Escape to the country and revel in the blissful calm of a pre-baby weekend in the Cotswolds.
(by Wersha Bharadwa)
The idyllic Mole End cottage is nestled in the middle of the quaint and sleepy quintessential Cotswolds village of North Cerney, where red Royal Mail post boxes still in operation are set into honey-hued stone walls and horses peacefully trot through.
Follow the road downhill and you’ll come to the smallest village hall. Beyond that is the popular Bathurst Arms pub, perched prettily in pink on the corner of the A435 and beside a scenic stream of the River Churn; the sweetest spot for locals, dog walkers and visiting tourists to take in a waterside pub lunch or a serious Sunday roast.
Buzzing market town Cirencester – dubbed the capital of the Cotswolds and crowned the best place to live in the south west by The Sunday Times this year – sits a mere four miles away and is popular with visiting royals with Cirencester Park Polo Club up the road, once a favourite haunt of Princes William and Harry.
King Charles’ Highgrove estate in Tetbury is a 30-minute drive away and while you can’t sneak a peak inside since it’s still one of His Majesty’s private residences, you can book a tour of the extensive organic gardens.
The beautifully restored, oak beamed ceiling cottage itself is easy enough to find; after a short drive past an exclusive golf club, some winding roads getting narrower by the minute and plenty of sheep and horse dotted fields, you’ll arrive in the centre of North Cerney’s grass triangle – which along with a towering tree and a nearby village pump underneath a stone arch you’ll find usually draws in plenty of artists and their easels.
The magical cottage dwelling is tucked behind a teensy gate with an exterior like something out of pop up children’s story. A perfect bolthole for babymoon, minimoons or even a family weekender in the unspoilt countryside, Mole End has an illustrious past and was once an 18th century agricultural worker’s cottage.
Children will be enchanted to learn it may have even been named after a resident friendly fellow – Mr Moley – who pops up to greets VIP guests from his favourite spot in the serene walled garden (in front of the raised barbecue since you’re asking).
Each year, the cottage’s thoughtful owner carefully positions a Christmas tree for the nocturnal visitor during the festive season, complete with baubles for when he makes an appearance under the frosted lawn too. Said owner, Linda, is the hostess with the mostess and is as vivacious as she is glamorous, having purchased the cottage in 2015.
She’s also behind Encore, a covetable destination store in Cirencester for pre-loved designer clothes many pieces once beloved and owned by the Soho Farmhouse loving set (a 30 minute drive away) who all own properties or live nearby too. The store is located on Black Jack street , one of Cirencester’s smartest go-to areas for independent coffee shops and eateries andalso the Corinium Museum. Be sure to pop into the store for a personal consultation.
If you’re likely to feel instantly at home the minute you unload and settle in, that’s because you’re safe in the hands that it was once was the owner’s abode and so all those cosy touches remain, including the wood burning stove, now constantly restocked and piled high with fresh logs.
In fact there’s delightfulness in abundance inside the cottage (a key ingredient with all Cotswold Hideaway properties since the collection is hand curated and members need to work closely with the organisation) starting with the living room which offers a masterclass in pretty interior decor and continues the storybook setting with lots of mirrors and trays, fun textiles and classic design floor lamps, playful scents, hand written notes on chalkboards and insider guide books updating you on new independent retailers, places to visits or walks to be had.
There’s a flatscreen TV with Freeview too. If you’ve brought younger kids on your babymoon, send them up early, light the fire and cosy up on the sofa with a couple of rom coms.
An inglenook fireplace and a second wood stove burner sit behind a reclaimed industrial metal dining table with low hanging pendent lighting in the kitchen and dining room where pastel chairs with padded seating finish the look for a softer and contemporary touch.
Bosch dishwasher and microwave appliances and a state-of-the-art oven help with rustling up home cooked comforts. The Cotswolds are a known foodie haven so there’s a full fridge and freezer combo you’ll need to make plenty of space in for stocking up with organic goodies from nearby Abbey Home Farm and Daylesford Organics in Kingham where you’re likely to bump shoulders with celebrities and politicians too.
Beautifully landscaped, bursting with flowers and with elements of classic French styling, the walled garden is at the front of the house. A bonafide sun-trap, It’s the ideal spot for a casual afternoon tea (you can cheat by pre ordering from local bakery, Knead) or a laid back BBQ with everything inside the cottage provided to help you prepare for when either one takes your fancy including cutesy gingham linens (outdoor deco hasn’t been shied away from either).
The sun-flooded master bedroom on the first floor is reached by a staircase with Perspex panelling and is all countrified charm with framed artworks on walls, antique dressers and an informal armchair for reading beside the window.
It has plain lovely views over the gardens and village and a cloud-like double bed bedecked in crisp white linen and piled high with designer geometric feather and down filled cushions in white and grey tones. You couldn’t get any more tranquil if you tried.
Two roomy twins in the second bedroom are perfect for a family staycation and where the kids can help themselves to teddies, books and a plethora of board games including Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit , Tension, and Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzles from a chest of drawers on the landing.
Past the two rooms, there’s a primary shared bathroom with underfloor heating, a wide shared sink perfect for getting ready together, a designer bath tub for wallowing and a powerful overhead monsoon shower. Nice details such as a large conch shell, unpolished natural stone soap dishes and thick floor towels soothe the senses and contrast nicely against the calming slate tiles.
What You’ll Love
- An overflowing, fully complimentary wicker welcome hamper basket is a delicious treat containing freshly squeezed orange juice, butter, fresh rye bread, French rose wine, a Victoria sponge cake, gourmet crisps, jam, milk, coffee, sugar and tea. Thoughtfully we’re also gifted a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
- With Cotswolds Hideaways, the main attractions are always the cottages and their communal spaces. Here, there are plenty of spaces to enjoy reconnecting. The long dining table in the kitchen is pretty special, the fireside in the living room, but also the raised barbecue area in the garden where you’ll find a proper table to sit around and talk for hours.
Owners or house managers are mostly available 24/7 via WhatsApp to help you out. It’s honestly a 10/10 for service with Cotswolds Hideaways whether you have a question about appliances (property guidebooks are super extensive too) or need in-house catering recommendations, spa treatments or other support.
- High chairs, travel cots, staircase gates and children’s dinnerware come as standard.
- How the mole theme continues inside the cottage with a host of books: Wind in the Willows , the Story of the Little Mole by Weber Holzwarth, The Reluctant Mole by Philip Welsh are dotted around glass and wooden coffee tables.
- With its church dating back to Saxon times, nearby village of Bagendon has a pretty brook flowing through and is a decent 25 minute hike away.
- Guests staying with Cotswold Hideaways benefit from a number of member discounts and rewards to use during stays with many local independent Cotswold businesses.
How to Book
Cotswolds Hideaways will have you yearning for another break pronto and to go visit other picturesque locations such as Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bourton-on-the-Water, Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold and Tetbury.
Visit Cotswolds Hideaways www.cotswoldshideaways.co.uk to look at the entire collection and contact +44 (0) 1451 887766 or email reservations on [email protected].
You can also book Mole End Cottage directly here: https://www.cotswoldshideaways.co.uk/tetbury-cirencester-surrounding-villages/north-cerney-holiday-cottages/mole-end-cottage.
Mole End Cottage sleeps 4 in 2 rooms and prices start from £576 for long weekends and £999 for a full week.
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