Dipal Acharya cures the January blues with an escape to Soho House’s country pile
January can be the very worst of times. After a month of raucous parties, free-flowing Prosecco and gluttonous overeating, the transition into ‘New Year, New Me’ mode is a daunting prospect. But those searching for the perfect way to soothe the festive hangover should look no further than a restorative weekend retreat at Soho House’s Oxfordshire farmhouse.
Set in 100 acres of sprawling countryside and less than a two-hour drive from London, Soho House founder Nick Jones’ new outpost opened to much fanfare last summer, with the likes of Eddie Redmayne, Alexa Chung and Cressida Bonas among the first lucky guests to secure a room.
The Farmhouse is a heady mix of rustic charm and stylish modern touches. The mini-village is made up of 40 spacious log cabins replete with timber beams and their own woodburners, although larger groups can be accommodated in a cottage and a farmhouse with four and seven bedrooms respectively. The site has a no-cars policy for guests, so having surrendered our car keys upon arrival on a Friday afternoon, we were ferried to our cabin in a vintage milk cart — painted in the Farmhouse’s signature teal — by James, our assigned ‘farmhand’ (read: personal butler).
Upon arrival, we were acquainted with our transport for the weekend: four trendy Foffa bikes parked neatly beside a row of mint-green Wellington boots, each provided by the hotel according to height and shoe measurements sent over to the bookings team in advance of our stay.
The interior of the cabin was trademark Soho House — cosily familiar yet expertly tailored to its surroundings. We found stacks of logs and a pre-lit fire crackling away in the living room, and a Kirstie Allsopp-worthy kitchen stocked with fresh loaves of bread and bags of granola snaffled from the in-house deli. The bedrooms were kitted out with XXL double beds, mini Marshall speakers and en-suite bathrooms loaded with the house’s signature Cowshed lotions and potions.
With so many home comforts, we weren’t quite ready to venture outside — which proved no bad thing once we discovered the cabin services menu. A quick phone call to our farmhand and a mobile cocktail service was