A warm welcome awaits in Jordans, birthplace of the Quaker movement
With just two guest bedrooms, Spindrift at Jordans is a cosy refuge in a beautiful part of the Chilterns. A sense of peace and tranquillity pervades the house. In the family living room is a grand piano once owned by Queen Alexandra, and sometimes Norma can be persuaded to play.
A huge part of Spindrift's appeal is in its spectacular two-acre gardens, divided into different levels, each with an atmosphere all of its own. There's the Hosta Garden, lush with foliage, a terraced garden tumbling with Irishes and a separate Monet Garden that shares its shape and colour palette with the world-famous gardens at Giverny. For a quieter mood head down into the wooded dell, or stroll through the kitchen garden to see choose your selection of fresh food for a salad. These gardens have been nurtured by Norma and her family for nearly half a century: unsurprisingly the gardens are open to the public during Garden Week but visitors aren't allowed in the swimming pool - which is strictly for guests.
The village's history goes back to the distant past: many Stone Age flint axes have been found here, many of which can be seen at the British Museum. But it achieved an international significance in the 17th century, when the Quakerism started: their meeting place still stands on the outskirts of the village. Jordans was at the heart of the movement when persecution drove many to start the new colony in America and the village has a barn built using timbers from the Mayflower. At that time it was also home to the poet John Milton, whose cottage stands close by. Spindrift itself was designed itself by the Quaker architects Fred and Douglas Rowntree, descendants of the famous confectionary family.