The business has been built up slowly. Caryn, a former doctor, bought Southrop and its surrounding farmland and buildings with her husband, Jerry, 20 years ago, followed by the farm buildings a few years later, and began a gentle restoration. First they opened a pub, which was followed by the launch of the cookery school in the restored tithe barn.
‘We had very limited planning, so we were only allowed to use the tithe barn twice a week, for 30 people,’ says Caryn. ‘Then we found that people who came to the cookery school wanted to stay, so the hotel evolved from there.’ There’s now a collection of rooms and cottages, all with names and decor inspired by the surrounding landscape.
The Bertioli brand launched in 2019, named after Caryn’s parents. Her late father, Michael Bertioli, a physicist and inventor, worked closely with her on the restoration of the farm buildings. Its first collection was a family of table linens printed with illustrations of plants, flowers and vegetables from the garden, hand-painted by Caryn.