25 March 2021
Time To Retreat?
As the world plans to re-open, a lot of us will be looking for a bit of much needed R and R, and to treat ourselves after what has been a challenging year. I love organising retreats for both corporate and private clients and getting creative to make it a special experience for all.
Here are a few venue recommendations in my local area – the Cotswolds – and an extra one in Essex; a beautiful island retreat! All of these will provide a superb location for a wonderful getaway with colleagues, clients, teams, family and friends. Do let me know if we can help you organise your next retreat or getaway, as we would love to add those extra special touches for you.
North Cadbury Court
This is a gorgeous spot for a touch of decadence and grandeur. Owned by the Montgomery family who are world famous for their Cheddar cheese, this stunning Grade I 16th century country house stands in 1,500 acres of beautiful parkland and gardens in the glorious Somerset countryside. Conveniently close to the A303 it is just two hours from London by car, and 1hr 40 mins by train.
With 25 bedrooms, a beautiful ballroom, lawn tennis courts, lake, roof-top golf tee, indoor swimming pool and spa, and on-site activities including swimming, golf, bumper balls, fishing, pedalos, tennis, croquet, archery, basement casino and disco, this is a fabulous spot for a team off-site, family celebration or reward event.
A recent visit has turned this into an absolute local favourite of mine. Situated a few miles from Newbury, Wasing Park is just beautiful with so may opportunities, and the ideal country retreat.
Famed for hosting fabulous weddings, the estate has some wonderful spaces ideal for meetings, teambuilding activities, bespoke experiences and of course wellbeing with a variety of spaces beautifully suited. It is the best location to be at one with nature and stay in a mix of wonderfully designed bedrooms, each one unique.
I love the outdoors and walking, so the many hikes on the estate and along the nearby Avon and Kennet canal is a real draw for me. For keen anglers, you can bring your own equipment and enjoy fishing one of the stunning woodland lakes.
Cotswold Park Barns
Another favourite of mine! Located in the heart of the rolling Cotswolds close to Cirencester, this beautiful family-owned and run converted barn is a wonderful spot for both corporate and private getaways. With a fully functioning conference room, meeting lounges and 10 bedrooms with stunning countryside views, it is the ideal venue for those wanting a proper break, or team get together.
Another local gem of mine, Thyme is a restored historic Cotswold manor and farm. It is a wonderful family story where a passion for the land, food and entertaining, merges with a love of local heritage, beauty and conservation. Working with the historic buildings and the farm that surrounds them, they have created a delightfully thoughtful and special place with love and attention lavished on every detail. The perfect option for a relaxing getaway with family or a team off-site with its spa, stunning gardens and on-site cookery school. I would definitely recommend a visit!
The Farncombe Estate
Perched high above the village of Broadway lies the Farncombe Estate – a glorious sprawl of forest and field, riddled with rambling trails and cycle routes, and home to Dormy House, Foxhill Manor, and The Fish.
Whether you are looking to get the team together for a much-needed working retreat coupled with some fun or enjoy a marvellous mini-break with a loved one, this 400-acre estate is a fabulous option. With wonderful accommodation, including a collection of treehouses, a spa, gardens, and a variety of delicious restaurants, it should be on your list! Do give us a shout if you would like to find out more.
Nestled in the west of the Cotswolds, this stunning and unique country house dates back to the 1350s. Sitting in large grounds Pauntley Court is a very popular wedding destination, but the family also opens its arms and hospitality for weekend breaks and getaways. They very much mix 5-star amenities in a wonderful rustic and historic setting – it is your home away from home. On a recent site visit my creative juices really did start flowing as there are so many opportunities.
I just love this place! The options are endless, and with the possibility of having the island exclusively to yourself, I think Osea Island in Essex is an idyllic haven for a retreat. Basking serenely on the Blackwater Estuary, it is just a little over an hour’s drive from London.
Accessed via an ancient causeway built by the Romans, the enigmatic tidal road opens at every low tide for a period of 4 hours when cars can be driven across. At high tide, there is a river taxi service from the mainland – the boat journey taking about 10 minutes.
Osea has a fascinating and colourful past echoing back some 5,000 years and is a fantastic place to get away from it all. Catering for retreats, team offsites, bespoke experiences, private get togethers, parties and weddings, Osea Island is definitely a very special option for your next retreat.