Perfect Venues for a House Party
It’s a nice idea corralling family or friends for a group getaway, but how do you satisfy all tastes? We went in search of venues for the perfect house party…
With the party season on the horizon – and celebrations to see in the New Year – not to mention an understandable desire to escape, albeit briefly, the dull, daylight-starved days of winter, it could be the perfect time to gather together family and/or friends and head off for a break.
For some that could mean curled up in your sweats with a good book, relaxed company and an endless supply of food and drink. For others, thoughts may turn to a digital detox typified by light adventure or getting back to nature.
“Picking the right property is a balancing act of finding the perfect location, that one-of-a-kind home to wow your guests and making sure all the extras are taken care of,” says Rewan Taylor, a specialist with Unique Home Stays.
“The perfect house party property will have a large dining room, generous lounge space, a sprinkling of breakaway rooms for more private conversation, and a well-groomed garden for a post-dinner stroll. And the delight of many of the homes we feature is that all are welcome – adults, children and pets.
“We’re used to hosting gatherings of all kinds from first birthdays to diamond wedding anniversaries and our varied portfolio caters for a myriad of different occasions.”
Down in Dorset
Linger awhile at Kingfisher Farm – a luxury self-catering farmhouse where electric-blue kingfishers flit between riverside trees, deer bound carefree in a wild meadow and, on stormy nights, the distant sound of waves can be heard crashing onto Jurassic sands. The setting in rural Dorset has character, style and green credentials in abundance and sleeps up to 14. Children are welcome but this one isn’t for four-legged family members. The cost, based on a week from 14th December, is £2,850.
• Visit uniquehomestays.com
Once home to the Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, Alltshellach is situated on the shores of with spectacular views of Glencoe and surrounded by extensive gardens sloping down to the loch shore. The heated indoor pool, with its stunning views, is popular with guests, as is the well-stocked Highland Bar. There are 37 bedrooms, all in the main house, with a range of breaks from walking and painting to railway tours and festive getaways. Prices start from £249 per person for three nights.
• Visit hfholidays.co.uk
Regal Heritage... and in a good cause
Hugged by private woodland and once owned by the Queen Mother’s brother, August House is a unique manor built in the shape of a butterfly on the wild Norfolk coast. Grand furnishings and a blend of class and comfort come together to create one impressive
self-catering retreat. And this noble house is more than just good looks, with every penny raised going to charity. Sleeping up to 20 (including small dogs and children), a week in December costs £5,500 (three nights £3,950).
• Visit uniquehomestays.com
Inn on the Beach
The award-winning Cary Arms and Spa on the South Devon coast opened two new cottages earlier this year just a short walk from the main inn (the one sleeping six starts from £525 per night). Originally the homes of local fishermen, they now boast beautiful interiors, superb facilities and sublime views across Babbacombe Bay. You could also take over the entire inn (sleeps 22, from £2,500) or the inn plus five cottages (sleeps 60, from £7,950), assuming you know 59 other people of course!
• Visit caryarms.co.uk
How about casting the net wider and making for Nevis? This Caribbean island is undeveloped in many ways but has plenty of tropical forests, historic sites, water sports and, of course, beaches drawn straight from your imagination. Sleeping up to nine, Villa Veranda is relaxed and spacious and set on a slope for sumptuous views of the sea, sunrises and sunsets. Seven nights before 15th December costs £3,202 (based on nine and excluding flights).
• Visit cvvillas.com
Images: HF Holidays, Unique Home Stays, ElliotWhitePhotography, Cary Arms & Spa, CV Villaa, Peter Phipp