Chase away the city cobwebs at The Drovers, just an hour from London and gazing out at a village common aching for a spot of cricket. Walk the Chiltern Way. Climb for views across the Turville Valley with the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang windmill offering an iconic focus in the near distance.
Sleeping 12 family and friends in seven bedrooms, The Drovers is a dog-friendly delight in an acre of land and an abundance of space and peace. It comes with the odd toy or two as well. Celebrate the warmer months in the 17-metre heated outdoor pool or sit out on the sunbeds as the kids make like mermaids. On your doorstep you’ll find beautiful walks through fields and woodland within the scenic Chiltern Hills.
Get together in the living room and annex for Sky TV, or Netflix over the BT Infinity Wi-Fi. Dive into the DVDs. Make it a Mario night on the Nintendo Switch. Cook in the fully equipped kitchen with fresh fare from the Watlington Farmers’ Market and wine from Chiltern Valley Winery. Sleep in luxurious White Company linen and make sure you bag the TV bed.
Bring the dog for the whole acre of fenced garden and bring the kids for the 17-metre heated outdoor pool, open from April to September. Towel off and it’s on to the croquet, cricket, rounders, trampoline, badminton, spike ball and crazy catch.
Stay outside for the kids’ play area and for grown-up-free picnics up in the treehouse. Fire up the coal barbecue and eat out on the terrace beneath the big Chiltern sky, then chill on the sunbeds or on the terrace table and chairs by the pool or the conservatory. Extend the day with firepit marshmallows.
Inside The Drovers, all comes dressed in a simple palette of sumptuous elegance. The interiors layer smart hardwood floors and rugs with heavy curtains, classical sofas and bright, light, airy reception rooms. There are places to meet, places to escape to, a fire to light and a bookcase to raid.
For the competitive, the games room offers the chance to win holiday bragging rights over table tennis, American pool, table football and darts. And the Drovers also comes with a gym that wants for nothing, including watt bike, a cross-trainer, a treadmill, free weights, rowing machine, bench press and more.
There’s a big-screen TV in the lounge and another in the snug for alternative viewing. Pick from Netflix and a basic Sky menu, raid the DVDs, or bring your password for Amazon Prime Video. Keep singing sweetly with the Sonos and Bluetooth. Counter Mario and Luigi withdrawal with the Nintendo Switch.
The kitchen looks as delicious as the hearty meals you’ll no doubt magic-up. Or maybe you won’t. Ask us about a private chef for the duration of your stay or maybe just for a special occasion. Whoever cooks will enjoy the use of two ovens and five burners in the main house and one more plus four burners in the annex.
Fill your various fridges with fine local produce from Waitrose, Gail’s deli in Henley and The Orange Bakery in Watlington. Enjoy your fizz with a local flavour from the Chiltern Valley Winery and Brewery. Take away delicious Indian food from Spice Merchant in Henley, Thai from Giggling Squid and Italian from Pizza Express.
Eat around the kitchen table with spare capacity on bar chairs around the island, or out in the garden next to the pool or outside the conservatory. Loosen your belts and finish off with a Nespresso. Alternatively, walk to The Bull and Butcher in Turville at the base of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang windmill. Cameras at the ready.
Tuck into coq-au-vin with creamy mash at The Frog in Skirmett, slow-roasted pork belly in front of a blazing fire at The Chequers Inn, or steamed St Austell Bay mussels at The Bistro at The Boathouse. Try pink-carved venison from The Crooked Billet or pan-fried veal escallops at Italian eatery Villa Marina.
The Drovers sits along a long, winding, single-track road in the quiet of the Turville Valley. Surrounded by fields and woodland, it’s safe to say you’ll sleep well in the hush in seven bedrooms designed for twelve.
The Blue room (master) is pure Hollywood, with a superking bed, two private en-suites and a TV bed that rises from bespoke cabinetry. There’s room for a cot. The Silver room sleeps two in a kingsize and is served by a private bathroom on the landing, while the Navy room and Green room are singles that share a Jack and Jill bathroom.
The Mizzle room on the ground floor of the annex is a double with private en-suite bathroom and the Pink room provides twin beds and a private en-suite shower room. The Long Room in the annex offers a superking with room for a cot plus access to a shower room downstairs.
If you haven’t done so already, this might be a great time to introduce your kids to the wonders of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The iconic windmill is walkable from here and just as recognisable as ever. Just don’t drive into the duck pond. Elsewhere, there’s all kinds of fun going on – with not a child catcher in sight.
Grown-ups will love the space and peace here, but children will simply dive in, head first. And why not? You can literally do that in the 17-metre heated outdoor pool open from April to September. There’s also an acre to explore with up to a dozen family members plus dog, plus swings, slide, climbing frame and treehouse.
Back dry-side, you can make hours vanish over American pool, table tennis, table football and darts in the games room. And older kids will enjoy tweaking their teenage profiles in the well-equipped gym, with its watt bike, Concept2 rowing machine, treadmill, cross-trainer, free weights and much more.
Pick from smart TVs in the living room and annex with Sky TV and Netflix on tap. Bring your password for Amazon Prime Video. Stream your box sets and blockbusters over the BT Infinity Wi-Fi or dip into the DVD pile. Is there a games console? Of course there is. Invite Mario and Luigi round on the Nintendo Switch.