6 of the best shoppable stays
Rhiannon Batten rounds up stylish holiday cottages where you can test out accessories, furniture and wallpaper before you invest
The Craftsman’s Cottage, Wiltshire
This pretty stone cottage is the ultimate ‘try before you buy’ holiday home for anyone interested in contemporary British craft. From a deVOL kitchen to GP & J Baker wallpaper, though the three-bedroom property (an annexe sleeps two more) is also peppered with antiques, the idea is to showcase iconic British brands, as well as providing a restful, creative retreat. Sink into a Russell Pinch sofa, hang your coat on an Another Country hook in the hallway or toast your toes in front of the fire on a Ptolemy Mann rug. If you decide to buy your own, proprietor Amanda can oblige.
Tulach Ard House, Ross-shire
Built in the 18th century but renovated in sympathetic contemporary style, there are many reasons to book a stay at this seven-bedroom country house. Views across the adjacent sea loch to Skye, a modern farmhouse kitchen, 12 acres of grounds to cut loose in and bespoke oak furniture are among them. For design lovers, however, there’s an added attraction; the house is owned by the Stewart family, of Scottish homewares brand ANTA, and is decorated with many of the company’s tasteful tartan textiles and stoneware, their moss and heather hues reflecting the surrounding landscapes.
Romney Marsh Shepherds Huts, Kent
Set on a farm within the open-skied Romney Marsh wetlands, this brace of shepherds’ huts (each sleeping two) promise one of the cosiest stays in this list. An hour from London but a world away in outlook, they’re kitted out with kitchens, showers and woodburners and are surrounded by acres of fresh air and 1,000 cream-coated Romney ewes. Those sheep are key to the experience; their fleeces are spun into products sold by the owners and used to great effect within the huts, from woollen throws, cushion covers and hot water bottle covers to sheepskin rugs and soaps.
North Lodge, Coldstream
One of eight dog-friendly holiday cottages on the Milne Graden Estate in the Scottish Borders, North Lodge sleeps two. While all the cottages are decorated with work by contemporary artists and designers, recently renovated North Lodge is a great ‘in-situ’ showcase for fans of St Jude’s fabrics and wallpapers. Angie Lewin’s Saltmarsh Storm II print hangs on one wall of the sitting room, juxtaposed against Mark Hearld’s playful Squirrel and Sunflower wallpaper. In the bedroom, a showpiece headboard has been upholstered in Lewis & Wood’s Royal Oak fabric, designed by Andrew Davidson.
The Cottage, Cornwall
A pint-sized Georgian terraced house, in the pretty harbour village of Charlestown, The Cottage’s all-white colour scheme creates a refined stage for co-owner David’s carefully assembled mix of antique and vintage finds. Sleeping two adults and two children (there are beds for three plus space for a cot), it’s one of six rental properties in the Antonia’s Pearls portfolio, all ranging in size but decorated with a similar aesthetic. If the cottage’s paintings, ceramics or green glass fishing floats catch your eye, search owners Antonia and David’s online shop for similar finds.
Steps Barn, Dorset
There’s a fairy-tale feel at this three-bedroom barn conversion, tucked in woodland a leafy 10-minute walk from Cerne Abbas. Much of the homeware and art was made by small independent makers (some of whose work can be bought from the owners) and old rubs up stylishly against new; a Rayburn nestles among custom kitchen cabinets and vintage chairs slot beneath a sleek, lozenge-shaped dining table. The bedding is the most covetable item, though. Finnish co-owner Nora runs Projektityyny, a company specialising in pretty frilled floral cushions, gingham quilts and striped lampshades.
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