Owner Sarah gave us the most friendly, vivacious and detailed tour we’ve ever experienced from any host or indeed hotel manager, making us feel incredibly welcome and a little extra excited about our stay – there was a hamper and bouquet upon arrival to boot. Unlike many anonymous rentals, here the walls are proudly teeming with family photos, artefacts and unusual keepsakes (note the crocodile in the downstairs loo and other actual taxidermy), making it feel more like a warm, loving home, packed with personality.
That said, it’s always been a very sociable, open-door-policy kind of home, with a grand dining room made for indulgent supper parties, complementing the relaxed dining space next to the working Aga in the notably well-stocked classic countryside kitchen. There’s also an outdoor pool available in the warmer months and a large al-fresco dining area, as well as a self-contained external games room ideal for those all-night pitch and putts or table tennis matches to the death. The decor is classically English and elegant, almost regal, especially in the flagship drawing-room, with plenty of patterns upon patterns, open fireplaces and deep, lush carpets. The linens and towels deserve special mention for being wonderfully high quality, and several of our party noted that the house’s main shower was the best they’d ever experienced ‘in their lives’, while the bath in the master’s ensuite was the fastest-filling we’d ever witnessed. Game changing stuff.
The attractive Georgian renovated rectory is set on 10 acres of land with roaming bantam chickens and what was described as a ‘pond’ by the owner in a rather major understatement and is actually a lake, plus a lawn flat enough for croquet come summer, wooded areas and manicured shrubbery – and a very sweet den within a tree perfect for excitable children (or adults) to discover. Should you wish to explore further, you’re 10 minutes from Silverstone or 20 from the stately home and gardens of Canons Abbey, can charter a local canal boat with Stoke Bruerne Canal Boats, or wander beyond the little village of Maidford itself to traditional pubs The Old Red Lion or Bartholomew Arms, both a two-mile stomp away. By Becky Lucas
Price: from £1,791 per night
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