For the uninitiated, it’s a collection of charmingly restored barns devoted to an organic farm shop, restaurant, spa and clothing boutique; owned by the Bamford family of JCB fame.
It’s also a melting pot for all the terribly yah ladies who need somewhere to congregate and discuss the merits of taupe versus cappuccino in their ‘oh so Kelly Hoppen’ interiors.
To say I felt somewhat out-of-place is seriously underplaying the situation. Every female in there was glossy, groomed and immaculate. No one else appeared to be showcasing this morning’s porridge on their shoulders and none of their offspring (Tarquin, Tabitha and Talullah?) were showing any interest in morphing into Jedi Knights.
The barns are as far removed from barns as you can possibly imagine. It’s a little ironic to think that animals ever dared to roam in these outbuildings. It’s all chic decor, perfectly positioned stock and minimalist packaging. Even the milk bottles are glam. Tesco, this is not!
And there is everything you could possibly want to complete your immaculate Cotswolds bolt-hole. From food, to kitchen ware, to candles, clothes and gardening gear. They even sell paint in “Daylesford Brown” so you can recreate your own little Bamford Barn at home.
But the real eye-opener was neither the stock, nor the clientele. It was the prices. This lifestyle living doesn’t come cheap. It’s amazing how natural and neutral could possibly become so expensive. I’m guessing the lovely ladies in Daylesford daren’t cook for fear of getting flour on the flagstones, so for them, a spiced apple cake at a snip under £6.
£6? You can buy an awful lot of flour and apples for £6 in the South Cotswolds where I’m from. Evidently, there is an inclement micro-climate in the North Cotswolds which is having an adverse effect on their food prices.
And forget the food… what about the clothing. There is a separate barn dedicated to the clothing and skin care line. As one might expect, racks of divine cashmere in black, grey and stone. I picked up a beautiful little (and I mean ‘little’) vest top which I was just mentally slotting into my wardrobe when I spotted the price tag. £169. Perhaps not.
So, I guess where I’m getting to is the fact that my Cotswolds home won’t be immaculately Daylesford-esque any time soon. And I will console myself in the hope that I’m neither immaculate, nor dull!