My husband Charlie and I have two pubs in the Cotswolds, with eight bedrooms each: The and , which we opened in May this year. The feel of the latter is perhaps more boutique hotel than traditional pub; we've tried to instil a sense of English homeliness with lots of colour, texture and pattern. Each bedroom has been put together by a guest designer or design studio, including Oka (room 1), Penny Morrison (room 5) and Barneby Gates (room 8). Room 4, by Molly Mahon, features her block-printed 'Birds & Bees' wallpaper in pea green and, like several others, has a large bathtub in the bedroom. Double rooms start at £100, B&B.
One of the most inspirational couples in the Cotswolds design world are Karen and Anthony Cull, who own and run , specialising in Swedish and French decorative antiques. They have a warehouse near Winchcombe and have recently opened a pop-up shop at , too. at Chipping Norton, where numerous sellers are found under one roof, has been a godsend for furnishing our two pubs, and I will always try to grab half an hour at the nearby , my favourite bookshop, which also sells delicious coffee and cakes.
The and in Woodstock are both great sources for interesting, quirky objects including china and glassware. I have a passion for lustreware jugs in particular. My guilty secret (you almost need to take out a mortgage before you go in) is T, where Alex Eagle curates a stunning collection of fashion, furniture, jewellery and design, including clothes by my all-time favourite designer . There's a good swimwear selection, too - handy when you've forgotten your cossie and want a dip in the Farmhouse's fabulous pool.
On Fridays, I'm always busy with my own pop-up shop at The Bull Inn, where I sell plants, vases, books and, of course, flowers - all sourced from local growers, including the inspirational . And, at weekends, I often take the children to , which, alongside plants and garden paraphernalia, sells old-fashioned, tasteful wooden toys - no pink nylon to be seen.
Food and Drink
in Woodstock prides itself on being the first solely plant-based eatery in the area. The food - raw and vegan - is delicious as well as good for you. huge market garden, one of the best farm shops for miles and a lovely café lined with cookbooks and serving great coffee and homemade cake. Though I say it myself, for the best burgers and Bloody Marys (made from smoked vodka and served with crispy bacon), there's nowhere better than The Bull Inn - it's the dream hangover cure. And for a special night out, , the Japanese grill in the Boathouse at Soho Farmhouse is unbeatable.