It felt a bit of a faff when our friend announced that his big b-day celebrations involved a meticulously scheduled night out in the Cotswolds. But it was a good excuse to see if the fancy country outpost of the Soho House empire was in fact the height of bucolic luxury, or a Disneyfied pastoral playground for poshos. Happily, from start to finish it proved nothing but a blast.
Setting the pace on arrival, we spotted the Beckhams disembarking from a huge family vehicle. Their four kids proved far better behaved at dinner than our uber-long table at the impressive Pen Yen, where the black cod and a beef in truffle teriyaki, were among many hits. Well-crafted cocktails in the barn kept the dancefloor well-oiled until the early hours.
In the ‘budget’ tents rather than the palatial cabins, it was a 24-hour splurge with a substantial bang-to-buck ratio. Next year’s birthday trip is already on hold.
Bell Tents at Soho Farmhouse start from £100 a night. Dinner at Pen Yen from around £60 a head. More info here.