With the Folly, Matrushka Interiors have created a rural bolt hole to make you wonder why cities were ever invented. Originally built in the 16th century, the cottage is a chic but cosy take on country living, with all the crooked romance of exposed beams and old stone plus a ton of luxury touches to ensure your stay is defined by contemporary comfort rather than agrarian privation.
There’s an elegant salon, a huge kitchen with Aga and butcher’s block, a dining area with a table for ten, a utility room, a cloakroom, a snug (with 50-inch plasma screen and Bose surround sound) and a vestibule with wood-burning stove – plus books, a discerning DVD collection and a selection of various-sized Hunter wellies. Owner Joanna Berryman has a Daschsund, Shih Tzu cross, Dolly, and dog food and bowls can be found in the utility room, but since this is a private cottage, your dog is access all areas anyways.
The main house has four double bedrooms, while a separate garden studio contains another. That means bed space for ten guests in total, and with each room designed around its own theme, no one will feel they’ve drawn the short straw. The master suite is under the attic eaves and features an adjoining bathroom with spectacular copper bath, while the remaining rooms range from the soothing Provencal rusticana of the Dorothy to the colourful, child-friendly charm of the Toad. The furnishings and decor betray a masterful magpie’s eye for everything vintage and unique – you’ll probably find yourselves talking about the many beautiful ornaments and objets d’art into the cosy Cotswold night.
Clamber from your car onto the sweeping gravel drive and the first thing you see is the grey stone and clinging ivy of the cottage itself; a few steps more and the garden is revealed. With plenty of space for pooch to sniff around, the lush lawn sweeps up to a near horizon shaded by a spectacular walnut tree complete with a swing, while a series of steps plus a safely covered fishpond and cute hump bridge. At the foot of the lawn is a full-sized tennis court and a couple of garden sheds, one of which contains tennis equipment, two mountain bikes and lots of stripy wooden deck chairs.
The Folly is both easy to reach and pleasantly secluded, tucked away down a quiet lane on the fringe of the village of Didmarton. Within walking distance are a few neighbours, a teeny chapel and some lovely allotments teeming with raspberries and rhubarb. We found less in the way of hiking paths, so dog-walks are more likely to involve on-leash ambles down country lanes – it’s all very Cotswolds in the best possible way, and the wider landscape continues the theme of grazing horses in fields.
The cottage is also just a few miles from Tetbury, which must be one of the nation’s best-preserved country towns – as well as being internationally renowned for its antiques shops and the rural seat of a certain Prince Charles.
The Folly can be rented for a short break or by the week. Prices range from £1,335 for a two/three night break at off-peak times to £5,000 for a week over Christmas (including seasonal decorations and food). See the website for full details plus information on a range of bespoke additional services, from massage and spa treatments to helicopter transfers.
The Folly, Didmarton, GL9 1DY; thefollyluxurycottage.com