Thyme is a haven of restorative calm. Nestled in the Cotswold village of Southrop on the Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire border, this quintessentially English country destination is a collection of restored 17th century farm buildings, houses and cottages. Together they form a peaceful hamlet, evoking a spirit that epitomises the natural beauty of the surrounding area.
Founder and creative director, Caryn Hibbert, has spent the past 18 years overseeing the buildings’ restoration with assiduity and intelligence, breathing new life into the original structures to create a thriving working community and inspirational business. ‘Thyme is a family story where a passion for the land, food and entertaining merges with a love of local heritage, beauty and conservation,’ says Caryn.
Meticulous attention has also been paid to Thyme’s farm, kitchen and formal gardens, herb beds, orchards and water meadows. Together with the hotel rooms and Ox Barn restaurant, this village within a village encompasses the Baa Bar, Meadow Spa, Pool & Botanical Bothy, alongside a cookery school, self-catering cottages for hire and a stunning Tithe Barn for private events. Two gorgeous boutiques stock the Bertioli by Thyme silk wear, tableware and beauty ranges, as well as a carefully curated product selection personally handpicked by Camilla, Caryn’s daughter and head of retail development and marketing.
Caryn’s empathy for the surrounding landscape has influenced every aspect of this delightful, distinctive destination. Working closely with garden designer, Bunny Guinness, a series of classic country house gardens have been carefully designed in harmony with the adjacent architecture, anchoring the collective buildings deeper into their natural surroundings and connecting them with the adjoining farmland. And all less than two hours from central London, an hour from Heathrow airport and 35 minutes from Oxford, yet still in the heart of the Cotswolds.
Caryn’s son Charlie has been at Thyme’s culinary helm since the Ox Barn first opened in 2018. His seasonal dishes are inspired by a deep-rooted connection to the land. Menus are infused with a flavoursome and wide-ranging array of fresh produce, sourced from Thyme‘s kitchen gardens, herb beds, orchards, nut trees and farm. Working hand-in-hand with the gardeners on a year-round cycle, Charlie has enviable access to produce of which many chefs can only dream. These home-grown ingredients are complemented by a handful of gifted suppliers, including Neal’s Yard Dairy, Saltpig Curing Co, Huntsham Farm, Cutler & Bayliss and Shipton Mill.
The Hibbert family’s love of the land is fundamental to the Thyme philosophy: ‘Proceed thoughtfully, tread lightly on the planet and notice the small things’. Dedication to the environment has led them to partner with conservation charities including Plant Life, TUSK and 1% For The Planet – one per cent of every sale of Bertioli by Thyme products goes to philanthropic environmental causes to protect the natural world.
‘We took time to make Thyme,’ says Caryn. ‘We have created a thoughtful place with love and care lavished on every detail. We hope you will experience a real connection to the land, the seasons and to nature, and we invite you to rest, relax and enjoy this English country idyll that our family calls home.’