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My own little escape to the country has come true – after a day back in Reading staying with close friends, we travelled with them to the pretty village of Blockley and it is absolutely charming.

Blockley seems hidden away, but in fact is quite close to Chipping Campden, Broadway, The Slaughters and other well-know Cotswold names. The road we took leading into this unspoiled village cut through fields on either side of the road, and when it came into view it proved to be real chocolate box stuff – pretty brownstone cottages swathed in flowers, each one as neat and tidy as the last. Many have name plates or words etched into the door lintels, which seem to describe their provenance.

With the car parked up on the little main road, we took our bags and provisions down to the cottage, passing by a ford and a real babbling brook – hence the name our our accommodation – Brook Cottage. It is absolutely delightful and looks exactly as it did in the advertising material we had seen – it is comfortably furnished, well-equipped and has a real character.

Once unpacked, we went off to one of the three local pubs, The Great Western Arms, where we had booked for dinner. I have been longing for a country pub meal and this one did not disappoint – the dining room is separate from the bar,  and it was empty when we arrived, but as we enjoyed a pre-dinner drink, locals started arriving, chatting away to staff and giving the room a warm friendly feel. The bar next door to the dining room is festooned with English flags in support of England’s World Cup campaign,  and it was buzzing as we left to walk back to the cottage.

The menu provided both traditional and modern fare, but we all chose traditional – haddock and chips for the girls, and sausages and gravy and potato for the boys – it sounds plain, but it the meals were well presented and delicious – as were the puddings!

Our night in the top floor room was punctuated by the sound of the real babbling brook, since we had flung the little window wide open due to the balmy evening air. As we settled for the night, we knew we had picked the right spot – both the village and the cottage exceed our expectations and the morning we had planned promised much …