A couple of weekends back, after what felt like a rather busy work life and busy head life (if that makes sense) we decided to escape ‘life’ and all that comes with it for a night away at the newly opened Artist Residence in Oxfordshire. Luckily for us this was just over an hour from home, so we jumped in the car and off we headed. It was Friday Night, the sun was still shining and the week was done, escape to the country commence.
The last twenty minutes of our journey we really hit the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside driving along tiny, winding, higgledy piggledy roads, surrounded by fields of green and cows, and the locals walking to the pub for their Friday night. The Artist and Residence is nestled within this, about 15 minutes from Oxford and The Cotswolds, and we arrived to the busy and happy pub filled with locals and visitors in good spirits, we had definitely chosen the right place to escape, enjoy and relax in the right way.
The Artist Residence’s new abode is in effect a pub with five rooms up in the eves. We were staying in one of the Farmhouse Lofts, light, breezy and pretty perfect, with the traditional beams and structure but with the added comfort, style, indulgence and authenticity assorted. A huge double bed, which was super comfy, the bedding deserves a blog posts itself, linen is the way forward! With chunky blankets and rugs you sink into, eclectic art work, happily I can tell of pups in the bedroom and palm trees in the bathroom, it’s as if they knew. Not a corner unlooked or forgotten, the loft rooms have been created in such a considered way, from the gorgeous free standing bathtub, to the stained vintage mirror, the door hooks, the beautiful Bramley products, huge fluffy robes and towels, well it could not get much better than that!
My favourite little quirks were the Tea Chests as bedside tables, (although now slightly annoyed I didn’t pick up a couple when we were traipsing around the tea factories in Sri Lanka) the antique writing desk with vintage radio, the Beatles print cushions, the beautiful mugs for morning teas and coffees, but mostly the traditional windows, looking over the vegetable garden letting the last of the sun light and summer breeze into the room. It was all a little bit Boho, a bit little England a little bit Farm and a little whole lotta of me!
After dropping off our bags in our room, it was a tough pull to either stay and indulge or head downstairs to eat and drink and of course be merry. The delightful smells which blew into our window made the decision very quickly for us…..Actually I think my words were “I smell steak, let’s go!”
We quickly found the perfect little nook of many a perfect nooks, complete with a chilled glass of Portuguese Rose pour moi and a local beer for Wes, some olives and of course some calm, we had escaped! I actually think it was on tasting this wine, I came home and booked two flight to Lisbon but more on that another time. The pub area like the rest of the hotel is filled with fab pieces of Art, vintage prints, neon signs, my favourite being the Heinz Felt collection. This place was pretty perfect for a Summer evening but I could definitely see myself whiling an afternoon/evening away by the fire in Winter.
I think my perfect Friday night was created that evening, everything was just so pretty, I had to really hold back and not constantly take a photo on every second look and just soak it all up. The Hansbury’s Mason Arms’ restaurant is simply beautiful. The lighting, the floral print wall papers, pallets of pinks and navy, the crystal chandeliers, it was almost Paris boudoir meet the countryside. Add the steak and hand cut chips, a playlist of soul and well I think I kinda died and went to heaven….indulgence at its best….Off to bed Happy, happy happy.
The morning was how all Saturday mornings should be, lie ins, coffee in bed, drifting back to sleep (the football was on) the real relaxed you only get when you are nestled away in the countryside, nothing to do with the huge steak dinner and red wine…..After a long swim in the tub and liberal use of every single rather delicious Bramley Product, breakfast was calling.
If Enid Blyton had written about breakfasts then this is the kinda breakfast she would have penned. Fresh juices, coffees of all styles, pancakes, eggs, sausages, freshly cut toast with lashings and lashings of butter and jam. Just as dinner the previous evening, the menu is all organic products all sourced locally or from the hotels own garden, delving into this feast back in the beautifully created dining room. With velvet dusty pink sofas of dreams and with a pink neon sign saying, “What did I do last night?’…..The question I was wondering myself, but if it led me to this, that was going to be my last question.
All of this delight was completely won over by the staff and the locals, who were not just some of the most friendliest and funniest peeps I ever did meet but so proud of not only their village but of this new opening. So informed, so wonderfully funny and tales and tales to tell, I could have sat there all day and listened to their history and stories. There are many a establishment these days, and not naming names, but can make you feel you are just not quite cool enough to be there, and even if you do manage to book a night, you just feel a little, not quite rich enough, not quite young enough, not quite in the right attire….. On reflection The Artist Residence Oxfordshire, has a complete license to do this, but happily that vibe doesn’t rock with them, this place could not be further from that, it has far too much warmth, far too much style and is far too informed, with so many stories to tell……
…..So I am happily telling my tale of our 24 hour escape to the country!
Thank you for having us, we will back!
You can book The Artist Residence Oxfordshire, here.