Blissful retreat: Escaping London to Water Meadow Cottage

posted on: Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Last weekend I discovered my little slice of heaven just an hour outside of London. I was invited to stay the weekend at a newly opened cottage. Only this cottage is anything but new. Dating back two hundred years, Water Meadow Cottage sits on Blenheim Palace Estate in the Cotswolds, just 9 miles from Oxford and 63 miles from London.

Consisting of two bedrooms, two reception rooms, a beautiful kitchen, one large bathroom and one small powder room, this cottage has recently been transformed and updated with all the modern conveniences one would expect from a five star hotel. Only no five star hotel gives you this space to think. . In fact, if it weren’t for all the updated appliances and creature comforts, it would be easy to believe you had travelled back in time entirely. You are quite literally made to feel as if you are in the middle of nowhere, when in reality you are moments from civilisation.

Whether sitting on the deck watching sheep across the River Evenlode, or lounging in the sitting room playing Scrabble with friends, this cottage has the magic to erase every ounce of stress London places on our shoulders.  Oh, and as we’re on the topic of sheep, you actually have to move your car away from the front door of the cottage as sheep are herded past the front door regularly. This is, well, it’s just incredible. You are thrown into the middle of country life in every which way.

For our stay, I had one goal in mind – finding a stress free corner of the universe. It’s tougher to achieve these days than one might think. However, Water Meadows Cottage was ready to help me get there with more than just the cottage itself. You may notice in the pictures below that there is a summer cottage behind the main house. This is not only another place to go and find peace, it also doubles as a spa.

On our first morning in the cottage, we were greeted by a therapist who came in earlier that morning to transform the space for massages. Hello, heaven. She didn’t even knock on our door to the main house until she was ready for the treatment to begin. Like a secret squirrel, she’d come in and setup without us taking any notice. After one hour with Victoria, we couldn’t even remember we were from London. What? We have to go back to where?

Of course, it’s not only the massage that helps in establishing your comfort level. I need to ask Water Meadow Cottage who makes their beds as I’ve never experienced a sleep like that before. It could have something to do with the absence of noise. This is quiet on another level. If you’re lucky you’ll hear a sheep or a deer in the forest, but other than that it’s complete silence. Silence is truly golden and makes for a sleep that will renew you like nothing before.

While we could have easily just spent 48 hours in the cottage, we couldn’t resist stepping out as Water Meadow Cottage supplied us with a complete guide on ideal country walks, pubs to visit that have roaring fires at the ready and even a VIP card for shopping at Bicester Village (I let Mr. FFG off the hook on this one – this was not a shopping weekend). So out we went and onward we strolled. We spent a great deal of time at Blenheim Palace and in Woodstock. We watched the sun set over the river and enjoyed a pint and a gorgeous roast as we spoke about how on earth we’d find a way to review such an idyllic location. And here, dear reader, is the truth. No review would be good enough. The magic contained within Water Meadow Cottage must be experienced to be understood. The pictures herewith only scratch the surface of this relaxing retreat. And we will be back, so I’ll apologise in advance for my instagram and twitter feeds being led by country bliss.

For those looking to experience Water Meadow Cottage, you can book now on the website. Rates start at £425. Seeing as the cottage nicely sleeps two couples, we believe this is very reasonably priced indeed for a weekend away with friends in the country.  Oh, and I mustn’t forget to mention that dogs are welcome!

Thank you, Water Meadow Cottage, for putting us up for 48 hours and helping in greatly reducing blood pressure all around. Like I said, we’ll be back. You’ve created a monster.