Europe Travel · May 15, 2024

24 Hours in the Cotswolds

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This time last week, in the midst of a week of blissful sunshine which felt like the first proper taste of British summertime, I was invited for an evening in the Cotswolds with If Only If (the most beautiful nightwear brand, who I’ll get to in a moment) and Sand and Stone Escapes; home to some of the U.K’s cosiest chocolate-box cottages and holiday escapes- for what can only be described as the late-spring equivalent to a Cameron Diaz in The Holiday moment (and all in the name of work!? I BEG YOUR PARDON).

Even after 15 years of tapping away giddily online, I still pinch myself that overnight trips like this are part of my job. To have the opportunity to really discover a brand close up, talk to the creative mind behind it (hello, Emily!) and experience (and therefore hopefully recommend) somewhere lovely to bookmark and share, feels like it categorically shouldn’t be called work at all- and is definitely one of the very special parts of doing what I do.




Now, if you’ve visited the Cotswolds before, you’ll know that aiming to cover much ground in 24 hours is a little ambitious, and an escape to the countryside is certainly sweeter when you’re not rushing about- so an evening cosied up in Lower Slaughter felt like a really beautiful place to start. We arrived in time for lunch at The Fox Inn Broadwell, which was everything you’d hope for a pub lunch and more. Put it this way- anywhere that does classic dishes well gets my vote, and serving everything from prawns with lemon in a dimpled beer glass, crisp buttermilk fried chicken and very, very good burgers are the pillars of a great lunch for me.




I’d say ‘there’s something about the Cotswolds that feels like climbing into every pastoral novel you’ve ever read’- but it’s not something, it’s everything. By 4pm alone I’d seen three people comfortably set up outside, painting at leisure and a couple picnicking next to the river as the late afternoon sun got lower and the stream rolled by next to them- it’s like the place just knows what it has to do to completely woo you and have you reaching for your nightdress ready for dinner…

…which is funny because after a wander outside our cottage (which was 3 The Square, and the most perfect little bolthole in the most stunning setting- with the delights that are Carrie and Charlotte)- it was time for dinner, and to pull on this beauty of a nightdress from If Only If, which feels too beautiful for bed (but I can also attest to the fact they make for the comfiest and most stunning nightwear too, having worn them from pregnancy until now)! There’s something so elegant about their pieces and the way they move and feel (which is a huge testament to owner Emily’s careful eye for fabric choices) and all of which have subtle feminine nods to the past- all whilst feeling completely wearable and versatile, which just makes them so special.



Our dinner was at the beautiful Wood Farm House along in Whichford- which is one of the most beautiful houses I’ve been to (which makes it even better that you can book it to stay, too)! Although we were here for a delicious supper cooked By Matilda, I couldn’t help but fawn at all the interiors and attention to detail in this beautiful space (which sleeps 10, so could make for the most perfect spot for a girlie getaway or big family staycation)- and I was taking serious design notes from the bedrooms to the airy dining room sitting area and perfectly pruned and flower-show worthy garden- a dream!






Although we weren’t away for long, it was the perfect proper introduction to this stunning part of the country which I’ve barely scratched the surface of (how?!), and I’m so excited to be back soon for a little holiday and further explore of this special place.




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