Features | Map | Visitor comments
- "One of the best views in creation", Geoffrey Moorhouse
- Beautiful restoration of Tudor barn
- Sleeps a couple plus a baby
- Dog-friendly (good dogs only please)
- Close to excellent restaurants and pubs
- Superb walking country
The Bourbon is one of two idyllic cottages on the farm of Fair Oak, an amazing place with a sensational, ever-changing view of the Black Mountains. It has transfixed writers and painters; passers-by often stop their cars on the lane above the farm just to gawp. On the 87-acre farm, sheep graze alongside secret woods, beside a brook that babbles or thunders, depending on its mood. It is set in the Golden Valley, a place of remarkable beauty even for Herefordshire, one of England’s least-changed and loveliest counties. The Bourbon sleeps a couple (plus an infant, and up to 2 well-behaved dogs), but can also be rented together with another one-bedroomed cottage (The Two Acres) next-door.
Downstairs, the Bourbon is one spacious, but very cosy, living-space. Part of the original 15th-century farmhouse, its restoration, after years of graceful decay, has been a two-year project and has produced a remarkable and handsome fusion of old and new. The large sitting-area has a staggering panorama of the Black Mountains through the large windows and, as you sit admiring it or watching TV, you can gaze upwards and see traces of the original Tudor wattle-and-daub walls. Three steps take you down to the lovely well-equipped kitchen with doors out onto the terrace. From here, you may see the ponies in the field, the chickens clucking happily as they scratch around; or have a visit from the two very beautiful, rather flighty ewes, Elsie and Doris. A bathroom with both bath and shower is next-door to the kitchen.
Up in the roof space, on a mezzanine, the lovely bedroom with big brass king-size bed enjoys the oak-beamed heights, a leafy view, and the luxury of an ensuite loo with hand basin.
Things to do around THE BOURBON
Matthew and Hilary Engel have lived here for 13 years. Hilary supervised the restoration of the former 15th-century farmhouse with its adjacent barn into these two beautiful holiday cottages. You can be very private…. or relish the life of the farm. In spring, the place is alive with bluebells, daffodils and lambs. In summer, you can dine on the terrace and gaze at the sunset. In autumn you can watch the leaves change, help with the cider-making on the Engels’ newly-restored ancient press. And make your own apple juice. In winter, you can throw another log on the woodburner and snuggle up….or perhaps toboggan down the hillside. You can walk the nature trail through the farm and woods and spot rare trees and orchids; you can walk the rest of the Golden Valley’s vast network of footpaths; you can climb a mountain or two. You can visit castles, churches, cathedrals, delicious villages of black-and-white half-timbered houses, the bookshops of Hay-on-Wye, and fabulous country pubs. You can play golf or lie doggo.
The nitty gritty
Live online booking
Changeovers are normally Mondays and Fridays. Weekends are set-priced from Friday 4pm to Monday 10.30am; so you can stay 1, 2 or 3 nights for the weekend price. Check availability and book online below, or check availability for all cottages.
|1||Select length of stay||2||Hover over dates for prices||3||Click to book|
From the visitors book at The Bourbon
'This place is magical… from enjoying the mesmerising view whilst eating breakfast, to board
games and Prosecco by the fire, staying in this beautifully restored cottage
was just as special as long walks around the picturesque farm, feeding carrots
to the ponies, and dinner in the country pubs.
Two problems though… firstly, the
bed was so comfortable and sleep so peaceful, it made it hard to get up at
all. Secondly, it’s been so delightful,
we don’t want to go home!' Scott and Fay,
'We’ve had a wonderful time here celebrating a birthday. The cottage is beautiful and the surrounding
area stunning. Idie the black
Tracey and Richard, Bishopston
'This was one of those rare times a cottage met or exceeded
expectations… Beautifully restored/modernised,
the The Bourbon cleverly manages to be light and airy while also being cosy,
thanks to underfloor heating and a wonderful woodburner. What a lovely place. And of course the views are second to none.' Pam and Chris, Cricklade
'What a wonderful few days we’ve had, watching the lambs gambolling in the field, listening to the wind creaking through the beams, and breathing the air of spring. We’ve been fascinated by the Mappa Mundi in Hereford, spent far too much on books in Hay-on-Wye, and stuffed ourselves with excellent food at The Walnut Tree, near Abergavenny.' Nicola and Steve,
'We felt very close to nature in this beautiful cottage
surrounded by exquisite countryside in all its spring glory. We did some lovely walks, on the Offa’s Dyke
Path, and some straight from the door of the cottage. The Bridge at Michaelchurch does wonderful
food, and it also has a garden next to a brook which is perfect on a sunny day
or evening.' Trish and John,
'Every moment has been magical. We loved the cottage, loved the sheep, the
view and the farm. We really enjoyed our
walks around the area: particular highlights were Tor y Foel, Llanthony, Abbey
Dore and Hay…. Thank you to the Engels for a wonderful stay and their warm
Mel and Tom, Windsor
'We absolutely love the barn and the décor, and the
facilities provided are excellent. The
location is ideal as a base for walking or just sitting outside on the
terrace. The hottest week for years
meant we didn’t walk as much as planned, but with fab views and a good book it
wasn’t a problem. The Bridge at
Michaelchurch is great for food, fish and chips and the Temple Bar Inn in Ewyas
Harold very good too. We watched a
squirrel in the tree one morning as we were lying in bed…' Jackie and Mark, and Bryn the dog,
'We’ve had a marvellous time!
What a spectacular setting for a beautiful cottage. We loved meeting the animals and spotting the
wildlife. Hay-on-Wye was fabulous, and
we enjoyed our lunch at the Temple Bar Inn; but our favourite moments were
spent simply gazing at the stupendous view.
It was so romantic that Neil was even prompted to pop the question! (I said yes…)
Thank you so much for a truly magical holiday: we’ll never forget it.'
Jenny and Neil,
Ivonette and Ken,
'What a beautiful and peaceful spot. Hard to believe there is still a corner of
Emma and Christopher, Clare
'The weather has not been kind to us … but it hasn’t mattered one bit. As the rain and wind battered the barn it just made us feel even more warm and cosy inside, with the log fire burning and all the comforts of home. And as The Bourbon is so spacious and comfortable we never felt ‘shut in’. The scenery is fantastic and it was a pleasure to watch the Black Mountains live up to their name as the colours changed moment by moment with the shifting shadows of the clouds….' Vittorio, Joy and Marco, St Austell