There’s croquet on the lawn. Grazing horses to gaze at beyond the fence. The newts in the stream are rare. And the lapping water of the outdoor pool, the hearty thwock of ball on racket and gently fizzing gin on the terrace are the only sounds to pierce the silence on a summer’s day. Foxcote Grange is where the countryside goes to relax.
The River Coln splits this Cotswold community, but it’s otherwise united, with point-to-point meets, Sunday cricket, pig roasts and cask ale in the honeystoned Royal Oak. This is Andoversford – Cotswolds Central – with hills that roll forever and ancient oaks that spread their boughs against timeless Turner skies.
There’s room for 12 here of all generations to forget the traps of modern life, yet still enjoy the trappings: the superfast wifi, the Sky TV and the iPod dock. Walk the hills (don’t forget your dog), pop to the pub, lie back in the garden and listen to the birds, watch out for wildlife, lap up the constellations after dark. Live your best life.
Three rolling acres here invite exploration. Beyond the picket fence, horses roam the escarpment. Oak boughs bend against the tugging clouds of classic English skies. It’s the perfect setting to get the gas barbie going, take to the terrace and clink glasses over a crisp white.
The indoors at Foxcote is beguiling, but you won’t be stuck for fun outside. Thwock the balls around the all-weather tennis court, whiz the kids down the zip slide, plunge into the heated pool, kick a ball around the greenery. Oh, and don’t let the odd G&T get in the way of a little garden croquet.
In among the winding staircases and the ancient beams sit comfortable, cosy nuggets in which to gather as a group or to sneak away alone and fan the flickering flames. TVs abound and bookcases burst with books and board games. Fill your glasses, stock up on snacks and answer late nights with lazy mornings.
Three TVs offer a choice of viewing: matches, movies or whatever takes your fancy. Tap in to Sky and pick from anything from boxing to box sets. Get the open fire burning and take a seat on the squishy sofas in the communal lounge, with its monster fireplace, beams and spotlights. Slide out to the garden through the French windows.
Escape the madding crowd in the snug with a book and some burning logs. Or work your way through your inbox in the quiet study. Superfast wifi comes care of rural-communities specialist, Gigaclear. Or turn off the TV, dock your phone, amp up the speakers and dance the night away.
Out among the three acres, you’ll find the external games barn. Chalk up and shoot some pool, catch a match on the wall TV or dive into the DVDs, or keep the kiddies amused with the building blocks, dumper trucks and skateboard. Foxcote is chic but cosy, techy yet traditional, high-end yet homely.
In the country kitchen, the four-oven Aga, electric oven and gas hob are the perfect excuse to get all Masterchef. Head to Northleach to raid the Castle butcher’s, or into Cirencester for farmers’ markets on Mondays and Fridays, then top it all off with a crisp summer white or winter red from the Ox House Wine Company.
Eat around the chunky dining table in front of wood-panelled walls. Burn some logs, pass the bread-basket, pour the wine. Or head out to the terrace to drink and dine beneath bright blue skies, with steaks sizzling on the barbie and a freshly tossed salad on the table. Or eat by the pool and dive in after dinner.
There’s a monster terrace, country comforts and fine food on offer at The Frogmill Inn. Kick things off with Josper-fired chicken lollipops, then try the grilled salmon ramen with vermicelli noodles and bamboo. Or will it be The Wheatsheaf Inn, with its beautiful beer gardens, whiskey-cured venison carpaccio and Cotswold lamb?
Head into Cheltenham to Le Champignon Sauvage, where sophisticated dining and a stunning setting whisper their promises across the white linen. At 131, tuck into smoky slabs of peachy pink lamb beneath bejewelled chandeliers. Or try The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie, offering sophistication laced with a populist appeal.
Bedrooms at Foxcote are beamed and beautiful: classic country creations dressed to perfection and begging you to slide between the sheets and doze to the deep hush that hangs beneath the dark Cotswold skies.
Six bedrooms here sleep 12 and celebrate the art of country chic. The master is a kingsize en-suite, while bedroom two comes equipped with twin antique beds and features an adjacent shower room with enticing bathtub. Bedroom three, offering two singles next to the master, is ideal for kids.
Bedrooms four and five are attic kingsize rooms sharing a shower room, while bedroom six provides two singles with the possibility of linking to form a double. This room and bedroom three have the potential for adding a cot, to provide extra accommodation.
With a swimming pool, tennis court, games room and gardens and grounds to explore, there’s plenty to keep the kids occupied.
Children will love being outdoors, with a zip wire, tennis court, pool and great gardens to host a teddy bears picnic! Older children will take advantage of the games room, with pool table, board games, and a TV with plenty of DVD’s to choose from. And for the little ones, there’s a high chair and cot available, as well as plenty of books, toys and DVD’s.
With so many days out to enjoy from Roman Villas, to animal spotting at Cotswold Farm Park, children will love Foxcote Grange just as much as the adults.