Wersha Bharadwa explores a dreamy staycation honeymoon hotspot at one of the Cotswolds’ best kept secret with Michael Paul Holidays.
Staycation Honeymoon Location: Bruern Estate, the Cotswolds
Sitting between the hyper-social cream of the Cotswolds – Chipping Norton and Stow-on-the-Wold (where you’ll find politicians and A listers a-plenty) – we make our way down traffic-free country lanes, passing quaint pubs and wine boutiques all glowing with fairylights before hitting the super secluded Bruern Estate. The scenery is English picture postcard perfect. All 12 cottages are owned by the aristocratic Astor family and come with bags of chatelaine-style character.
Expect seagrass carpets, leaded windows, thick wooden doors and period furniture in Cheltenham Cottage – a romantic number accessed via a spiral iron staircase and which has an open-plan living room. It’s exactly like The Holiday but with a five-star hotel service.
Booked via Michael Paul Holidays (who’ve a curated collection of uber-luxe country pads), we lap up the free Netflix, wood burners in mostly marble fireplaces, wool blankets, Persian rugs, gold-tipped porcelain china and a bookcase full of boardgames, novels, cards and maps which you’ll love curling up with after some time in the spa.
The white plumpy four poster beds decked in Ralph Lauren sheets in two spacious bedrooms on the top floor are a tonic. There are marble-wash basins, king-size Hypnos beds with down duvets and Egyptian sheets. Bathrooms come with high-end showers and Elemis goodies. It’s fancy (think Colefax & Fowler, Fired Earth and Nina Campbell interiors) but wholly unstuffy.
Where to eat
You don’t technically need to self-cater on this staycation honeymoon either: a big draw is the ginormous welcome hamper consisting of farmhouse breads, chocolates, eggs from Cacklebean Farm, biscuits, chutneys and lemon cake. Plus there’s a fridge full of Champagne, milk, thick bacon and sausages from Daylesford Farm Organics (a short drive away). The Wild Rabbit restaurant is close by, too.
What You’ll Love About This Staycation Honeymoon
After setting aside time for selfies – a la Millie Mackintosh who held her swanky hen party here last year – you’ll busy yourselves with tennis and croquet or by splashing around in a 40ft bath-water temperature pool (which you’ll have mostly to yourselves). It sits inside a sun-filled pavilion overlooking the pretty garden. Bruern repays your visit time and time again with hidden courtyards, gazebos, wisteria tunnels, arches and secret sun-trap picnic gardens. The spa offers unadulterated luxury with heated beds, reflexology treatments, a sauna and gym. We chill for hours in a games room stocked with a HD mini cinema projector, table tennis and pool tables and a grand piano. Bikes, including tandems in every conceivable size can be borrowed when you’re ready to explore. It’s the Cotswolds best kept secret for sure, and you’ll leave wanting to spend entire summers here.
Book your Cotswolds staycation honeymoon from £564 per week for cottages sleeping 2-12 via www.michaelpaulholidays.co.uk.