Herefordshire hop garlands: the secret of a great night’s sleep?

Our guests tell us they have some of their best nights’ sleep when staying in our cottages. Anaesthetist Lenny Ivatt was holidaying here this weekend with her partner, Lara and baby, Eos, and said as much in her glowing review.

Why could that be?


      • It is quiet and super peaceful here. No noise or traffic pollution, just morning birdsong and the distant bleating of the local flock to awaken you.

      • As sure as night follows day, a good dose of fresh air goes a long way. Plenty of studies have indicated time spent in green spaces improves sleep, and most visitors here spend their time in nature, walking or hiking in the hills.

      • Our super comfy beds and mattresses have a big part to play.

      • We provide herbal teas: Camomile and Mint… to drink before bedtime. Better for you than the delicious local scrumpy

      • Our recommended guest playlists include sleep inducing Yoga Nidra.

    But we have one rather special secret ingredient: our Hop Garlands.

    The story behind White House Cottages

    Once upon a time, Kiln, Hopstore, Long Barn, HopPickers, & Welsh cottages were used to house farm-workers and store hops. Families came to stay in the area and picked them on a working holiday.

    The history of hop picking in Herefordshire is beautifully told in Marsha O’Mahony’s book, Scratch of The Hop, copies of which are on the bookshelves of our cottages.

    This image courtesy of Peter Green – is one of dozens in her fascinating read. They may have slept in Long Barn and used old sacks, stuffed with hops, as pillows.

    Did you know that hops have a naturally soothing effect?

    This is primarily due to a compound xanthohumol, known for its antioxidant properties. Additionally, methylbutenol, a sleep-promoting chemical also found in hops, can act as a mild sedative. It can effectively decrease nocturnal activity in the circadian activity rhythm.

    According to studies, hops can also be a stress reliever. It can calm your nerves & relax your body when brewed into a tea. The compounds can also help reduce sleep latency – you’ll find yourself drifting off to dreamland more swiftly.

    We’ve acquired some hops tea bags for guests to test. Pop them into hot water for 5-10 minutes, and sip slowly. If you’re sensitive to bitter tastes, you can mellow the flavour by adding local Herefordshire honey (available a short walk up the lane) or a drop of Apple Juice from our orchard, provided in every welcome basket.

    Our friend and neighbour, Rowan McOnegal is helping us explore different blends of essential oils with hops aromatic water to create a pillow spray that will encourage an even deeper night’s sleep, repairing and restorating the functions that are necessary to feel your best each day.

    If you are in need of some rest, recharge your batteries and a nature fix, come discover the magic of hops.