Staycations are extremely popular right now – for obvious reasons. Trying to find a really special place that isn’t booked is a near impossible task, especially if you need a place that is dog-friendly.
The only way to find that special place is to find one that only a few lucky rascals know about.
In the heart of rolling countryside, the idyllic Long Acre Farm has only been welcoming guests for a few years and although it is set to become very popular, it is still a well-kept secret.
Not only is this location a true hidden gem, it’s not far away – nestled in Racehorse Valley, Lambourn … almost within sight of White Horse Hill and only a 15 minute drive to Wantage.
If you look at the photos and think Long Acre Farm is going to break the bank, you are wrong. Currently, prices start at £ 95 per night – which is crazy. For that, you will stay in a room as well as any 5 star hotel.
The rooms are filled with works of art and trinkets from all over the world. The beds are really huge and very comfortable. You get a large slice of homemade cake and a cup of tea or coffee on arrival. A fun tour of the farm through small enclosed gardens of organic products, horse stables and free range hens. And then you are completely left to relax and be alone.
An outbuilding serves as a dining / breakfast room, with a kitchen if you wish to take your own food. But please don’t!
You see the most awesome thing about Long Acre Farm is the person who is there to greet you when you pull up to the gravel driveway.
Owner Joanna Preston is one of the cutest people you will ever meet and she is great at cooking. Joanna started her career in the kitchen taking care of holiday makers on safari in Zambia, then she started her own catering business in London called Sugar & Spice.
In 2011, she sold the business and became a freelance cook. Four years ago she and her family moved from London to this little slice of Berkshire Downs paradise and started transforming the farm outbuildings into beautiful guest rooms. Joanna’s cuisine is the main reason to visit Long Acre Farm.
We were in the converted pigsty. Only one room for the two of us, but you can book the whole building, which has two double rooms and one twin room. There are two bedrooms available in the main house and a small thatched cottage will be opened later this year.
We took our spaniel which is a bit of a handful so kept her on a leash around the chickens. After sitting in the garden with a glass of wine, we walked through the hills and then came back for another glass of wine and a bit of relaxation. The only thing missing I guess was being able to walk to a nearby pub, but that was forgotten almost immediately. Peace, like everything else, was heavenly.
Because we had booked a dinner party, it was nice to absolutely take hours getting ready in the bedroom with music before Joanna called us to tell us it was ready. A crunch on the gravel to the candlelit dining room with no noise from the road nearby, only the faint sound of chickens and birds in the trees was great.
Joanna had cooked us roasted English asparagus with a poached farmhouse egg, homemade tarragon mayonnaise and parmesan shavings for our starter. The tarragon mayonnaise was incredibly delicious. Joanna could bottle it and sell it to supermarkets, no problem.
For our main course, we had a pink veal tenderloin on a wild garlic mashed potato with purple sprout broccoli, roasted red peppers, and slowly roasted cherry tomatoes. Again, it was just amazing. The veal was like a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth pork stuffing. The wild garlic in the potato brought freshness and lots of color to the plate.
The pudding was a salted caramel and chocolate pie with crème fraîche and berries. It looked amazing when it was put on the table and was gobbled up faster than any pudding we’ve had in years. Luckily we each had one or there certainly would have been a fight.
Luckily Joanna also offers cooking classes so I hope to learn a thing or two on our next stay which we have already booked.
Long Acre Farm is more than a B&B. It’s an evening. It’s a relaxing private evening with your own chef. You can go there as a couple or in a group and enjoy the large dining room in the main house.
Go for your own exclusive dinner for just £ 25 per person for two courses or £ 30 per person for three courses. Take your own bottle or buy from the wine rack. It’s £ 155 for two people (and a dog) to stay in a 5-star hotel room with a cake, an amazing three-course meal and an organic breakfast before heading back to Oxfordshire.
Like I said, Heaven!
- Long Acre Farm Bed and Breakfasts
- Seven Tumuli, Lambourn, Berkshire RG17 8UH
- Converted pigsty: 2 double bedrooms and 1 twin bedroom
- Main house: 2 double en-suite, each with a mezzanine (for 2 people) by appointment Cottage: 1 canopy suite – to be launched in 2021
- Day room: table / chairs, cupboards, fridge / freezer, free coffee / tea, homemade liqueurs and apple juice to buy. Homemade cakes and cookies offered on arrival; maps and local information
- Stable Barn: Huge rustic barn with a pleasant living ambience and including a large log burner, comfy deep sofas, DVD TV, books / toys / board games. Horses: Possibility of guest rooms for up to 2 horses (by reservation and under contract) – stable / bedding in winter, paddock in summer. Hay, water supply. Local farrier within 3 km. Carrots and mint polo!
- Persons: £ 95 to £ 115 per room per night; includes a rich organic breakfast Horses: individual pricing according to duration and individual needs
- Table d’hôtes: 2 courses from £ 25 per person, 3 courses from £ 30 per person
- Seasonal menus prepared by Joanna with homemade products; Breakfast includes homemade compotes, granola, muesli, bread and pastries, as well as eggs, fruits and meats from the farm.
- Picnic lunches provided by appointment, from £ 8 per person.
- Pure water from the farm borehole.
- All meals are taken at a large table in the main house, in the flowery room overlooking the courtyard, or weather permitting outside in the sun.
- Cooking class 6-8 people: £ 50 per person per 2 hour course, includes lunch prepared during the course 2 people: £ 70 per person on the same basis
- Dishes chosen in discussion with the guests, according to seasonality
- Wood on site, indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, books, toys, wood fires and open hearths, WiFi, parking; high chair and cot available
- Uffington’s White Horse, Tom Brown Castle and Museum; the Wayland Forge; Ashdown House and King Alfred’s Castle; Buscot House and Gardens; race to Newbury; shopping in Hungerford, Marlborough, and family-owned boutique / café in Childrey; Highclere Castle, Staddle Stone Spa in Highclere, horseback riding at Little Hidden Farm. Cotswold Wildlife Park and picturesque Cotswold market town of Burford.