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Hey friends! With all that is going on in the world right now, thinking about travel feels a bit strange. I know none of us are booking any international trips anytime soon, but I’m excited to take you on a virtual trip with us to The Cotswolds, England as we recap our trip from February. It’s crazy to think that if this trip had been booked for just a few weeks later, it would have definitely been canceled. While we were in the UK, Coronavirus still felt like a very distant and not very serious issue. Things have changed so quickly!

We booked this trip to England as part of a prize that my brother-in-law won for a four night stay in London (he won the trip as part of the Bucket List Family’s 12 Days of Christmas giveaway in 2018. How cool is that!?), so we decided to tack on a few extra days in the English Countryside as part of the trip. I’ve been to England quite a few times before, and we have always visited the Northeast region, and I’ve loved every minute! But I was excited to see a different part of the country as well! The Cotswolds has been on my bucket list for years. Rolling fields, quaint villages, cozy pubs—it is just about the most quintessentially English place I can think of! The entire time I imagined I was in one of my favorite English films—like something straight out of Jane Austen (and, in fact, the new Emma movie was filmed in one of the towns we visited!).

I have sensed a real move in the interior design community toward English cottage inspired design, so it felt timely to actually spend a few days visiting those actual English villages that inspire the homes we are seeing on Pinterest and in design magazines. I have loved European design for as long as I can remember, and I have had a very special place in my heart for English inspiration specifically since my family took our first trip there when I was 10 years old. My love for tea and British history and English design has never waned!

Peaceful. Quaint. Simple. Historic. Cozy. Friendly. All words I would use to describe The Cotswolds! I could have spent much longer there, and I know the slow pace and walks through the sheep-filled fields would have been good for my soul!

So here are a few of the photos from our lovely time in the Cotswolds. I’m also sharing some of our favorite spots (for the next trip you take to the Cotswolds) and some of the design elements I picked up on that I’m hoping to bring home and incorporate into my work!

A few design elements not to be missed are gallery walls, stone accents, muted colors like blues and greens, patterned fabrics, and mismatched but well appointed antique furniture.

We stayed in the town of Stow-On-The-Wold at an adorable inn called The Bell at Stow. The Dining Room where we had breakfast everyday was seriously DREAMY! With the old stone fireplaces and the patterned upholstery and mismatched chairs. It was so comfortable and cozy.


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I took several walks around town just to soak in all of the beautiful buildings and shops around the town square and down the narrow streets.

The town is full of cafes and coffee shops (and everyone brings their dogs inside!) and antique stores.


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Some of our other favorite towns were Bourton-on-the-Water and The Slaughters. But every place we visited was beautiful!

One of my favorite memories was afternoon Cream Tea (afternoon tea served with scones with clotted cream and jam) at Bakery on the Water.


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No trip to the Cotswolds is complete without a walk from town to town through the fields. All of the pastures are open to the public and there are marked walking trails that take you between villages. Just make sure you close the gates behind you to keep the sheep in!


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We also took a tour of the elegant Blenheim Palace, which is beautiful and grand!


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Here are some of our favorites from the trip!

Towns

  • Stow-On-The-Wold

  • The Slaughters

  • Bourton-On-The-Water

  • Oxford

Restaurants/Cafes

  • Bakery On The Water

  • The Ebrington Arms (our favorite dinner of the whole trip. Cozy pub vibes with big fireplaces and great food!)

  • The Handle Bar Cafe and Kitchen (Oxford)

  • The Porch House

  • New England Coffee House

Thanks for following along on our journey to The Cotswolds! I’m already dreaming of ways to incorporate many of the design elements I found there into our master bedroom, kitchen, and front living room at the new house. Stay tuned!