A Luxury Family Farmhouse Break in Bristol
Having lived in the same London area for the better part of thirty years, LTF Dad and I had somewhat exhausted the local offering of Easter celebrations. Woodland egg hunts, farm events with egg ‘n’ spoon races and egg painting are all great the first 26 times, but after that they can become somewhat repetitive. This year we thought we would pack two-and-a-half tonnes of luggage (84% of which would come back unused) into our family vehicle and chug along the motorway to visit Bristol, to see just how far the Easter bunny could be bothered to drag his fluffy butt .
Now if you are a Brit, or even vaguely familiar with English geography, you will know that just over two hours is the acceptable journey time from London to Bristol. However we enjoy a bit of novelty in our daily lives and on road trips it is no different. We thought a quick whizz down a clear motorway would be lacklustre- downright boring even- so we kicked off in style with a triple disaster. Our youngest child had an allergic reaction the night before we left, just to add that spice of mortal uncertainty to the whole affair. We somehow lost every pair of our 5 year old’s shoes, so getting out of the door took 90 minutes longer than expected. And to top it all off our satnav made sure that every road we took was maximally crammed with other vehicles full of miserable families with a top speed of around 15 miles an hour. Six hours later, we arrived at our destination. Don’t tell us we don’t know how to travel.
What I will say is that our glorious home for the weekend made every hopefully-repressible second of that awful drive worth it. Situated in a quaint village called ‘Kenn’ on the greener side of Bristol, this rambling converted farmhouse was the epitome of rural family luxury. Some of our dear friends recently bought this gem and generously allowed us to house-sit and enjoy a peaceful countryside break and really, it was bliss. We couldn’t help but be thrilled when we were met with this view as we trundled down the drive:
The neighbours’ homes are a converted chapel and threshing barn:
All gorgeous, right?
The kids immediately disappeared into the garden (actually, two fields, a flower garden and an orchard) and we had a wander around the grounds ourselves.
After becoming giddy on the high oxygen content of the pollution-free air, we headed inside to what I can only describe as the World’s Most Beautiful Farmhouse Kitchen. Seriously. Check it out:
What’s that, you say? In the corner?
The Aga. My true love.
Pardon? Did I rub my face against it and whisper, “I love you?” I don’t know where you’d get such an idea. Actually, if I were an oven I would totally marry it. And if I were a dresser…
Oh ho yes this bad boy caught my eye.
I helpfully edited Nigella’s book, I think it’s infinitely improved:
The details on the dresser just exuded sophisticated country chic, as did the rest of the house. There was the living room:
Which proved brilliant for an egg hunt…
And had even more gorgeous details…
There was the dining corner which was bathed in incredibly warm light, and a casual seating area for the kids…
And this stunning space, the ‘white room’; so much fun to hide chocolate eggs in!
(What do you mean, “What’s a white room?” It’s a room, specifically for being white. Obviously. In our house we have a white room, but instead of ‘white’ it’s ‘messy’, and instead of ‘room’, it’s ‘the whole house’.)
The details in the white room were just as stunning as everywhere else in the farmhouse:
Now that’s what I call a minibar…
The other thing we loved about the house was how accessible it was for kids. The open living areas meant that there was a natural flow, the garden was just fabulous and there were the most adorable vintage style toys everywhere:
There were so many gorgeous bits of this house that I could go on forever. But I have to mention the cider press room. Oh, the cider press. It was like someone had got a big cauldron and smushed together the best of history, some Martha Stewart genius and fairy lights, and used the resulting lushness to create a venue. Need I say more:
Ahhh I could look at this place all day. The cider press is hundreds of years old and would have been used to squash all the lovely ripe apples from the orchard before they were fermented and turned into silly juice. You practically inhale history as you walk into the room, which would be perfect for a country wedding or period drama location.
Our dear friends recently listed the whole house on Goodspaces (some photo credit to them for this blog) where you can hire picturesque venues for photoshoots or filming.
As for us… we have been forever spoiled for staying in farmhouses. Our first luxury family housesit will be very hard to beat!
Travel journalists, home educating our lovely brood of 3 girls. Planning a year-long RTW trip late Summer 2017.