This week we’re escaping to the rolling hills of the Cotswolds for a stay at dreamy Badminton Cottage. Owned by renowned interior designer Jo Berryman, Badminton Cottage pulls off a clever mix of stunning style, whilst remaining homely and relaxed. It’s the kind of place you can kick off your shoes, grab a glass of wine and play Cluedo in front of the log fire on a chilly afternoon…
A big lawned garden wraps around this 16th-century stone farmhouse. Inside, chic rooms spill into each other, all original wooden beams, flagstone floors, pale grey walls and quirky artwork. Hunker down in the snug and enjoy the huge 60″ TV and eclectic DVD collection or, if you’re feeling active, take advantage of the tennis courts and mountain bikes. This is the perfect base from which to explore the Cotswolds – you’re a short drive from historic Tetbury, Badminton Estate and Westonbirt Arboretum – and housekeeper Carole can arrange any number of outdoor pursuits, from golf lessons to horse riding and archery.
Badminton Cottage is a great rental for friends, with 4-5 double bedrooms, lots of living areas, a massive garden and a gastro pub within strolling distance. Families will love it here, too. The Toad Room was designed with kids in mind and there are 2 baby cots. A tyre swing, kids’ DVDs and lots of games in the cupboard will keep active children entertained, and Carole loves to arrange fun surprises such as treasure hunts for the kids.
This place is very popular, so make sure to book well in advance!
Rooms: There are 4 impeccable double bedrooms in the cottage, and the Garden Studio offers a little more privacy for an additional couple. It has a sweet double bedroom and an ensuite toilet. This area also houses the office/workspace for those who really can’t switch off! All the rooms are, of course, beautifully decorated.
Food: The elegant kitchen is the heart of this gorgeous cottage, and comes complete with a butcher’s block, an original Aga and every possible item in the Le Creuset range, including a fondue kit. The sheer range of cooking equipment and basic provisions blew us away – all the things you’d hope for, plus an astounding array of unexpected extras. On top of this, Carole will bake you a delicious cake and pop a few staples in the fridge, including bread, butter, eggs, milk and a couple of bottles of rosé. It’s a kitchen you want to while away hours in, but if you like to eat more than cook, you can ask Carole to cater for you, wonderful home-cooked suppers that you just pop in the Aga. She rustled up a local pork roast and chocolate fudge cake for us; both were superb. If you want something more formal she can book a chef.
When to go: The cottage is ideal all year round, though it’s closed annually in January. Roaring log fires and a warm and cosy kitchen make for lovely winter breaks, and there’s lots of outside space to take advantage of in the summer months. It gets booked up way in advance for the Badminton Horse Trials (early May).
i-escape gift: a hamper of local produce (bread, butter, eggs, milk), a homemade cake, and 2 bottles of rosé
Press review: “Jo Berryman is a self-confessed city girl with a penchant for rock’n'roll glamour. But when she bought a 16th-century farmhouse in the Cotswolds, she wanted to honour its heritage. Her delight in the character of the house can be felt in every room. The muted shades on the walls pick up on the colours in the original flagstone floors, and Jo’s eclectic mix of antique and vintage furniture gives the place a lived-in mood that’s ideal for relaxed house parties. At heart Jo’s a 21st-century urbanite with an eye for display and her own modern take on country cool. There’s a proliferation of animal skulls and antlers, only these skulls are jewel encrusted, and there’s an equine theme. ‘It’s all quite tongue-in-cheek…whimsical’.”
Living Etc, February 2011
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