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40 Nelson Road
New Malden

My name is Rachel Carr and I started This Is Carrt in 2014 when my husband's job moved to Germany and I decided to give up my day job in the city and go with him on the adventure! I had always loved to travel and write, and was also passionate about photography so one day I sat down and mingled all three of them on this website and my Etsy page. I write about a wide range of things like how to cope with airline hand luggage allowances to what to wear to any destination wedding. However, when I write up a holiday destination, there are more often than not a few common themes linking what are otherwise very different places:

1) Food. I love to eat. It structures my day to day life as well as any trip that I go on. I think food is a great way to start to experience a new culture as well as meeting new people.

2) Value. I don't get swayed by places to be seen and clothing to be seen in for the sake of it. I hate being ripped off. Be that by a fiver or by hundreds of pounds. If an activity or an excursion I go on is expensive but an amazing experience, I will still highly recommend it, but won't recommend it simply because it is deemed luxury.

3) Beauty. I love looking at pretty things. They don't have to have a purpose!

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The One Where I Went To Soho Farmhouse

Our Blog - Dedicated to Travel, Food, Lifestyle and Fashion

With a love of travel and writing as well as a passion for photography, this blogsite and my Etsy page mingles all three.

The One Where I Went To Soho Farmhouse

Rachel Carr

This week, I was lucky enough to go to Soho Farmhouse with one of my oldest friends Miss. T. Luckier still, we were blessed with sunny weather and warm temperatures that made this country outpost of the Soho House chain even more idyllic than it already is. Set within rolling hills near Chipping Norton, on the outskirts of the village of Great Tew, Soho Farmhouse is about an hour and a half from London and a completely decadent slice of heaven. 

From the moment you turn your car into the driveway, your every need is taken care of by the friendly staff. We checked in at the gatehouse, where our car was parked for us, and cleaned!, and were driven to our cabin with a small tour of the grounds by the very helpful Freddie who had quietly moved our bags from my dirty car to his very clean BMW. Upon arriving at our cabin, he took our luggage into our room and showed us all the amenities within it, from the well stocked kitchenette to the high tech TV with yet more information available about the grounds, restaurants and activities available. 

The world's largest, and most comfortable, bed. With more pillows than my whole house put together. 

The world's largest, and most comfortable, bed. With more pillows than my whole house put together. 

You can really just rock up to resort with nothing more than a clean pair of clothes. The bathroom, with an epic waterfall shower, provides everything. From cotton pads to condoms. 

You can really just rock up to resort with nothing more than a clean pair of clothes. The bathroom, with an epic waterfall shower, provides everything. From cotton pads to condoms. 

Its resident Cowshed spa also provides an abundance of lotions and potions in the rooms. I ran out of body parts to try them all on. 

Its resident Cowshed spa also provides an abundance of lotions and potions in the rooms. I ran out of body parts to try them all on. 

Once young Freddie had settled us in, Miss T set about making use of the bread and cheese given to all guests upon arrival by laying it out on one of the tables on our balcony, whilst also making me a much needed cuppa. Whilst we munched away on the fresh carb deliciousness, we discussed what we wanted to do over the next 24 hours of our stay. We had dinner booked in the Main Barn that evening at 19.30, giving us the rest of the afternoon to make use of the weather. We saw that we only really had one sensible option open to us - put our bikinis on and lie by the outdoor pool. Not a sentence I ever thought I'd say in mid March in the UK. So as soon as the cheese was finished, we headed to the boathouse, which also houses a gym as well as a yoga and a spin studio. We went via the Main Barn, simply to have a nosey, where the courtyard was busy with people eating their lunch outside whilst playing pool, boules or table football. I've no pictures of the main barn area as Soho House asks that as a members club, the member areas remain private to those paying to use the facility. There are also three shops - one deli selling the yummiest food, one selling the Soho range of home decor, and one called the Store selling high end fashion and other indulgent gifts. 

The well stocked kitchenette is so much more than your average 5 star hotel's mini bar. We were provided with a fresh loaf of bread, granola, cheese and milk as the standard turn down service. The mini bar itself is also well stocked with pre made Negronis, Old Fashioned and Martini mixes to try. 

The well stocked kitchenette is so much more than your average 5 star hotel's mini bar. We were provided with a fresh loaf of bread, granola, cheese and milk as the standard turn down service. The mini bar itself is also well stocked with pre made Negronis, Old Fashioned and Martini mixes to try. 

Enjoying eating our bread and cheese on our wraparound deck and balcony - in the sunshine. All the produce is sourced locally, if not grown on site. 

Enjoying eating our bread and cheese on our wraparound deck and balcony - in the sunshine. All the produce is sourced locally, if not grown on site. 

Sitting by the pool, chewing the cud with one of my oldest and dearest friends, was a marvellous way to spend the afternoon. Once I had got over the fact that I was lying outside in the UK in March in my new swimming costume, I really relaxed - as is the way at the farmhouse. I was even able to forget that I felt a little bit more than self conscious at 7 months pregnant wearing a tangerine tankini two piece. Miss T was looking chic as ever in her new Boden number purchased in the shop just moments before. Whilst lying down, enjoying the clear blue skies and beautiful vista of the countryside with the heated pool just in front of me, we had some delicious coffee and tasty smoothies from the Pen Yen restaurant that sits on the water's edge too. After a swim, we changed in the well kitted out changing rooms where the after school crowd members were just coming in to make use of the weather with their little ones. 

Back in our room, we focussed on what we felt the hotel wanted us to do, and relax. We had a cuppa on the balcony, followed by a nap and shower (which was divine) whilst waiting for the cocktail milk cart to stop in on is at our requested time of 18.30. A delightful young chap knocked on the door right on cue and offered us any drink that we could think of. Whilst only mocktails were available to me, Miss T had my old favourite - a dark and stormy. We drank our respective beverages whilst dressing for dinner delighted with this quirky form of room service (which also was relatively good value given the luxury nature of the resort). 

For dinner, we both dined well on fish and whilst the wine list didn't take as much of a battering as it may have done in the past, I could see that it had a large choice to suit all budgets. The food we had was also delicious from a menu of English classics as well as pub favourites of burgers and pizzas. The Main Barn restaurant itself is also a stunning space that really helps create a relaxed atmosphere, however on one of its mezzanine levels it has the Fancy Farm restaurant that provides fine dining with all its silver service accoutrements.

After all the excitement of the day, the 7 months pregnant lady in me was not up to too much more after our supper, so we headed back to our cabin to hunker down in its cosy elegance. However, we could have gone to the screening of the film Hidden Figures amongst other options available to guests. Miss T was happy with the get into the ludicrously soft dressing gown and lie on the massive bed option like me.

I mean look at that sunshine!!! Our balcony was huge and overlooked the stream, like all the cabins. It found it interesting that we had the 'smallest' room type available (apart from the tents!), and yet it was still one of the largest, most indulgent rooms I have stayed in. 

I mean look at that sunshine!!! Our balcony was huge and overlooked the stream, like all the cabins. It found it interesting that we had the 'smallest' room type available (apart from the tents!), and yet it was still one of the largest, most indulgent rooms I have stayed in. 

A yummy flat white, pool side in yet more sunshine. The service was attentive, helpful and reserved. An ethos that pervades the whole resort. 

A yummy flat white, pool side in yet more sunshine. The service was attentive, helpful and reserved. An ethos that pervades the whole resort. 

The follow morning, yet another milk cart arrived. This time with our breakfast which was made fresh and to order right outside our front door. It felt like one of those ludicrously indulgent moments of my life, sitting in my dressing gown, a foot from my bed, having my breakfast served to me by a young chap who would have made me anything I wanted (bar poached eggs which he cannot make on his portable kitchen for health and safety reasons). My bacon and avo sandwich was not only delicious but huge and I struggled to get through it. Miss T was the same with scrambled eggs and smashed avocado on toast. 

After our slovenly breakfast, we showered and dressed slowly, making use of yet more yummy Cowshed products. We planned to walk off our huge trough so meandered around the farm itself, looking at all the horses (available for riding if you so choose). You can walk from the resort to the village of Great Tew in about half an hour which has a great pub at the end of it to reward you. Miss T and I simply wandered to the comfy barn mezzanine for a coffee before we headed back to the Gatehouse to collect the (cleaned) car and check out.

Delicious breakfast, made to order just outside our door on one of the milk floats that turn into cocktail bars or food carts depending on the time of day. The food, even without the high level of service provided, was absolutely delicious and I will definitely be trying to emulate the basil and lime smashed avo upon my return.

Delicious breakfast, made to order just outside our door on one of the milk floats that turn into cocktail bars or food carts depending on the time of day. The food, even without the high level of service provided, was absolutely delicious and I will definitely be trying to emulate the basil and lime smashed avo upon my return.

My balcony at sunset. I had to pinch myself that it was March. In the background, you can just about see the outdoor bath. I didn't make use of it as there was so much else that had my attention (like talking to Miss T.), but I definitely would have made use of it had I stayed longer. 

My balcony at sunset. I had to pinch myself that it was March. In the background, you can just about see the outdoor bath. I didn't make use of it as there was so much else that had my attention (like talking to Miss T.), but I definitely would have made use of it had I stayed longer. 

Yet more delicious (decaf) coffee, this time in the Main Barn in its Comfy Barn section. 

Yet more delicious (decaf) coffee, this time in the Main Barn in its Comfy Barn section. 

My trip to Soho Farmhouse was therefore not only a success but a real treat. It is so indulgent but somehow never appears to be overly lavish for opulence sake. It's clearly a five star resort though with an emphasis on taking care of its members and guests' every need without being sycophantic or over the top. I hope to return very soon.

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