I don’t feel like I have seen much of England at all as I have always gone on holidays abroad, and so with a few days off work, Anthony and I decided to do something a bit different and go on a mini break in this country.
We rented a cottage for a week in Brittany last year and absolutely loved it so we decided to do something similar again and rent a cottage so that we could cook our own meals and have a nice cosy place to stay (particularly if the weather turned out to be bad). We knew the kind of holiday we wanted but had no idea where we wanted to stay. I did A LOT of Internet searching and eventually settled on the Cotswolds and found the perfect place.
The Hayloft is a converted 17th century farm building in Little Tew. It is in the grounds of a huge house which has been in the same family for nearly a century, I had serious house envy. I found the Hayloft through Owners Direct although it is also listed on Airbnb. The process of booking it was seamless, the owners were so helpful in answering any questions and when you book a rental through Owners Direct, you are directed to download an app which provides so much useful information, including detailed directions, a list of what is provided in the cottage, and suggestions on things to do in the local area.
Our plan had been to leave home at 6am on Saturday so that we could get to the cottage at about 9am and have a full day but I ended up buying a new car a few days before which couldn’t be picked up until Saturday morning so we didn’t end up leaving until mid-day. The delay was worth it though to pick up my new car, meet Hughie…
My parents kindly bought me a black Corsa when I passed my test and I have had the same car ever since. Stevie was such a good car but after 7 years, I decided that I deserved an upgrade and settled on a white 2015 Ford Fiesta. It is so nice to drive, although I must admit I was quite nervous taking it out on its first journey loaded up with our bikes on the back.
There was so much traffic and so we didn’t get to the cottage until about 4.30pm. I was surprised at how quickly the surroundings changed, we left the motorway and straight away entered another world of quaint villages with chocolate box style thatched cottages. We were so excited when we pulled up to the Hayloft and we ran around all of the rooms taking photos. It was even nicer than it looked online. We unloaded the car straight away, put some music on and made ourselves feel at home.
The cottage was decorated perfectly and had everything that we would need for the holiday without it feeling cluttered or like we were staying in someone else’s home.
The upstairs area is open plan with a kitchen, dining table and living area, 2 bathrooms and a beautiful big bedroom.
There is a vegetable patch in the grounds and the owners kindly left us a basket full of home-grown produce. It was so nice to see all of the misshapen vegetables and we immediately started planning how we would use them.
There is a balcony off of the living area which looks on to the gardens and a field full of cows.
The owners had put a lot of thought into everything and had cookery books, a pile of current magazines, Miller Carter candles in all of the rooms and fresh flowers in the bedroom and lounge area.
I loved this little nook, perfect for getting cosy with a good book.
There was also a big basket with a blanket and plastic plates and cutlery, all ready for a picnic!
The bed was huge with White Company bedding and towels, I slept so well!
After a quick trip to Chipping Norton to stock up on food, we cooked our first meal and lit the candles for a romantic meal for 2.
The food was delicious and the owners kindly left us 2 bottles of wine so we opened a bottle and chatted at the table for hours. It was the perfect way to start our mini holiday.