I’ve been a fan of Soho Farmhouse since it opened in 2015. It’s Soho House’s biggest venture to date, spanning 100 acres of Oxfordshire countryside, and the best thing about it: you don’t have to be a member to stay there.
The experience starts from the get go; you leave your car at the front gate and a farmhand takes you into the heart of the Farmhouse in an electric milk float. The surroundings are picture perfect – log cabins are dotted about the place besides man made lakes and good looking people cycle past on retro push bikes. It’s Centre Parcs for cool people.
Our one bedroom cabin is super cosy. Inside there’s a large open plan living space with terrace and a kitchenette equipped with all the essentials; fresh milk, bread, butter, cheese. All complementary. The woodburning stove is a must for the evening.
Our outside balcony overlooks a small lake and some other cabins but you don’t feel in the slightest bit overlooked – it’s all very secluded.
The bedroom is massive and even has a roll top bath with views out the window. The bed, as is the Soho House way, is the comfiest in the world with pillows galore. If you remortgage and sell a kidney, you can buy the bedding from the Soho House shop. It’s the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had.
The bathroom has two sinks with a shed load of complementary toiletries; Dove deodorant, Marvis toothpaste, Listerine mouthwash, Cowshed moisturiser/lip balm – if you like your brands, you’re in for a treat. The shower is equipped with 10 variations of shampoo and conditioner. It’s over the top sure but pure luxury.
Our Farmhouse trip is kindly hosted by The House of Peroni and our day starts with a pasta masterclass in the cookery school with Francesco Mazzei. It’s a great space; we’re all given our own stations with kit to make fresh pesto and stracci (ribbons of pasta). I’m not the world’s greatest chef so I find stretching the pasta dough through the machine tricky as. The end result, topped with crumbled purple potatoes, if I do say so myself, is a thing of beauty.
Before dinner, time for a quick swim in the indoor/outdoor pool which lays beside the boating lake. Even more impressive are the changing rooms where each cubicle has its own shower, toilet, hairdryer and even more of that Cowshed shampoo. Dreamy stuff.
Dinner is in a private room in the courtyard beside the ping pong tables. It’s a tasting menu, with Peroni galore, cooked by Francesco and his gang. It’s probably one of the few humungous tasting menus I’ve had where the food is so good I’m glad it’s never-ending. As for the burrata tortelli with aged balsamic – I could eat hundreds of you.
Other highlights: house cured duck salami, which I’ve never seen done before, a huge saddle of lamb and a selection of pasticcini, that’s sweet Italian pastries, that are beyond moreish.
The next morning a quick cold pressed juice (when in Rome) and avocado on toast in the Main Barn are just the ticket to clear the fuzzy heads. Be a little more organised on your visit and book the fry up milk float which cooks your breakfast directly outside your cabin. They really have thought of everything.
The House of Peroni showed off Soho Farmhouse (and Francesco Mazzei’s cooking) in all its glory. Whether it’s a romantic night away you’re after or a troupe of friends taking advantage of the 3 bedroom cabins, a jaunt to the country comes thoroughly recommended.
Would we go back? Yes.