The Soho House group is of course very, very well known in the UK. Lots of people want to be members, lots of people want to know what’s going to be the new Soho House hotel. The articles I mentioned above have been driving traffic to my blog for a while now with many asking how you can become a Soho House member.
So I was very impatient to experience it and to bring you my Soho Farmhouse review!
Do you need a Soho House membership to get into Soho Farmhouse?
The thing is booking Soho Farmhouse is really difficult even if you are a Soho House member. I am not a Soho House member and I’ve tried a couple of times to get a room without success. You can of course apply for a Soho Farm house membership if you live locally, which might be a bit easier.
So I was delighted when one of my friends who is a member suggested that we do a girly weekend at Soho Farm house to celebrate the exams that our girls had passed after a lot of work.
If you’re not a member, see if you can find a friend or apply for that local membership and at least you can get in for lunches and experience the pools.
How to get to Soho Farmhouse Oxfordshire
Soho Farmhouse is about two hours from London in the Costwolds. The best way is by car. You can also travel by train, the nearest station is Chipping Norton. Once there, you don’t need a car so you can order a taxi to drive you to the estate.
If you come by car, your registration number will have been pre-recorded. Upon arrival, you leave your car at the entrance – by the way they can wash your car for free during your stay- and get onto this kind of old fashioned green milk vans that take you into what you could call the camp.
The Soho Farmhouse cabins
But of course it’s kind of a luxury camp. Instead of rooms, you have cabins, big ones! It’s important to know that only several of these cabins can have children, which also makes it a bit complicated to book if you are a family.
There’s also now another area where you now have the Soho Farmhouse bell tents you can book for a cheaper price as well.
The cabins vary in size. We had a three bedrooms cabin. Each cabin as an outdoor space, a living room, a kitchen, of course, amazing bathrooms, and each comes with bicycles to which labels with your names are attached and wellies. They ask you for your shoe size before you arrive on site!
Of course, the decor is very Soho House. It’s this combination of shabby, chic, comfortable yet a little bit trendy decor that has made the success of Soho Houses around the world. It makes you feel welcome and comfortable as soon as you walk into the cabin. Wood everywhere, warm blankets, multitude of cushions, throws on sofas want to bring the idea of countryside in but it is of course nature and countryside reinvented by Soho House.
The girls had a room with bunk beds and Soho Farmhouse kindly added one bed for the third girl so that the three girls could be in the same bedroom. The huge bathrooms come with pretty much the whole range of the own Soho Farmhouse spa toiletry range: Cowshed toiletries products.
Once you are settled in your cabin, you can really spend the whole time there. That’s what attracts people, of course, that sense of privacy in your cabin.
You have everything in the cabin to cook for yourself and you can just bring your own provisions. We improvised some picnic in the cabin, but the Soho Farmhouse staff can also come to you again with another one of these green trucks to either serve you breakfast in the morning or to prepare some cocktails in the evening before you go out.
The Soho Farmhouse restaurants
And of course you will have plenty of places to eat. Soho Farmhouse has a rule that no photo is allowed in public areas so I can’t show you what they look like. They all are vast and trendy and busy.
There is a restaurant in the barn, a cafe, a Japanese restaurant near the pool, a courtyard where you can eat in the summer… Again several of those are not allowed for children so plan your meals appropriately.
We ate a couple of times in the barn and it was good, not surprising food. The breakfast there looked great though with so much to choose from. On the Sunday, we had a Sunday lunch in the hayloft, which was fun. A buffet style gives you lots of options and you can then order hot dishes.
The Soho farmhouse spa and other activities: a leisure camp for adults and kids alike
You come to Soho Farmhouse Costwolds to experience the outdoors and there is plenty to keep you occupied. The main draw is the boat house which has an indoor heated pool which opens up into the outdoor heated pool. It is really, really impressive.
You can do other water activities: there are some boats that you can borrow and row around the lake There is of course a spa, and outside further away an area with an outdoor jacuzzi and steam room.
My friends and I each had a treatment at the Soho Farmhouse spa and really enjoyed the clear and bright space and the quality of the massages.
There is also a program of activities posted near the barn each morning: screenings in the cinema, horse riding lessons, sports etc… Gym classes are complementary. We tried a circuit training which was quite intense but really good.
Soho Farmhouse review – my verdict
So really everything has been thought for the tired, stressed city person who fancies a country break.
It was a bit too busy for my liking maybe because it was summer: the area around the pool, for instance, all the chairs were taken very quickly so you ended up trying to find a space to put your towel down on the grass.
And in a way if you leave the city, it’s not to be in a rat race to get the best spot around the pool. So I did find that a little bit annoying. It is also definitely something for the 30 something early forties as well. You do have a feeling that older people look a little bit out of place, but that’s the Soho House vibe as well.
However, the girls and Mademoiselle in particular absolutely loved it. The sense of freedom they have riding around the cabins on their bike, going to the cinema when they wanted, to the pool where we would meet them was quite special. For the parents, it’s great to know that you have a safe place for them to enjoy that.
Mademoiselle is now bugging me and Mr Big to become Soho House members!
I’m very grateful to my friend for having booked us there. So my advice to you is that if you want to check it out, really become a member or find a friend who can invite you and you will have to plan even with a friend. You will have to plan in advance. We booked about six months in advance.
If you can’t get into Soho Farmhouse, there are plenty of other nice hotels around in the Cotswolds!
Soho Farmhouse review – the short version
What we liked
What could be improved
Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire
- 40 cabins
- 10 bell tents
Soho Farmhouse prices
- Cabins are from £300
- Double bedrooms from £220
- Make sure to book in advance for the few cabins that allow children
- Kids will love the bikes with their name
- Horse riding
- Indoor and outdoor pool: again check the times as they are restrictive for children
- Cinemas screenings
- Lots of other activities suggested each day
- Outdoor heated pool
- Indoor heated pool
- Several restaurants
- Gym with complementary classes
- Horse riding arena
- Nearest train station is Chipping Norton or you can drive (about 2h) from London.