Nestled within the picturesque setting of the rural Cotswolds, Stable Cottage embodies the perfect ‘get-away-from-it-all’ location. The newest addition to the Beachspoke family, this idyllic cottage is set within the grounds of a Victorian Farmhouse in the tiny village of Salford. Serviced only by the local pub and nearby church, Stable Cottage really is the epitome of an English country ‘bolthole’.
As my boyfriend and I drove through the sleepy Cotswold villages and towards our destination, it was hard not to be overawed by the sheer beauty of the endless rolling hills and lush green pastures. A stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of city life, it really felt as if we were driving into a bygone era, one where life was simpler and time slowed down.
The cottage itself is tucked away down a small winding lane that leads to a private entrance, shared only by the owners. As the automated gateway opened, we drove round the beautiful main house and pulled up outside what was to be our home for the next few days.
The cottage was even more charming than we imagined, with its honey-coloured Cotswold stone walls, pastel green stable door and inviting private patio. Eager to venture inside, we grabbed all of our bags and bolted out of the car.
The first thing that struck me was the complete silence that surrounded us, save for our own feet walking through the gravel. The second was the clean fresh air that I was breathing in, both things a luxury when living and working in a metropolitan city.
Inside we were welcomed by the airy living room, which boasted a contemporary wood-burner, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, a large comfy sofa, an extensive selection of board games, and a striking reclaimed street lamp that hung from the ceiling. The exposed timber beams, high ceilings and whitewashed walls were a theme throughout the cottage, adding to the juxtaposition between rustic and modern.
Connected to the living room on one side was the fully-fitted kitchen featuring a small table and chairs, perfect for enjoying a lazy Sunday breakfast with all the local treats we were sure to acquire – in fact the milk is so fresh that you can probably hear the cow from whence it came mooing outside.
A king-size bed awaits you in the double bedroom, complete with Egyptian cotton linen and Hungarian goose down pillows that beckon you to sleep. Large double doors open out onto a private patio area, ideal for alfresco dining on warm summer evenings. The luxurious en suite bathroom possesses a waterfall shower and is complimented by the organic Bamford products which are supplied locally.
The owner of the property, Nigel, was sure to be on hand at our request. He recommended some nearby restaurants for us to try during our stay, one of which, The King’s Head Inn, he described as having ‘Farmers, chippies, Lords and Ladies all dining next to one another.’ As we discovered that evening, Nigel’s description had been very accurate. His recommendation was also justified by the delectable food that was presented to us.
The King’s Head Inn embodied what a small English country pub should look like: low ceilings, rustic timber beams, little nooks for intimate conversations, and a woodburning fire crackling in the corner. A family-owned establishment, it was easy to see how this local favourite had won UK Pub of the Year for 2018.
We sipped the last few drops of our Cotswold gin and tonics, and made our way back to the cottage where we set the woodburner going and settled down with a hot brew and a good film, the cosy blanket provided draped over the both of us.
The next morning we woke up after a blissful night’s sleep to the magical spectacle of snow. The scene created for us as we peered out of the window was something from a fairytale, as thick flakes flurried past and subsequently melted on the ground.
A visit to the nearby Daylesford Farm allowed us to stock up on all sorts of organic treats, from handmade cakes to cheese produced at the farm, fresh cuts of meat, and locally produced wine. After a delicious lunch we set off to explore the area surrounding Salford on foot.
Home to the most romantic street in Britain, Lower Slaughter did not disappoint. The winding stream, quaint cottages, old mill, 17th century manor house and stony bridges looked like something out of a painting. The whole village remained hushed aside from a team of ducks who were happily quacking as they marched along.
Bourton-on-the-water, nicknamed the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ was equally as beautiful. Antique shops and small tea rooms were tucked away down country lanes, and the reflection of the honey-coloured cottages glistened in the river. As it began to snow again, we made our way back to Stable cottage to warm up in front of the fire and play a game of Scrabble.
Dinner that evening was enjoyed at The Chequers in the village of Churchill, where the fusion of old and new meant that we could enjoy hearty food alongside delicate cocktails. Timber beams and Old English memorabilia were complimented by modern furnishings and candlelit tables.
As we arrived back at the cottage and settled down for our last evening there, it was evident that neither of us wanted to leave. A simply charming abode, Stable Cottage had provided us with the perfect rural retreat, a luxury haven in the very heart of the English countryside.