Welcome to Bespoke by Nature, a husband and wife venture run by Ed and Francesca. Our aim is to re-create the best of the holidays we’ve enjoyed together. Luxury to us isn’t a bland country hotel or a city break, but rather the opportunity to indulge in the things we most enjoy in the quiet seclusion of the countryside. Bespoke by Nature brings together our local knowledge, passion for all things outdoorsy and belief in the power of good food, good wine, and good company, to offer our guests a truly bespoke experience.
Be it a family holiday, work-place get-together or special celebration, we have uncovered the best of the local area to bring you a range of services, exactly tailored to you and your group. Our guests will be able to select from a range of ‘add on’ options while booking their stay at Old Great Marlborough – from freshly baked afternoon teas on arrival or one of Ed’s famous Friday-night homemade curries stashed in the fridge for the big reunion – as well as work with us to devise a schedule of outdoor activities as strenuous or as leisurely as you choose, with as much or as little guidance as necessary. At our other location, Lower House Farm, we offer guests a full holiday experience - delicious home-cooked meals around the camp-fire, space for kids to run and explore, a traditional, native-breed farm and wild-swimming in the Olchon River, alongside a similarly extensive menu of outdoor activities for you to book. Meet the team below!
The Bespoke by Nature Team
Ed has spent 100s of hours in the Brecon Beacons/Black Mountains and the Wye Valley over the past 10 years or so, whether running, climbing, cycling or walking. Apart from a huge amount of enjoyment, this has given him a vast amount of local knowledge and he can provide in-depth advice on routes for any of these activities. Earlier this year he quit his 9-5 job in Cardiff and dived head-first into Bespoke by Nature and the farm.
Ed is also the family cook! Well known for his 'Friday night curries', he can turn his hand to most crowd-pleasing family dishes, always using the best local produce and most often cooked here on our Rayburn at Lower House Farm. Ed is a trained photographer and is very happy to take pictures of your get-together, just contact us for more information.
Francesca was lucky enough to grow up at Old Great Marlborough. Her parents restored the house from a ruin during her childhood, so she knows it inside out! She has been managing the bookings for the house since a teenager, but from afar. Since having Benjamin in 2014, she and Ed decided to leave their home in Cardiff and move back to the area to launch the business and have a more 'hands on' role with Old Great Marlborough.
Where Ed might be the cook of the family, Francesca is certainly the baker! From sponge cakes and her trademark pavlovas through to rustic sourdough loaves and home-made croissants, Francesca was long ago bitten by the baking bug. Her all-time favourite pastime is (making and consuming!) afternoon tea, and this is something we hope will prove very popular with our guests both at Old Great Marlborough and Lower House Farm.
Jake is Francesca's brother and is an Academy of Culinary Arts' specialised chef who has worked at some of the world's top restaurants - including Logan Brown in Wellington, New Zealand (2009 restaurant of the year NZ) and Noma in Copenhagen, and was chef de partie the under the two michelin starred Nathan Outlaw, at the Capital Hotel in London. Jake moved back to the area with his wife Amie to set up their charcuterie company, Jake's Cured Meats. Jake can provide a range of catering options at Old Great Marlborough, from fine-dining dinner parties through to elaborate BBQs, and will also be providing a selection of cookery masterclasses throughout the year.
Jake's wife Amie moved to London from New Zealand four years ago to pursue her career in early years teaching and is a fully qualified Montessori Teacher. She (like the rest of us!) decided it was time for a change and a new challenge, and has made the move down to Wales to help Jake establish the charcuterie business. T