It’s hard not to fall in love with the cinematic Cotswolds: those rolling hills with their ancient honey-colored villages and country lanes were made for romance. Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg were seduced by this quintessential corner of England too, in 1969, while Jane was filming the thriller May Morning in Oxford.
Jane’s brother, Andrew Birkin, documented the couple’s countryside forays in a Citroën convertible, stopping for hot dogs in Oxford or strolling around the stately grounds of Blenheim Palace – Taschen’s scrapbook featuring the images, Jane & Serge: A Family Album, is a must-read.
Where to stay
These days, the hedonism of 1969 lives on at Nick Jones’ 100-acre hotel (and then some) in Oxfordshire, Soho Farmhouse, with its 40 wooden cabins, outdoor baths, boating lake, indoor-outdoor pool and stables. The Farncombe Estate (a bastion of Englishness combined with its quintessential Cotswolds hotels Dormy House and Foxhill Manor) now draws foodie couples to its latest property The Fish Hotel, whose seafood restaurant is renowned for the signature lobster thermidor and Porthilly rock oysters. You can even stay over in one of the new treehouse suites or the restored Coach House cottages, complete with log fires and snugs. Over at The Wild Rabbit (a seriously chic gastropub-cum-hotel, part of Daylesford’s organic empire), experience its sophisticated take on the ‘farm-to-table’ concept with giant charcuterie boards piled high with slabs of cured hams, fig and balsamic chutney, plus cheeses from the local farm.
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