their kitchen, head to The
Trough where breakfast is served until noon. For a grab-and-go
affair, stroll over to the next-door farm store and adjoining
courtyard where you’ll find a food truck selling sandwiches, drop
scones and butter-drenched cakes through the day.
How about lunch and dinner?
The Old Spot, an in-house café and restaurant adjoining the
marketplace, is the centre point of the estate. The menus, aptly
printed in vegetable dye on handmade paper, are seasonal and
dynamic – with casual starters like courgette salad with tuna
tartare. All the food is made from fresh Daylesford ingredients and
is prepared with the same sophisticated earthiness that inspires
the cottages. The burgeoning wood-fired pizza oven makes for a
warm, casual atmosphere, while a sky-lit interior and white
furnishings keep it contemporary.
Is there a bar?
No, although every fridge comes stocked with a rosé and white
wine from Daylesford’s sister
wine estate, Chêteau Léoube. Deep reds and a bottle of
copper-distilled organic gin with notes of juniper, angelica,
coriander, orris root, lemon and cardamom are also on standby. For
a livelier encounter make tracks to the Wild Rabbit pub in town, a
Accommodations are stocked with all the essentials for an
idyllic country weekend: think Roberts radio, electric Aga and
Bamford products from the neighbouring spa. After a day of outdoor
pursuits, vegetate by the fireplace, connect your smart television
to the WiFi and get stuck into a classic film. For those wanting to
remain analogue, board games and books are stacked in the
Things you should know
A mere hedge separates your cottage from the bustle of the day
visitors. If you’re seeking solitude, the “honeysuckle” cottage is
a few minutes down the road from the main estate and a much quieter
option. Make sure you get a briefing on how to work the Aga and the
fireplace before 6PM on a Friday though, as the staff are not
available at the weekend.
Within a short walk you can find…
On the grounds, there is a marketplace for fresh produce,
kitchen and homewares. Cookery
classes are popular and include a tour of the farm. The
shop runs floristry workshops while the Bamford clothing shop is
crammed with cashmere cardigans and trapper jackets. Bamford
extends to the spa, which is stocked with the brand’s botanic,
geranium, jasmine and rose collections. The space itself is bright
and light, dotted with driftwood and quartz and options include
meditation, deep-tissue massages and sound-healing workshops.
If you’d like to go a little further afield, a country stroll
past weeping willows, animal pastures and church spires is
nourishment for the soul.