This the ground upon which old, picturesque England is transformed into a chic mix of purpose-built and refurbished country buildings, surrounded by two calming lakes, ready to offer moments forged by afternoon boating or creativity-boosting sunsets.
Set in the idyllic pastoral countryside of Oxfordshire, just 90 minutes from London, the members-only Soho Farmhouse embodies the cool, communal feel of the global network of clubs doing exactly as their mission intended: creating a comfortable home away from home for their members. This the ground upon which old, picturesque England is transformed into a chic mix of purpose-built and refurbished country buildings, surrounded by two calming lakes, ready to offer moments forged by afternoon boating or creativity-boosting sunsets.
STAY – THE FARMHOUSE
Speaking of buildings, there are plenty of options to choose from—lakefront cabins, luxury camping tents—but our favorite (and the largest) is the original farmhouse, an idyllic 7-bedroom escape complete with privacy perfect for up to 14 people. Set in its own lavender-lined garden, the farmhouse is quintessential with claw foot tubs, exposed beams, brick interior walls, a wisteria-covered trellis and sun loungers on the lawn. The luxury of this privacy however, doesn’t stand in the way of transportation as three electric BMW i3 cars are at the guests’ service to ease the transportation between the house and the Main Barns.
DINE – SUNDAY BRUNCH
In the Main Barn, Sunday brunch is a feat of a feast with everything from avocado sourdough, poached eggs and dried chilli to farm smoked salmon with pink fir potatoes and horseradish crème fraiche. Top it off with a cocktail garnished with seasonal items straight from the Farmhouse garden, like the Eastern Standard: vodka, lime, cucumber and mint. Because we loved what we tasted, we attended cookery and cocktail lessons at the Cookhouse, which were run by notable guest chefs.
RELAX – COWSHED SPA AND BOATHOUSE
Wind down from brunch with a treatment at the Cowshed Spa. It’s an island sanctuary in one of the lakes with a steam room, sauna, ice room and hot tubs. The scrub that uses sea salt dipped in peppermint oil sent our senses into sublimity, while our body was relaxing into a massage, finished off with the full-body Evening Primrose mask. It’s the perfect opportunity to lose yourself along the horizon line of the 25-meter outdoor infinity pool looking into one of the lakes.The pool, which also has indoor space, is heated to 30 degrees year-round.
ENJOY – ELECTRIC BARN CINEMA
Once you’ve dried off and dined, it’s time to turn in but not to bed—to the cinema. If Downtown Abbey had a movie theatre it would look like this—red velvet covered wing-backed chairs and day beds, perfect for an evening in at the Farmhouse. It almost makes you want to put on your Sunday best. Cashmere blankets and a showing of A Streetcar Named Desire—an experience designed by the companies very own Director of Cinema—are the perfect complement to the snack bar’s offerings like artisan cheese and antipasti or chili dogs and a martini.
GET AROUND – IN STYLE
Getting around the former Great Tew Estate is made easy by Soho’s myriad of options: guests can ride on a horse and cart, catch a lift on an electric tuk-tuk or use a bespoke Foffa Farmhouse bicycle. We preferred the latter; it made us feel like a kid at summer camp again, riding free through fields and past lakes with the wind in our hair.
"Ditch high heels for farm-appropriate provided wellies."