One of my favorite things about London is how many little gems are within a short drive of the city. We’ve been fortunate to visit many wonderful areas (The Cotswolds, Dorset, and Oxford to name a few) but as many as I check off, somehow I discover more to add to my bucket list with each trip to the UK. When I visited my friend Robyn in London for a weekend, we decided to split our time between seeing her city life and a little getaway to the country. (NB: If you don’t follow Robyn you must, she’s a photographer and mom to the cutest little guy and I’m obsessed with her idyllic portrait of London life.)
When choosing a country house for our getaway, Babington House was on our shortlist, but after Insta-stalking a friend-of-a-friend’s Vogue-worthy wedding at Babington House, Robyn and I knew it was our only option. There were several rooms available so we didn’t book until the last minute, which worked to our advantage as Babington has incredible last-minute deals, and we snagged a spot in the main house. If I lived in London I’d be out here once a month.
We took the train out and hopped in a cab for the final stretch. Our driver was Mr. Toad in another life and gave us a wild ride through the narrow lanes to Babington’s estate. Stomachs swirling, we dropped out bags at reception and settled into a table on the lawn for lunch. It was a little cold for al fresco dining but we were determined to enjoy the fresh air was much as possible on our visit and dove into several pizzas and a salad.
Room #3 was a dream, and while I didn’t see other rooms, I’m confident it’s the best room in the house because I can’t imagine anything more perfect. We opened the door to a massive 20 x 20 foot suite done up in shades of blue. A plush velvet sofa, crystal sparkling on the brass bar cart, a Burleigh tea set we wanted to steal (but didn’t), and a basket stocked with wood standing ready by the hearth were just some of the elegant details as we glanced around the room. A massive four poster bed was piled high with down pillows and flanked by built-in bookcases bursting with hardbacks. The double sided fireplace also opened to the bathroom and we took turns enjoying a soak in the clawfoot tub that evening. We didn’t realize that there was a small bunk room behind one of the doors, so the room would be perfect for girlfriends, couples, or a whole family getaway.
I wore this timeless navy shirtdress so many times on my England trip, and though it’s sold out right now I also love this one, and dream of this gorgeous number by Lela Rose. I also found my Tabitha Simmons flats with floral embroidery here, though they’re such a good price I know they won’t last long!
Both country walk enthusiasts, Robyn and I pulled on our wellies and stashed cookies from the tin in the deep pockets of our Barbour jackets before picking up a map for a walk. We started with the shorter property loop and took a longer 2 hour walk the next day. We passed by cabins, ponds, and Cowshed (Babington’s glorious spa) and I regretted leaving my swimsuit at home. The heated outdoor pool is beautiful, especially in the golden afternoon light, and I hope to bring David back to experience it on a future visit to England.
Babington House is a members club and hotel under the Soho House group, which has phenomenal design-forward properties around the world and just opened a new spot in Mumbai. (SO exciting!) While some of urban properties are members only, many of the hotels welcome non-members as well. As a member’s club, Babington doesn’t permit photography in the public spaces inside the house, I only risked one photo of this fabulous off-menu cocktail – “The TMB” – which was designed in honor of the aforementioned Vogue-worthy bride, Tiffany Marie Brannon, by my friend Hannah of SpiritedLA. I was caught and scolded, which was good since if I was allowed to photograph the interiors this post would have been three times as long. Each room of the house, from the bar to the breakfast nook is done up like a fabulous friend’s home – one that you’d want to return to again and again.
Thank you as always for reading!
Photos of me by Robyn Thompson and all others by Stacie Flinner for publication on stacieflinner.com only.