I admit it. I am one of those Americans who considers herself to be an Anglophile, though perhaps not as ardent an Anglophile as some people I know. England is one of my very favorite countries to visit. I'm captivated by the history, the architecture, the traditions and customs, the clothing (does anyone make better looking sporting clothes than the British?), and that British love of the country. (OK, U.K. readers, you can stop laughing and/or rolling your eyes now!) So perhaps all of the above is why I was completely charmed by this photo that I found in the May issue of House & Garden. Just look at those outbuildings, the overcast sky, the clothing, and those pigs. It's all very Country Life, don't you think?
Upon reading the article, I learned that the woman in the photograph, Caryn Hibbert, owns a cooking school called Thyme at Southrop, located in the village of Southrop in the Cotswolds. Hibbert and her husband bought Southrop Manor in 2001. A few years later, a complex of old barns and outbuildings, once part of Southrop Manor, went on the market. Rather than let the land fall into the hands of real estate developers, Hibbert purchased the complex and incorporated it back into Southrop Manor. Because she needed to do something with these old barns, Hibbert decided to open the cooking school on the property. The central building of the school is the renovated tithe barn which is used for demonstrations, lectures, and private events, while a new state of the art kitchen was built next to the tithe barn. It is here where the hands-on cooking classes actually take place.
I took a look at the school's website, and I can't imagine anything that I would rather do than to spend some time there attending their one-day cooking classes. One could learn about preparing a Middle Eastern feast, foraging for mushrooms, cultivating edible flowers, or making charcuterie. And, you could stay in one of the cottages on the property and dine at the pub which is also owned by the Hibberts. Doesn't it all sound...delicious???
The renovated tithe barn where demonstrations and private events are held.
A view of Southrop Manor.
The kitchen garden features a bronze hare sculpture by Sophie Ryder.
All images from House & Garden, May 2011, Rory Carnegie photographer.