Even though I think Valentine's Day is a load of consumerist bobbins (like Christmas), I am really an old romantic so have found...Read More
The clocks have gone back, Hallowe'en and Guy Fawkes' night have been and gone: autumn is in full swing. This time last year I was about to leave for 10 days of bliss in Goa and although I am hoping to go again, it probably won't happen until January.
So, for the time being I'm dreaming of escaping the city and cosying up in a country cottage for a few days. Not just any country cottage but The Folly in Didmarton, near Tetbury.
I first came across this gem of a property a few years ago when the interior was featured in a magazine and I fell in love with the decor - a quirky juxtaposition of traditional Cotswold stone and contemporary design.
The Folly dates from the 16th century but the owner, interior designer Jo Berryman, has injected a huge dose of 21st century style all finished to the highest standard. The living room has, according to Jo, a 'glam hunting-lodge feel' and features a vast inglenook fireplace, flagstone floor and a Chesterfield sofa upholstered in the most luxurious of velvets. Twee it most definitely is not.
There are three kingsize bedrooms (two with en-suite) and one double, The Toad Room, which would suit children or equally playful adults.
Nestled in the eaves at the top of the house is the La Reine Suite. There is a plush seating area and a bedroom fit for royalty but it is the bathroom that really has the wow factor. Even I'd be tempted to while away an hour or so in the stunning copper bath tub!
Given that the house is surrounded by fields with horses it's no surprise that there is a subtle equine theme running through the property: from the wooden horse's head in the living room to the fireguard in the Beaufort Suite, their influence is in every room.
Outside there is a separate, self-contained studio - I can imagine spending days in here beavering away on my laptop or with a sketch book before retiring to the house for a hearty dinner of homemade stew.
The eclectic mix of vintage and antique furniture stands out among the cottage's more traditional features but it all comes together to create an edgy country style which I just love. There's not a hint of Cath Kidston or Emma Bridgewater here. No ditsy prints or oilcloth, just the right amount of urban luxe without bringing too much London to the countryside. It's all very me.
If this place was a person it would definitely be Kate Moss: quintessentially English with a rock 'n' roll heart.
I shall leave my Hunter wellies at the door and if anyone needs me I'll be sipping on a vodka and tonic (slimline, natch) by the fire!
The Folly is available to hire all year round, visit thefollyluxurycottage.com for details.
All images via thefollyluxurycottage.com