Slow Moments

Cottagecore | Escaping Reality

Cottagecore | Escaping Reality

Picture yourself wandering through golden fields or fresh green woodlands, ambling your way down a garden path towards an exquisite country cottage oozing with effortless charm. You are instantly swept away by your chocolate box abode, which is surrounded by a white picket fence and a myriad of delicate wildflowers in glorious pastel shades. The roof is thatched, and the exterior walls are adorned with bright pink roses. Inside the cottage you are instantly consumed by the nostalgia inducing qualities of a loaf of freshly baked bread. The ceilings are low, with wonderful exposed oak beams draped with twinkling string lights; the bookshelves stacked with sun-bleached classic literature. If this sounds like your idea of heaven, then dreamy cottagecore living may be perfect for you.

For those unfamiliar with the term, cottagecore as a concept existed prior to 2018, but remained nameless until the phrase was officially coined that year. The notion then received a revival when the whole world halted to a stop due to the Coronavirus outbreak, memorialised for many as bittersweet flashbacks to throngs of people embracing the outdoors, many attempting arty amusements, and a surge in home baking leading to a national flour shortage. Cottagecore developed intensely as an aesthetic on the internet, and an online community of those dedicating their lives to cottagecore was established. Social media sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok helped cottagecore bloom as not only aesthetic, but as a tangible concept with an ideology inspired by a romanticism of rural living. 


The ideology behind cottagecore is heavily inspired by the Romantic period, an 18th century movement rooted in a glorification of the past and an idealisation of nature. Cottagecore as an aesthetic perfectly encapsulates images of a pastoral English countryside. To be truly cottagecore is to yearn for rural life and desire to escape from modernity. This yearning for escapism led to the reinvigoration of cottagecore during the early stages of the pandemic. As an aesthetic, cottagecore embraces nature and brings it into the home. As far as lifestyle goes, cottagecore idolises domesticity and taking pleasure in the simple things. Even the dullest of household chores are deemed blissful. Time is entirely devoted to returning to hobbies in traditional skills and crafts, such as baking, pottery, sewing, and even flower pressing. 

As a décor style, cottagecore is accomplished by bringing nature into the home in a way that creates a dwelling which evokes an air of serenity and calm. Cottagecore adopts the soft, neutral and earthy tones that we adore here at Boutique Retreats. In the living quarters, the furniture is antique and often mismatched, and the décor has a vintage, chintzy feel with fabric in delicate floral prints. Charming vases are filled with handpicked and dried flowers, truly capturing the essence of country living. In the kitchen you may come across a farmhouse style sink, pots and pans hanging from racks above a wonderful Aga cooker, and worktops adorned with fresh fruit and vegetables gathered from the garden. 

Ultimately, if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to slow down, seek moments of calm, and embrace a humbler existence. If you desire to disengage from all the complications of the modern world, then escaping to a countryside retreat with bucolic scenery will provide ample opportunity to consciously favour one’s own wellness. Seek idyllic homes nestled in the English countryside to pursue your cottagecore fantasies and unwind over jam-packed picnics while you rest on patchwork gingham blankets. Spend the day drifting through villages, filling wicker baskets with organic delights foraged at your local farm shop, edging one step closer to living a true cottagecore lifestyle. Return to your quaint cottage with sun-kissed shoulders and tuck yourself into a nook beside a roaring wood burner to indulge in a dose of knitting - the perfect embodiment of cottagecore living. 

For your own dose of fairy-tale living, take a look at our selection of magical cottages here.

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