Behind a wooden gate, beneath a big rural sky, at the end of a curved gravel drive, sits Bucks Farm. Sleeping 12 family and friends or hens, it comes with a soft palette of gentle greys with the odd splash of aubergine. In the chalky Chiltern Hills escarpment, it begs you to let loose of modern life and listen to the crackle of the logburner.
You’re within striking distance of the lights and sights of London here, but you’d never know it. In the hot tub, hidden between the cottage and the Chiltern downslope, you’ll hear only the babbling water and the occasional swoop of a red kite. Stay out there for a terrace barbecue, garden games and a bottle of bubbles.
Inside, the living area invites you to relax and recharge in front of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video on the Ultra HD smart TV while you feed the fire with logs and kindling. Cook in the farmhouse kitchen and get together around the chunky dining table to tear sourdough and quaff wine over meats from Beef Olive in Aylesbury.
Sleep beneath the beams wrapped in luxury linen in six quirky, smartly appointed bedrooms. Wake to slip into spa-style robes, shower in three contemporary bathrooms and dry off with fluffy towels. Get around the kitchen table for croissants and Nespresso coffee, then it’s off to discover beautiful Bucks.
The Chiltern Hills, in which Bucks Farm appears embedded, might be the biggest garden of all, but you’ve also got a lawn for garden games and easy access to the boot room where you can dump your dirties after a hearty yomp.
Soak up the country air with a coal barbie on the terrace and break off from your bangers and burgers to take a dip in the five-person hot tub, nestled between the house and the lower slopes of the Chilterns.
Just like the rest of this sprawling, beamy quirk-fest of a cottage, the living room here is big yet comfortable and cosy. After a day hiking the hills, this is the place to get together for charades in front of the burning logs or just to kick back and relax in front of Netflix or Amazon Prime Video on the 43” Ultra HD TV.
Living areas here are light and airy and replete with beams and panels. But don’t let the traditional features fool you. Bucks Farm might be centuries old, but it’s been lovingly refurbished in a soft palette of cool greys and warm accent colours. It’s also tech-ready, with complimentary 30mbps Wi-Fi on tap.
This is the big, stone-floored farmhouse kitchen with giant island that you’ve always wanted. With everything you need to rustle up homely comfort food on the double electric oven and hob. Or not. Prefer to be pampered? Put in a call to our private chefs from Dineindulge and put your feet up. We’ve got your back. And your belly.
Eat around the 12-seater dining table beneath ancient beams and adjust the mood lighting to suit the time of day. Or eat outside in the clean Chiltern air on the coal barbie with the red kites swooping above. Fill up the dishwasher when you’re done and pop some pods in the Nespresso machine. Repair to the living room.
Elsewhere, The White Horse is walkable, offering seasonal hot and cold food, a great Ploughman’s and eight ever-changing beers. Head to The Royal Standard for butchers’ Cumberland sausages, calamari or scampi, or to The Royal Standard, the oldest free house in England and home to many a movie scene.
Eat English and Thai cuisine with originality and provenance at the spectacular Crazy Bear, or premium grill dishes, fresh fish, Asian influences, lower-calorie options and vegan at The Royal Saracens Head. Or try Thai at The Giggling Squid, including golden money bags, moo ping and royal fishing-boat curry.
It’s the little touches that make sleeping at Bucks Farm such a delight. All six bedrooms have plenty of space and a unique, quaint appeal, but it’s the fluffy towels, the luxury linen and the spa-style robes that are the true feathers in this delightful nest.
Rooms here share three luxury family bathrooms. Bedroom one is a single, while bedroom two comes with a kingsize and a single. Bedroom three offers a double bed and bedroom four has a queen. Bedroom five is a kingsize, while kid-friendly bedroom six provides two singles.
For additional space, there is the option to book the Lodge within the grounds, sleeping an additional three guests in an open plan living room.
Kids love space: the space to run as loose and wild as free-range chickens. There’s plenty of that here on a 2400-acre estate skirted by magnificent woodland and (hot tub aside) no worries about open water. They also like home reassurances and, with berths here for a dozen plus family dog, you can bring home with you.
There’s plenty of space in the 14 by ten-metre garden for frolics and the cottage comes with garden games, plus all those that you can think of yourself. Bring a ball, bring a frisbee, bring your sense of fun and freedom. Older kids will enjoy the five-seat hot tub in a secluded part of the garden in the shadow of the Chiltern Hills.
Inside, there’s no need to endure screen withdrawal, with free 30mbps Wi-Fi on tap. The 43” Ultra HD also comes with a BT package and complimentary Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. Stream your holiday soundtrack on the Bluetooth speaker. And eat out on the terrace with burgers from the coal barbie.