Bruern Holiday Cottages, OX7 6QA
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Sleeps 4 plus cot: 1 double, 1 twin, four poster bed, separate kitchen, panoramic views, utility room, dishwasher, fridge-freezer, open fire, garden furniture, summerhouse
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To get to Cheltenham Holiday Cottage, you go in through its private entrance - to the right of the central arches of the stables - and up a spiral staircase whose walls are hung with quantities of blue-and-white china. At the top, you are greeted by an enormous warm and welcoming open-plan drawing-room/dining-room. This is flooded by the light from six windows looking out to staggering views: on one side, across the walled garden, fields and woods to Stow in the blue distance; and on the other, over the stable courtyard and the parkland of Bruern Abbey.
The walls are a sunny Chinese yellow, set off by long cream cotton damask curtains and the cream sofa. The quantities of black-and-white prints and black-framed engravings, together with the black-and-white engraved border at cornice level, make it look like an 18th century print room. Over the stripped pine mantelpiece there's a black-and-gold framed mirror, and by the window a desk with a telephone, and a comfortable Victorian desk chair in striped blue-and-gold velvet. Two low Louis XV style chairs flank the open fire, and there's a grey velvet buttoned hassock on the pink-and-grey kelim - perfect for a tray or magazines, or just to perch on by the fire.
Behind the sofa is the circular mahogany dining-table; round it, the dining chairs are covered in thick cream cotton. Two windows frame the big dresser, whose subtle off-whites and greys set off shelves of decorative pink-and-white china, plates, tea pots, coffee pots and serving dishes.
The fresh and pretty kitchen is screened from the drawing-room by stairs leading to the two bedrooms. It has white painted units and blue-and-white Delft wall tiles. There's every machine and gadget you might need, as well as a waste disposal unit and pine dish rack.
The master bedroom, at the top of the stairs on the left, is a tranquil mixture of blue, pink and cream. The walls are palest pink, the woodwork dragged pearly grey; the four-poster is painted in a blue-and-white faux bamboo effect, and hung in a tiny pink-and-blue on cream Bennison print of garlands of roses, matching the curtains and the cushion on the window seat. There's a wardrobe and shelves with sliding doors, and a small marble-topped washstand set in a mirrored lighted alcove by the door.
Across the landing is the twin-bedded room, with buff walls, pale green dragged paintwork, and a curtained alcove lined in rose-and-cream toile de jouy, in which is set one of the beds.
In between the bedrooms are both the shared bathroom, tiled in blue-and-white Delft with a huge mirror down one wall, and the separate lavatory.
Guests staying in Cheltenham holiday cottage have their own private summerhouse and terrace at the end of the garden, with a table, chairs and a big umbrella, plus a barbecue for al fresco meals. Beds thick with roses and clematis give it privacy on both sides, and in front, there's the wonderful sweep of the 100' long border, backed by a wisteria and apple tunnel.