We’re very lucky at Home Barn that so many of our customers travel from all over the country to come and find their perfect piece of vintage furniture. A lot of them ask us for our top picks of things to do and places to eat in the local area when visiting to really make a day of it.
So we thought we’d pull together this handy guide of all our local favourites so you can plan a full day in and around Marlow with a spot of vintage furniture shopping on the side!
Food and drink
As far as food and drink goes, we’re pretty spoilt for choice in Marlow!
The Queens Head is our nearest pub, and it’s a good one! A 16th-century pub clad in roses and ivy it’s serves up inventive Modern British cuisine and is one of our go-to’s for a family meal or celebration with the team.
Another great gastropub is the Royal Oak in Bovingdon Green. Just a short trip up a winding hill from the banks of the River Thames, it’s exposed timber beams, stripped floors and wood-burning stove are perfect for winter and it’s lawned beer garden and countryside walks are ideal for warmer days.
Bel & The Dragon in Cookham is one of the oldest coaching inns in England and sits on the village’s picture postcard high street. Just a short stroll from the Thames path, the Inn serves up fantastic food and also has rooms if you’d like to stay overnight.
We’re also very lucky that our barn is right in the heart of ‘Tom Kerridge’ land with not one but two of his restaurants on our doorstep! His infamous The Hand and Flowers is the only pub in the UK with two Michelin stars and sits in the heart of the beautiful Georgian town of Marlow. The food is outstanding but it’s reservations only and they get booked up months in advance so do allow yourself plenty of time to book and plan.
Alternatively The Coach in Marlow is run by the same team and offers a more flexible and relaxed pub setting with an eclectic British pub menu and most importantly no booking required!
If you’re after something a little more casual, we highly recommend Satollo in Marlow. A lovely coffee shop and Italian deli which serves up great snacks, antipasti and wine. They don’t have a website but this blog post by Glamorous Glutton gives you a good run down of what to expect.
If time isn’t on your side then Coopers Trading Company is a really cool coffee shop with refectory tables, sofas and a dog called Cooper and is just minutes from Home Barn.
We also have a local farmers market by the Causeway in Marlow which is really super and held on the first Saturday of every month from 10am to 3pm. Local cheese, bread, meat, fish, street food – the perfect way to start any foodie day!
With the kids
We both live locally with our children so hopefully we know all the best places if you’re visiting with the kids in tow!
Odds Farm Park is one of our absolute favourites – we usually shudder at the thought of another farm visit but this one is actually really fabulous! There’s indoor play, outdoor play, lots of opportunities to get hands on with some of the animals from meeting baby animals, collecting eggs and even bottle feeding baby goats! They always have seasonal events on too such as pumpkin carving and a Christmas Festival so do have a look at their website before you visit.
Marlow Park has a large playground for any little ones to burn off some energy and is right by the river so a perfect spot for a walk and to feed the ducks.
National Trust properties are always a hit with children and our local one Cliveden, is no exception. Gardens, woodland walks, a giant yew tree maze and a storybook play den make it the perfect place for a run around and some family fun!
For the active amongst you there’s Parkrun at Higginson park. An organised 5k run for all the family every Saturday morning at 9am. It’s free to take part but you’ll need to sign-up in advance so make sure you check out their website to register and for all their hints and tips.
On a warm day there are lots of options for walks along the River Thames. For any families who really enjoy a nice walk you can plan in advance and even download audio guides to accompany you online from Discovering Britain.
The Chilterns Cycleway circles us and cycling in the Hambleden Valley is really popular as it’s a beautiful, scenic spot and has lots of hills.
A great spot to combine walking, cycling and good food is The Barn at Turville Heath which describes itself as the ‘no-car cafe at the heart of the Chilterns’. You can only reach the cafe by foot, bike or horseback and it’s worth the trek for its historic barn, home cooked meals, baked goods and local products.
Without the kids
If you’re planning a trip away without the kids then you’re spoilt for choice for fabulous walks. We’re in an area of natural beautiful so everywhere you turn is scenic and wonderful.
Henley on Thames is another market town along the river and is just down the road from Marlow. From here you can hire a canoe, motor boat or jump on board a traditional steamer boat between Marlow and Henley.
Rebellion Brewery in Marlow Bottom is well worth a visit. They brew their own beer on site and you can taste their beers every day of the week. They also have a fantastic wine shop with tastings, local produce on sale, brewery tours and open nights.
It’s difficult to not make this whole section about drink but there are just so many great options! Our final one is Old Luxters, the home to ‘Chiltern Valley Wines‘, its Vineyard, Winery, Old Luxters Brewery, Liqueur making facilities and cellar shop. Their first vines were planted in 1982 on the slopes of the Chiltern Hills, surrounded by beech woodland and overlooking the beautiful Hambleden Valley. You can book a tour, tasting, stay in one of their beautiful rooms and even book onto their cookery school where you can cook with fresh ingredients from their Farmhouse kitchen garden and learn to pair wine with food.
We hope we’ve given you lots of ideas and inspiration to make a memorable weekend away around visiting us for some vintage furniture shopping! We’d be delighted to see you and would love to hear all about where you stay and what you get up to.
Sarah and Sally x