Yarrow Cottage, Cotswolds
Nestled in the village of Churchill, Yarrow cottage is the picture of quintessentially English country life. Walk three minutes out the cottage door and you will find the village green - useful for those visiting with four legged friends. Just across the road from the green is The Chequers pub serving very good food, wine and ale as well as an eclectic cocktail menu. It’s liveliest time is the pre-dinner pint when you’ll find it buzzing gloriously with both the plummy cheeked gent and the young and ‘just up from London’. It’s pooch friendly too.
The surrounding villages are equally lovely and if you like a walk the footpaths and roads to Chipping Norton or Kingham are worth the stomp. You’ll pass well pruned hedges and postcard perfect cottages until you reach the pub for a well earned drink.
Also just a short drive away is Daylesford farm where you can stock up on local farm produce and beautiful home wear. One could spend twenty minutes alone in their cheese room.
There are two bedrooms at Yarrow, each as comfortable as the other with plush pillows and crisp linen giving you a guaranteed a good night’s sleep. But it is the bathroom that caught my heart. Chic design with natural woody fixtures, his and hers sinks and a deep brass tub one could almost swim. There is a rainfall shower too as well as Bamford spa products and the ultimate bliss – underfloor heating.
Downstairs you’ll find your kitchen, living room and dining room. The kitchen is well equipped with all the pots and pans you’d need as well as pretty serving bowls and falcon dishes (perfect for shepherds pies and apple crumbles). The kitchen back door takes you to your own courtyard garden – perfect for a leisurely breakfast in the warmer months and a good place to plonk the dog whilst you catch a few more winks (please clean up after mind).
Upon your arrival eggs, butter, milk and a country loaf welcome you on the counter and Beachspoke provide a bottle of fizz in the fridge too. A nespresso style coffee machine and complimentary tea are also provided as well as a charming spirit tray with handwritten labelled bottles of gin, vodka and whiskey. There are ample glasses at Yarrow too (for those of us who like to entertain) and the dining room seats 6 comfortably.
When the sun has set and the dishes are done (there’s a dishwasher too) curl up on the sofa in the sitting room whilst the wood burner fire crackles away. You’ll find dressing gowns in your closet too. A flat screen TV is at your perusal connected to Netflix should you wish to ‘Netflix and chill’ or you can do what we did and enter a vigorous game of scrabble with a bottle of red.
One of my favourite things about Yarrow is the kitchen. It’s well equipped with gorgeous crockery too and definitely worth cooking in. I’d certainly recommending playing house at least one evening and making a country supper. I’ve popped the recipe for my russet apple and olive oil crumble below should you fancy it.
A pub lunch should also be on the cards during your stay and there are ample to choose from. Favourites are The Chequers, The Kingham Plough, The Ebrington Arms (particularly cosy), The Bell at Langford (probably the most moderately priced of all where they also serve very good pizza) and The Wild Rabbit (lovely for supper). All are under a twenty-minute drive away or you can take an appetite building stroll. Daylesford farm is also very good for a lazy brunch or afternoon tea and they have a take away salad counter if you fancy picking up a few bits to enjoy back at the cottage. Their seed and raisin studded pumpernickel is a favourite of mine.
Book your stay at Yarrow cottage.
Russet apple, olive oil and oat crumble.
About 4-5 russet apples, roughly chopped with cores removed
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tbsp flour (I like spelt)
2 tbsp light brown soft sugar
for the crumble topping
50g ground almonds
100g flour (I like spelt)
100 light brown soft sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch sea salt
50 g almonds roughly chopped
120ml olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan oven.
Combine your chopped apples, mixed spice, flour and sugar in a large bowl and toss to combine. Spread into a ceramic falcon dish (you’ll find them in the low cupboards).
In the same bowl combine your crumble ingredients and mix with your hands. Pour over the apple and press lightly.
Bake for 45-60 mins. Serve warm with double cream from Daylesford farm shop.