Soho Farmhouse is without a shadow of a doubt the “place to be” at the moment. If you check out the geotag on Instagram you’ll see it’s permanently booked out with celebrities, mega bloggers and very glamorous ladies who lunch. When my gorgeous friends suggested an overnight stay as an (early) birthday celebration I could barely contain my excitement.
For those that don’t know much about Soho Farmhouse, it is part of the Soho House Group who have members clubs all over the world. It has a bit of a cult following and in parts of the world, there is a waiting list to join. Soho Farmhouse is a fairly recent addition to the group, opening in 2015. It is set in 100 acres of Oxford countryside with 40 cabins and is the ultimate home from home.
Where We Stayed
After checking in we were driven to our home for the night by our “farmhand” (that’s Soho House speak for butler) in a very swanky, but rather muddy, BMW. There is also the option of being escorted in a very cool refurbished milk float.
When we got to our cabin our bags were already waiting for us and the farmhand lit a roaring fire and left us with his name and mobile number, telling us if there’s anything we needed to give him a call.
As there were 3 of us, we booked a 2 bedroom cabin and it’s safe to say we were not short of space. There was a cosy living area with a woodburning fire, fully stocked kitchen, 2 huge bedrooms with ample wardrobe space, a bathroom with a shower the size of most London studio apartments plus 2 little terraces. The whole place can best be described as rustic chic.
What We Did
This is a very outdoorsy place. You are provided with a Foffa bicycle which is neatly parked outside your cabin with your name on it and a pair of wellies (yes, they are in your size, they take your shoe size at the time of booking).
Expect to cycle pretty much everywhere, you could walk but from our cabin it was quite a trek to Main Barn or Cowshed Spa.
We spent some time at the Boathouse where they have a heated outdoor and indoor pool. My crazy friends braved a lap in the outdoor pool, while I stayed safely (and warmly) indoors.
We also made sure we tried one of their famous lake rowing boats. We also indulged in plenty of food, lots of walking and spending time with the horses.
You couldn’t come to a better place for a countryside frolic and if you’re looking for somewhere with plenty to do, this is it! Aside from the 3 restaurants, 2 pools and Cowshed spa already mentioned, there is also a Steam and Sauna Island, Cowshed Active gym, Electric Barn Cinema, tennis courts, a five-a-side football pitch, horse stables, several boutiques and a Teeny Barn and Camp. It’s ideal if you don’t want to be sitting around, twiddling your thumbs.
The personal touches are what makes this place stand out. When we arrived there were 2 loaves of freshly baked bread, a jar of cookies to have with our tea and we even had bottles milk left outside our cabin for us in the morning.
There were all the toiletries you could ever need, honestly don’t even bother bringing a washbag, they have everything provided. The bed was as cosy and soft as it gets with a very fluffy duvet.
I adored the huge selection of Cowshed products. There were shower gel choices which could invigorate you, relax you, uplift you or balance you. The shampoo was absolutely amazing, it just felt really luxurious and decadent. It’s safe to say I didn’t want to get out the shower.
I also have to mention the snuggliest dressing gowns, they were so amazing I almost purchased one to have at home but just about resisted!
This is not Soho Farmhouse’s fault and by no means a surprise given that it’s January, but the wet and wild weather was a bit of a damper, particularly when it came to riding the bikes in the gales. I’m not a seasoned bike rider (I haven’t ridden one since my early teens), so I really struggled and found myself wishing for a golf cart to drive me around or at least anything I didn’t have to peddle!
Admittedly, we did go on a pretty cold day but I was surprised by how cold the cabin bedrooms were. While the wood burning fire did a great job at heating the living area, it didn’t have much benefit in the bedrooms. Thankfully, I packed flannel PJs and bed socks, so I just about managed but it was quite a chilly night’s sleep.
I think to enjoy every aspect of this place, you probably need to come in the summer. Although I have heard it gets so packed when the sun does decide to show up, that you’re jostling around in the pool for elbow space, which doesn’t sound much fun either! Soho Farmhouse is in such demand, that it’s not all that surprising during peak season it’s heaving with people.
I really loved my stay at Soho Farmhouse. It was the perfect place to spend quality time with my friends away from the city. Although as I’m not a very outdoorsy person, one night was more than enough for me and I was quite grateful to head back to the city. However, my friend was saying she thought 2 nights would be ideal as she felt she didn’t get to make the most of it.
So, if you love being outside and being active this is definitely the place for you and even if you don’t, you’re still going to love it. Just make sure you don’t stay too long or you’ll start missing that toxic city air!