Sometimes my heart sinks when I see the word ‘self catered’. With two small children and limited brain capacity, I start to wonder if I really want to start packing up one of everything- from washing up liquid to black pepper- to use in a kitchen far from home which could easily turn out to have one small saucepan and not enough knives.
Every single one of my preconceived ideas on the matter however was swept away when we arrived at ‘Longbarrow’, our stable home for 3 days on The Farm at Avebury.
Not only was the beautifully designed kitchen better stocked that our one at home, it also came complete with a bottle of the farm’s ABVRY rapeseed oil, the farm produce that we’d ordered in advance (sausages, mince, bacon) and that all important washing up liquid in a chic glass dispenser. Things were going to be OK.
Let me set the scene (in case you haven’t seen the multitude of social media photos of this serious hotspot yet). The farm itself has been in the Hues family for over 100 years and sits at the heart of neolithic Britain – inside the Avebury World Heritage site. Current ‘custodians of the land’ are the powerhouse duo that is Rob and Alice.
It’s Alice who I meet with after 2 blissful days spent enjoying our luxury stable (of which there are six, all of them unique). We chat in the Orchard playground which is just as idyllic as it sounds, and almost as popular as the courtyard outside our stable which has miniature tractors for the little ones to whizz about on.
We’ve spent our time visiting the newly arrived piglets (one day we made six trips to see them and the 2 year old sobbed saying goodbye), popping into Marlborough to sample the excellent independent coffee shops (Coffi Lab was the favourite), convincing ourselves we really want a goat like those at Gourmet Goat Farmer and truly deeply relaxing in the utterly breathtaking accommodation.
Alice is endlessly modest about what they have created, but alongside the interior design expertise of Polly Ashman the stables really do have the wow factor. Farrow and Ball colours, bold patterns, perfect lighting – it’s all there. Yet they’ve also thought about the littlest things – like a night light in the kid’s room and Bramley products so you don’t have to bring your own soap.
As well as this utterly dreamy accommodation offering, the farm has two brilliant event spaces with ‘The Granary’ seating 10 people (think shoot lunches and family meet ups) and ‘The Barn’ seating up to 42 people (small wedding take over perhaps?!).
There’s so much opportunity here. I’d genuinely recommend it to anyone, in any season. A winter visit for us was fabulously cosy and our children loved every element of the adventure. I’ve floated the idea to other parent friends of meeting up en masse here – each family gets their own space, yet you’re all close by and can drink wine together in the evenings as the children play/sleep/don’t sleep.
Equally, out of school holidays it could be the perfect base for a mini break for couples wanting a countryside spot to explore that’s close to London and indulgently comfortable. Or perhaps you might want to head there solo, with no plans but to embrace the fresh air, farm produce and see where the wind takes you. (Oh, and they’re dog friendly too – see, they are actually perfect)
To find availability and book your break click here or speak to the lovely team by calling 07790 026 363