Home Farm Cottage, Gloucestershire: A luxurious little sister

This elegant rental is the latest venture of renowned Cotswolds hotel Barnsley House. Laura Holt settles in

In 1984, Brian and Barbara Ball bought Calcot Manor, a 14th-century pile just outside the Gloucestershire town of Tetbury. With their son, Richard, they went about converting it into a handsome hotel, which 30 years later, remains one of the Cotswolds' most eminent retreats.

With the help of former guests, the Stones, they set their sights on the charming, golden-stone village of Barnsley, further east. It was here that they took over Barnsley House in 2009, with its gorgeous grounds designed by the revered horticulturalist, Rosemary Verey, and its adjacent Village Pub. Not content to stop there, they have recently leased a local house in the village and turned it into a luxury rental. If it all sounds a bit "Padstein", fear not. Only a discreet sign points the way to Home Farm Cottage.

THE ROOMS

The word "cottage" is something of an understatement. Downstairs, there's a huge country-style kitchen with views of the gardens, complete with a parasol-shaded table and swings for children. There are two ground-floor lounges. The first, a formal "adults' room", has a basket of books and grown-up armchairs. The second has an enormous flat-screen television, stacks of board games, piles of magazines, a PlayStation 2 and a selection of DVDs.

To the back, is a dining room that seats eight where you can arrange for the chefs at Calcot Manor to come and rustle you up a special meal (from £55pp). Upstairs, there are three bedrooms, with Aromatherapy Associates products, fluffy white robes and a claw-foot tub in the master suite.

The master ensuite with its clawfoot tub The master ensuite with its clawfoot tub The interiors were overseen by Nicky Farquhar, design director for Calcot Hotels. She has kept the muted Cotswold palette intact, while lifting the space with botanical prints, that nod to Barnsley House's green-fingered roots, plus contemporary canvases by artist Ben Lowe.

OUT AND ABOUT

One of the perks of staying at Home Farm Cottage, is that you get to use the facilities at Barnsley House, too. That includes free-of-charge tennis courts; complimentary use of the pool, sauna and steam room at the Garden Spa (treatments from £40); and gratis access to the 30-seat cinema, which hosts regular screenings. There's also the chance to book lunch, afternoon tea or dinner at the Potager Restaurant and grab a table at the snug Village Pub (01285 740421; thevillagepub.co.uk).

You're also spoilt for choice with nearby villages to explore. Drive through Lower and Upper Slaughter, with their creamy Cotswold-stone houses, then cross the A429 to the larger and livelier Bourton-on-the-Water, where you'll find riverside tea rooms, antiques shops and a decent fish-and-chip restaurant in The Wind-rush Cafe (01451 820894; windrushgardencafe.co.uk).

Further afield, Burford beckons with its quaint hillside high street. The town's beautiful St John the Baptist church was bursting with blossom two weeks ago, but Burford's traditional Sweet Shop (01993 824 344) and Huffkins Bakery (01993 822126; huffkins.com) provide diversions whatever the season. At the bottom of the hill, drop into Mrs Bumbles (01993 822209; mrsbumbles.co.uk), a grocer's and delicatessen that has recently come under new ownership. The husband-and-wife team includes Sally, a trained cordon bleu chef, who makes cakes and other delicacies from the back-room kitchen.

Pretty Bourton on- the-Water Pretty Bourton on- the-Water FOOD AND DRINK

When you arrive at Home Farm Cottage, there's a wicker hamper waiting, loaded with homemade croissants, pains au chocolat, waffles, muffins and bread. There's also eggs, ham and cheese in the fridge, plus yogurt, melon and fresh orange juice.

Generous though it is, it would be a shame to spend all your time eating indoors. Outside, delicious gastropubs and converted coaching inns abound. Highly recommended is the recently opened Five Alls in Filkins (01367 860875; thefiveallsfilkins.co.uk) which serves open ravioli (£7) and duck confit (£17.95) beside crackling fires, or The Wheatsheaf in Northleach (01451 860 244; cotswoldswheatsheaf.com), where the orange blossom Martini (£9.50) and crab linguini (£16) went down a treat.

For a lively Sunday lunch, aim for The Wild Rabbit in Kingham (01608 658 389; thewildrabbit.co.uk), which serves the likes of pan-fried brill with scallops (£26) down the road from Lady Bamford's extensive Daylesford Organic Farm (01608 731 700; daylesford.com). The estate's cafe, shop, spa and boutique are open year round, but the working farm is only accessible on specific dates. This weekend, they are doing lambing for Easter – the next open day is 17 May.

After that, crash out back at the cottage, which by now, will feel like, Home.

THE ESSENTIALS

Home Farm Cottage, Barnsley, Gloucestershire, GL7 5EE (01285 740000; bit.ly/HomeFarm). Three-night breaks from £1,350. Sleeps six.

Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Bid Writer

    £25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific