Stories

Daylesford Living: Inspired by Nature

11th July 2024

We are delighted to introduce the latest book by our founder, Carole Bamford: a celebration of design, craft, interiors and entertaining.

This beautiful coffee-table book invites you to step inside the world of Daylesford through seasonal recipes and exquisite photography of our sustainably restored cottage and pub interiors. Daylesford Living: Inspired by Nature showcases all that is loved and revered about Daylesford’s inimitable aesthetic.

Here we share an exclusive excerpt on the inspiration behind the work of the hand and craft of our pub interiors.

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‘I have always been curious about the heritage of old buildings, drawn to their sense of character, history and the intrigue of who might have lived or worked there before me. To discover a once-loved space that has since been left to ruin feels both disheartening and exciting. Storied buildings hold such potential, and as someone who is passionate about craftsmanship, I feel it is important to do what I can to preserve these sleeping beauties.

I would much rather breathe new life into an empty space, restoring the character already deep within its walls, than start a new building project completely from scratch. This is what we did with The Fox – a nineteenth-century coaching inn nestled in the village of Lower Oddington, which is about five miles from the farm – and where I arranged the sweetpea table for a summer evening garden party.

It was important to me that we restored The Fox sympathetically, in a way that considered our impact on the planet. We opted for local, natural and recycled materials wherever possible, using reclaimed timber for the construction, Cotswold stone for the masonry and rolls of wool insulation that were made using the clip sheared from Daylesford’s flock of Lleyn sheep to fill the walls.

This circular ethos is reflected in the interior design too. I am particularly proud of the leather banquettes, window seats and cushions in the bar, which were created using the hides from our organic beef cattle. We worked with a tannery in Bristol to transform this farm by-product into beautiful, supple leather using vegetable tanning and natural dyes. This was then sent to a specialist leatherworker who crafted the furnishings for The Fox by hand. With enough skill and ingenuity, there really is no limit to the things you can create from homegrown materials that might otherwise go to waste.

Whether it’s leatherwork, embroidery or pottery, there is something so special about work of the hand. When you look at a piece of art, sheet of wallpaper, a hand-painted lampshade or upholstered chair and know how much time, patience, skill and technique has gone into making it, it takes on a new level of meaning and importance. I believe these one-of-a-kind pieces have a different kind of presence. They add interest and character to a room in a way that something simply picked off a shelf does not. I wanted to add this feeling of warmth to the rooms above our pubs, so when we later began work on The Bell in Charlbury, I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to draw attention to some of Britain’s talented artisans…’

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Available from Thursday 11th July, to read the chapter in full and admire plenty more of Martin Morrell’s photography of our pubs, cottages and beyond, speak to our teams at reception during your stay, or buy now.

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