Last week RBJ and I were lucky enough to spend a few days at Soho Farmhouse for a friend’s wedding. The Farmhouse is part of the chic Soho House group, which has hotels around the world including London, Istanbul, Miami, NY and Barcelona. As it’s a members only club, they only do weddings on Thursdays so we took the Thursday and Friday off work and travelled from London Paddington to Charlbury on the first off-peak train. We shared a taxi with another couple from Charlbury to the farmhouse, the entire journey from London in total taking just over 90 minutes.
We arrived at the gatehouse reception, checked in and gave our bags to be taken to our cabin. We were offered a bottle of water and then we were chauffeured to the main building in little retro milk floats.
The Farmhouse is located on 100 acres of land and is like a little village of its own. It has 40 luxury “cabins”, a seven bedroom farmhouse, ultra glam bell tents, an electric cinema, a number of restaurants and bars, a gym, indoor and outdoor pool and TWO spas both complete with their own saunas and steam rooms. Although I am sure there are people working round the clock to make this place as beautiful as it is, they have cleverly kept the Farmhouse feel, with wild flowers lining the path and roads, wooden sheds and barns, horses, pigs, ducks, geese, a plethora of battered copper and tin furnishings and (my favourite), farmhands rather than hotel staff waiting on you literally 24/7.
With 4 hours until the wedding, we headed straight for the main pool and sauna for a quick dip before lunch. Sadly the weather was pretty grey and overcast but I took a few photos of the boathouse so you get an idea of just how incredible it is:
There is an indoor pool that leads to the outdoor pool through the side of the boathouse, a sauna and steam room. The changing facilities are impeccable, complete with cowshed products, big fluffy towels, hairdryers and straighteners. On our walk back to the restaurant after, we discovered the Cowshed spa – a second sauna and steam room situated in a little lake with outdoor hot tubs. We enquired and were told that as we were staying at the Farmhouse, use of the Cowshed spa facilities was complimentary. So we decided to go back the day after for ultimate hangover remedy!
We grabbed a bite to eat in the restaurant then headed back to the cabin to get ready, chauffeured by a farmhand in one of the hotels fleet of BMWs. Our cabin was (of course, you guessed it…) incredible! Here are a few photos:
The cabin was elegant and stylish, yet maintained that rustic chic feeling of the rest of the hotel. The kitchen was well kitted out with everything you could need/want, including a loaf of freshly baked bread and butter, a nespresso machine, Farmhouse granola, homemade cookies and ready mixed cocktails. The bathroom had every Cowshed product you could imagine, THE most incredible shower, a rolltop bath (which devastatingly I never had time to use) and fluffy robes and towels. Quite simply put, cabin porn at its best. However with less than an hour until the wedding, we had to stop our oggling and get ready or risk being late for the main event!
From the ceremony to the food, to the band to the after party, Soho Farmhouse knows how to nail a wedding. Our bride and groom looked truly ravishing and certainly know how to throw one hell of a party! We didn’t actually finish the dinner and speeches until 10pm and I believe it was around 3am that we crawled into our cabin with sore feet and hoarse throats – the sign of a good party in the McJoseph residence!
I wasn’t feeling too fresh Sunday but nothing that an alka-seltzer and the promise of a spa couldn’t fix – well that and the macaroni cheese I had for the brunch that our bride and groom kindly put on for all the wedding guests! The Farmhouse has its own, (slightly more stylish!) version of Boris Bikes dotted around for use by visitors. So we finished brunch and to dust off the cobwebs and let our food go down before the Cowshed Spa, we went for a ride to explore. As well as discovering some of the most incredible cabins, we also came across the Farmhouse crazy golf!
After a quick round, we finally made our way back to the Cowshed spa, entering through the shop. We were given the softest of all dressing gowns and some flip flops to change into. The spa itself is on a wee island overlooking the lake: there are two wooden hot tubs, a sauna, steam room and ice hut. We spent the next hour, going between the hot tubs, the steam room and the sauna, with quick trips between to the ice hut. Aside from one other couple, we were the only ones there. It felt so luxury and serene – instantly I knew I had found my new happy place 🙂 After, we showered and changed back – the changing rooms were of course beautiful and complete with every Cowshed product imaginable.I spent the whole time I was at Soho Farmhouse feeling like a kid in a sweet shop. It is the most incredible place I have ever stayed and is the perfect countryside escape. The cabin we stayed in was incredible, the wedding so beautiful and the spa up there as one of the most luxurious I’ve ever visited.
The Cowshed Spa at Soho Farmhouse scores:
COST: The Farmhouse is a members only club, however as I understand it, you can visit as a non-member on weekdays. We were there as wedding guests so we’re lucky enough to have our stay heavily subsidised so can’t really give a fair score on cost.
IN THREE WORDS: LUXURY, STYLISH, MYNEWHAPPYPLACE