Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thyme at Southrop

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.


  1. The cooking school sounds wonderful. And the Telegraph named the restaurant at The Swan inn/pub 2010 U.K. Restaurant of the Year! Plus the beauty of the Cotswolds makes it all so very appealing.

  2. LOVE this - let's go!! I think I'm going to now have to get this issue!! Love everything about that first shot!!

  3. So beautiful and simply charming as well!!! Looks like a very peaceful place. ;)

    Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou

  4. Oh my, you should take Stacey up on her offer and just GO! How lovely beyond belief just as it is but there is ALSO amazing food involved? What are you waiting for?

  5. Uh oh, I'm getting dangerously close to pulling the trigger!!!

  6. Anonymous8:15 PM

    Would love to go! A few goats would round out the picture - I love goats!

  7. romantic gardener9:20 PM

    Dear Jennifer,

    Just want to tell you how much I enjoy and appreciate your beautiful blog.

  8. Dear Jennifer,
    Just want to tell you how much I enjoy and appreciate your beautiful blog.
    Romantic Gardener

  9. Jennifer,
    This is fabulous! Let me know if you go....I want to tag along!

  10. Pretty cool to see this - my Uncle and Aunt used to live in the manor. I had many happy childhood to mid-20's memories there. It is a very old house - the arch above as you enter the dining room is dated AD900. Ghost in the attic. Nice to see it has not been developed.