Countryside Retreat at Soho Farmhouse
Hidden amongst acres of farmland, just over an hour North West from En Route’s head office in Windsor, you’ll find Soho Farmhouse.
From the moment you reach the gatehouse and sign in, you almost feel as if you’re in a different world, and it will do wonders for your wellbeing.
The casual dress code and rules that are in place at Soho House such as no suits, no phone calls inside, and no taking photos almost instantly put it’s guests into an instant state of relaxation. That, and you don’t have to do anything that involves effort from the moment you get there.
Upon sign in, you hand over your car keys, leave your luggage to the Farm hands and hop into a converted milk float to the main reception.
Once your room is ready, you’ll be escorted there by a Farm Hand in one of their brand new, state of the art BMW’s. Wellies and bikes will be waiting for you when you arrive at your cabin, along with a freshly baked loaf of bread and fresh cheese from the farm - oh and your luggage!
The cabins are particularly spacious, with a heavenly comfortable queen-sized bed, overflowing with puffed up cushions. The Farm-chic decor has it’s own modern twist and they have thought of absolutely everything you could ever need. In fact you could just turn up with a change of clothes and be well equipped for your stay.
You’ll find cocktails in the minibar, along with a variety of bottles of booze to choose from. On top of this, there’s a coffee machine, a snack drawer and an ice machine. In the bedroom you’ll find a hairdryer, hair straighteners, and onto the bathroom there’s a massive selection of Soho House’s own ‘Cowshed’ products from shampoo, to scrubs and body oil.
There’s even a bath outside on the terrace!
If you’ve ever been to Farmhouse, you’ll know that at soon as you’re there you can be as lazy or as active as you like. You can get around by calling a car, a milk truck or a carriage and horse (yes really), cycle your bike, or walk if you wish. In fact, you don’t even have to leave your cabin if you don’t want to. In the morning, you can call the breakfast truck which will turn up outside your door and cook you breakfast to order with fresh produce including eggs which have the most orange yolk you’ll ever see. Prefer to go out for breakfast? No problem! The main barn restaurant and the deli both have eat in or takeaway options.
The main barn serves food all day, and in the evening you can eat at Fancy Farm on the second floor, which provides a smaller ‘posher’ menu. It’s brilliant if you’re celebrating something or you’re looking for something slightly more upmarket.
The deli serves snacks, toasties, smoothies and cakes all day too along with dreamy coffee by London roasters, Caravan.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the price of the food. It’s brilliant quality, with lots of the ingredients coming from their vegetable garden and greenhouse and for the quality of the food I would have expected the cost to be more.
And it doesn’t just stop at the food…
There’s plenty of places to find a drink, and you’ll never be more than 20 metres from alcohol (as our Farm Hand so kindly pointed out to us). Before dinner in the evening, you can even order a cocktail truck to come and make cocktails for you right outside your cabin.
There is a whole host of activities to keep you entertained including rowing, tennis, gym, indoor and outdoor pool, ice room, steam and sauna, crazy golf, horse riding, a cinema, and daily events.
A lot of people seem to go and spend a lot of time exercising but if this isn't your thing the Cowshed spa is incredible. The pedicures are not to be missed. Not only that but there’s a Neville salon for the guys, and London hairdresser Josh Wood also has a hair salon for blowdries, cuts and colour for the ladies.
The thing we were most impressed with was the decor. Everything is designed down to a tee, with modern built barns containing the pool, all the way to the main buildings built from farmhouse style brick. All of the buildings and different rooms complemented each other even if they weren’t linked, with a lick of Farrow and Ball pastel style colours, and reclaimed style wood. And of course, if you like what you see - whether that’s the towels, bed linen, wellies or glass wear, you can buy everything in the House Shop and take a little slice of Countryside paradise home with you.
The staff do everything they can to make you feel comfortable and take all of the effort and stress away from travelling. You’ll be treated more like a friend than a guest, which means you can really relax and get into the swing of farm life.
What makes a visit even better for your wellbeing is that even the worst phone addicts will feel like leaving their phones in their cabin…as we discovered!
When it’s time to check out, they’re fairly relaxed about when you leave the room, but they’ll come and get your bags and pack them in your car for you too. Then you’re free to use the facilities until you want to leave.
Soho Farmhouse is great for business retreats if you need a getaway to brainstorm, but it’s also the perfect spa setting if you’re looking for a health boost.
Lucy is a Digital Marketing Consultant and Blogger based between London and the South Coast. Through her Digital Marketing Consultancy, Sassy Digital, she helps small businesses find their best voice online. For more information please visit www.sassydigital.co.uk