A Travel & Lifestyle Blog

A Converted Barn in Churchill, Cotswolds

What a gorgeous place to wake up to!
We stayed at the most picturesque converted barn in Churchill village, in the Cotwolds.

The barn comes with a lovely front garden overlooking the wild Oxfordshire rolling hills.
First thing I did on Saturday morning was to make myself a cup of hot coffee, wrap up in a warm shawl, put my Uggs on and go sit outside in my jammies to soak in the morning sun.
Peace and quiet, while everyone else was still sleeping.  Morning light and hot coffee. What a feeling!
Four of us descended upon Churchill on a grey autumn Friday evening for my foodie birthday weekend. We couldn't have picked a better place. The barn is big enough for four adults, comfortably arranged with two bedrooms, one on each side of the building, for privacy.   
The living room is open plan with windows running along the whole length of the house to allow for uninterrupted views over the garden and the countryside. Even my husband, who hadn't used AirBnB before, was convinced; he's been asking to go back ever since!

In the kitchen you'll find everything you need to make yourself breakfast and even cook a light lunch or dinner. Remember to bring the food though!
Outside there is a small coal barbeque, perfect for relaxing evenings by the fire, under the stars.

Early wake up call, my favourite part of the whole trip.
The open-plan living room.
Wandering around Churchill...
Sunset over the Cotswolds' hills. I took the same picture over and over throughout the day, the light made everything so different!

Churchill is one of the smallest villages around the Cotswolds, the one pub - one church, kinda place. This is exactly why you come here for. To give your mind a rest.

On Friday evening, when we arrived hot and bothered from London, we headed straight to the Chequers pub, which is walking distance from the barn. I loved the smell of burned wood on the way to the pub. To me it signifies that autumn is here and Christmas isn't far either.

Sunday morning views from our bedroom...and sigh.

Goodbye lovely weekend pad!

Fall Table

I walked into an India Jane store the other day and fell in love with these Renaissance soup plates.  The first thing that came into my mind were autumn, chilly Sundays, spent inside, around a candle lit table. And hot butternut squash velouté with dancing steam rising above the plates.
And orange, burgundy and deep green - the colours I'd use for the table centrepiece, napkins and candles. And for the main? Well, it's a pretend-perfect Sunday, so roast shoulder of lamb with all the trimmings should do nicely!
The table setting:
It's also time we start planning about bonfires, and kick leaves around country lanes, oh and wearing wellies (yay!) and watching Guy Fawkes fireworks and lighting Diwali lights and then, the start of mulled wine season off course, Christmas!
I love Fall, usually it's marked as the end of summer with a nod of sorrow, but to me it's a full on, festive season! What does Fall mean to you?

Last Days of Summer in Waddesdon Manor

We caught one of the last days of summer around Waddesdon Manor, on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
It is impressive. The Manor was built by the Rothschilds, for their summer escapes from London.
Lodged on top of the Buckinghamshire hills, its' Renaissance towers unapologetically reach for the sky. It's the kind of chateau that you'd expect to see in the Loire valley and yet, here it is, amongst acres of woodland and perfectly laid out gardens.

We had tea in the old kitchens of the Manor - nothing fancy, simple sandwiches and cakes, but we were in awe of the iron stoves that run along the whole length of the room,  the pans and pots stacked up all the way to the ceiling. Imagine the commotion in this room when a feast would have been prepared!

We spend the entire afternoon walking around the gardens, we even walked down to the stables, another French inspired group of buildings, perfectly set amongst the dense woodland.

The Manor is just about an hour's drive from London, but if you want to take it easy and stay locally for the evening try the Five Arrows hotel & pub, it is located in Waddesdon village, right by the heavy gates of the Manor estate. It's built in unique style, with all kinds of trimmings hanging off its' roof, pretty much like a real-life gingerbread house!

Vegeterian Brunch - Grocer at No5, Gerrards Cross

There is a foodie destination brewing around the Chiltern Hills: Beaconsfield, Old Amersham and Gerrard's Cross are all developing into hotspots for dinning; on any Friday night you'll find a lot of west Londoners around No5 & the Crazy Bear in Beaconsfield and The Artichoke in Amersham. This provides for lovely alternative to London for locals too. I, for one, have welcomed the change.
Last bank holiday weekend, I promised to take my mother-in-law out for brunch. We headed to Gerrard's Cross to have a healthy spot of lunch at the Grocer.  I didn't expect that "Shoreditch" vibe, right in the middle of the countryside! Exposed brick walls, copper lights and a long table for sociable eating and mingling, not to talk about the selection of incredibly high-stacked cakes. We were sure to walk away from those, as we were on a healthy mission.

Instead, we chose a couple of "Dexters", that is vibrant beetroot & ginger smoothies to start with, while we were deciding on our selection of six salads. 
Green runner beans, cooked Greek-style, with chopped tomatoes and loads of cinnamon. Roasted cauliflower, with a dill dressing. Sweet, red peppers. Roasted aubergine with yoghurt and pomegranate. All so colourful and delicious. We were stuffed, I dare say, on veggies! No bread at all, I even got some pasta salad and hardly touched it, so proud!
The Grocer has two branches in Old Amersham too, which look like fun places for breakfast, haven't been yet, but if you have let me know! 

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