First Look: Soho Farmhouse Promises to Be the U.K.’s Ultimate Escape
Eschewing the kind of metropolitan glamour that has made it a byword for urban cool (and even elitism), the Soho House’s latest property will open in the next few weeks on a sprawling farm in Oxfordshire, in southeast England.
London escapees in search of fresh air and country pursuits will find a glamorous take on the rural escape at the Soho Farmhouse, set in an area, about an hour west of the city, that has recently become popular with the kind of celebrities who might frequent a private members’ hotel (Alex James, Kate Moss and David Cameron all have homes nearby).
The full-scale resort has 39 secluded wooden cabins located along a meandering stream, and features a swimming lake, a boathouse, a farm shop, and a Teeny Barn with its own zip wire for kids. The brand’s famous Cowshed spa is inside an actual old cattle shed; there’s a cinema, an outdoor sauna, and an ice room, too, as well as an ice rink in winter and picnic fields for dining in summer.
Bikes will be available for guests to transport themselves around the 100-acre site (there’s a no-car ethos), which should help them work up an appetite for dinner at the Big Barn, where lauded British chef Tom Aikens will oversee a hearty English menu, much of it originating on the farm’s own produce fields.
Guests inspired to imitate back at home can buy their own ingredients from the Soho Farm Shop, though it’s easier to imagine them wanting to move in to this cosseting environment forever. Babington should look out—this property looks ready to become the U.K.’s top country retreat (cabins from $344).
Emily Mathieson is on the U.K. beat for Travel + Leisure. Based in London, you can follow her at @emilymtraveled.