You’d expect taste from a chocolate-box cottage. And that’s what you get from Yarrow Cottage, deep in the heart of the Cotswolds, with a soft centre that’s as utterly delicious as it is decadently luxurious. Perfect for small families or couples, it’s the ultimate rural escape, with thatch on the roof and logs on the fire.
Outside, the narrow roads curl their way past duck ponds and over low bridges. Weeping willows hang languorously over babbling streams that wend their way into honeystone villages peppered with wool churches, antique shops and Farrow-and-Ball-painted pubs. Welcome to the late nineteenth century.
Grab a Nespresso from the kitchen, take tea on the terrace in the sunshine, get snug in the family-friendly living room in front of the Netflix Smart TV. At Yarrow Cottage, you’ll enjoy the glacial pace as you embrace both your family and the joys of life lived in an altogether different era.
The ultimate garden lies beyond the gate, where the Cotswold hills rise and fall. The Churchill village green plays host to the summer thwock of leather on willow and the Chequers pub serves real ale with a side order of community American country
and folk music.
On site, it’s the quintessential country-cottage garden. Out front, follow the flagstone path lined with lavender to the duck-egg blue door set in sandstone. The back comes bathed in quiet bucolic beauty.
The table and chairs on the terrace suggest coffee and a croissant as the sun comes up or a glass of wine as it sinks beyond the horizon. Bring your pooch (by arrangement) and let him sniff and snuffle his way around the enclosed garden.
It’s all delightfully deceptive. Yarrow Cottage’s delicious chocolate-box exterior gives up a few surprises on the inside. This is where olde worlde charm meets Ibiza, meets ski chalet, meets five-star boutique hotel. One with an ample supply of magazines and DVDs, free wifi and candles to soften the mood to squishy.
Inspired by the landscape, living areas here are stunning style statements, yet the exposed beams, stone walls and flagged floors are easy to live with. They bring a tough, authentic beauty softened by the throws and cushions of the corner snug, perfect for some horizontal TV or lazy page-turning.
Yarrow Cottage is the Cotswolds dream without sacrificing the city chic. Throw another log on the fire, break out the tea and cake, gather round the TV and get cosy in front of Netflix.
Beyond the living area, the dining room seems to have put rustic and modern into a Nutribullet and blended up a style jackpot. The chunky wooden table sits alongside contemporary canvases and metallic mirrors and chairs. Light the candles, pour the wine and let the happy holiday chatter flow.
The food comes from a classic country kitchen bedecked with white brick tiles, pale blue cupboards and Le Creuset pans. Serve up a Sunday roast or romantic meal for two on the sprawling range and top it off with a shot from the well-stocked Nespresso machine or a complimentary spirit or two.
Within a short stomp (and a stagger back) up the country lanes, gourmet options abound. Join the well-to-do local doggy crowd in the Chequers gastropub. Follow a pre-dinner fireside aperitif maybe with twice-baked cheese souffle, dry-aged sirloin or whole roast partridge, topped off with a choc pot and clementines.
Elsewhere, Emily Watkins’ Plough at Kingham has a reputation even bigger than its portions of hanger steak, but the top ticket in the Cotswolds right now might just be The Wild Rabbit, glinting with its newly minted Michelin star. Cosy, warm and welcoming, this place layers flavours like its life depends on it.
Make a night of it and take dinner and drinks by the fire before climbing the stairs to the softest and most supportive of beds. Maybe try a soak first beneath the vaulted beams – the freestanding copper bath might be too much to resist with bubbles aplenty and glass of fizz in hand. Or maybe just the rainforest shower?
But if you can’t wait to hit the land of nod, maybe just wash the day away in the rustic his-and-hers basins with the Bamford toiletries. Underfloor heating warms your toes as you dry off and head for bed.
The two bedrooms come with Indian and Balinese influences all mashed up with a contemporary, industrial feel in the shape of solid sliding doors. It’s all beautifully and artfully curated, with deep dozing for four in the sleepiest of Cotswold enclaves.
Bedroom one offers a superking custom-built bed plus walk-in his-and-hers wardrobes. Fire up a little Netflix on the Smart TV on the wall. Bedroom two comes with double bed and built-in storage. Wake up bright, revived and raring to go as you slide into luxury linens, towels and robes.
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