Name: The Gatehouse Lodge
Location: United Kingdom
Conveniently located just off the A1, The Gatehouse Lodge is nevertheless tucked away within the picturesque estate of Easton, between the towns of Grantham and Stamford. This historic building has been lovingly restored and now offers a small – but perfectly formed – luxury holiday cottage which is ideal for couples who want to relax and get away from it all. Impressive attention to detail has gone into this place, and we found that it quickly became a very comfortable home from home during our short stay.
Just a few minutes off the A1, we found ourselves driving through peaceful country lanes past pretty stone cottages. Following the directions given on the website, we made a left turn at the memorial cross, and the imposing gatehouse of an old country estate appeared before us. The welcome we received from owner Fred Cholmeley could not have been friendlier, and indeed everyone we encountered throughout our stay was only too happy to help us with whatever we needed. Our cottage, contained within the Gatehouse itself, was the perfect mix of old fashioned charm and modern comfort. The fully fitted kitchen had everything you could possibly want to prepare and cook meals, while the elegant living room boasted a wood burner, flat screen TV and Bose Bluetooth speaker. I loved the bijou library, with its high shelves laden with books and DVDs and its cute, colourful chandelier.
Upstairs, a cosy bedroom provided a peaceful haven to curl up in after a long day exploring, while the bathroom was the largest and most luxurious room in the cottage, with twin basins and a separate bath tub and shower cubicle with rain shower and beautiful tiles. One thoughtful touch I particularly appreciated was the different sized bathrobes – one to fit me and one for my husband.
Indeed, there were thoughtful touches throughout, from the fresh flowers in the kitchen to the fancy dog bowls provided for canine guests. Four legged friends are very welcome here, and I can only imagine that they would enjoy their stay as much as their owners would.
There was also a pretty courtyard where my husband and I enjoyed sitting in the sun with a cup of tea or coffee. The kitchen was equipped with a Nespresso machine, which was much appreciated. From the courtyard, we could access the beautiful walled gardens from our own private gate – but more on that later!
We were presented with a welcome pack on arrival which consisted of milk, butter, plenty of tea and coffee, a loaf of bread from a local bakery and a homemade chocolate cake. There was also a bottle of wine and a couple of soft drinks in the fridge, and some sloe gin made from fruit grown on the grounds. They will get other things in for your arrival if you ask. My recommendation would be to take them up on this offer, or at least bring a few things with you for breakfast the first morning, especially if you are arriving late in the evening. As we were only staying two nights, we chose not to cook, but the kitchen in the cottage is perfectly equipped for it should you want to. We had a lovely dinner at the Cholmeley Arms – part of the same Estate and just a short drive away. The food was wholesome, the wine excellent, and the patrons incredibly friendly, even to the point of giving us a lift back to the Gatehouse after we forgot to arrange a return taxi! On that note, it’s worth bearing in mind that this is a rural area, so best to organise taxis in advance.
Gardens and History
Hands down my favourite thing about staying at The Gatehouse Lodge was being able to walk out of our little courtyard and into the beautiful walled gardens any time we liked. Having them to ourselves at times when they weren’t open to the public felt like a privilege, and probably the closest you could ever come to the feeling of owning your own country estate. We were graced with beautiful weather during our stay, so we made the most of exploring these lovely grounds. Full of sweeping lawns, beautifully planted borders and the picturesque remains of the lost manor house, there was something very special about this place, and having it all to ourselves was little short of magical. I would definitely recommend reading the booklet in the cottage that tells you about the history of Easton, as it really gives you a feel for the place and an appreciation for the work that has been done in rescuing what remains of the estate from further decline.
Although it’s tucked away in a peaceful countryside location, there is still plenty to do around Easton, especially for those who love walking. If you want to explore your immediate surroundings, you can take Newton’s Trail (you’ll find a map in the cottage). This is a lovely way to get to know the various churches, inns, stately homes and places of interest close to Easton, and you can do it by car, bike or even on foot if you’re feeling energetic enough. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting Stamford, a very beautiful town full of unspoilt Georgian architecture. Don’t miss out on seeing The George hotel, even if it’s just for coffee. We also had dinner at Italian restaurant Piccola Venezia in Grantham which I can highly recommend. If you want to walk it off the next day, the beautiful Rutland Water is only around a half hour drive away and well worth a visit.
The Gatehouse Lodge is a luxurious self-catering cottage set in beautiful gardens. It’s a great place to stay if you want to relax and unwind, yet it’s not short of activities and places to explore either. All in all, a lovely spot that makes for a very enjoyable weekend away.
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