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  • Gina Everett

The Gardens Cottage - A true retreat

As you have probably worked out, I have to travel a fair bit for my career in interior design. Whether that is to client’s homes (which I have all over the UK and beyond) or for trade fairs and events. Finding somewhere that is truly relaxing and a pleasure to be in (especially as an interior designer) isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Not that I am not easy to please or have ‘perfectionist’ as my middle name or anything.

Last week I needed to take my daughter for a few nights away and on I stumbled across this beautiful cottage that I knew I just had to share with you.

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The Gardener's Cottage is a beautiful, newly renovated, cottage with its own private garden. It is set in the grounds of a Queen Anne Rectory, it has 17th Century charm with the convenience & comfort of all the modern fittings one would desire. It's run by a delightful family, Karen, Phil and their four children as well as their many four legged friend. They make you feel instantly welcome and relaxed which is always a good start to a break away.

Downstairs we were greeted with a functional, quaint open plan kitchen-dining-sitting room area which boosts plenty of light and lots of great views and features.

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Moving upstairs there is a large, bright master bedroom, single bedroom and a luxury bathroom with both designer bath and separate shower. I must admit, just one of the many highlights of my trip.

Nothing like a nice long soak in a designer bath set in a peaceful colour pallet looking out to the countryside.

This Gardener's Cottage sleeps 3 adults and a child comfortably. My daughter loved the playful, vintage feel to the kids’ room décor – and I noted it was also the first time she had slept through a night in a few weeks which she said was due to the comfortable mattress (bonus). Tall Giraffes, a vintage child’s chair and desk and selection of games were just a few of the accessories that gave the room its real character and charming feel.

The master bedroom was stunning, with a beautiful matching set of dressings and antique furniture that sat beautifully in the space and the property. In this room you could also access (by a rustic ladder) a maisonette bed set into the eves – taking up little room it was barely noticeable but was an ideal and clever use of for the space.

There is oak flooring throughout and many of the original features have been retained which was a true delight to experience and explore. With 4 kids themselves, the cottage was well set up for children with cots, highchairs, toys etc if required. The private courtyard was also enclosed and private so Evie enjoy breakfast outside amongst the butterflies and beautiful planting.

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Accessed via this separate garden and front door again was a lovely touch that made you feel secluded and gave privacy, but we also had the 18 acres of gardens and fields to explore from the main house. For those more adventurous or time rich there was also a tennis court and plenty of other excitements to keep you busy. The handy and comprehensive welcome book gave details of all of this and much more which I found very helping and refreshing - often arriving at holiday homes not knowing where the nearest restaurant or public footpath is for running (pre big bump of course).

The kitchen was fully kitted out with Nespresso Coffee Machine; Induction Hob and Oven; Dishwasher; large Fridge Freezer; Microwave; Toaster and granite work surfaces. The layout here felt right and easy to use. To have Evie doing her homework at the dining table, me cooking and the French doors open to the quaint cottage garden really sets the scene of the three relaxing days we spent there.

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Phil and Karen have lived in the area for 16 years, with their 4 children - the youngest now 8. It’s obvious how much they love the outdoors and embracing a new project and it was lovely to have them on hand for anything you may require right from when you first book.

They also offered continental or cooked breakfasts as part of your stay or could provide luxury homemade breakfast hampers if you wish - a beautiful touch. They are even happy to arrange to put a wash on for you as there is no washing machine at the cottage. Truly, I imagine nothing would have been too much to ask.

It wasn’t just an ideal location for families though. There were lots of footpaths and hidden gems for walkers and cyclists or it had that romantic feel that I could easily have imagined (and am planning – wink wink) a romantic getaway.

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Located on the edge of the Chilterns, the grounds were surrounded by a picturesque rural setting and yet was also easy access to London (train 10 minutes’ walk then a 35 mins journey), the M40 (15 minutes) and Heathrow / Luton airport.

As I briefly mentioned earlier, the cottage sits in 18 acres of private grounds for the main house, providing a wonderful escape from daily bustle. Karen and Phil stressed many a times how free we were to explore these grounds and it was easily Evie’s highlight. Filled with private garden, a pond, a full children’s play area and even these guys to get to know and feed she was in her element.

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All in all, it was a really relaxing and pleasant experience to meet Karen and Phil and stay in their Gardeners Cottage. If you are ever in the area or just want an idyllic break please do bear them in mind. Book here. *please note we have not been paid for this recommendation or to share these details and have no affiliation with or the Gardeners Cottage.

If you are looking to update your rental accommodation or want to bring a new look to your home please get in touch and I would be happy to talk through creating your own perfect retreat.

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