Renting a Private Estate in the Cotswolds
Published: June 2010
By Elena Bowes
Designer and food writer Sophie Conran has turned a 15th-century manor outside London into an idyllic weekend retreat.
If you’ve been looking for an English country weekend straight out of a Jane Austen novel (minus the heartache), look no further than Temple Guiting, a private estate in the Cotswolds, where Sophie Conran hosts custom and all-inclusive getaways. The 10 guest rooms are appointed with crystal chandeliers, working fireplaces, and a well-curated collection of antiques, while the surrounding acres have perfectly manicured English gardens and picnic-worthy lawns bordered by peonies and rare blue roses. Thanks to Conran’s impressive Rolodex, weekends include one-on-one classes with a fabulous cast of culinary characters: chef Eric Chavot, formerly of London’s Capital Restaurant; chocolatier Paul A. Young; and BBC chef Valentine Warner, to name a few. Our favorite upcoming escapes? The Food Lovers’ Weekend (October), when Tom Parker Bowles (food writer and Prince Charles’s stepson) leads cider-brandy tastings while chef Mark Hix, who has taken London by storm (see “100 Best City Restaurants”), demonstrates oyster shucking. For those who prefer more spice, book the Eating India Getaway (September) with cookbook author Monisha Bharadwaj, who pairs her lessons on Mumbai’s fiery cuisine with Bollywood dance classes. From $370 per person per night.