MY COTSWOLDS: Octavia Karavla
The founder and owner of Octavia’s Bookshop in Black Jack Street, Cirencester, shares some of her favourite local destinations…
Where do you live in the Cotswolds and how long have you been there?\
I am lucky enough to live in Cecily Hill in Cirencester, a stunning road that is part of the Bathurst Estate and leads to the entrance of Cirencester Park. I have lived there for eight years but hope to move out into one of the villages soon, as I am happiest surrounded by fields – as is my terrier, Alfred!
What advice would you give to someone new to the area?
To absolutely take advantage of the incredible independent businesses in the Cotswolds and also to remember we have so many beautiful tourist attractions on our doorstep and stunning walks and scenery to explore.
What do you love most about living here?
I love the honey coloured stone of the Cotswold buildings, the sheer beauty of the Cotswold valleys but also the wonderful sense of community in both the smaller towns and villages.
Do you have a favourite Cotswold town or village?
My favourite village is Sapperton but I also love the Slad Valley, the backdrop to Cider with Rosie.
Do you have a favourite shop (apart from your own!)?
My favourites in Cirencester are Encore Designer Clothes Agency and Witches Knickers: both are original and super-stylish.
Where do you enjoy going for a meal?
I would recommend Jessie’s Bistro in Cirencester, The Wild Duck at Ewen, The Crown at Frampton Mansell and The Bell at Sapperton.
What local places or activities do you rate?
One is a walk down the Thames and Severn canal from the Tunnel House Inn down to Sapperton
and Stroud, as the scenery is gorgeous and you can be fed and watered at both ends. I also thoroughly recommend a cream tea at Kelmscott Manor, the former Cotswold retreat of William Morris. The Corinium Museum in Cirencester is fascinating for all the family in terms of our Roman heritage.
Where would you go to read a book and what would it be?
My favourite place to read would be in my bookshop, in the garden at my parents’ farm, or anywhere by a river under a weeping willow. If I were under a weeping willow, it would have to be Wind in the Willows.
If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be and why?
I love England so I would be more than happy with North Cornwall in the summer and the Cotswolds in winter.
Octavia’s Bookshop, Cirencester: 01285 650677 / GL7 2AA / octaviasbookshop.co.uk