There’s something about driving through the Cotswold countryside that’s both comforting and familiar. Passing through the beautiful town of Burford and arriving at Stow-on-Wold, it’s hard not to pack up your life, don a wax jacket and move here to embrace the boutique-way of living. A typical market town, Stow-on-Wold possesses the charm and beauty you would expect from a Jane Austin novel as people move quietly from shop to shop picking up their weekly groceries and last minute shopping. Situated on the bustling main street, The Porch House is a regular for residents and the odd pilgrim in need of an open fire and a pint of ale.
Ducking through the narrow hallways and low beams to our room, it’s difficult not to appreciate the original features of England’s oldest inn, which was built in 947 AD. Our suite was amazing and deceptively contemporary given the traditional interiors of the bar downstairs. With vaulted ceilings, pristine cream carpets and crisp white linens, it was a home away from home. Retro modern radio’s, old-fashioned phones and antique hand mirrors subtly bring you back to the inn’s heritage whilst remaining quirky in their stylish surroundings. A winding staircase leads up to the en suite complete with large roll-top bath and cosy hot water bottle for those dark winter nights. All of this was of course viewed from the meltingly comfortable bed, complete with pillows that swallow your whole head in a delicious puff of feathers.
Walking around the deserted town before dinner, it’s easy to see why so many people escape the rat race and implore a slower pace of life. Shops look as though they’re stately homes, and the stately homes look vaguely familiar as you realise they’re probably in one of your favourite films. Each retail outlet is a boutique offering an individual array of one-off finds and beautiful soft furnishings worthy of an interiors mag.
After collapsing into bed after a particularly busy day, my much-anticipated slumber finally begun at 2 am after the jovial punters below had departed. Although under no illusion that The Porch House is first and foremost a popular drinking hole, it also caters for sleeping guests that could benefit from a touch of sound-proofing perhaps.