Soho Farmhouse | UK WEDDING BLOG

facebook-profile-picture By Rebecca
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Afternoon! Can we talk about Soho Farmhouse?? You are in for a treat today as we’re giving an exclusive insider look at probably the UK’s coolest place to spend a couple of days. We fell head over heels in love with it and fear that going back to a regular hotel will never be the same again. Set on over 100 acres of countryside there are no basic rooms, just little house on the prairie style cabins complete with your own retro bike with your name on and dreamy outdoor baths. There’s a boating lake, a cinema, three gorgeous restaurants, a Cowshed spa, an indoor outdoor pool, a gym, a vegetable garden, stables for horse riding, even crazy golf and retro converted milk floats to transport you around it all. It’s nothing like your regular UK boutique escape, this is a you’ve died and gone to heaven grown up super posh version of Centre Parcs. One newspaper called it a Boho Butlins {actually get that Butlins image out of your head right now}…

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If you don’t know about the Soho House group, it’s a private members club set up by Nick Jones for creative media types {and er, celebs}. It first started in London and has since expanded to open Houses for members across the world. Most are in cities but along with Babington House in Somerset, Soho Farmhouse in the Cotswolds is the second country estate for the group. Whilst it’s predominantly members only, you can book as a non-member like we did. You’ll need to email the reservations address on the website and ask for their booking calendar, they’ll send you a link that is live for only twenty four hours and you can book a room that way. Although beware, they only release a few weeks ahead of time so it can be tricky to get booked in far in advance and it is incredibly popular {this Christmas was booked up by members a whole year in advance!}. Once you get past this though it is by far worth the slight booking hassle and once you arrive, it is seriously out of this world.

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I’ll start with a disclaimer and a spoiler alert, Soho House don’t like you taking photos. Partly to protect the privacy of it’s members but I think also to maintain a bit of mystery about the whole thing. It was the first place that we’d been to where you actually don’t know all that much about it and that made for a much better stay. The excitement and the unknown made it so much more amazing whilst we were there – and that’s coming from the girl who normally hates surprises! So by all means, read on and have a sneak peek but if you are seriously thinking of visiting then I would possibly skip past some of the below and wait to experience it all for yourself. It’s nice to have a few surprises. And if you do visit then be aware of the House rules where you can’t take photos or post on social media. I mean, it seems kind of counter intuitive in this day and age and especially when they’ve made everything so so gorgeous? But I also get where they’re coming from and whilst we were allowed to take some photos for this article, there were a few places where it was strictly forbidden {even by their PR team} and it was actually really lovely to sit back and enjoy it all from my eyes rather than through a phone or camera.

The Insta worthy interiors start from the moment you arrive at the Gate House;img_5867

We arrived just before lunch. Cabins aren’t ready before 4pm but you can arrive anytime that day to relax around the farm and by asking for an early check in, ours was actually ready by 2. You arrive at the Gate House to drop you car keys and luggage before the fun begins. A milk float {yes a gorgeous mint green, leather seated converted milk float} arrives to take you down to the main farm.

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img_5881 img_5892 You’ll soon discover that everything is set around the main Farmyard and beautiful courtyard.

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We started with lunch, there’s a farm shop and deli for lighter fayre and snacks all day long or the Main Barn for more of a sit down restaurant.

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We went into the Main Barn and had wood fired pizzas. I’m sure it won’t be the last time that I say just how damn perfect Soho House’s decor is. It’s just perfection, from the plumped cushions in just the right shade to cosy open fires, autumnal planting in galvanised farm troughs and the chunkiest reclaimed wood panelling and floors. It all just works and I wish we could have moved in. There’s a gorgeous outdoor seating area in the main courtyard to sit and relax or work.

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There was so much to see and do, we didn’t know which way to turn first. We decided to enjoy the sunshine with a walk to the Boat House for a row across the lake and go for a swim in the indoor/outdoor pool. We were so lucky with the weather and the views across the Cotswolds countryside from the jetty were to die for. One of those perfect September days.

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From the pool we tested out the spa, there’s a sauna and steam room underneath the main swimming pool but also an outdoor version by the boat jetty with romantic outdoor wooden hot tubs. Even just the showers and towel areas were Pinterest worthy, and those canoes!! LOVE.

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The pool is heated to 29 degrees year round so even on a cold day you can swim outside.

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There’s a Cowshed spa if you want treatments. I loved the idea of the mud room and the giant tubs for couples who want to wallow away the afternoon sipping champagne or having a massage in the double treatment room next door.

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We had a look in the gym, which puts on about 5 classes a day you can book onto and somehow Soho House makes even working out look cool and feel like a treat. Next to that is Pen Yen, a Japanese restaurant and pool bar with on trend palm leaf print seats and comfy sofas to sit and look out onto the water. I think it was my favourite spot across the whole resort.

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After that, our cabin was ready. There are forty in total, ours was a studio for two but they go right up to 3 bed two-storey houses {along with a cute cottage or big farmhouse to rent}.

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They’re all spread out across the site, with bikes and the milk floats to get you around. Our luggage was delivered and waiting for us and our assigned Farm butler showed us around. We had our trendy Foffa bikes waiting outside for us along with a huge stack of wood for cosy fires.

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We were spoilt with a log-burner, a huge ridiculously comfy bed, a mini kitchen complete with treats {cookies, bread, granola and cheese} waiting for us, a cocktail shaker and even a hamper and rug for if you felt like going for a picnic. They’d thought of everything.

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I think my favourite thing of all though was the dream of all dreams, an outdoor bath tub on the terrace with a stool full of Cowshed bubble baths and body washes to use. Our cabin sat over a little stream, it was like a fairytale. We could have moved in for about a month. It’s really lovely how you could self-cater to an extent, but still use all the facilities. It felt like a cross between renting a cottage in the countryside whilst staying at a top hotel.

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One of the house rules is no corporate dressing. You’re actively encouraged to spend your day out of clothes full stop {er no, it’s not that kind of place though} and it’s the norm to cycle around in your dressing gown from your cabin to the pool or spa. And we pretty much did just that. So much fun!

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It’s the sort of feel that you can’t really describe to people just how laid back and crazy yet still very classy it is until you visit for yourself.

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I haven’t even mentioned the cinema yet! Or the stables for horse riding, the pub, cooking school or the crazy golf. I’d actually say that you need at least two nights, or two full days with one night, to have time to fit everything in. The electric cinema in an old Barn was incredible and all the films are included in your stay. We were just one night too early for Bridget Jones {much to Ben’s delight I’m sure}. You can find it by going through the Greenhouse and pretty herb garden.

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Beyond that are the vegetable gardens to provide homegrown produce for the kitchens.

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And opposite you’ll find the main Farmhouse in that iconic Cotswolds stone and a lavender lined pathway. Perfect for groups, it has seven bedrooms! I love the deckchairs all in a row.

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How gorgeous is this bar in an old watermill. There are just so many aspects to this place.

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We loved exploring on our bikes and just soaking it all up.

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At times we felt like we could be in the American Mid West, on some great farm or starring in Little House in the Prairie. It felt distinctly British yet also like it could have been somewhere far away from home. I guess that’s the beauty of somewhere like this, a pure escape from reality whilst only being a couple of hours from home. A Soho Farmhouse fairytale bubble that we never wanted to end.

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For dinner there are about four different choices of dining, varying on the day of the week as to what’s open. We chose Fancy Farm, a finer approach to dining out of them all. Candelit and set in the rafters of the main barn, it’s pretty and romantic.

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The food was pretty special too. I had scallops with a sweetcorn and pancetta puree to start, followed by Lobster Mac n’ Cheese with a crisp green salad. It was like no other! Ben had pigeon followed by Duck, alll the birds. We can never resist pudding, a banoffee sundae for Ben and a pear and raspberry crumble with vanilla custard. Seriously yum.

img_7349  We opted to walk back to our cabin to try and shift some of the food! But you can call a milk float or get a BMW to take you back if it’s raining. We came back to a cosy cabin and after all the excitement and swimming, a bed that I couldn’t wait to climb into.

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For breakfast, you can either go to the farm shop for porridge pots/pastries/bacon rolls or the main barn for a more cooked sit down affair. Or the best option – if you don’t want to get out of your pjs, then call the breakfast truck to your door! We went to the main barn and had food from the farmhouse table, a help yourself buffet with berries, muffins, smoked salmon, eggs, pastries and the yummiest crepes. But the breakfast truck looked so much fun and will cook you whatever you want. Seriously cool.

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Before we left, we wanted to have one more swim and cycle around the farm. Did we really have to leave that soon? We could have actually stayed for the rest of the day, check out is at 12 but you’re welcome to stay even after that. Ben had to get back for work though and we wanted a quick stop off at Bicester Village on the way home!

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By far the best place we’ve ever stayed in England. Not only was it a proper switch off break, it was both romantic and fun at the same time. A lot of boutique hotels can do romance well, but to have this much fun and quirky extras was really something special. I’ve told Ben that we’re going back as soon as we can get booked in again! The whole thing was just a dream.

I hope I haven’t spoiled too many surprises for you but it was simply too stunning not to share.

You can find out more on their website here. 

Have you been or are you planning to go?? Babington House is next on our list but I don’t think anything can compare after the cabin, milk float world of Farmhouse. Oh and I forgot to mention, our car had been washed for us when we went to check out. A little extra they give to you to end your stay. I mean, where else does that??

R <3 xx

  • Holly

    I’ve been wanting to go here soooooo bad X