FINDING EYE CANDY In the pursuit of design Fairy-Tale Cotswolds
It has been a while since my last visit to England. But this time is different as my destinations are not any of those classic and iconic London attractions. Instead I head out of town going down The M40 motorway towards Oxfordshire to visit a friend of mine, Diana, an ex-advertiser who ditched her luxury London apartment in favor of country living in a quaint little village at the edge of the Cotswolds – a place where time seems to have stopped some 300 years ago.
The Cotswolds has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is typified by its picturesque landscape and well-preserved towns and villages whose quant buildings are built primarily out of limestone. It is like a scene from a quint fairy tale. Having only seen photos, I finally arrive at Diana's little kingdom, a big honey-colored stone cottage, known as the Buttslade House Bed & Breakfast, a lovingly restored 17th-century farmhouse surrounded by a beautiful English garden. Besides being fascinated by the unspoilt idyllic surroundings of rolling hills and farm fields, Diana chose this location as it is easily accessible to the Cotswolds and two popular tourist towns, Broadway and Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare's hometown). And only 75 meters away from Diana's cottage is located a lovely English country pub, The Wykham Arms, run by a chef couple, Damian and Debbie. The Daily Telegraph gave this the thumbs up and chose it as one of England's 50 greatest pubs.
During my stay, each day was delightfully spent breathing in the fresh air, savoring locally grown fresh and delicious food at the the Wykham Arms, taking long strolls along the river and enjoying the slow pace of village life in the fairy-tale Cotswolds. It is certainly one of the most charming places in England and well worth a visit.