I so regularly use AirBnB when travelling now, that I’ve forgotten how truly lovely it is to stay in a traditional B&B – a place with real live hosts! When looking for a place to stay for our cycling trip to the Cotswolds, I stumbled upon Greenhill Barn B&B, conveniently situated close to the Cotswolds Distillery in Sutton-under-Brailes.
The Barn itself is made of the beautiful honey coloured stone you can’t help but fall in love with in this part of the country. As we cycled in, we were met by a deep woofy baying as a giant flat-coated retriever called Teddy tumbled towards us. Tail wagging and tongue lolling out, I immediately knew that this was the place for me!
Steve and Liz, the owners, gave us an equally warm welcome and are possibly two of the loveliest hosts I’ve met. Though we were only staying for one night, Steve drove us down to a local pub for dinner and we spent a wonderful evening chatting with him by an open fire and enjoying the local food.
The house is just as beautiful on the inside as the outside and reminded me of home and childhood with the sketches of scenes from Winnie the Pooh decorating the walls, and with bookshelves overflowing with Enid Blyton books. The big double bedroom had the most comfortable bed which was so needed after a hard day of cycling. It was the first time I’ve ever slept in a bed with linen sheets, and though they were definitely crumpled the next morning, I was in heaven. All I want now for the rest of my life is to lie among linen sheets, no matter how much ironing that involves! The en suite bathroom was kitted out with Neal’s Yard shampoos and soaps and the giant bath tub was the perfect place to soak those sore muscles in!
The highlight of our stay at Greenhill Barn, even greater than all the dogs (and that’s really saying something as I LOVE dogs), was the breakfast! Steve had everything ready for us when we woke up and we started with a delicious bowl of home mixed granola with yoghurt and fruity compote. I couldn’t get enough of the charming blue and white crockery set. I’ve never been one to notice pretty plates and bowls, but these really caught my eye!
After nearly filling myself with cereal, it was time for the main course – a true English breakfast. This was without a doubt the best breakfast I’ve had. Meaty mushrooms cooked with fresh herbs, a deep orange yolky egg and home grown sausages and bacon. Steve and Liz raise their own pigs and I have to say, they make the best pork! I love the concept of raising your own animals on your land to make food, and having worked on ranches, I know it makes the best tasting meat when it’s reared local.
If you’re not already tempted by the amazing food, the kind hosts and the beautiful and cosy farmhouse, then the animals should surely clinch the deal. Teddy the retriever just wanted to give us hugs all day long, and while Steve and Liz were very respectful of keeping him outside the house and away incase guests don’t like dogs, I spent any down time we had chasing after him.
I absolutely loved the fact that he was a proper farm dog, instead of getting a Friskies Boneo treat, his treat was a whole pheasant! The pheasants are everywhere in the Cotswolds and seem a bit thick so are often wandering on the road a little dazed looking. Liz makes sure to pick up any fresh roadkill as a treat for Teddy and he couldn’t have been happier! The plumage on those birds is incredible!
Last but not least, the pigs. A couple of friendly and adorable grunting pigs who will no doubt one day, make Steve and Liz’s guests some great sausages and bacon. In the meantime they’re living the best life they could imagine. A huge field all to themselves, fresh food and loving strokes and scratches on the back. This is how meat should be reared, so a lot of respect to Steve and Liz for taking that on!
If you’re planning a trip to the Cotswolds, I can’t think of a better place to stay than this wonderful B&B, ideally situated close to the Cotswolds Distillery for a day trip as well as a local Llama farm and Whichford Pottery and the famous Rollright stones.