Lakes By Yoo Summer 2024

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Imagine a home that whispers tales of elegance with every stone and beam — a sanctuary that mirrors the timeless beauty of the Cotswolds. At Pestridge Construction Ltd, we don't just build houses; we breathe life into stories. Your story becomes part of the landscape written with expert craftsmanship and unwavering attention to detail. | 0l242 350443 | Conservation | Contemporary | Construction

Your Vision, Meticulously Crafted

Your aspirations deserve the canvas of excellence. Pestridge Construction Ltd is where your vision takes shape, guided by the skilled hands of our artisans. From the initial concept to the final touch of paint, we are with you, crafting each corner, curve and crevice to perfection. Begin the journey to your dream home with us and watch as we create a masterpiece together.

Every home has a story

to the new issue of The Lakes magazine

We’ve come a long way together –who’s ready for the next chapter?

Incredibly, it’s been nearly a quarter of a century since we first set foot on this wonderful piece of Cotswolds land and realised its almost limitless potential to fulfil a dream. At that time, it was a gravel pit, a brownfield site, but with a little imagination, the vision was mapped out before us – a vision of an oasis where families of like-minded friends could get an injection of country, nature, rest and recuperation, exercise and learning.

All these years later, it’s heartwarming to see this vision maturing before our eyes as The Lakes community evolves and flourishes. You are all our friends, new or old, and it is you who make this delightful community what it is today.

In this, the second issue of our magazine, created exclusively for you, we’re thrilled to introduce you to some of the friends of The Lakes, whose amazing talents and influence help enrich our environment. Friends such

as the great Deepak Chopra, who is hosting an exclusive retreat at The Lakes this summer, challenging our perception of ageing; friends such as Nick Mason, legendary Pink Floyd drummer and simply astonishing car enthusiast, who regularly joins our Car Club jaunts; friends such as Barbara Sturm, whose groundbreaking molecular cosmetics changed the skincare agenda and created a range that is available here in The Spa by YOO; friends such as Melissa Odabash, swimwear design goddess, who has created a custom swimsuit for The Lakes and a range of loungewear that you can purchase at The Spa.

All this, and many more features, from food to fashion, spa treats to property, plus an insight into our growing Corporate Events business, which is opening up The Lakes as a place for corporates to switch off in nature, relax, strategise and engage. Enjoy!

Reservations (0)1367 254 260 (Option 2) Sales (0)1367 254 260 (Option 1) The Lakes by YOO, Lechlade GL7 3DT Managing Director Richard Woolliams Finance Director Christine Blackford Creative Director Gareth Evans Art Editor Lindsay Price Editorial Director Fergus McShane Managing Editor Greg Fountain Production Manager Alex Murphy Commercial Director Gary Turner Digital Development Director Dave Stone Published on behalf of The Lakes by YOO For media sales enquiries please contact gary.turner@ Events (0) 1367 254 260 (Option 4) Guest Services (0) 1367 254 260 (Option 3)
CONTENTS 10 A unique community 14 Take a moment 20 Things to do 28 A new kind of business 34 Welcome to the machine 40 A sustainable estate 44 Cotswolds: a foodie’s guide 52 Reach for the stars 56 Take a sip 60 Spring’s new things 64 Every breath you take… 70 The science of skincare 74 Just jump in 78 Immerse yourself in style 82 Home away from home 86 The spirit of adventure 90 A matter of Trust 92 Expertly wined and dined 96 It’s a wonderful (dog’s) life 102 Rooms with a view 106 Cotswolds Waters 108 Manor Farm Barns 110 Bowmoor Retreat 112 Join the community

Opening doors to the Cotswold’s finest homes.

Craig Fuller is the Stacks regional direction and buying agent for the Cotswolds, North Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire, South Oxfordshire, Bath and Cheltenham. Craig has an intimate knowledge of the area, having been brought up as a child in Wiltshire after his family moved from Zimbabwe.

Well-known in the area and with an extensive network of contacts and connections in the property sector and beyond, Craig is highly driven and focused. An effective and successful negotiator, Craig has honed his skills in some of the most aggressive markets worldwide. His clients attest to Craig’s strong negotiating and people skills as well as his ability to evaluate what sort of offer to put forward. Always working on the buyer’s side, Craig prides himself on advising his clients objectively. “It’s vital to keep a cool head at all times, especially in a competitive market,” says Craig.

Finding a property in a prime market can be daunting at the best of times, and Craig offers support and guidance for those who are time-poor or buying from further afield. “I listen to my clients’ requirements. My aim is to offer reassurance whilst achieving a stellar result. I guide my clients from the initial search to completion day, securing the right property that fits the requirements.”

Craig also advises his clients to look at all possible options when it comes to making a new property investment. When moving from an urban area, it’s tempting to replicate something similar on a larger scale, but Craig encourages clients to consider all manner of options. “There are some superb prime and super

prime properties available that have, until very recently, been in the same hands for several generations. These stunning homes offer an incoming purchaser the chance to be creative against a solid backdrop of, for example, a period gem within its own parkland.”

With world-class schooling available in the locality, good transport links to both London and the Midlands, and the easy

proximity to the stunning coastlines of both Cornwall and Pembrokeshire, a move to the Cotswolds is a profoundly attractive option. Craig firmly believes in knowing the lie of the land - not just in terms of geography but also in local contacts and proven track records.

“We work with all manner of local professionals, from estate agents to solicitors, and have a good rapport with them. It is these working relationships that turn the cogs and ease the transactions. Reliability and transparency are fundamental in our line of work.”

“Nothing could have prepared me for the current property market in the Cotswolds. There is serious competition and a strong possibility of over-paying, particularly if you have fallen in love with a property. I don’t think I would be sitting here today in my home had I not secured Craig’s services as a property finder.” - Sean H.

Having the most experienced buying agency representing your property interests can make all the difference when searching for your perfect property in a highly competitive market.

In most circumstances, we ensure that our clients have access to properties before they reach the open market and that they are making a sound investment that ticks all the right boxes for location, neighbourhood and value for money.

Best Property Finders ARP International Property Award Daily Mail Craig Fuller +44 (0)7767 211707


Happy, comfortable, inspired, relaxed, stimulated, interested, fit and healthy. That’s how we want you to feel…

The Lakes is a lifestyle. A place for families, friends and colleagues to come together. With luxury homes, cabins, rooms and suites to sleep over in, as well as a relaxing spa, lakeside dining, thrilling activities and acres of green in which to rest, relax and recharge, it is every bit the idyllic retreat.

Nestled in the heart of the Cotswolds and spread across 850 acres of freshwater lakes, meadows and woodland, The Lakes is a luxury sanctuary with a unique connection to nature. It is a great example of bringing together like-minded people and their families to discover common interests, to play, to learn, to grow, to celebrate, to exercise and to experience so much together.

Dubbed ‘the Hamptons of the Cotswolds’ by Tatler magazine and ‘the Cotswolds getaway everyone’s talking

about’ by Vanity Fair, The Lakes is rapidly making a name for itself as a genuinely unique destination for those looking to own a second property, enjoy an incomparable vacation or host a corporate event or significant celebration that will live long in the memory of clients and guests.

From delicious dining in the nature-inspired, rustic interior of the Lakes Bar & Kitchen to relaxation, spa rituals, stress shedding and therapies in the Spa by YOO, this is a place to make you feel special.

Writing about her stay at The Lakes, Fiona Duncan, The Telegraph’s hotel expert, referenced a historic French novel called The Lost Domain, a fantasy based in a magical estate full of lakes, ponds, woods and meadows. “I don’t need to go to France to find the lost domain,” she said. “It’s right here, in the heart of England. It’s called The Lakes by YOO.”


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Deepak Chopra is offering The Lakes guests and residents the chance to offset the effects of ageing with an exclusive retreat

It’s an idyllic setting. It’s a gorgeous place where you have maximum opportunity to connect with nature,” says Deepak Chopra of The Lakes, where he’s leading a retreat on 13-16 June 2024. After meeting The Lakes by YOO founder John Hitchcox at one of his retreats in North Carolina in 1997, the pair became firm friends and Deepak has since had the opportunity to visit The Lakes, staying at the house of another friend, Kate Moss.

The retreat, Deepak says, will focus on many things, including “how to change our perception of ageing, how to change our experience of time, how to experience our body as a field of awareness, how to connect body and mind through various strategies, including yoga and breathing,

mind and body techniques, vagal activation, nutrition, the role of nutritional supplements, exercise, emotional resilience, biological rhythms and much more. It’s my life’s work.” He says there will be a lot of time spent on talks, but also lots of time focusing on “very practical exercises – meditations, yoga, breathing, ideal nutrition and emotions.”

As well as The Lakes being in such an idyllic setting, Deepak believes it is the perfect place for the retreat as “the residents are the kind of people who would be interested in nature and having longevity in a lifestyle that integrates body, mind and spirit.”

Deepak originally trained as an endocrinologist and specialised in diabetes and metabolism. He teaches at


several medical schools across the US. He says that over the last 30 years, he’s “explored everything from health and wellbeing to longevity. My personal interest is in how we can slow down and even reverse some of the biological markers of human ageing.” He says the ideal way to age is to have “the biology of youth and the wisdom of experience” and he has studied how wellness retreats and mindfulness can play a part in slowing down the effects of ageing.

During a retreat Deepak held in California in 2012, participants were studied and had measurements taken to see what effect the retreat’s activities would have, if any, on their bodies. The study found that the level of telomerase – the enzyme that controls the length of telomeres, which are thought to play a part in our biological clock and longevity – increased by 40 per cent in participants. So, Deepak says, “we know for sure that we can affect biological ageing at a cellular level.”

Mindfulness plays a big part in the theory of increasing telomerase, as Deepak explains: “With regular mindfulness practices, including mindful breathing, awareness of bodily sensations and being present in the moment, it actually slows down the experience of time.” When we’re in a hurry, Deepak says, we can physically affect our bodies in a detrimental way. “One of the ways we age is that we’re always in a hurry – time sickness, as it’s called. People say they’re running out of time, and then their internal dialogue becomes that they’re always running out of time. Their biological clock then speeds up, their heart rate increases, they might experience high blood pressure or jittery platelets.


“There’s an ancient saying – ‘time is the consumer and we are its food’ – so we are consumed by time, but mindfulness slows down the metabolism of time.” Deepak is also keen to emphasise the physiological reasoning behind this theory, saying, “When you’re practising mindfulness, you activate a nerve in the body called the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the healing nerve in the body, which affects self-regulation, decreases inflammation and increases homeostasis and healing.”

We all naturally possess the ability to be mindful but making it a conscious part of our day-to-day lives allows us

to feel its benefits more. Mindfulness is bringing awareness to what you’re experiencing via your senses or bringing awareness to your state of mind by monitoring your thoughts and emotions. Although meditation is a great way to practise mindfulness, as you’re taking dedicated time to focus directly on the sensations you’re experiencing, there are other ways to add moments of mindfulness throughout your day. For example, when the phone rings, take a moment to breathe and become more present before you rush to answer it.

Another way you can practise mindfulness is through body scans. This involves focusing on one part of your body at a


time, noticing any feelings or sensations in that particular area and making sure all your muscles are relaxed before moving on to the next part of your body. There is more and more scientific evidence being gathered that, by practising mindfulness and training our brains to be more mindful, we can actually remodel the physical structure of our brains.

Deepak says that practising mindfulness daily is the key to experiencing the benefits of mindfulness, which he describes

as “the quality of present awareness or wakefulness within everyday experience.” He believes that we need to take a holistic view of our bodies and that techniques such as mindfulness can work alongside conventional medicine to help us stay healthy. “It’s integrative medicine. If you have pneumonia, of course, you need an antibiotic. If you break a leg or have appendicitis, again you need conventional treatments. However, integrative or holistic medicine can be used in conjunction to help boost wellbeing and support the recovery process.”

The role mindfulness plays in reducing stress is also important in keeping us healthy, says Deepak. “If you have stress, if you have an unhealthy diet and if you don’t move, all these things cause inflammation in the body.” He believes stress and inflammation cause our bodies to go into sympathetic overdrive, which reduces activation of the healing parasympathetic nervous system and stops us from getting better when we’re ill, so we need to take a holistic view of everything, from medicine to mindfulness, to help keep us well.

As for visiting The Lakes and holding future retreats, Deepak is positive: “I hope to come there more often –it’s so enchanting.”


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There’s plenty to keep you and yours occupied during your stay, whether it’s on the Estate or further afield. Here’s a little taster of what’s on offer…

Take in your surroundings from new levels as you climb walls of our Activities Tower. With the aim being to ring the ship bell at the top, however you wish to reach it – whether via a race against friends or at your own pace – there’s a way suitable for all stages, with a choice of three walls colour-coded for difficulty. Climbing lessons are also available.



Experience The Lakes from new heights with a high ropes adventure among the treetops. The perfect experience for those seeking a thrill, make your way along platforms, obstacles and bridges in mid-air. We recommend arriving five minutes before your session, wearing trainers or similar shoes. Children under seven will need to be supervised.

Experience the excitement of a thrilling freefall as you step off the top of the Activities Tower. Not too dissimilar to a skydive, you’ll be attached to a rope that unwinds from a fan as you go over the edge, with the speed slowing as you descend so that you land securely on solid ground.


Get ready to launch off from the tower for a thrilling and exhilarating ride, soaring over Warrens Cross Lake along the single steel zip wire. To ensure a smooth and seamless experience, make sure to arrive five minutes before your session and wear comfortable, closedtoe shoes, such as trainers.



Hire tackle, rods and other equipment – and arrange lessons – at the Fishing Hut, where a range of fishing techniques are on offer, including fly, lure and pole fishing, and pond dipping for young children. And with The Lakes teeming with trout, pike, perch, carp, tench, roach and bream, there is everything you need for a relaxing day’s fishing.


Learn to paddleboard or just polish your technique with a qualified instructor. Strengthen your core and improve your balance. Plus, practise mindfulness and reduce any remnants of stress by soaking up your stunning surroundings on the calm waters of The Lakes. Paddleboards – along with a paddle and life jacket – are available to hire.


Bring your intrepid nature hunters along to Honey Bee Lake to pond dip for water scorpions and learn about trees that have been around since just after the dinosaurs. Find out about foraging in the woods and be amazed by the variety of fungi. Look at our babbling brook, fish for minnows and say hello to the endangered British white-clawed crayfish.

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Perfect the precision of your bow and arrow target aim with this activity, suitable for both beginner and intermediate levels. With several additional tasks thrown in to keep the fun going, bring the whole family along.


Surrounded by so many serene bodies of water, not to mention a top-ofthe-range spa that has a 17m indoor heated pool, of course, many lovers of The Lakes are also lovers of water. So take advantage of where you are and spend some time having a refreshing dip. Swimming lessons with a qualified instructor are also available.

Don appropriate gear and footwear and meet at the meadow for a funfilled football session – where you can learn new skills or brush up on your current techniques with the help of coaching from the on-site trainer.



Sausages, s’mores and socialising! While chatting, relaxing and toasting tasty treats over an open campfire at the beautiful Birdhide on the shores of Bowmoor Lake, this is an excellent opportunity for older children to mix with others of the same age.

Bring your little VIPs along for a ‘beary’ exciting and charming hunt for our ten native teddies hiding among the trees at The Lakes. They will have to keep their eyes peeled and ears open to learn about each bear’s preferred habitat and locate them all. On a wonderful walk through the woodland, they can learn about nature along the way.

You’ll learn survival skills such as fire lighting, using materials found around the Estate, and engage in axe chopping and wood carving to make bows, arrows and a tripod to hang a billycan on – perfect for brewing hot chocolate. Hunt for bugs, build shelters, play woodland games and more! Each session differs, but this activity always appeals to all ages.

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Nature, luxury, versatility, amenities. Why more and more businesses are hosting guests, clients and colleagues at The Lakes by YOO

In the course of the last 18 months The Lakes by YOO has become a sought-after venue for corporate events. The speed at which this has happened has surprised us all, but it’s become clear that the qualities which make the estate uniquely appealing to homeowners and guests have even more resonance for businesses.

The Lakes was not created as a business venue in the first instance – but it seems to be made for it.

“Our corporate events business has grown quite substantially in the last 18 months,” says Phoebe Hitchcox. “Covid has meant that more teams are working remotely, so arranging corporate retreats enables teams to connect again in a luxurious, informal setting.

“Our USP lies in the combination of natural beauty, luxury accommodation, versatile event spaces, exclusive amenities, professional event services, and a sense of privacy. These elements work together to create a unique and unforgettable event experience for guests.”

Such is the flexibility of the estate’s facilities, the variety of

Above right Phoebe Hitchcox, director of The Lakes by YOO: “We’re creating a unique and unforgettable event experience” Image: Mel Yates


events hosted have ranged from intimate team-building retreats to large-scale product launches – the latter being particularly attractive to car makers launching new models.

“We are getting a mix of event types,” says Phoebe. “Experiential team-building events have evolved beyond traditional activities, and these type of events foster collaboration, communication and problem-solving skills among team members. In the automotive sphere we have hosted successful car launches for BMW, Lotus, Jeep and BYD, the most recent being BMW’s all-electric iX2 and Mini Countryman.”

The estate’s facilities are only the beginning of the corporate offering – it’s the superb hospitality and fastidious planning, management and attention to detail which has truly impressed business clients, along with the outstanding sustainability and environmental credentials which chime with the 21st century imperative. “Our service and delivery is very high-end,” says Phoebe. “We have 11 lakes and ten fields, with accommodation for up to 250. We can offer any water or land-based activity which can run as part of the retreat. We have exquisite luxury interiors, all with a lake view, in a breathtaking natural setting. We are a fully sustainable estate with more than 20 EV charging meters.

“The Lakes by YOO places a strong emphasis on this. The development incorporates eco-friendly design principles, energy efficient features, renewable energy sources and sustainable building materials.”

Client satisfaction has been exceptionally high, with advocacy and repeat business leading to an exponential growth in interest. The feedback speaks for itself. “We were drawn to The Lakes by its exceptional blend of natural beauty, luxury amenities, and versatile spaces,” says Alice Cross-Watson, UK PR director for Jeep, which held the press

launch of its Avenger SUV on the estate. “The serene lakeside setting provided the perfect backdrop for showcasing our vehicles amidst picturesque landscapes, while the upscale accommodations and state-of-the-art facilities ensured a comfortable and memorable experience for our guests.

“The experience, both during planning and on the day of the event, was nothing short of exceptional. The team at The Lakes by YOO demonstrated professionalism, attention to detail, and a genuine commitment to ensuring the success of our event. From initial discussions to execution, every aspect was handled with precision and care, resulting in a seamless and unforgettable experience for all involved. I would

Superb hospitality and accommodations are guaranteed at The Lakes. Great accessibility and delightful local roads are perfect for car launches

recommend The Lakes without hesitation – it is an ideal venue for hosting memorable and impactful experiences.”

These thoughts were echoed by the team from Lotus, who launched their all-electric hyper SUV called Eletre at The Lakes. “The experience of both working with, and staying at, The Lakes was flawless from start to finish,” says Lynsey Adamson, who ran the event for Lotus. “The whole experience from start to finish was impressive. Nothing was too much trouble and everyone we encountered was incredibly helpful and thoughtful, which of course made the event even more of a success.

“Lotus and its guests were well taken care of – from their


treatments to the beautiful catering. It was all so very thoughtful and easy. The feedback was brilliant. Our guests are often hosted on media events but this one stood out. Would we recommend The Lakes? Without a doubt – in fact, we have done so already.”

Another client, a London-based global private investment firm, added: “We were looking for something a bit different but glamorous, for a team-building event. Planning was super easy and the two-day event was the perfect combination of a relaxed ambience with top quality food in a beautiful environment. Everybody loved the feeling of being in nature but with five-star service.”


Events at The Lakes: 7 key features


Our commitment to sustainability and eco-friendliness can align with the values of your organization. Hosting your event at a venue that incorporates energy-efficient features, renewable energy sources, and sustainable building materials can showcase your commitment to responsible practices.


A stunning natural backdrop with its beautiful lakeside location. The serene surroundings, lush greenery, and tranquil lakes create a captivating atmosphere that enhances any event.


A range of high-end houses designed by internationally renowned designers, ensuring that guests can relax and enjoy their stay in style and comfort.


A variety of versatile spaces cater to a wide range of occasions, from a corporate conference or management strategy meeting to a wedding reception or private celebration.


Exclusive amenities add an extra touch of luxury to events. These include exclusive access to the Lakes Spa and Wellness Centre, every field and water

activity imaginable, including archery, climbing, paddleboarding and fishing.


Every aspect of the event is wellorganized and executed. The experienced event management team can assist with planning, coordination, and logistics, ensuring a seamless and successful event from start to finish.


A sense of privacy and seclusion make it an ideal choice for exclusive and intimate events. The location away from the hustle and bustle of the city enables a an immersive experience free from distractions.

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By the time Pink Floyd legend Nick Mason cofounded one of the greatest rock bands of all time, he had already fallen for his first love: cars

Cars kicked it all off for me,” says Nick Mason. “But although I love the cars, I’d never had a career in motorsport in mind. I was an enthusiastic amateur, really, but because of being in a successful band, I was able to be an enthusiastic amateur at a reasonably senior level!”

Nick is the most unshakeable brick in the wall that held Pink Floyd together in various guises for half a century. A founder member of the band in 1964, he remained the only constant through five turbulent and triumphant decades, playing drums on all 15 of the band’s studio albums. Those albums together sold in excess of 250m copies worldwide, with 1973’s


The Dark Side of the Moon selling 50m all by itself, placing Nick’s band among the greatest there has ever been.

But his passion for cars was there before ‘the Floyd’. “My introduction to cars was through my dad, who worked as a director of documentaries,” says Nick. “He also raced cars. As a small boy, I was taken to Silverstone in the back of his 4.5-litre Bentley to help prep the car to race. We’ve now got at least two cars that I watched race as a kid – 1934 Aston Martin Ulsters that are raced by my wife and daughters.”

Despite catching the petrolhead bug as a child, Nick never wanted a car collection. “I certainly never intended to become a car collector; it was a terrible mistake!” he says. “What happened was that I was able to hang on to the cars that I raced. Normally, you’d sell one and move up a slot. But I ended up running a workshop with a man called Derrick Edwards. The company still exists with new owners and it continues to expertly look after the pre-war Aston Martins.”

Nick’s first ‘serious’ car was a 1955 Jaguar D-type, which he bought in 1976 and still owns. “I was assured by a friend that if I was looking for a Ferrari 250 GTO, whoever had it would want to do a swap for something good. This was nonsense, because they didn’t want a car, they wanted money!” So Nick bought the Ferrari and kept the Jag, thus starting his accidental collection, which today includes Maseratis, Bugattis, Ferraris and Astons, along with McLaren, Porsche and Lotus racecars and even a 1901 Panhard.

It was never about investment, always about a desire to race, and Nick found he had enough ability to compete at a fairly high level, including racing five times at the Le Mans 24hrs, starting in a Lola T297 in 1979 and culminating in a Group C Porsche 956 in 1984. “I’d always had this ambition to race at Le Mans, and through the AMOC and a man called Brian Joscelyne, I was introduced to Dorset Racing, who did everything in a professional way but remained

Then and now: Nick (on the right) with the original Pink Floyd line-up in 1965, and playing drums on stage at The Lakes (above)

amateurs in terms of funding! They convinced me that there was nothing to it! I won’t say they were right, because it was quite daunting. But they mentored me, and we won the index of performance and finished second in class.”

Although lacking a racing driver’s competitive instinct, Nick admits to the occasional onset of the cut-throat will to win. “Most of the time I think of myself as laidback, but occasionally you think, ‘This we have to go for!’ There was one particular race – the support race at the British Grand Prix in 1993 – that I won on the last corner of the last lap. Without doubt, that was my real motor-racing moment.”

Nick was driving his beloved 2.0-litre Maserati Birdcage, and was fired up enough to swap paint with a D-type to complete the manoeuvre. “I confess to occasionally watching the video of the race, even though I’m familiar with the result!”

Nick’s wife Annette and his two daughters all race, while second daughter Holly “did the helpful thing” by marrying professional racing driver, Marino Franchitti. “We try to persuade the cars to earn their living, and every now and then, we get an interesting project,” says Nick. “A call from Michael Mann, who was making the recent Ferrari film, is an example. We ended getting Marino to play Eugenio Castellotti, so he became an actor overnight.”

Nick’s fondness for Ferrari is well known – he owns several significant models, including the superlative 250 GTO


(bought in 1977 after The Dark Side of the Moon took the world by storm) – but the Prancing Horse is not his only vice. “I’m more of a tart than that!” he says. “I’ve done less racing in Ferraris than in Bugattis or Maseratis, but you can’t really go motor racing without getting involved with Ferrari. And that’s one of the benefits of being in a band – it gives you a ticket to access Ferrari’s race department at Maranello!”

Nick once owned one of Enzo Ferrari’s personal classics, a 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, but ‘foolishly’ sold it to pay a tax bill (“I’m fond of saying that it would have been more sensible to go to prison and keep the car!”). Nick never met Enzo, whose legend is immortalised in Mann’s Ferrari movie,


but his father did. “Shell wanted a film made of the Mille Miglia so my dad arrived in Brescia, and Enzo found him a driver who wanted a co-driver. Enzo engineered a race licence for my dad so he ended up competing in the race.”

Nick’s focus is on driving and enjoying his cars, although it’s increasingly hard to justify racing a car that’s worth £50m. “It’s a problem if cars become so valuable, you don’t want to take them to Goodwood, where if things do go wrong, the car gets badly damaged. What would have been a point of honour when the car was worth a million becomes really silly if you start messing about with it when it’s worth £50m.”

A more pragmatic approach is to enjoy driving experiences with fellow enthusiasts – a feature of the Lakes Car Club. “We did a little rally from The Lakes and back, which is a good way of enjoying the cars with like-minded people,” says Nick. “The driving is nice, but I think it’s the social thing with a lot of these cars.

“One special occasion that is unmissable for me is the Ferrari GTO rally – every five years you get a snapshot of who’s got the cars [only 36 were ever built] and what they’re doing with them. It’s the perfect rally from that respect because the cars are incredibly valuable and the owners are incredibly enthusiastic. And most of them race.”

Nick’s relationship with The Lakes, as with everything in his life, is founded on a Boy’s Own blend of fast cars and

rock ’n’ roll. “One of the things about John Hitchcox is that he’s a huge fan of music and actually an accomplished musician. Every now and again, we’ll go through a period of meeting up at his place once a month to jam. You never know who’s going to be there or what we’re going to play – it’s a great evening out and a good way of reminding yourself of the sheer pleasure of playing music.”

Good to know the Crazy Diamond shines on, both in the studio and on the track, half a century after Wish You Were Here. Enough to make you feel old? Not if you’re Nick Mason.



Based at the historic site of RAF Bibury in the heart of the Cotswolds, The Classic Motor Hub has something for everyone on our five-acre site; multiple showrooms featuring a range of fabulous classics for sale. We also offer a bespoke car storage and care facility, plus we host multiple classic motoring events every year.


The Classic Motor Hub specialises in all manner of interesting machinery, however our specialties lie anywhere from pre-war to exceptional value modern and emerging classic cars for sale.


Conveniently located in the Cotswolds across Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, we offer a bespoke car storage and care facility for highly-prized motor cars.


Committed to the automotive industry and protecting its heritage, we host our own classic motoring events throughout the calendar year to encourage peoples passions for all things classic motoring. We are open to the public seven days a week.

Classic Motor Hub, Old Walls, Ablington, Bibury GL7 5FF

A sustainable estate

Lakes, woods and meadows are lovely, but creating a sustainable and environmentally friendly community starts with the properties you build

‘It was like exploring a place that you have seen in a dream, where everything is just where you expect it and yet everything is a surprise.’ These words from Arthur Ransome’s iconic children’s book Swallows and Amazons seem to sum up The Lakes by YOO and help explain why John Hitchcox used the book to benchmark his vision right from the start. In order to facilitate that ideal of a natural playground, somewhere safe for children to explore and build dens in the woods, we have undertaken an ecological strategy that incorporates tree planting, rewilding, ethical harvesting, rescue farming, eco ponds, beekeeping and hydrology.

From the very start, sustainability was at the heart of The Lakes by YOO – and that had to include how the houses were designed, built and heated. The most environmentally friendly solution was to prefabricate off-site, guaranteeing world-leading design and build quality while lowering the

carbon footprint of the construction process. The chosen supplier was the Slovenian eco-tech company, Riko.

“Riko was fortunate enough to be invited to the table when John came up with this Swallows and Amazons concept,” says Wasya Awori, who spent almost 15 years as an architect with YOO, overseeing most of The Lakes development, before becoming director of house development and sales at Riko itself. “The site needed a sustainable approach to conservation – a light touch with minimum disruption to an established landscape. Riko’s build solution provided the answer – a system that enabled disruptive build elements to be factory made and then delivered for a speedy assembly.

“A greener future is about protecting the world’s resources by promoting greater efficiencies, minimising waste. Prefabrication is about bringing manufacturing efficiencies to the build process and managing what is traditionally a

Right From the very start it was agreed that houses at The Lakes would be built entirely from sustainable materials

very wasteful process. This has allowed The Lakes to remain green by reducing the active build footprint to a minimum.

“Prefabrication reduces the travel and movement of trades to site by realising their works in the factory, keeping carbon emissions down. Works associated with concrete, brick and mortar – all linked to CO2 emissions – are curtailed.

“Eco credentials were high on the agenda and the build had to demonstrate its components were from sustainable sources and didn’t foster the use of fossil fuels. The build components, from the cladding to the wall construction, had to demonstrate a high level of craftsmanship, workmanship and consistency. Riko’s factory CNC [computer numerical control] machines with in-house expertise from an engineerfocused parent company showed they were up to the task.”

A timber frame is the core component for every home at The Lakes, the timber being sustainably sourced with the


prerequisite FCA certification. Siberian larch, which does not require painting, is used for the cladding, while spruce is typically used for the 140mm stud, flanked on the structural panels by a fire-resistant, gypsum-based board called ‘fermacell’. The integral window frames, which arrive fully fitted, are predominantly an aluminium/timber composite.

The windows are a key factor, especially in such glassrich lakeside properties, because heat gain is a pressing challenge for thermal efficiency. “Navigating the balance between the amount of glazing permitted under stringent building regulations has become much harder” says Wasya. “It has led to an increase in the performance requirement for the glass, which has to restrict the amount of heat that

is absorbed into the house. We have seen a move to triple glazing to aid this, as well as interventions such as roof overhangs, awnings, integrated balconies and louvres.”

Heating and cooling systems need to be highly efficient and the homes at The Lakes were designed with upcoming technologies in mind. “All the heating/cooling and hot water in the apartments and cabins is provided by air source heat pumps,” says The Lakes pre-construction manager Ian Heeley. “Some of the houses have ground-source heat pumps or lake loops, using the lakes as a heat source, and some have photovoltaics, with or without battery storage, to supplement electric mains. The Spa recently installed a PV array to the roof to service the spa and pool during daylight.”

The latter source of energy could become the defining answer to all The Lakes by YOO’s needs, potentially rendering the estate wholly self-sufficient. “For more than a decade, the direction of travel has been to end up with zerocarbon houses, not necessarily off-grid but highly efficient,” says Giles Baker, managing director of YOO Retreats. “With a development like ours of 200 houses, you can just about justify putting in a solar farm – we have the space for it and one of our departments, YOO Energy, is all about solar and

Below right The Lakes project is designed to enhance and nourish the environment, not detract from it

wind farms. Eventually, we hope we will be able to exist completely off our own solar heat and power. We could probably even sell some electricity back to the local grid, but the main reason is to look after our owners.”

Aside from the buildings themselves, The Lakes is dedicated to environmental management, hydrology and nature conservation. “We are undertaking site-wide flood management modelling to ensure the estate is protected from increasing rainfall intensities,” says Heeley. “The estate has very complex hydrology, a number of interconnected lakes and watercourses and is located in the upper Thames catchment area. The modelling is nearing completion and has led to proposals for some additional control measures that will protect not just the estate but the wider area.

“The estate is heavily wooded and the management of the woodlands and significant planting as a part of the development maintain the flora and associated fauna. In addition, the whole estate has its own self-contained sewage treatment system.”

Underpinned by such a robust respect for the environment, The Lakes by YOO, inspired by a joyous children’s book set in the Lake District, is maturing into a lake district all of its own.

Below Riko specialises in ecological solidwood buildings


If you love good food, the Cotswolds is a delight, with a wealth of establishments and cuisines to cater to every taste. It’s well worth taking the time to visit at least one during your stay!


The Cotswolds is home to a host of brilliant country pubs, many of which are dog-friendly – a must for local and visiting dog owners. Picture open fireplaces in old stone buildings with great food – the perfect location to unwind after an afternoon spent walking in the beautiful surroundings of the Cotswolds. Many also offer accommodation, so they’re ideal if you’re coming from further afield.

The Double Red Duke in Clanfield is a popular, award-winning gastropub that prides itself on working with the very best local suppliers and offers great hospitality alongside its brilliant food. If you’re visiting Blenheim Palace, pop into The Killingworth Castle nearby, which focuses on seasonal and organic food wherever possible and has been listed in several food guides as one of the UK’s top gastropubs.

Over in Ebrington, The Ebrington Arms is famous for its Sunday roasts and strives to create a welcoming, community atmosphere at the heart of its local village. As well as the delicious

Sunday roast, it offers an extensive main menu, so there’s sure to be something for everyone. For visitors to the Cotswolds who enjoy a good walk, The Bell at Sapperton, near Cirencester, is perfectly situated next to Cirencester Park and a canal, so there’s no excuse not to explore the area before returning to The Bell to sample some great comfort food and a varied menu.

The King’s Head Inn in Bledington offers traditional English food made with fresh ingredients and local, freerange, organic produce where possible. The Fox at Barrington, near Burford, is located on the banks of the River Windrush and affords the opportunity to enjoy a lovely meal or drink by the cosy fire in the winter, or a glorious summer meal outdoors on the riverside when the weather turns nicer.



If you want a quintessentially British dining experience, the Cotswolds has some wonderful afternoon tea options. Visit the popular Bridge Tea Rooms in Bradford on Avon, a tearoom with friendly staff in Victorian uniforms. Luxe in Cirencester offers a more modern experience with its pinkthemed afternoon tea and claims to provide an Instagram-able twist to the coffee shop experience. If you head over to historic Stow-on-the-Wold, visit Lucy’s Tearoom, a 300-yearold tearoom with exposed beams and flagstone floors, the welcoming atmosphere is complemented by tempting homemade treats. Huffkins has cafes throughout the region, with the main bakery in Stratford-upon-Avon. The chain

offers a choice of six afternoon teas to cater to all tastes, including a plantbased option. Lords of the Manor in Cheltenham offers an afternoon tea prepared in its Michelin-starred kitchen and has an extensive loosetea menu, as well as the option to upgrade to a glass of champagne. For an indulgent afternoon tea in a grand venue, you could visit Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, where you can enjoy a traditional tea in the Orangery after taking a walk around the palace and grounds, which has been the seat of the Duke of Marlborough since the 1700s and was also the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.



If you’re looking for somewhere more modern to enjoy a meal, the Cotswolds has plenty of options. Roots + Seeds is a sustainable, home-grown and locally sourced dining hub in Cirencester Park, situated in a former kennels and stable building with a gorgeous outdoor area divided up by edible flower and herb-filled raised beds alongside the restaurant’s kitchen garden, which allows the restaurant to offer fresh, seasonal food year round.

Still in Cirencester, Henry’s is owned by Relish, the catering partner at The Lakes, so you can be sure of a topnotch dining experience. The bar and grill focuses on high-quality British seafood, as well as tasty meat and seasonal game dishes. It’s open for brunch Tuesday to Sunday and for dinner Tuesday to Saturday, so be sure to plan ahead if you want to visit this exciting spot!

For unbeatable views across Cheltenham, visit The Nook On Five, a new rooftop bar and restaurant that has delicious food and perfect ambience. The Nook has breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, as well as afternoon tea and Sunday lunch and, if the weather allows, you can even dine on the stunning rooftop terrace. YOKU is another brilliant place to eat in Cheltenham, located at No 131. YOKU is a luxury Japanese sushi and Asian dining experience and cocktail bar, where you can enjoy a range of sushi. The restaurant also serves sharing platters, in case you and a friend want to try even more sushi!



The Cotswolds has a range of awardwinning restaurants. Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham has a Michelin star and is run by husband and wife team David and Helen EverittMatthias. Choose from two, three or four courses of French-inspired dishes in this restaurant that aims to create an intimate atmosphere with a lack of pretension.

Another Michelin star holder well worth a visit is The Dining Room at Whatley Manor in Malmesbury. It has also been awarded a green Michelin star for sustainable gastronomy. A reservation at The Dining Room includes 30 minutes to enjoy an aperitif in the Drawing Room before your meal,

so you can be sure of a top-notch, luxurious experience.

Awarded its first Michelin star in 2018, the Olive Tree in Bath pairs classic flavours with modern techniques and focuses on using seasonal produce from local providers. The Olive Tree has a range of menus, from the signature nine-item tasting menu, through six- and four- dish menus to a three-dish selection on certain days during the week.

Just a stone’s throw from The Lakes in Lechlade, The Ox Barn at Thyme was previously home to oxen but has been meticulously restored to preserve the

beams, arches and original Cotswolds stone rubble walls. It focuses on using produce picked that day to create delicious, simply cooked menus. The Ox Barn offers a prix-fixe menu for lunch and an à la carte menu in the evening. The Lygon Arms in Broadway has partnered with acclaimed chef James Martin to create Grill, serving food that draws inspiration from seasonal, local and artisanal produce in a relaxed setting with a vaulted ceiling. Grill also offers the opportunity to purchase a portion of ‘invisible chips’, which makes a donation to support people working in hospitality.



Once your appetite for food has been sated, there are many distilleries and breweries in the Cotswolds to discover. If real ale is your thing, Hook Norton Brewery is worth a visit. While you can purchase some of the ale produced at the brewery, you can also take a tour to see how it’s made. The Tite Inn pub in Chadlington brews its own beer less than a mile away at its Chadlington Brewery. While it’s not currently possible to visit the brewery, the Tite Inn offers lagers, bitters, blondes and IPAs for you to enjoy.

Another brewery worth visiting in the area is the North Cotswold Brewery in Stretton-on-Fosse, a family-run brewery that creates quality ales using traditional methods and natural ingredients. With a core range of six beers, the brewery also offers seasonal ales and even a home-delivery service!

If you’re not really a beer drinker, the Cotswolds has much to offer spirit drinkers. The Cotswolds Distillery in Stourton (see page 56) supplies The Lakes Bar & Kitchen and was opened in 2014 to produce whisky, but has since expanded to include gin and other spirits. The distillery hosts tours and tasting experiences.

Sibling Distillery in Cheltenham was created by a team of two brothers and two sisters, who were raised by parents that ran a microbrewery. In 2014, the siblings opened their own brewery to create delicious, high-quality gins. The distillery also runs tours where the siblings share their story and their passion, as well as gin tastings, food and even a gin pub quiz!



With two Michelin stars by the age of 26, and a career spanning over 30 years, Tom Aikens talks about his journey to becoming one of Britain’s most talented chefs

You and your twin brother Robert are both chefs – what inspired you to take up cooking professionally?

I grew up in Norfolk and we had a large garden in which my mother created a vegetable plot. I remember from the age of about five that we would help our parents with fairly mundane jobs like weeding. But as we got a little bit older, Robert and I would help to dig up vegetables or do the seeding, and when we were around eight or nine years old, we would help with cooking in the kitchen. We started with cakes and cookies and bread. Then we would get involved at the weekends with family meals, and as we got older, we’d make roast dinners, and that’s really where it all started.

My father was in the wine business and he had a wine merchant shop in Norwich. It was the early 1980s and the majority of wine was coming from France, so my family spent lots of time there, and summer and Easter breaks were often combined with my father’s business trips. We would often venture off into the wine territories and Robert and I and our older brother would find ourselves sweeping out cellars or helping to make up boxes – we got involved

in all sorts of things. We would then tag along for lunch and there would always be wine. We developed our tastes at a young age and we got to enjoy the more provincial side of French cooking. In the summer, we would spend up to two months in France, and eventually, my father bought a house in a tiny hamlet in the Auvergne. The neighbours were all involved with farming in some sense and we were surrounded by fresh food. We used to get milk from the dairy farmer every morning, and occasionally, the other neighbour would give us a big basket of vegetables. I remember it being a very pleasant existence.

You knew from an early age that you wanted to be a chef –how did you turn the dream into reality?

My brother and I were looking into becoming professional chefs in 1981, when we were 11 years old. I called up the local college pretending to be a school leaver interested in taking up catering as a career. They told me what qualifications I would need and asked me to go in for an interview immediately. I think they were keen because not a lot of


people wanted to train as chefs at that time. Sadly, the next five years of my high-school education were not the greatest time in my life. It wasn’t easy for my parents, either, because my brother and I weren’t getting good grades. We put them through hell, but we had a plan. We were the top students at catering college, and when we qualified, we both got jobs at Cavalier’s, a Michelin-starred restaurant in London.

You mentioned that from the age of 16 to 26, you moved around a lot, working in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the business. Can you tell us more about it? It was 1993 and restaurants were opening in London and chefs were beginning to make names for themselves. It was an exciting time. I was working at La Tante Claire in London, when Pierre Koffmann was awarded his third Michelin star. It was amazing to be a part of that.

I also worked in France in world-renowned establishments: Joël Robuchon in Paris and Gérard Boyer’s Les Crayères in Reims. As a trainee, you’re always moving up the ladder in terms of your position and seniority, and at some point, you have to ask yourself, “When am I going to be the one making decisions?” And the timing is different for everyone. It’s not set in stone, and it’s only when you feel reasonably competent and confident that you can do it.

Is there anything that you would have done differently?

The experience that I gained working in France was incredible, but I think that I could have possibly waited another five years or so before becoming a head chef. Most head chefs are around 30-33 years old. In terms of gaining experience and coping with the pressure, a few more years may have helped me. But saying that, I was given an amazing opportunity as head chef and co-owner of Pied à Terre in London. And it was here, early on in my career when I was 26 years old, that we achieved two Michelin stars.

After five years, you returned to La Tante Claire as head chef before opening your own restaurant in 2003, Tom Aikens Restaurant in Chelsea. How did that feel?

It was amazing. The restaurant was a great success. It was a place where people could come and relax and enjoy the food. It was hard work and stressful at times, but we had some fantastic reviews and some amazing chefs worked there. I’m still in touch with a lot of them.

What were you like to work for?

I’d say that I was not the easiest boss because I wasn’t a pushover – I didn’t let things go. Some of that was down to the extraordinarily long hours I was working. But the chefs

Left Tom constantly strives for excellence in his kitchen and uses the finest fresh, seasonal and sustainable produce


who worked for me tell me that it was amazing for them because they learnt so much and they now appreciate that high standards had to be met at all times.

How do you think the industry has changed?

I think there was an era when a generation of chefs were really going for it, striving for something really great in terms of their career. But now I see that many chefs have lost the drive and ambition, and they don’t necessarily want the stress and aggro of having their own business. They are very happy working for other people and that’s fine, but I think there will be a void of good restaurants at some point, in maybe 15 or 20 years, which is sad. Also, when I started working as a chef, veganism wasn’t a thing and certainly wasn’t catered for on a fine-dining menu. We now cater for veganism and allergies as standard in restaurants.

At the 2012 Olympics, you carried the Olympic torch across London Bridge – was it a great experience?

There were thousands of people lining the streets and my wife and our first child were there with me. Many people took part, and each had around a minute and a half with the torch – it was so exciting. We were all chaperoned on to a bus and were sitting with some real characters, including Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.

Do you have any advice for up-and-coming chefs?

Have a strategy, make a time plan and decide what your end goal is. Decide if you want to have your own restaurant or to be head chef in a restaurant – they are very different. Plan your future for ten years and how you will get from A to B. With social media and Instagram, you can get in touch with chefs all over the world. Start a conversation, travel and make new friends with chefs across the globe. Decide on the cuisine you want to offer: fast food, fine dining, Michelin banqueting. There are so many areas you can get into.

Tell us about Muse, your restaurant in Belgravia Muse is a fine-dining restaurant that opened just before the pandemic. The timing wasn’t great, but we received a Michelin star a year later. It’s in a tiny Georgian townhouse, and with 23 covers, it’s cosy and comfortable and feels like you’re in your own home. I don’t think there’s anything quite like it in London. The kitchen isn’t stressful and our people bloom. We create amazing food with the finest fresh, seasonal and sustainable produce.

Have you stayed at The Lakes by YOO?

Yes, several times. The Lakes by YOO is in an amazing location. The health club and spa are incredible and the landscape is perfect for families and couples wanting to have lazy or fun times.

Above Tom outside his London restaurant, Muse by Tom Aikens


Discover the story of Cotswolds Distillery and how it grew from the dream of an American expat to become the first distillery to open in the region

When Dan Szor, a native New Yorker who had worked in London for many years, moved to the Cotswolds, his aim was to leave the busy corporate world behind and spend more time with his family.

However, after discovering fields of barley around his house and realising no one was distilling it, he decided to combine his love of whisky with the chance to start a new business. When he found a derelict site near his home, he set about building a distillery and finding a team and the Cotswolds Distillery was born, the first full-scale distillery in the region.

Dan’s priorities were to make a product the team really cared about, so when the Cotswolds Distillery opened in 2014, it solely produced single-malt whisky, although production now includes gin and other spirits. Operations director Melanie Crowson says, “Our spirits are truly lovingly crafted. It was always important to Dan that we make something about which we care in a place we love. Our distillers go above and beyond, from peeling hundreds of grapefruits by hand to sampling each cask of whisky.”

Aside from providing the distillery’s name, the Cotswolds location is integral to the brand in other ways, as Melanie

Right Innovation is important to the distillery team, who describe themselves as passionate pioneers, unbound by tradition

explains: “The Cotswolds is hugely important to us. In fact, it defines every aspect of our being. We feel extremely lucky to live in one of England’s most charming and beloved regions, full of character, romance and history.”

The barley that is used in the whisky is grown on the nearby Blenheim estate and the fruits and grains that are the building blocks of the brand’s gin and whisky flavour profiles are also grown in the area. Cotswolds Distillery aims to emphasise the rich agricultural bounty of the Cotswolds and raises money for Caring for the Cotswolds to preserve these benefits for years to come.

In line with this, the distillery is opening its wetlands project this year, which will allow the team to dispose of effluent wastewater without the need for transport, minimising the carbon footprint of the distillery and creating a biodiverse environment for nature to thrive.

Innovation is also incredibly important to Cotswolds Distillery. The team are open to experimentation and describe themselves as passionate pioneers, unbound by tradition. When it came to creating the distillery’s first whisky, the team spent two months researching botanical recipes, distilled 150 individual spirits in a range of different flavours and started to experiment with different combinations. They created over 60 gin recipes, which were then whittled


down to one final recipe, and that became Cotswolds Dry Gin. Quality and flavour are also top priority for the team, as Melanie explains: “We openly encourage experimentation, producing delicious spirits to the best of our ability, no matter what the cost,” whether that’s achieved by running the whisky fermentation process for longer than the standard duration, or by using ten times the average amount of gin botanicals.

Following an upgrade to a brand-new whisky distillery in 2022, the team now have access to a two-tonne mash tun and the capacity to produce a massive 500,000 litres of pure

This page Visitors are welcome at the distillery where they can take part in a tour and tasting, or even have a go at a gin or whisky blending masterclass

alcohol per year. To produce the whisky, the distillers follow a 92-hour fermentation process, with high cut points on the spirit still to get a lighter, fruitier spirit.

Visitors are welcome at the distillery site, located just outside the beautiful village of Stourton, and the team welcome over 30,000 people each year, offering visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the full range of Cotswolds Distillery Outstanding Natural Spirits. You can take part in a tour and tasting, or even have a go at a gin or whisky blending masterclass.

The distillery’s lovingly crafted spirits are a welcome addition to the menu at The Lakes Bar & Kitchen and supporting local tourism and hospitality is incredibly important to the team. Melanie says: “We pride ourselves on building strong partnerships with local businesses to raise awareness and visibility. We also offer bar training, hold events across the area and work with local businesses on activations for campaigns and new product launches, helping to introduce more and more people to this beautiful area of truly outstanding natural beauty.”

Next time you stop by The Lakes Bar & Kitchen, take the opportunity to try some of the products from Cotswolds Distillery, and if you find a new favourite, all products are available at for home delivery.


Discover some of the delicious spirits and liqueurs from Cotswolds Distillery:


Cotswolds Distillery produces a range of single-malt whiskies, using a variety of casks, including sherry and bourbon.


Cotswolds Distillery currently offers eight different gins, as well as a range of pre-mixed ready-to-drink gin spritzes.

This page

Some of the range of spirits produced by the Cotswolds Distillery, which includes whisky, gin and liqueurs, can be found at The Lakes Bar & Kitchen


Aside from the gin and whisky produced at the distillery, you can also try Cotswolds Summer Cup or Cotswolds Treacle Rum.

Available from



TTrends you can live with are in this season. Caroline Leaper , senior fashion editor at The Telegraph , shares her hot list

he latest spring trends are not extreme. They’re not avant-garde or unwearable. In fact, they are subtle style updates that anyone anywhere might actually want to wear – in town or the countryside, out for dinner or in the pub at the weekend. How refreshing! From wide-leg jeans to ballet flats to the new rouge bags, you could formulate a whole shopping list of It items, or simply add one or two updates to your existing wardrobe.


Baggy trousers are back and the easiest way to freshen up your spring silhouette is with a pair of wide-leg jeans. Gucci and Chanel showed the season’s best catwalk denim, while AGOLDE’s ‘Clara’ style is made with organic fabrics and comes in a perfect mid-blue. Tuck in any T-shirt, add a smart belt, and you’re ready to go.

Clara Baggy organic cotton jeans. £310, AGOLDE at

Maxine shirt. £250,

Outta Love glasses. £47.10,


1960s oval sunglasses are set to be the shape of the summer. The Le Specs collection is made with materials derived from plant biomass or recycled coffee grounds – a better alternative when shopping for a plastic-style frame. The brand also offers more than a dozen classic and on-trend colours, spanning turquoise to tortoiseshell.


Delicate satin pumps are, of course, not a durable everyday shoe choice. But for special occasions this spring, blush and finely embellished ballet flats are in vogue. They’ll look great on wedding guests, whose feet won't suffer in heels on the dancefloor, as well as with jeans the morning after.


Designers love to play with the proportions of a classic. A pale-blue slightly oversized shirt will mix as well with jeans as with skirts, or layered under cricket jumpers. Anine Bing’s Maxine has elegant, elongated cuffs.

D-Joy ballet flats. £690,



The Saint Laurent spring collection was dedicated to the pioneering designer’s safari suit. Erdem offered an elegant take with his beige-cotton utility skirt, while Ralph Lauren added cargo pockets to tailored trousers.


Instagrammers are suggesting that red is the answer to all outfit woes – you add one rouge element to every outfit to liven it up. Gucci’s burgundy makes a compelling case. New creative director Sabato de Sarno’s glossy red Jackie bag would be an investment buy that will work hard for decades to come.

Jackie small shoulder bag. £2,400, Cargo midi skirt. £755,

Organic cotton jacket. £1,030,

The most versatile shoe choice this spring is colourful suede trainers. Between Loewe’s hero Flow Runner styles and Adidas’s revival of Sambas and Guams, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to colour combinations that will effortlessly add the finishing touch to any outfit.

The Swedish minimalist label Toteme is famed for its outerwear. For spring, it’s championing a cotton-twill utility mac, complete with statement pockets and a contrast leather collar. It’s a great option for anyone seeking something new to alternate with their trusty trench.


Miuccia Prada showed us dozens of ways to style up a humble polo top on the catwalk at Miu Miu. Chances are, you may already have one in your wardrobe. If buying new, look at Herd’s fully traceable knits, made from the fleece of Bluefaced Leicester sheep shorn in Lancashire.

Ingleton jumper. £245, Flow Runner trainers. £595,


Joe Bates, 38, is the founder and CEO of Halen, a platform that teaches stressmanagement techniques led by a team of ex-military coaches. We caught up with Joe to learn about the benefits of breathwork and the retreats he procures for guests and visitors at The Lakes by Yoo…



I grew up in Devon, the youngest of three children. My mum was a psychologist and my dad was a businessman. He became very ill when I was teenager and died when I was 17. Following his death, I didn’t know what to do with myself, but I felt I needed to get away from everything. I joined the Royal Marines and was almost immediately shipped off to Iraq as a sniper. At 19, I went through the British Special Forces selection and passed at the age of 20. Then I completed back-to-back tours of Afghanistan with the SBS [Special Boat Service]. The selection process is the same as with the SAS [Special Air Service], but we tend to specialise in covert diving and long-distance underwater swimming. I was quite young to do this but was super-driven, plus I’m an outdoors person and keep myself fit. I left the SBS when I was 25 and became interested in the stock market. I got a job with City Bank in Canary Wharf and became a stock trader. I was working at such a pace and running ten miles before work. I never fully switched off. After a few years, everything seemed to catch up with me. I was working and training hard and not necessarily looking after my health. I burnt myself out at the age of 28.



I was struggling with my mental health and felt like everything was catching up with me. I talked to my brother and sought help through a therapist.

I became interested in the ‘space’, as in the space of being conscious of why we feel the way we do.

Four years ago, I was looking at the mental health market and thought that everything on offer felt overly clinical or was solely targeted towards women.

I felt that people like me don’t respond well to that because men find it hard to talk about themselves or open up in a group environment. I wanted to create something more aspirational that you could be proud to tell people you were part of – a community team that helps you build resilience and live a less stressed life. And so, I founded Halen and it launched just before the first Covid lockdown.


The coaches on our platform are ex-military – we call them Halen Pros. Every one of my team has been through the mill at some point and worked through it, which is why they love this space – the space created in the subconscious mind when you meditate. We have specialist coaches in different areas, including meditation, breathwork, life, performance and career transformation. Most men prefer one-to-one online sessions. Women prefer group therapy.



The day begins with breathwork. We’ve lost track of how we should be breathing because when people are stressed, they take shallow breaths using only the top of their lungs. If you’ve heard of Wim Hof aka The Iceman, you’ll know that he’s led the charge on ice work, breathwork and cold water. The science has now caught up with the myth. People knew that repetitive breathing was good for the body and now we have the evidence to back this.

Controlled sessions of breathwork involve repetitive breaths with big belly breaths for around 45 minutes, with around 30 breath sets with breaks in between. When you breath-hold at the end of each set, you are putting the body into hypoxia, starving the body of oxygen, and when you do this, your body will create more red blood cells, which will then carry more oxygen around the body. Breathwork will also boost your autoimmune levels and can also dull the pain receptors in the body and may help those who suffer with any chronic pain in their muscles, backs and shoulders. We recently helped a veteran who had an ongoing injury –after a breathwork session, he felt less pain than he had in years.

Clients are surprised that after the first round of controlled breathwork, they can hold their breath for at least a minute. And they are amazed when, after the fifth round, they can all hold their breath for two minutes, some for longer. The breathwork gets rid of CO2 gas, which enables them to be able to do this – it’s fantastic to watch.

Breathwork triggers the vagus nerve, the main nerve in your parasympathetic nervous system that relaxes your body after periods of stress. The vagus nerve extends from the brainstem through the neck and throat down to the abdomen.

When we activate the vagus nerve, we stimulate the process of restoring the balance and calm necessary for good physical and mental health.

Some people experience an emotional release after practising breathwork. It’s an amazing tool to get people to open up because they are so relaxed.



When someone is immersed in cold water, their breath will come fast and shallow. But if you can trigger the vagus nerve and show them how to consciously slow down their breathing so they are calm and not panicking, they can conquer the cold water. Clients are in the water for two to three minutes, and when they come out, the blood is released around the body like a ‘flush’, which makes them feel incredible. At this point, people will experience a dopamine and serotonin kick and the release of these ‘happy’ hormones will make them feel good for up to four or five hours. Their blood circulation will have improved – it’s almost like an oil change for your body. There are multiple benefits for your health, but I think the best outcome for clients is feeling less stressed and more able to manage their stress.


In the last year or so, we have been organising many more retreats and have curated programmes specifically for The Lakes by Yoo. Day retreats run from around 10am until 4pm. Guests can opt to stay at The Lakes by Yoo or they can come for the day. It’s the perfect setting – surrounded by nature and beautiful Marley Lake, which is ideal for wild swimming. When the summer comes, we will use ice baths to get the effects we want. For me, it’s the best job in the world. I love what I do and being to help people makes it so worthwhile.


Breathwork and Cold Water Retreats by Halen are available to book at The Lakes by Yoo. Clients can book as day visitors or opt to stay in a selection of luxury cabins or apartments. Please ask for details.



We catch up with Dr Barbara Sturm , a leading force in the development of specialist skincare with her groundbreaking Molecular Cosmetics

The renowned aesthetics doctor with an A-list celebrity following explains the science and inspiration behind her bespoke skincare brand.

As a pioneer of anti-inflammatory skincare, can you tell us how you used your research into molecular science to create your Molecular Cosmetics collection?

I began my medical practice in anti-inflammatory orthopaedics, and in 2002, I translated some of the scientific anti-inflammatory advances I helped to pioneer into skin and aesthetics. I was always interested in aesthetics – it’s a combination of art and science, and a fascinating challenge with immediate and gratifying outcomes for patients.

I started by injecting hyaluronic acid and Botox, which provided great results, but I kept thinking that it would be a great anti-ageing booster for the skin if we also started mixing it with the body’s own anti-inflammatory healing factors, like we did in orthopaedic medicine. This became the inspiration behind what people know today as the ‘blood facial’, ‘vampire facial’ or ‘PRP’, and I invented a bespoke,

blood plasma-infused face cream for my patients soon after. Then, when they asked me to recommend a full skincare line and I couldn’t find any products I was comfortable to recommend, I decided to create my own.

How did you recognise the importance of ingredients that work with the body’s own anti-inflammatory properties?

As an aesthetics doctor, I have seen the permanent damage caused by harsh ingredients and aggressive skin treatments, so my big focus is on using ingredients and formulas that are suitable for all skin types. Skincare should be uncomplicated, should effectively combat rather than contribute to inflammation, and should hydrate and nourish your skin without any aggressive ingredients. The ingredient science in my Molecular Cosmetics collection works to combat inflammation-mediated oxidation and to provide protection of skin-barrier function, hydration, nutrition and healing. I also advise keeping inflammation at bay by adopting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Great skin is not just about putting a cream on – there is a holistic approach to reducing


inflammation and achieving wellness and this is at the heart of Dr Barbara Sturm Molecular Cosmetics.

What are the benefits of a serum in your skincare routine?

Serums are the power tools of your skincare regimen. They are highly concentrated and often contain water-soluble ingredients that can penetrate deeply to deliver active ingredients into the skin. My serums are targeted to specific skin concerns, such as anti-ageing, brightening or calming and are mandatory in a modern skincare routine. Serums are a complement to day or night creams. They’re not meant to replace your moisturiser, but can be used to boost its hydrating effects. I formulated my Dr Barbara Sturm serums with high-concentration, active ingredients that confer anti-ageing benefits and target breakouts and other skin dysfunctions. I have also invented serums that protect against UVA and UVB rays, and environmental pollution.

Why are serums containing hyaluronic acid beneficial for the skin?

I call hyaluronic acid the ‘white T-shirt’ of a skincare regimen. It’s the ultimate multitasker. When formulated correctly, hyaluronic acid can provide superficial and deeperlayer hydration. The science of hyaluronic acid has been widely studied and it has been shown to boost skin barrier function, to act as a penetrating agent transporting other

small-molecule active ingredients deeper into skin, to boost collagen production and to promote healing.

My Hyaluronic Serum is a high concentration of blended low-, medium- and high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid that hydrates your skin both superficially and at deeper layers. It also contains purslane – a potent antioxidative compound that helps protect against and soothe irritation.

Do your clients take an interest in how your products are formulated? What factors are important to them?

When I create a new delivery method that allows the use of potent ingredients, introduce advances in ingredient science, tailor my products to specific skin types and concerns and deploy any advanced procedures, there is an audience for it. Conversely, the customer is losing interest in hollow marketing concepts and products that don’t work.

In your opinion, do men take as much of an interest in their wellbeing and skincare as women?

The global men’s skincare market has grown in general, with a particular interest in cleansing, moisturising and sunscreen – it’s come a long way from when men might only use an alcohol-heavy aftershave as their skincare – and we are certainly seeing more men in our spa and boutiques who want hydrated and healthier-looking skin. They’ve become much more interested in hair, scalp and beard care – we

Left The ingredient science in Dr Sturm’s Molecular Cosmetics collection works to combat inflammation-mediated oxidation

have lots of men who love the Scalp Serum, Anti-Hair Fall Shampoo and the Anti-Hair Fall Scalp Serum, for example.

How do you feel when your clients start to see results? As a doctor, to hear, “You changed my skin,” is what excites me. I am driven to invent new solutions for patients and that passion has driven my work for the last two decades.

How much of an effect does lifestyle have on one’s skin? It has a huge effect. The anti-inflammatory lifestyle is the key for me. Inflammation is the body’s response to irritation and injury and must be recognised as a primary trigger for acne, premature ageing, redness, enlarged pores, disease and dysfunction, including psoriasis, rosacea and perioral dermatitis. We are bombarded every day with inflammatory influences, from harsh skincare ingredients to UVA and UVB rays, stress, tailpipe emissions, HEV rays, smoking and drinking, and sugar. If we learn what the inflammatory and anti-inflammatory influences are, we can adjust our lifestyle accordingly – and it will have both an immediate and longterm effect on skin ageing and your overall health.

You look amazing – how do you do it?

Thank you! At the moment, my skincare routine goes something like this: twice a week, I’ll use the Facial Scrub or Enzyme Cleanser on my face and body to remove dead skin cells, boost circulation and encourage skin renewal. The rest of the time, I use my Body Wash. I apply my Balancing Toner immediately after showering, then Hyaluronic Serum and The Better B Niacinamide Serum, and I’ll then apply my Super Anti-Aging Face Cream, Super Anti-Aging Neck & Décolleté Cream and, when I have dark circles or puffiness, my Super Anti-Aging Eye Cream. My Face Mask, which I use every single day, acts as an effective 15-20-minute boost of

rich hydration and doubles as an overnight treatment, too. You can mix in a little Night Serum when using it at night.

What about the treatments you offer at The Lakes by YOO?

Each of the facials we offer at Yoo means every visitor will be able to find a Sturm facial to suit their needs. I’m so happy to be able to offer our facials to clients staying at The Lakes by Yoo – it’s such a beautiful space in a stunning location and I’m proud to be part of it.

Above Dr Sturm’s science-backed skincare products are recognised around the world for their anti-ageing properties


Actress Tina Hobley , a long-time resident of The Lakes, shares how she discovered cold-water swimming and the positive impact it’s had on her life

After spending years in her house at The Lakes, overlooking the gorgeous water but never dipping in a toe, actress Tina Hobley was inspired to try cold-water swimming during lockdown 2020 and hasn’t looked back. She says her sister-in-law bought her a copy of the book The Wim Hof Method, which inspired her to try immersing herself in the water. “I looked out my window and thought, ‘Well, I’ve got it right there – what am I doing? This man is telling me that this could be really good for me.’”

Despite hating cold showers, Tina soon discovered a love for her new hobby – and the colder the water, the better. “I started with a wetsuit, then slowly peeled it off, because I wasn’t getting the sort of buzz that I’d researched,” she says. “After about four or five attempts, I jumped in and that was it. I’ve been completely addicted ever since – I love it. I look at water in a completely different way.”

Immersing herself in the cold water is something that has become part of Tina’s daily routine and an important way to start the day: “Jump in. Don’t think about it – I don’t even

brush my teeth. Jump in, have a cup of tea – don’t shower for at least half an hour because I love to keep the burn feeling – then I’m good to go. I’m buzzing for about three hours.”

Tina says she prefers to get into the water, swim fast for a few minutes and then tread water and relax, rather than walking in slowly and standing still. She does note, however, that the key to cold-water swimming is consistency. While usually she doesn’t enjoy swimming in the summer months as much (“If it’s too warm, you just don’t get that burn. And I love staying in until I get the burn”), after a recent holiday in the Caribbean, Tina found it initially difficult to readjust to the colder temperatures. “I could only stay in for about two minutes, and going from a really warm temperature to cold gave me a headache for the first two hours after I got out.”

The physical and mental health benefits Tina has discovered have been transformative. “I don’t believe in a lot of quick fixes that gurus come up with. But I don’t take any vitamins and my immune system for the past three years has been top. I really do believe it’s a great flush for your immune


system. I can’t tell you how brilliant I feel. Even if I’ve got to rush to work or I’ve got a long drive, I will get in the water for at least five minutes and then I’m buzzing for hours. I can get through the day and nothing seems to touch me, and my stress levels have definitely been reduced.”

Tina’s found that breathing properly is essential to the success of cold-water swimming, and she draws on techniques she learnt in drama school, as well as deep diaphragm breathing that she also uses in yoga. The benefits from this have seeped into other areas of her life as well, enabling her to conquer difficult moments in climbing, the other new hobby she’s developed a passion for. “I think the cold-water swimming has really helped my breathing technique. Then when I’m climbing and I get really scared, paralysed with fear, I just try to remember my breathing and that gets me through it.”

Although Tina enjoys cold-water swimming on her own, another benefit she’s found is the sense of community that can be built around it. “If anyone’s around, we send out a message and then whoever’s around and feeling brave will come and join in.” The group meets in different places each time, with people taking it in turns to host and provide a

post-swim hot chocolate around the firepit and “maybe a bit of brandy at the end.”

The Lakes provides a special opportunity for this, with everyone living in close proximity. “It’s lovely, and we haven’t got far to go. Some of us rock up in our dressing gowns, swimsuits and gloves and in you get. It’s wonderful when different houses host it – you don’t get that anywhere but The Lakes.”

Tina describes swimming at The Lakes as “absolutely idyllic” and regrets not going in sooner, after living at The Lakes for 17 years. “I’m kicking myself all the time – how I’ve been there for so long, looking at the water, and I never got in. Now I can literally look at a puddle and think ‘I’d quite like to jump in that!’

“The last three years, I’ve been in nearly every day. And it doesn’t matter what the temperature is. In fact, I prefer it when it’s a bit icy and frosty. It’s real therapy and it’s just so wonderful to get lost in that moment. It’s a really short moment, but it’s mine and I love it.

“Every time I open the window, or I connect with my house and the lake, I feel so grateful to be able to just literally jump off my balcony into this newfound obsession that I’ve got.”


Tina’s tips for cold swimming


Getting used to and enjoying immersing yourself in cold water is built up over time. If you take an extended break, you might find it more uncomfortable when you start again.

DON’T THINK TOO MUCH ABOUT IT AND JUST JUMP IN Tiptoeing into the water will make it more difficult. If you walk in with purpose, you can enjoy the benefits right away.


This will help you deal with the sudden shock of the cold water and could also benefit other areas of your life.


Tina says she prefers lake swimming and likes to know the water, but make sure wherever you are is safe and practise with a friend until you’re more confident.


It’s important to get out of the water when you’re getting too cold and make sure you can warm up quickly; don’t push yourself too far.



Melissa Odabash , swimwear designer to the stars, has collaborated with The Lakes to create a custom swimsuit for our outdoor and cold-water therapy activities

When a young Melissa Odabash was scouted from her hometown in New Jersey, the successful modelling career that ensued brought her to a life in Italy in her early 20s. While working as a swimwear model there, she noticed a lack of swim styles on the market that she wanted to wear. What quickly followed was the launch of her eponymous label, Melissa Odabash, in 1999. Beginning by creating and selling small capsule collections of swimwear in Italy, she soon expanded into beachwear. “I quickly saw a need in the market for resortwear,” Melissa says. “Starting with handmade crochet cover-ups, inspired by my mother’s 1970s crochet shorts and skirts, I later expanded into my signature embroidered kaftans and vintage prints.” It is her mother who Melissa credits as being one of her first influences when it comes fashion and personal style. “Since I was ten, my mother and I would watch all the fashion shows from Europe. She was always wearing the latest trends and she could sketch and sew me clothes. Every year, she would vacation with my father in Sint Maarten and bring all of us


back a skimpy French bikini – that’s probably why I do what I do. I still remember all of the designs.”

Another major inspiration behind Melissa’s brand is her worldwide travel. Always on a plane to new countries, she tries to visualise what she would wear if she were on a beautiful beach – in locations such as Florida, the Caribbean, the coast of Italy and Dubai. “I then design styles around that climate and ambience,” she says. “By staying true to the core identity of my brand and not just following trends, the collections have a trademark look – customers have said that they can spot my styles from far away.”

Such trademark collections include her 2024 Cruise Collection and 2022 Sports Luxe Collection. Bringing a distinctive retro appeal, featuring paisley-printed swimwear and crochet beachwear, the Cruise Collection maintains a luxe, contemporary appeal with sleek silhouettes, cut-out detailing and understated golden or tortoiseshell trims.

Taking the issue of sustainability seriously at Melissa Odabash, the brand’s Sports Luxe range is part of the Sustainable Collection. Made from Econyl regenerated nylon, it is ideal for water activities not only due to the long-lasting material saving energy and resources, but also its elasticity and softness. The eco-friendly fabric also features striking designs, adding chic elements to your holiday wardrobe while maintaining durability.

A frequent visitor to The Lakes, Melissa has collaborated with us to create a custom swimsuit for our outdoor and cold-water therapy activities, including paddleboarding, cold-water swimming and ice baths. Adapted from an existing style in Melissa’s sports collection, this custom longsleeve, zip-up swimsuit is designed in olive and earth tones to complement the surrounding areas of The Lakes, and features an extra-warm lining for when you’re in the cold-

Right Melissa’s Odabash Lounge range is perfect for travelling or simply relaxing

water plunge. “I’ve stayed at The Lakes many times. I just love being surrounded by water and nature,” says Melissa. “And I love outdoor sports, but I don’t like reapplying sunblock. So, for this collaboration, I created a piece that was versatile for all outdoor activities, with fabric that would help to protect from the sun and keep the warmth in during lake swimming.”

Other key collaborations include creating a line of luxurious beachwear and swimwear with best friend, and highly skilled couture designer, Julien MacDonald – where together they pushed swimwear boundaries and created statement pieces, working with Victoria’s Secret to create their bestselling bikini, and Bryan Adams for a special-edition Speedos coffee table book for the swimming trunks’ 75th anniversary. The success of Melissa’s brand is further evidenced by being credited with ‘introducing high fashion into resortwear’ and having Vogue describe her work as ‘the Ferraris of the bikini world’. These are quite the accolade, yet aptly reflect Melissa’s skill and experience, as well as her discerning use of superior fabrics, which she credits with establishing her loyal customer base. “I have a very loyal customer base and a great celebrity following, which is a testament to the fact that great quality goes a long way,” she says. Such celebrities include Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and the Kardashian/Jenners. From stars to shows, Melissa has also

utilised her expertise on hit TV programmes Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model and Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two

The many awards that Melissa has received over her career also demonstrate her success. In 2014, Melissa received the Salon International de la Lingerie’s Designer of the Year award and was named one of the 50 Most Influential People of London at the London Lifestyle Awards; in 2015, she won the Retailer of the Year award. She also won the Humanitarian Award for her pioneering work developing the first designer mastectomy swimwear line for the breast cancer charity, Future Dreams. Most recently, Melissa received an MBE from Queen Elizabeth II for services to the swimwear industry and continued philanthropic ventures. Also making a splash outside swimwear is Odabash Lounge. Made from a beautifully soft ‘terry’ fabric for optimum comfort without compromising on style, this collection is perfect for travelling or relaxing on spa days. The range of tops, trousers, shorts and playsuits – offset by luxe gold detailing on the buttons and cord ends – allows for versatile, mix-and-match options.

This female entrepreneur has changed the retail landscape of the resortwear world, leading to over 20 successful years in business for the Melissa Odabash brand, and we are delighted to stock her pieces in our onsite boutique.



The interiors of the cabins and apartments at The Lakes by YOO are lovingly designed with one purpose above all – to make you feel at home

Aplace for families, friends and colleagues to come together, The Lakes is a lifestyle. Included within our exclusive 850-acre green space, and overlooking stunning stretches of water, are a collection of luxury interior design-led cabins and apartments, designed and curated by award-winning YOO Studio. Such idyllic retreats require considered design from people with high levels of experience, as well as a deep appreciation for this unique sustainable estate. People such as Anja Revenda –creative director and head of interiors at The Lakes by YOO.

“For me personally, I think a successful design really has to respond to its environment,” says Anja. “At a natural reserve like the Lakes the setting comes first, the design needs to relate to its surroundings and blend into the scenery. I loved the idea of connecting the interiors with the outdoors and that sense of balance and harmony between the two. The choice of materials such as local larch and the clever landscaping play a big role in achieving that connection.” The warm and cosy design of the nine lakeside cabins,


with their double-height, open-plan living space and standalone extensive outdoor deck – great for entertaining and watching the sunset over Marley Lake – is just one example. In front of a beautiful Cotswold-stone feature wall sits a wonderfully warming log burner. Tonal timbers and statement pendant lighting fixtures – handwoven in willow by local craftswomen – bring a rustic flair.

Then there are the 18 apartments, which are split into three blocks – all with the same floorplan but in three different styles: Artisan, Heritage and Breeze. Reflecting the tones within the surrounding nature, Artisan is a contemporary twist on country style, Like a breath of fresh air, Breeze brings a light, fresh and modern palette of soft greys with yellows and greens. Layered in rich velvets and darker shades, in a nod towards nostalgia, is Heritage.

Each of the different property types at The Lakes share some design elements that make them a cohesive collection of homes. “It’s like a family of styles,” says Anja. “They’re all siblings, but they’re not twins.” All properties include vintage finds and unique pieces of furniture and decor sourced by Anja at antique fairs or through her black book of contacts and skilled artisans.



One standalone property, which was one of Anja’s favourite design challenges, is The Reserve – a stunning five-bedroom house. “There was an interesting sense of scale and dramatic spaces to play with,” says Anja. These include an entrance complete with impressive floor-to-ceiling wood burner, a sixmetre-high atrium and a remarkable view over the Lakes.

For Anja and the team at YOO Studio, it was important to take cues from the surroundings, such as the materiality of stone and timber, harnessing the views and tying in with the seasons. “It was also key to add personality and a conversational narrative through carefully curated pieces,” Anja says. With Anja as the lead designer, the cabins even won a LIV Hospitality Design Award in Interior Design for a Short-term Rental, though she thanks the architect for their vision for the building, which gave great scope for the interiors.

“The design process starts with the space’s purpose – why guests visit and how we’d like them to feel.” explains Anja. “The design is the starting point in shaping this experience. It’s essential that it feels like a comfortable home.

“Though it’s about much more than just the property, You’re becoming part of a warm and like-minded community.

With international experience of cutting-edge design in more than 24 countries, The YOO Studio is a unique design house with a DNA that comes from working with the world’s best. Led by head of design Mark Davison, the design house’s global expertise has developed an understanding of designing in different cultures, with its experience enhanced by the diversity of more than 20 architects and interior and product designers. Originally established to service the ideas of its star designers (first Philippe Starck, then Marcel Wanders, Jade Jagger, Steve Leung and Sussanne Khan), providing what Mark Davison calls, “The glue between the designers and the developers,” the team has developed its own identity, taking on residential and hotel interiors, restaurants and larger projects. Evidenced by the accommodation at The Lakes, the team prides itself on incorporating the local context to deliver unique spaces.



Building on the success of The Lakes Explorer Clubs, our new Adventure Camps give children an even more exciting nature experience in 2024

It’s absolutely beautiful here – it’s such a gift,” says Amber Averre, head of activities at The Lakes. “And our residents and guests are giving that to their children by letting them have access to this place.”

By evolving her Explorer Club into this year’s more challenging and ambitious Adventure Camps, Amber is tapping deeper into John Hitchcox’s original Swallows and Amazons vision that first spawned The Lakes by YOO. The fact is, as well as being a wonderful, idyllic location for adults to escape to or live in, The Lakes is a dreamlike adventure playground for children, too.

“We have 850 acres,” says Amber. “We have so much diverse wildlife. Just scratch the surface and you see nesting tawny owls, toads and crested newts, minnows that we fish out of the river, British crayfish… I think that’s quite idyllic. And it’s the idyllic side of it that children are missing out on a little


bit now. When we do our bushcraft, children really love it; that was part of growing up for most of us, wasn’t it?

“The Explorer Club was really successful. We had four hours a day outside with the children. We’d do climbing and bushcraft, light fires, go paddling… it was about encouraging children to be in nature, and being happy with that.”

But this year the Adventure Camps, which are mainly aimed at five to ten year olds, offer a more varied and wonderful mix of fun activities and outdoors education. Amber’s fast-expanding team now includes volunteers, qualified instructors, off-duty firefighters and archery expert Paul Edwards of True Aim Archery, all of whom add to the mix.

“We wanted to expand the premise, to add more activities,” Amber says. “The Lakes is beautiful – an amazing setting in which to be outside for a day. The Adventure Camp is a packed day. It’s back-to-back activities. We might start off

with archery, go on to bushcraft, then maybe do a zip wire across the lake. We’ve got a farm on site to visit in summer, and we’re planning raft-building, kayaking and canoeing.

“It’s a lot about being in nature, getting children away from screens, getting them to have that connection with the great outdoors. We talk about the importance of the environment and the creatures around us – we do little bug hunts and a lot of children really love that we find toads and newts and Devil’s coach horse beetles, and they learn all about these things. I really hope that we’re going to help instill a love of nature in these children for later on.”

The children are able to enjoy much of the estate, including the meadow, the activities tower (with climbing wall and zip line), the woods, including two big fire pits, an outside cooking area, a bird hide, plus the river, the arboretum and the pond area. Among the skills they learn are fire building

This page The Lakes by YOO’s Adventure Camps are packed full of outdoor activities for children to enjoy, including bug hunting, crafts and shelter building

using flint and steel, shelter building, and how to chop wood safely with an axe.

Beyond the obvious benefits to physical wellbeing and mental health, Amber believes the Adventure Camps can help children grow in confidence. “I think children can take away things that can help with life – self-confidence, overcoming challenges, resilience. They’re outside all day and it might be a bit rainy. But after the first five minutes, they’re thinking, ‘Oh, it’s OK to be out in the rain.’ I love it at the end of the day if they’re covered in mud, they’ve got rosy cheeks and are happy and exhilarated – quite different from the subdued little chaps or girls we met at half past nine.

“It’s one thing to be able to tell the child that it’s safe for them to step off a 50ft tower – it is obviously frightening. But they come and do something difficult, and they’re scared and fearful, and then we encourage them and they do it and they’re proud of themselves. Sometimes they might have a fear of worms, then they hold a worm for the first time. Overcoming a fear is important for their confidence, resilience and their development as people.”

This summer, Amber’s ambitions will extend into a one-night overnight camp out, involving cooking dinner and breakfast over an open fire, as well as group activities, games and campfire storytelling. “We have done these previously as part of a school residential trip, but this is the first one open to all residents and guests,” says Amber.


A trained bushcraft, climbing and paddleboard instructor, Amber’s passion is not only to pass on her specific skills but also to inspire a love of nature that The Lakes environment makes so attainable. By expanding the activities on offer and making them more accessible, she is steadily making the outdoor life an even greater incentive to draw new residents, guests and visitors to experience the magic of The Lakes by YOO.

“I’ve got a love of nature and I truly love to pass it on to children and adults – it’s a big part of my job,” she says.

“I was a climber, I compete in triathlons, and it was a natural evolution to carry on and do other things. And then I found this lovely job, which was really nice. It’s something I feel really passionate about.”


The Lakes by YOO is part of the Cotswold Water Park, cared for by the Cotswold Lakes Trust

When the Cotswold Water Park started to form in earnest in 1996, local authorities felt it needed a bespoke organisation to oversee what the development would become – hence how the Cotswold Water Park Society came to be.

However, when the organisation became a registered charity in April 2011, it changed its name to Cotswold Lakes Trust to avoid confusion. “Some people would use the term Cotswold Water Park, when actually, what they were referring to was just one particular site within that – the Cotswold Country Water Park and Beach, which is only two lakes out of more than 180 in the park,” says Ben Welbourn, conservation and estates director at Cotswold Lakes Trust.

Dedicated to the enhancement of the Cotswold Water Park for the benefit of both the wildlife and people, the work of the Cotswold Lakes Trust is focused on balancing development, public access, education, and of course, conservation. Lying at the head of the Thames Valley, the mosaic of habitats in the Cotswold Water Park has created one of the biodiversity hotspots of the south west and an important wetland corridor – 177 of the 180 lakes are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for their importance to aquatic plants and breeding birds – and it hosts 20,000+ wintering water birds. “For instance, if you were to remove all the humble coots from the Cotswold Water Park, it would have a significant effect because we’ve got a lot of them,” says Ben. “Then you get some rare bird species that have colonised, such as great white egret, bittern and marsh harrier, that people come a long way to see. So we try to do as much positive habitat management as we can.”

Something recognised within conservation is that, ideally, you want to work at landscape scale – a holistic approach to land management that involves working at a large scale, often around landscape boundaries. “Wildlife doesn’t stick to any kind of administrative boundary,” says Ben. “So it is more

feasible to work at a landscape scale and we are lucky to be able to do so.”

Noteworthy is the amount of work that the Cotswold Lakes Trust is able to achieve, particularly with such a small team of nine staff. It was recently successful at securing funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support two new posts – a nature recovery officer and a nature engagement officer. From new roles to new relationships, the nature of The Lakes by YOO means that the scope of opportunity with a collaboration is enormous. “If you imagine the Cotswold Water Park split into three sections, you’ve got the western section, which is the older, more established part; the central section, which is largely undug for gravel; and then the eastern section, around Fairford and Lechlade, in which The Lakes by YOO is a significant major landholder.”

With 11 magnificent lakes and the River Coln running through the estate, The Lakes by YOO has some interesting wildlife habitats, supporting species such as herons and egrets. Further to this, though, as Cotswold Lakes Trust is a big proponent of sustainable transport, The Lakes also offers a captive audience for the educational arm of the Cotswold Lakes Trust’s work. “The Lakes by YOO having a hand in enhancing the wildlife in the area is only going to pay dividends for its visitors,” says Ben. “Because the more people value what they’re coming to visit, the better for the wildlife.”

Right Ben Welbourn, conservation and estates director at Cotswold Lakes Trust


Before he was old enough to serve it, Albert Blaize’s working life began in a world surrounded by wine. At age 15, his first job was as a barback in the same restaurant as chef Andrew Platt – a relationship that turned full circle when Andrew was guest chef at The Lakes Bar & Kitchen’s Winter Supper Club, which was hosted by Bert.

He started out as a restaurant manager before deciding to focus on wine, earning a qualification with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). He was named Flint Wines’ Young Sommelier of the Year in 2018. “Your job is to entertain people when they’re out having a meal,” he says. “Anyone can just plonk a bottle of wine on the table, but making considered and careful recommendations for something they might love and the food pairing for them, is a real skill.”

It’s a skill that Bert also displays in his book, Which Wine When, which he co-wrote with Claire Strickett. Depicted as a one-stop personal guide into the world of wine, it is a book that uses expertise to offer fun, affordable and simple

matches to everyday meals. “I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just dishes that you’d find in a restaurant and that it provided an every day use for wine pairings,” Bert says. “So there’s a chicken Kiev wine pairing, there are chicken nugget pairings. There are pizza and pie maps where you can follow the pie or pizza toppings and find different wine pairings. I don’t come from a wine family and I wanted to make sure that what I was doing in wine wasn’t making it elitist.”

At 35, Bert has already added many notches to his work belt including honing his skills at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire and becoming head of wine at The Mandrake Hotel in Fitzrovia. He is a real rising star on the UK wine scene and the love and passion he exudes when speaking about his work is a clear contributor to his success. “To be a successful sommelier, you have to absolutely adore and love food and wine,” he says.

Describing what makes for a good wine pairing, he says you should consider the fruit, acidity, tannins and sweetness

Rising sommelier star Bert Blaize added a scintillating layer of wine wisdom to every course at The Lakes Winter Supper Club

of the wine, although it’s hard to generalise depending on whether you want wine and food to match or contrast.

Take spicy food: “If you have a wine that’s also spicy, and really alcoholic, that’s too much. You need low alcohol and sweetness, you need red fruit to balance it out. With other dishes it needs to match up – so if something is salty then you look for a wine with a bit of brine or a salty taste to it.”

Bert loves the social side of events such as tasting menus and using his knowledge to connect with people – like at The Lakes Winter Supper Club. “I collaborated with Andy on the menu; I put some ideas together and said to him ‘oh, with the scallop, can you put a little bit of spice because I’m thinking of something aromatic’, so he changed that slightly.”

The Winter Supper Club at The Lakes Bar & Kitchen last November was curated to celebrate winter’s cosy embrace. Each dish had a wine flight hand-picked by Bert designed to draw out the delicious flavours. Throughout, he talked guests through the accompanying wines – why they were selected and other fascinating facts about them.

“On the evening, I introduce myself, pour the wines and when the dish comes out I explain the combination. It’s a fun and interactive way of doing a wine dinner and I think it’s enjoyable for both myself and the guests, because I like to chat to them and they get to pick my brains a little bit.”

In the future, Bert has plans for a second book, has also just opened his online shop, North Norfolk Cellars (, and hopes to open a physical shop and bar later this year.



Bert was restaurant manager while working through his WSET qualification.


As general manager, Bert managed to secure two AA Rosettes for the site.


He trained as a sommelier here.


Bert was assistant head sommelier.


He was this hotel’s head of wine.


Bert opened this wine and deli in part of a classic car dealership.



The Cotswolds is a dog walker’s dream that you can explore with The Lakes by Yoo as your base

For dog owners, there’s no warmer welcome than that on offer at The Lakes by Yoo. Our 850-acre estate guarantees just as much fun for pooches as for their owners, and we go the extra mile to make them feel at home.

We have a variety of dog-friendly cabins and selected lakehouses suitable for couples or families, with a range of self-catering facilities and plenty of space for your VIP (very important pooch). With all our dog-friendly cabins, a complimentary dog bed and bowl is all part of the service. And speaking of service, dogs are also welcome in our lakeside restaurant, Lakes Bar & Kitchen. It’s a beautiful setting serving a sumptuous menu, and we also have treats available so your dog can join you in enjoying a tasty snack.

Dog owners wishing to explore the Cotswolds further can choose from more than 3,000 miles of public footpaths, dozens of delightful villages and towns, stunning scenery and so many magnificent views – not to mention the many pubs, cafes and restaurants that welcome four-legged customers.

Overleaf are just a few suggestions of Cotswolds walks you could try.


This 300-year-old home is the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace. For dog walkers, it provides a stirring backdrop across Capability Brown’s languid lakes and 200 acres of lush, green landscape. Either take the Estate Perimeter Walk or start from Woodstock and use the public footpath just off the A44 north of the town.

A delightful 4.5-mile yomp along one of the most varied parts of the Cotswold Way, taking in rich grasslands and peaceful woodland. Beginning in the village of Leckhampton, the route takes you deep into the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, past Iron Age remains and Victorian quarries. The steep parts are worth it for the view from Leckhampton Hill.

Very much the picture-postcard Cotswolds, this is a walk that glories in the charm of one of England’s most famous villages. Bourton-on-the-Water is characterised by the slow-moving River Windrush that flows through it, traversed by a series of pretty arched stone bridges, and by honey-stone cottages, tearooms and abundant trees. A walk here from tiny Lower Slaughter, where daffodils pepper the village greens in spring, is an idyllic slice of pure England for you – and a playful jaunt for your dog.

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The UK’s national arboretum, Westonbirt is a unique and spectacular woodland adventure. Home to some enormous British trees, it also features specimens from across the world, and is so huge that you can walk for hours, helped by clear and reliable signposting. Keep your dog on a lead while walking the Downs area and traversing the treetop canopy walkway, but your pooch run free in Silk Wood.

Just to the northeast of Cheltenham, a breathtaking six miles leads you over open hilltops, across streams and through woodlands in one of the country’s most precious habitats –limestone grassland. Over half of this wildflower- and butterfly-rich natural resource is within the Cotswolds, including on Cleeve Common. Pause at ‘the lonely beech’, at 317m the highest tree on the Cotswolds.

Rising 312m above Beacon Hill, the tower is the highest point in the Cotswolds, offering views of 16 counties and 62 miles in each direction. The 200 acres of parkland in which this 18th-century folly stands make for a gentle and relaxing 20-minute circular walk. The more serious-minded dog, however, might want to begin in the village of Broadway for a four-mile trek, taking in part of the Cotswold Way.

Find out more about bringing your dog to The Lakes by Yoo at


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When Penelope Cherry and her family drove to The Lakes just after Covid, the intention was merely to have a look, not to buy. But the lure of the property they named The Lakehouse was just too irresistible. One of the estate’s most secluded properties on the north side of Longdoles Lake, it is surrounded by trees –planted by the new owners themselves – and has a private garden with south-facing panoramic views. “I loved the sort of ‘microclimate’ that seemed to shine down – it was a little bit like being in Canada or The Bahamas – it made everyone in our family behave in a different way,” says Penny.

Penny and her family wanted to put their own stamp on The Lakehouse – and they didn’t have to look far to find the perfect person to help. As a fellow property owner at The Lakes and an interior design entrepreneur, Manuela Hamilford – of Hamilford Design – was the clear choice. “We met up with Manuela as she is well versed in lake houses and The Lakes by YOO,” Penny shares. “I also wanted a lot of input. We didn’t change the layout; we just changed the


interior. But we redid every bathroom, every bedroom… It was a massive project.”

The end result was worth the effort, with rewards including a brand-new Krieder kitchen with Miele appliances and oak flooring, a dining space for up to ten people, a cosy lounge area complete with a large woodburning fireplace, and a home cinema with a state-of-the-art audio-visual system.

However, it is the sense of community with likeminded people that is one of the main reasons Penny and her family love The Lakes. Another is the fact that everything is on their doorstep. “You’ve got paddleboarding, walks, nature and all that the spa facilities offer,” Penny says.

What’s also on their doorstep is an extended deck – a project that one of Penny’s sons managed. “He designed it to be a bit like a boat,” she says. One of the most extensive deckings on any Lakes property, it has been made with quality material that doesn’t rot and has a unique ‘walk in’ stair feature, with a gas fire pit to top it off. Both this and the open-plan interior of The Lakehouse lend themselves well to appreciating the panoramic lake views in all their glory. In fact, as Penny and her family rent out The Lakehouse when they can’t be there themselves, the stunning surroundings are something many are able to admire. “Waking up in the morning, every single person just can’t wait to open the curtains. Even on a grim and rainy day, it looks spectacular,” Penny shares. “I stand there, I breathe in the air, and I think, ‘Oh, this really is a special place.’”

The inside is decorated with soft furnishings in neutrals and monochromes for an effortlessly cool and calming feel. “I

wanted it to have a coastal vibe and we’ve done quite a lot of textured wallpaper. If you were to put it into a box, it could perhaps be slightly Hampton-esque – with lovely, highquality fabrics and shades of what I call expensive blues.” Further features that exude comfort, luxury and style include floor-to-ceiling windows that flood all rooms with light. And when the blinds are opened at the touch of a button, sleek sliding doors unveil a beautiful balcony that overlooks the lake. “We’ve also got a hot tub in our ground-level garden, so you can sit and look out across the lake. That’s really special.”


Left It is surrounded by trees – planted by the new owners themselves

Right It has a home cinema with a state-of-the-art audio-visual system

The Lakehouse has a brand-new Krieder kitchen with Miele appliances

Manuela Hamilford, creative director, tells us, “We have carried out interior design services for a number of houses at The Lakes… including our own! From new builds to refurbs, we manage the project from conception to completion.

“Each home has its own unique style. We are led by our clients’ stories and lifestyles, so every space is totally unique. We have created everything from rustic chalets to serene, luxurious retreats here at The Lakes by Yoo.”

The Hamilford Design studio, based in the heart of Notting Hill, has transformed residences worldwide, from smart townhouses in New York to large country estates and commercial projects.

INTERIOR DESIGN – CONSTRUCTION – PROJECT MANAGEMENT w: e: ig: @Hamilford_Design t: 0203 887 6900

Cotswolds Waters

A new world of lakeside homes and lake-fronted apartments is available at our neighbouring estate, Cotswolds Waters

The Lakes by YOO has firmly established itself as the pre-eminent luxury waterside development in the Cotswolds, and it has proved so popular we’ve extended the concept to create a whole new estate next door, at Cotswolds Waters. Surrounded by 110 acres of woodland, and set around four sparkling lakes, it follows the template of The Lakes by YOO as a sustainably minded estate comprising a bespoke collection of private homes and lakeside apartments. The release of the 63 spacious apartments is happening in spring 2024. Available as fully furnished part-time holiday

lets, these two- and three-bedroom properties offer an investment opportunity to those in search of a dwelling in the the countryside, but who wish to retain their abode in the city. Overseen by leading contemporary design studio, Hawkes Architecture, each apartment has been brought to life in a way that respects its natural surroundings and is deeply rooted into its location. Energy efficiency is key, while local materials such as Cotswolds stone bring a sense of place. Inside, Pineapple Interiors has created a chic countryside retreat, with spacious open-plan kitchen and living quarters,

Bottom (left to right) Lighthouse 4, Barnhouse Loft and Solarium 4 Below Solarium 3. All properties have exquisite lake views and direct access to the water

beautifully-appointed en-suite bedrooms and an additional utility room conveniently located at the entrance for paddleboards, wetsuits and muddy boats. Homeowners will be immersed into lakeside living with floor-to-ceiling windows that fill the space with natural light. Ground-floor apartments will offer wrap-around terraces; while second and third-floor apartments have spacious balconies with panoramic views over the lakes and countryside beyond.

Cotswolds Waters also has 77 spacious plots for bespoke private homes, each with direct lake access. Homeowners will purchase the plot and then work with the build team and interior designers to personalise their home. They will also benefit financially from the plot-only 5% stamp duty fee.

Each home will reflect YOO Studio’s contemporary style, and range from four to six bedrooms: some with three floors and a spacious roof terrace and sky garden; while others will have four floors with an extra top-floor entertaining space.

Cotswolds Waters homeowners will also have the opportunity to join an exclusive membership programme with access to all the amenities at The Lakes by YOO just a few minutes away.


“Homeowners will be immersed into lakeside living with floor to ceiling windows”
Above The build team will work with homeowners to create bespoke lakeside properties here at Cotswolds Waters Right The striking Barnhouse

Manor Farm Barns

Five exquisite and unique properties converted from original historic barns located within The Lakes by YOO estate

Every property at The Lakes is special and unique, but here’s a rather fabulous addition to the estate in the form of a bespoke collection of barn conversions quite unlike anything the Cotswolds has to offer.

The Bakery, the Piggery, the Shredding Barn, the Warehouse and the Rolltop – these evocative names tell their own stories of the origins of these fine buildings. Ranged together on the north western edge of The Lakes estate, neighbouring the Manor House and overlooking Bowmoor Sailing Lake, they represent a truly special opportunity to become a permanent part of The Lakes community.

Ranging from two bedrooms to five, the Manor Farm Barns vary in style, layout and accommodation, but all share one thing in common – they have been restored and reimagined

Below left The Piggery is a one-of-a-kind groundfloor two-bedroom home with impressive interiors and an alluring outdoor swimming pool

Below The Manor Farm Barns overlook Bowmoor Sailing Lake and range from two-bedrooms to five and varying in style and layout

to the highest standards using the finest modern materials, featuring spacious open-plan living and wonderful views.

With its characterful architecture, beautiful interior and alluring outdoor swimming pool, the two-bedroom Piggery is a ground-floor barn conversion that makes an idyllic Cotswolds getaway and a one-of-a-kind countryside home.

The three-bed Bakery is a quaint Cotswolds cottage with a distinctive modern twist, each of its bedrooms boasting an ensuite bathroom, with the luxurious master suite occupying the entire first floor.

As well as three bedrooms and four bathrooms arranged over two floors, the Shredding Barn offers wonderful south-facing views over Bowmoor Sailing Lake plus, in addition to the open-plan living space, a snug area which opens directly on to the generous swimming pool deck.


The Warehouse is a car collector’s dream, featuring a quadruple garage integrated at one end of its lengthy lateral floorplan, with an outdoor swimming pool at the other end. Featuring four beds, four bathrooms, open-plan living and dining, a separate snug and a courtyard, it is a truly unique single-storey Cotswolds retreat.

The Rolltop completes the set, its character defined by the Dutch Barn-style rolltop roof, under which you’ll find a quite exceptional five-bed home on two storeys, featuring five bathrooms and many distinctive features.

This exclusive portfolio of unusual homes really adds an extra dimension of charm to The Lakes landscape, offering homeowners the benefit of access to all our facilities and amenities, including the spa and wellness centre, activities team and full concierge service.


“A truly special opportunity to become a permanent part of The Lakes community”
Left/below All the Manor Farm Barns have been restored and reimagined to the highest standards using the finest modern materials, featuring spacious open-plan living and wonderful views

Bowmoor Retreat

Large enough for families, intimate enough for couples – a four-bed lakeside idyll designed by Jade Jagger

If privacy and panoramic views are what you seek, then Bowmoor Retreat truly is your idyllic escape.

This comfortable, air-conditioned, south-facing lakeside home features four bedrooms, four bathrooms, an open-plan entertaining area, a well-equipped kitchen, a separate TV room, a separate study and a private outdoor deck and pontoon with direct access to the lake and lots of watercraft provided for guests. It is the perfect, flexible base for families and friends to enjoy lakeside living.

As you pull up to the walkway of this welcoming home, you instantly feel like it’s your own private sanctuary. Step inside, and you are greeted by a double-height ceiling, with interior architecture originally designed by Jade Jagger. A large oneof-a-kind, custom-made light with silk shades is the signature piece of the open-plan dining and lounge area and hangs

over the Piet Hein Eek dining table. A wonderful setting for a delicious feast with friends and family.

Towards evening, open up sliding doors for uninterrupted views from the outdoor deck, giving you the feeling of true escapism as you take it all in. Alternatively, snuggle up in the lounge area in front of the log burner or retreat to the separate TV room with its generous sofa and bean bags.

There’s a kitchen with all you need to create culinary delights, including a professional Wolf dual-fuel range, Sub Zero fridge freezer, Miele appliances, bean-to-cup pod and filter coffee machines and a hot-chocolate maker.

Upstairs, there are three lakeside-facing bedrooms and a popular bunk bedroom with four full-length single berths overlooking the gardens.

Dogs are welcome!

Below A large custom-made light with silk shades hangs over a Piet Hein Eek dining table


“As you pull up to the walkway you instantly feel like it’s your own private sanctuary”
Below The lakeside home has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a well-equipped kitchen, a TV room, a study and a private deck and pontoon


We ask James Hall , head of sales at The Lakes by YOO, about the opportunities for investing in property and the lifestyle of The Lakes

From existing properties, to new developments being planned for the future, now is the perfect time to invest in The Lakes. With a dedicated team on site, you can plan, build and invest in your future home-away-from-home at The Lakes, with design by award-winning YOO Studio and sustainable living in a safe and serene family setting in the Cotswolds. This is an exceptional lifestyle investment for those seeking a second home to add to your portfolio.

Why should people invest in The Lakes by YOO?

The Lakes offers its owners the perfect lifestyle investment opportunity. Our owners have the benefit of an onsite rental management and guest services team to service all needs of the owners and guests alike, providing services such as cleaning, garden maintenance, use of the spa, rental of bikes/boats, kayaks and so much more. The rental management team offer a complete and fully managed service to the owners should they wish to rent out their property and benefit from the highly sought-after rentability of the homes on site whilst they are not using the property.

Is now a good time to invest?

Property has always been a relatively safe bet in terms of investment, however The Lakes has proven to be one of the healthiest and most consistent property investments open to buyers. Values across the estate have grown at approx. 8.5% annually for the last 17 years with average pound per square foot rates now exceeding parts of Mayfair and Knightsbridge.

What can people expect in terms of returns on investment?

With incredible holiday rental rates being achieved, several owners are now experiencing NET returns in excess of 6-7% annually. The apartments and cabins that were recently launched have proven to be very popular for both buyers and guests. So much so that we have the confidence now to offer investors a NET guaranteed yield.

Are there any upcoming investment opportunities?

We have recently obtained planning permission for a further nine cabins – a mixture of the original two-bed cabins and our new three-bed Gullwing Cabins. These provide an incredible opportunity for investors but also as a country retreat. The Lakes will also be continuing its expansion on to other sites across the UK in years to come.

P113 THE LAKES BY YOO COMMUNITY MORE INFORMATION Please speak to the sales team for further information on our other sites that are available and upcoming.


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Tel: 01793 825 765



Established for over 50 years, Edmont Joinery are experts in crafting beautiful bespoke joinery, specially created to enhance your unique style and space. Our designers and cabinet makers can produce stunning stand-out centrepiece items, as well as cleverly-designed built-in furniture to fit your home perfectly.

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