The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are reported to have signed a two-year lease on a cottage in Great Tew, a picture-perfect village on Lord and Lady Bamford’s Great Tew Estate on the Oxfordshire border with Gloucestershire.
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Lady Bamford created Daylesford Organic Farm – a farmshop, restaurant, café and garden shop with a spa attached – that has proved a huge draw for people wanting to relocate to the countryside, whether to bring up children or downsize.
“It is massive,” says Ben Way of estate agents Butler Sherborn’s Stow office.
“People fl y into the farmshop by helicopter. It’s ridiculous. It’s hideously expensive but very good.”
Like Harry and Meghan, David and Victoria Beckham also have a home in Great Tew and it’s where you’ll find Soho Farmhouse, a members’ club and hotel that attracts “creative types”.
Meghan had her hen party there.
“Many Londoners who move to the Cotswolds now want to be within easy reach of Daylesford,” says Ben.
“They can just get off the train at Kingham – it’s an easy journey from London.”
But while the A-listers pay a fortune at Daylesford or Soho Farmhouse, the Cotswolds are blessed with country pubs where the rest of us can indulge in seasonal food sourced locally and washed down by local beer, such as Donningtons brewed in Stow-on-the-Wold.
“Locally produced seasonal food is increasingly important to the area,” says Ben.
“There are a lot of markets, independent shops and delicatessens, that sort of thing. And all the pubs are local-orientated. Most are gastro pubs really.”
In fact, if you are looking to buy a house in the Cotswolds based on accessibility to a good pub, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
“They mostly have good views and lovely beer gardens but at this time of the year, now we’re coming into autumn, they’re also good for sitting around open fires,” says Ben.
There’s The Fox Inn at Lower Oddington near Stow-on-the-Wold, with a sheltered walled garden for summer and roaring fires in winter – plus a seasonal British menu.
It is close to Daylesford but also to Orchard House in Longborough, Gloucestershire, a Cotswold stone house that dates back to the 1700s and has an old stone bread oven, flagstone and wooden floors plus feature fireplaces, as well as three double bedrooms and two bathrooms.
It’s for sale at £895,000 (01451 830731; butlersherborn.co.uk). The King’s Head Inn at Bledington, Oxfordshire, was voted Pub Of The Year 2018 by The Good Pub Guide and also serves local food.
It’s not far from Stayts Farm in Church Westcote, Gloucestershire, a Grade II-listed 17th-century house with an Aga in the kitchen breakfast room, leaded light stone mullion windows, flagstone floors and open fi replaces.
Its first-floor master bedroom has a dressing area and shower room while there are three other bedrooms and an attic room.
For sale at £1.25million (01451 830731; butlersherborn.co.uk), it has large gardens, an orchard, stone outbuildings and parking.
Meanwhile 31 Manor Farm Cottages in Hawling, Gloucestershire, is close to The Black Horse Inn run by Donnington Brewery in Naunton, where Donnington beer-battered cod and chips with mushy peas is a speciality.
It has wood burning stoves, an open plan kitchen and four bedrooms – two with ensuite showers – plus a family bathroom, for sale at £795,000 (01451 830731; butlersherborn.co.uk).
As Butler Sherborn’s founding partner Sam Butler says of the Cotswolds: “You don’t have to go far to find exceptional food, a roaring log fi re and a warm welcome. And if you’re new to the area, there’s the opportunity to meet new people and quickly feel part of the community.”