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A Cotswold Village, Hidcote Boyce


I stayed with Tim & Konstantina Dee in their perfect 17th century farmhouse, described by Konstantina as “imaginatively named” The Old House. By perfect, I mean meticulously cared-for, historic and comfortable, with just enough modernization to make it work, new bathrooms and a functional pretty kitchen. An attractive garden surrounds the house, wisteria and a narrow border on the front, asparagus coming up alongside Dolly the Citroen 2CV, an obviously treasured family pet, in the back.

The Old House is the first you come to after the turn into Hidcote Boyce. Then one after another along the road for half a kilometer, built of Cotswold stone, that unmistakable golden Jurassic limestone. At the top is a gate and the path to the gardens where most arrive by coach or car, but I arrived on foot, the reason I stayed in Hidcote Boyce.

Visitors to this part of England would have no particular reason to seek out Hidcote Boyce. I’ve never seen it on a list of “most beautiful villages” though, like many places we’ve never heard of, it is beautiful. There are no services, aside from the eggs for sale beside the road. Not a post office or a shop, no pub. With nothing in particular for a visitor to do, the reason to be there is just to be there. And for proximity.


It’s a short walk across 2 fields and a stream to the gardens. A longer walk or short drive, about a mile, to Ebrington for dinner in the welcoming pub, The Ebrington Arms. Or in the other direction, Mickleton, with 3 choices and a few small shops. The big cheese in the neighborhood is the beautiful market town, Chipping Campden, down the hill. A wealthy wool trading town in the Middle Ages, more recently it was home to novelist Graham Greene (he of the superb ‘The End of the Affair’ and ‘The Quiet American’, among others).


Mr. Dee, father of my host, recognized for his generosity by the community.


The gate at the top of the village and, behind me, the path to the gardens.


Below, the Ebrington Arms in the next village, a cozy spot for dinner.



See a map of the neighborhood here.


Find all episodes of  ‘PortMoresby in England’ here, including
the aforementioned gardens, Hidcote & Kiftsgate Court.



After a month warming up in Mexico, I’ll be back in March
with more stories from the Cotswolds.




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Comments (2)

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Gertrude Stein's description of Oakland ("There is no there there") seems the opposite of Hidcote Boyce: there's little of what we usually expect a town or village to have, but what there is, is all "there."

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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