I joined Soho House earlier this year, but even with a membership it was a bit difficult to get a weekend reservation at Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire. Originally I had tried to book for the four of us to go, but the family cabins are booked until Spring 2017, so I made a reservation just to go with Husband.
We left London on Friday afternoon. Due to traffic, it took us almost three hours to get there. I would avoid going on Friday afternoon if you are going for a weekend away. I’ve heard other people say they can make it there in about two hours. I remember when we had to drive to Heathrow airport on a friday afternoon. The traffic was awful and I’d definitely recommend you leave early and stay in the Heathrow voco hotel Reading
to make your journey a bit easier. London traffic is just crazy! We arrived and our personal “Stable Hand” gave us a tour around the gorgeous property. Soho Farmhouse includes a main restaurant (The Barn), a Japanese Restaurant (called Pen Yen), a pub, a Cowshed Spa (which includes outdoor hot tubs), horse stables and many horse feeders dotted around the property (good for horse watching!), fully equipped gym, and a beautiful indoor/outdoor swimming pool. There are also expansive areas to take a bike ride, play a game of football or just sit and breath in the fresh country air.
We began the weekend by having a delicious dinner at Pen Yen. The restaurant overlooks the swimming pool and river and definitely has the best views in the entire property. After eating our sushi and sashimi, we headed for an early bed in our massive cabin with an insanely comfortable bed. These cabins are unreal, almost like the ones you would find in America. You can get your own prefab cabin house that is yours all year round, and inside they look cozy and they are like an actual home. I wish they did them over here in England, I’d buy one in a second.
I’m not joking. I really would. I just kept thinking about all of the different things that I would be able to do to my cabin to make it into a home, which I probably shouldn’t have been doing during my break but I was anyway. Some of my friends have recently built their own barn and they’ve transformed it completely. It doesn’t even look like a barn anymore, and this is what I’d want to do if I had a cabin. The indoor barn lights that she has are a particular highlight of mine because it just makes the space so relaxing and warm. Who knew that lighting could make such a difference to the ambiance of the room? And isn’t this what we all want in a barn or cabin? But anyway, I’m really going off-topic here, but I’m definitely not giving up on the dream of having my own cabin.
The next morning we woke fresh and had a walk around the property. We were away the weekend just following the Brexit vote, so after our walk we spent the morning sipping on bloody mary’s at the pub and going through all of the newspaper coverage about the Leave vote. It was obviously the hot topic throughout the entire hotel and we had some really interesting conversations with the staff and other guests.
We scheduled lunch in the Main Barn and sat in the “Cozy Farm” area upstairs, which was child-free. The property is definitely kid-friendly, but there are quite a bit of designated adult-only areas which we loved. After lunch we went for another walk and then headed to the spa for a couples massage. We didn’t have any dinner plans and we were so relaxed after our wonderful massages so we decided to order the cocktail cart to come to our cabin and have an evening in. The cocktail cart was probably one of our favourite parts of the trip. Two bar tenders in a van come to your front door and literally set up a bar right before your eyes. You can order whatever drinks you want, or ask the guys for their specialty drinks. I went with the bar tenders suggestions, and was not disappointed.
After our drinks we ordered a burger and some snacks to share from The Barn, put on a movie and totally vegged out on our sofa. I went to bed and had one of the best night’s sleep on record. We woke up on Sunday morning and ordered the breakfast cart to come, same idea as the cocktails but serving amazing breakfast selections. I had the avocado and poached eggs on toast before we had another walk and then headed back towards London.
We stopped at Bicester Village on our way home, it’s only about 30 minutes from the Farm, did a little shopping and then made it home in under two hours. It was literally the most relaxing and peaceful weekend we have had in a while, and if you miss the traffic, it’s super close to get to.
Soho Member or not, I would recommend booking early as Farmhouse is the most talked-about country getaway at the moment. Farmhouse is open to guests staying in one of the cabins and for day-use by Soho House members.
1 Tracey Farm Cottages, Great Tew, Chipping Norton OX7 4JS