Have you ever fancied having your own country pile? A historic stately home where you can invite your friends for glorious drinks and croquet parties on the lawn, like lords of the manor in times of old. Well 10 Castle Street might be just the ticket. You can not only come and stay in a gorgeous country mansion that has been beautifully refurbished with a slightly colonial twist, but you can, in effect, own a slice of this mansion by becoming a member. Membership gives you discounts on the rooms and in the bar and restaurant, access to a special bar, lounge and play room. Membership gives you a home from home in the country.
10 Castle Street is situated in the darling country village of Cranborne which comes complete with a historic pub. It is easy to get to, just 20 minutes from Salisbury station (the owners will provide a free transfer on request), and is ideally situated just a short drive from Stone Henge and the beautiful National Trust manor house, Kingston Lacey.
The Manor House
The house itself is reached up a gravel driveway and is a handsome brick Queen Anne mansion. Inside the owners have done a tremendous job bringing the house into the 21st century. The walls are decorated in wonderful wallpapers (I particularly loved the whimsical birds in the porch flying across a shiny gold background) and are adorned with thought provoking works of art on every free surface. Being winter, most of the communal rooms were warmed by open hearths. As a result, the bar, drawing room and restaurant all felt cosy and welcoming. I particularly liked the main drawing room where we spent most of our evening during our stay. Here, yellow and gold hued curtains and wallpapers were complemented by vast palms and suck-you-in sofas which gave the place the colonial feel I mentioned earlier.
The rooms upstairs were large with enormous bathrooms and great views across the extensive gardens and into the fields beyond. Again, the rooms had been restored sympathetically and our room had a number of nice touches including an old fashioned phone, a beautiful old chest as a centrepiece in the sitting area part of the room, a free standing bath with-a-view and a free standing massive shower with silver lions feet.
In the summer, I can’t imagine a better way to enjoy a beer or 5 or a glass of fizz, than on the patio that overlooks the gardens. Of course our visit was in the winter so the great British drizzle didn’t tempt us outside, but even with the wind whistling around the house, you could imagine how glorious the summers here must be.
If you like “The Pig” chain of hotels, you will love the sophisticated 10 Castle Street. It is a retreat which has exported London style and panache into the countryside. Come here in the summer, eat, drink and be merry in the gardens until the sun goes down.