Bruern Holiday Cottages, OX7 6QA
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Sleeps 2: 1 double bedroom, ensuite bathroom, stone floored kitchen, two dishwashers, US style fridge, range cooker, open fire, 30ft drawing room, two small private terraces, garden furniture
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Cope Holiday Cottage, converted from the mill house next to Bookers, sleeps two; it has a 30' by 15' terracotta library/drawing-room/dining-room, with a high pitched roof and a Gothic stone fireplace.
There are bookcases framing the windows and the desk at the back of the room; in the middle is a large, round table, and round the fire are a leather sofa and a couple of buttoned leather tub chairs.
There's a big Mulberry stool in front of the sofa and a green leather club fender; three tiers of Spy prints flank the fireplace, and busts of Voltaire and Diderot stand on top of the bookcases. The floor-length curtains are in an off-white-and-olive striped cotton, and the window seats and chairs are made inviting with Mulberry cushions in suede.
The atmosphere is warm but grand - think country house library, or St. James' smoking room. A jib door to the right of the fireplace leads to the East Terrace, overlooking the river.
The bedroom has a gleaming, dark polished wooden floor, a high pitched ceiling with old beams, blue curtains at the four windows, and a 6' bed, framed by gold-and-blue bed hangings and flanked by 18th Century prints; It faces an off-white painted French armoire. An antique mirror hangs over the mahogany chest of drawers between the two windows. The walls are a pale cafe au lait, and there's a kelim rug in tones of browns and cream. A door leads onto a trellised terrace where you can have a drink in the evening sun, surrounded by Mediterranean scents of lavender, cistus and pinks, sage, thyme and roses.
The ensuite bathroom has pale coffee marbleised tiles and a marble-topped vanity unit. There's a power shower over the bath, and a mirror running the whole way down one wall.
The kitchen is flagged in cream Cotswold fossil stone from Farmington quarry nearby, and has cream units with wooden work surfaces. It is very well equipped for large- or small-scale catering, with a Britannia range cooker with six burners and two ovens, a big stainless steel side-by-side US style fridge and freezer, two dishwashers and a washing machine/ dryer, plus a microwave in the island unit in the centre. One door leads out onto the west-facing terrace and another to Bookers Drive. Cope holiday cottage is large but comfortable. Two people will feel cosy by the fire, but the drawing-room can either seat twenty-five, or else the furniture can be moved out and the room transformed into a dining-room for twenty or thirty, with two or three round tables and a battalion of folding chairs for a big lunch or dinner.
Cutlery, porcelain and glasses for thirty are all stored in the cottage, near at hand. It is a spectacular room, either for a party or as a communal meeting place when groups of friends or family rent several cottages. An extra charge applies when it is used for a large-scale party as opposed to a family rendezvous - £100 if two tables are set out and £150 if three are needed.
Please note: If you wish to have a party in Cope the guests must occupy the other cottages.