Sunday, 7 June 2015




Barnsley House

We lived in Cheltenham for two years at the end of the eighties and I took to English life like a duck to water.  I had always loved all things English and I put it down to all the English books I read as a child.  The hedgerows, names of flowers and English life have always somehow been familiar to me.

Our return visits to England have been more restricted to  London and close surrounds and it was our garden itinerary that took us back to the Cotswolds.    So much of our garden tour has been nostalgic.  I had almost forgotten how beautiful the Cotswolds and Gloucestershire are.  We loved the hills and dales,  majestic trees,  stone walls and hedgerows, and of course,  the beautiful stone buildings.   The gardens - both public and private are extraordinary.  

Our stay at Barnsley House was very pleasant.  The hotel staff are very friendly and welcoming and I always find that this makes such a difference.   Rosemary Verey's garden is still lovely but perhaps a little untidy and in need of a little TLC.    The hotel has become very popular lunch destination for locals and the food is good.    Barnsley House is also in demand as a wedding venue and the iconic 'cupcake' topiaries are now draped with fairy lights!  The building itself is a beauty and the terrace outside is a wonderful place to sit when the sun is shining. 

I love the lumpy, bumpy topiary.

'The Potager' at breakfast


I think my favourite village was Broadway.  It was still quiet, as the season hasn't really got going and  we were able to stroll down the high street without seeing any buses or too many tourists.  It was all very pretty with not an ugly house or building in sight.  Mr R-I thought it was a good idea to walk to Broadway from the Dormy House where we were staying.  May I add that it is a 3 mile walk, most of which is on a steep downhill.  Those of you who've had hip replacements will attest to the fact that walking downhill can be uncomfortable! It was also quite a hot day and I have to say that it was not my finest hour!! 

The Broadway Deli, selling good produce.

This dapper gentleman has been selling ice-creams in Broadway for over thirty years!  The vanilla-bean in a small cone was delicious and it went a long way in restoring my humour after that steep walk!  

The Broadway Cookshop

A very old Wisteria spanning three buildings

Look at the age of this Wisteria.  It is chained to the old stone walls.  I have seen photos of the climber in flower and it is a wonderful sight!  Great colour choice for the door.
Our stay at Dormy House (above)  just outside Broadway was great.  A great deal of money has been spent on updating this hotel and it shows.  

This delicious salad was a favourite choice.


Visiting Daylesford was a highlight.  Although we have been to Daylesford in Pimlico many times,  it was our first visit to the Oxfordshire Farmshop.  Being a fan of all things organic and healthy,  I felt so at home here and we were impressed by the quality and variety of  the produce. We had lunch at the Farmshop and ordered roast chicken which was delicious.  The service was warm and friendly,  and I look forward to future visits!  The Haybarn is their Wellness centre and is filled with the beautiful Bamford body products, candles and more.  It smells heavenly in there and if only I had had more time,  I could have had one of their treatments.

On another day, we had lunch at the Wild Rabbit in Kingham which is also part of the Daylesford experience.    How could I resist roast beef and Yorkshire pudding?  So tender and delicious and served with home made horseradish sauce.

Fresh flowers and plants outside the Farmshop

The front entrance to the Wild Rabbit.

Our final night in England,  was spent in Oxford at The Old Parsonage Hotel.  We enjoyed a delightful dinner with friends at Gees.

Another very old Wisteria in the courtyard at The Old Parsonage.
Gees - which is in housed in an old greenhouse.  Surrounded by 'walled gardens'  it was a delightful experience.  The photo above is not my own.  The next stop is Boussac in France and then on to Gordes where we are meeting all the family.  


  1. I didn't know you lived in England! And you lived in such an English part too! I should do a garden tour but it's an odd thing that when I'm out of London but still in the UK I am in a rush to get back home oddly enough... Barnsley house is such a popular place now but I haven't been but would like to go. Looks like you've had a lovely time xx

    1. You would love getting out into the countryside more and seeing some of the National Trust Properties Naomi! But I know what you mean - I could definitely do more local touring in Australia! xx

  2. Lovely post Jenny, you obviously had a wonderful time. Sometimes we need to go back to really appreciate what has been under our noses. I grew up in Britain and normally my trips back were taken up with family etc, this year I was there just after Easter visiting one daughter with another, so I did some tourist things again after 40 odd years. It was wonderful, Britain is such a beautiful country. Your posts have made me realise that my next visit will be full of the countryside

    1. I'm so pleased Kim! The remarkable thing is that nothing seems to have changed. Stowe on the Wold is just as I remembered it but it was bucketing down on the day we visited and photos were not an option! There are so many other beautiful villages in England which I hope to explore next time we visit. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  3. What a lovely wrap up of your garden tour. I have never been to Barnsley House and have always thought it was more of a gardeners garden rather than a show piece- another garden to add to my list.I have also loved the alliums, how beautiful are they- will definitely find a spot for en masse for the alliums in my garden next season!!
    I have loved all the photos of the villages and homes and hotels-so quintessentially English- so pretty.
    You have set a seed of travel possibilities perhaps for next year. Thank you Jenny, very inspiring.
    Enjoy your time in France with family and friends.
    Best wishes Marilyn xx

    1. Hi Marilyn ... I'm so pleased you've been inspired! I am so keen to explore more of England now as there is such contrast between the counties. Dorset is another beauty and I've yet to explore the north where I believe there are magnificent gardens. I am also keen to order Aliums for next year - I saw thousands!! xx

  4. What a lovely garden tour. Love England and have visited The Cotswolds, but never the Barnsey House. It looks like such a pretty place to stay and the gardens…beautifu

    1. It certainly was Beth... fell in love with England all over again!

  5. Your pictures are stunning. I´ve been in the Cotswolds only once and I´m sure I will go there again!! Love it!
    Lovely hugs

    1. Thanks so much Molly! Thanks so much for stopping by xx

  6. Dear Jenny,
    Your photos are absolutely beautiful! You are a gifted photographer!! The Cotswolds is indeed full of extraordinary gardens and charming villages and towns. My favorite garden has to be Hidcote! The outdoor rooms there are so well done. Thanks for sharing your travels!

    1. Hi Loi, Thanks so much for commenting and the lovely compliment! I had forgotten how beautiful the Cotswolds are.. on a good day, they are very hard to beat. I also adored Hidcote. xxx

  7. Oh I loved this post so much! I will be referring back to it when I finally get to plan a garden tour of my own. Love that beautiful sea foam green they use on the Daylesford windows and doors.
    Your description of the walk sounds a bit grim! I had a similar experience in Sydney recently - we were staying next to the Botanic Gardens in the city, and my husband made me walk to a friends for an afternoon drink… in Woolarah. He claimed it was only 20 minutes which I was dubious about, but off we set. Well, let me tell you it took forever, and we were going up and down those steep windy streets and I had unsuitable footwear on and an hour and 20 minutes later we finally staggered in with me in a very grumpy mood looking hot and dishevelled and limping. At least the ice-cream man was there at the end waiting for you.
    I also found your observation on the seamless slip into English life interesting - I always feel similarly to you. It's all so familiar somehow.

    1. Oh my gosh! That was indeed a very long walk! Mr R-I always plays the distance down etc! So glad you're inspired to plan something of your own. I am always here (and so is FF) to help with suggestions! xxx

  8. The beauty of nature is really expressed on how you articulate yourself about your passion for what is seen on the blog. Unlike you, I have never thought of storing books that much because I loved the culture behind it but this is a challenge as well. I like your passion, which is definitely something to be cherished even as many of us look up to individuals like you despite working in different fields.

    Norberto @ Thorburn Landscapes


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