Our 7th year at Bruern and as good as ever. Aintree works very well for a family of six, the playroom under the stairs is great for the very little ones. Pool was clean and warm; house was up to the usual standard...plentiful firewood, well equipped kitchen, comfortable beds and bedding. We'll be back again next year!
Tucked away in the tiny hamlet of Bruern in the Cotswolds, is a wonderful collection of 12 self contained self catering Holiday cottages that proves luxury and child friendliness are not mutually exclusive.
The best thing about this place is it's amazing and unusual focus on children, while still retaining it's adult luxury. Each cottage has a playroom of toys for the kids. When I booked our cottage I was asked if I needed bed guards for my two year old (this is certainly the first place I've ever come across to offer bed guards which was exactly what I needed). We were provided with a travel cot for my new born, stair gates, a baby bath, children's plates, bowls, cups, cutlery and a booster seat for the kitchen table. This saved us bringing all the bulky items with us. Every plug socket in the cottage had a baby socket cover on it (such attention to detail). Everything was of high quality and in great condition. Our private garden opened onto the huge shared walled garden which has a hedge with little archways running through it.... Ideal for hundreds of games of hide and seek with a toddler. At the top of the garden was a play area with two slides, swings, see saws and a great selection of bikes and cars to whizz around on. There was a cute Wooden Wendy house with an upstairs and a large summer house filled with Lego, dressing up, painting, chalk board, train sets, colouring, books, puzzles and so many more toys. A child's idea of heaven. Adjacent to the play A&A was the pool and gym. The shallow pool is ideal for children. Swim nappies are provided free in the changing rooms for babies. Every last thing has been thought of!
On arrival at our cottage we found the fridge fully stocked with butter, milk, cheese, mint chocolates and a bottle of champagne. A homemade cake was laid out on the table and the tea, coffee, sugar and biscuit tins were fully stocked. The cottages are as Green as possible. All the washing detergents and cleaning products provided in the cottage are all Eco friendly and there is both a vegetable compost bin and normal bin provided in the kitchen as well as glass, plastic and paper recycling bins out back. If you stay longer than a week, the cottage is fully cleaned once a week and all bathroom and kitchen supplies are fully re-stocked - including the cake and champagne to our delight.
We stayed in Aintree cottage in the converted stable block. The front doors to the stable cottages retain their wide stable door entrances but aside from this you would never guess the cottages former history. A high ceilinged living room leads into a private garden complete with has BBQ and outdoor dining table and views into the large walled garden, the cottage is airy and luxurious - with a feeling of more country manor than country cottage. The living room walls are stenciled by Jocasta Innes and the whole cottage is furnished in a really cosy and homely way with antique furniture and bookshelves lined with great reads for kids and adults. The kitchen is clean and spacious and really well equipped for cooking, there are even a range of cookbooks and a magimix should you feel like whipping up a gourmet feast/cake whilst on holiday. There's a small playroom under the stairs with a letterbox that my 2 and 1/2 year old never tired of posting things through, Lego, books, cars and dressing up clothes.
Upstairs the master bedroom is really spacious and light with Ralph Lauren furnishings. The en suite bathroom has a beautiful marble washstand with raised sink. The power shower over the bath is fine but both this bathroom and the family bathroom could do with modernizing a little .,. a walk in shower is missing from this otherwise perfect cottage. Both bathrooms are fully stocked with White Company soaps and hair wash. The two twin bedrooms are perfectly comfortable and tastefully decorated but small.
There's a games room on site with piano and pool table as well as a huge DVD collection to browse. Bikes are available to borrow from the bike shed free of charge. We loved how each cottage has it's own private garden leading onto the shared gardens. The way that each plot is shielded by small hedges and flower beds was very clever.
We can't wait to come back next year.
There's loads of things to do nearby. All within 15-20 min drive so it's a great central location. Loads of brilliant kind with delicious food and great views too.
Of course this place ain't cheap. But you get what you pay for!