Get to Know the Host Behind 'Dragonfly Manor'
Our host, Penny tells us more about her gorgeous Oxfordshire home and provides top tips on exploring its surrounding area
Here, we're catching up with Penny, our host of Plum Guide's Oxfordshire home called 'Dragonfly Manor'.
Do you know of an amazing home that belongs in our collection of the world's best stays? Nominate a home here.
Hi Penny! Do you want to start by telling us a bit about your home 'Dragonfly Manor'?
'Dragonfly Manor' (also know as The Copse Country House) is a hit with families and friends because everything they need is here - entertainment, adventure, beauty, peace and quiet - allowing people of all ages to enjoy their holiday to the fullest. Being close to London also makes The Copse a perfect base for exploring the south of England and joining in with the rich variety of world-class events, festivals and sports at Henley, Ascot, Bath, Windsor and beyond.
What would you say is your home's superpower or stand-out feature?
The countryside views that can be enjoyed from every window, as well as the sense of space – plenty of room for exploring and having some fun!
How would you describe your interior style?
Scandinavia meets Nantucket.
Love it. What was your biggest inspiration behind designing the home?
The biggest inspiration when designing the home was bringing to life the traditional oak framing that can be found inside countryside barns.
What do you think makes a house a home?
An overload of natural fibres and comfy cushions, books and music.
Tell us about your favourite room...
It has to be the cinema room, for a big sporting occasion with everyone laughing and cheering on their team, or the latest blockbuster, or the next episode of The Crown (best enjoyed with popcorn and a chilled glass of something).
And what about your favourite piece of furniture?
The lovely, rustic four-oven Aga that is the warming heart of the kitchen. It's not really 'furniture' as such, but everyone leans on its comfortable shape, while it cooks an unbelievably good feast.
When would be your favourite time of day to enjoy the home?
Right now, it's a frosty evening meaning we can light the fire in the main sitting room and watch the night sky through the trees.
Can you tell us about the best way to relax in the home?
Staying in bed late is a firm contender but the hot tub has to be the outright winner.
Tell us about the best place you can walk to from your home?
The Packhorse pub in Chazey Heath is about five minutes across our fields and a hop over the gate. It serves great food and the staff are all friendly and helpful.
Do you have a favourite local produce store or independent shop in the neighbourhood?
The Cobbs Farm Shop in Englefield Green is brilliant for locally sourced meat, cheese, wine and the best pies on the planet.
And can you recommend a favourite restaurant or wine bar nearby?
The Crooked Billet in Stoke Row. An ancient pub with great live music from top musicians... George Harrison used to wander in there and play as he lived nearby in Henley.
As we all know, 2020 was the year of the staycation. Did you enjoy a staycation somewhere?
Yes, we rented a house in London and were tourists in an empty city, and it was uniquely fabulous.