Crown Cottage

Church Enstone, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom Book from Book from £160 per night

In the pretty hamlet of Church Enstone, a cute-as-a-button Cotswold cottage with a couple of aces up its sleeve (sleeps 2-4)
From the moment you step inside, this cosy Cotswold cottage invites total relaxation. The ground-floor living room sets the scene with colourful kilims and artworks, a pre-laid fire in a giant hearth, leather armchairs piled with pretty cushions, fresh flowers on the coffee table. Upstairs is a glorious bedroom with fluffy duvets and tree-framed views - a perfect spot to hole up with a loved one. In the eaves, a charming attic bathroom, tucked under thick gnarled beams.

So far, so perfect. But there’s more. Outside the kitchen (equipped with everything from coffee machine to Cotswold honey), there's a patio with a dining table for four. Why four? Because next door sits an equally chic add-on bedroom; ideal if you want to come with another couple. And next door the other way - the real trump card - The Crown Inn serves superb dinners and fireside ales when you're feeling lazy. It also offers five cosy bedrooms in case the cottage is full, or if you just want to stay one night. Overseeing both inn and cottage are lovely Victoria (responsible for all those stylish, spoiling touches) and George Irvine (an accomplished artist), helped by their super-friendly young team. It's a winning hand.

Highs

  • The location has impeccable Cotswold credentials: a few miles from Soho Farmhouse, the Tews, Chipping Norton and Charlbury
  • The cottage is perfect for either one or two couples, with space for a cot too; bring your parents, your baby, or just yourselves
  • George's unique artworks - impressionistic landscapes, vivid oils, trick-of-the-eye photos - bring colour and class to the interiors
  • Food and wine at the inn are of the highest quality - proper gastropub fare
  • The cottage is equally spoiling: an emperor-size bed, silky bathrobes, stacks of 100 Acre toiletries, and more

Lows

  • The set-up won't suit families with younger kids, as the cottage and studio are completely separate (fine for self-sufficient teenagers though)
  • There's no garden, and the patio is fenced; but there's plenty of rolling countryside on your doorstep
  • Not great for the very tall (though the bathroom eaves have strategically placed padding) or the less agile
  • Longer stays (Monday-Friday, Friday-Monday or whole weeks) are preferred in the cottage

Best time to go

The cottage is open all year. We visited in midwinter, and loved snuggling up in the firelit sitting room after a lazy soak in the attic bathtub. The studio is equally cosy, with underfloor heating and its own pride-of-place bathtub. In spring, Chipping Norton punches above its weight with an impressive classical music festival (March) and literary events (April). In summer, the Cotswolds really come to life, with fantastic formal gardens, flower and bird shows, and festivals such as Wilderness (early August) and Alex James' Big Cheese Hub (late August).

Our top tips

The Crown Inn can get busy: you're well advised to book a table on Friday or Saturday evenings, or Sunday lunchtimes. Bear in mind that Enstone only has one smallish food shop (closed on Sunday afternoons), and that The Crown Inn is also closed for dinner on Sundays. This strikes me as the perfect excuse to buy a 'real meal' or homemade soup from Daylesford Organic Farm (20 mins' drive), or to cook up a mini feast of your own in the cottage's surprisingly well equipped kitchen.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Cottage Rental
  • 1-2
  • Self-catering (+ pub next door)
  • Under 2s & over 14s welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

On the first floor is a spacious but still cosy bedroom, with beamed ceilings, part-panelled walls, and a glorious super-kingsize double (or twin) bed stacked with snow-white pillows and fluffy hypoallergenic duvets. We slept long and late. Two windows look out past the last houses of Church Enstone to fields and woodland. Pretty touches include russet rugs and lambswool blinds, a desk with Roberts radio, a vintage chest of drawers, and further storage cleverly integrated into an obsolete stairwell.

Up another flight, the lovely attic bathroom has space for a walk-in shower and double-ended tub tucked under thick gnarled beams. There are big bottles of 100 Acre toiletries, soft bathrobes and strategically placed leather padding on the eaves in case you stand up from the loo without checking!

Next door, the equally stylish add-on studio has a part-screened bedroom (kingsize double), its own small sitting area (leather sofa, TV) and an open-plan bathroom (feature tub, glass shower cubicle) all on one level. I could imagine my parents loving this self-contained and step-free annex; or perhaps a second couple with baby wanting a soundproofed sanctuary of their own.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Ipod dock
  • Oven
  • Radio
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • Tumble dryer
  • TV
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

The smart little rear-facing kitchen is excellently equipped with all the requisite cooking, chopping and coffee-making appliances, plus some equally appreciated indulgences like beautiful glazed cups, a giant salad bowl, a floral-red water jug, and slow-burning candles for romantic dinners a deux. There’s seating inside for two (or four at a squeeze), and outside in the patio for four (in comfort). Staples are provided - oil, salt, cleaning products - as well as some lovely, locally sourced extras: clear set honey, Pot-of-What jam, amazing Tiddly Pommes apple juice.

If you don't fancy cooking, pop next door to The Crown Inn for outstanding gastropub fare, from beetroot ravioli with goats cheese and pine nuts, to crispy pork belly with chorizo and butternut squash fondant. Friday is fish-and-chip night, Sunday lunch is all about roasts. There are also salads, pies, steaks and veggie options including an excellent halloumi burger. Dishes are presented in artful, manageable portions - which leaves room for a limoncello cheesecake afterwards, or a raspberry and white chocolate creme brulee by the fireside if you prefer.

There are plenty of other eateries nearby, including Wild Thyme or Thai Shire in Chipping Norton (10 mins' drive), and the much-touted Daylesford Organic Farm near Kingham (20 mins).

Features include:

  • Coffee / tea making
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Footpaths lead from the door, past the cottages and handsome church of Enstone, along the Glyme Valley: the undulating open countryside is suitable for horse riding or mountain biking too.
  • Don't miss the honeypot village of Great Tew, with its thatched cottages, striking Norman church, and perhaps the country's snuggliest pub, The Falkland Arms.
  • Browse antique shops in Chipping Norton, art galleries in Stow-on-the-Wold, or eco-friendly gins and whiskies at the Cotswold Distillery.
  • It's only 15 mins' drive to Woodstock, where stately Blenheim Palace lords it over magnificently landscaped lakes and gardens - famously called 'the finest view in England' by Churchill (actually Lord Randolph Churchill though Winston might well have said the same).
  • There's plenty more, including fishing, clay pigeon shooting and wonderful gardens at Hidcote Manor (National Trust), Rousham and Batsford Arboretum.

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Fishing
  • Garden visits
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Shooting
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

The cottage accepts babies (up to 2 years, bring your own cot) and older children (aged 14+), but not normally those aged 3-13. This is because the adjoining studio is separate from the rest of the cottage, with its own entrance, so younger children might feel too disconnected from their parents. If you would still like to request a stay with children in the 3-13 age bracket, you can do so via our enquiry form.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years)

Families Should Know:

If coming with a baby, note that you'll have to bring your own cot.

Kid Friendly:

Location

Crown Cottage is in the Cotswolds village of Church Enstone in Oxfordshire, about halfway from Woodstock to Chipping Norton.

By Air:
London Heathrow is your best bet if arriving from overseas; or try Luton, Bristol or Birmingham. Kidlington airfield (Oxford) receives private flights if you're feeling flush.

By Car:
A car is recommended, not just for getting there but also for exploring the area and buying provisions. It's 1.5-2 hours' drive from Birmingham, Bristol or London. See our car hire recommendations.

By Public Transport:
You could take the train to Oxford or Stratford and then a taxi, or the bus from Oxford to Enstone (from where the cottage is a 10-min walk).

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • London Heathrow 100.0 km LHR
  • London Luton 100.0 km LTN

Other:

  • Beach 150.0 km
  • Shops 1.0 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Rates for Crown Cottage

Check Availability