In the heart of an idyllic Somerset country park, The Dairy House & Cowshed sleeps 15 and offers the cream of quality time. For families, friends, reunions, celebrations, hens, stags, escapers and explorers, it’s an idyll cocooned within a haven all wrapped up in a West Country utopia. Move in, chill out, switch off. Log on only to the roaring fire.
You’ll find the grade II-listed hamstone nestled among bursting flowerbeds, specimen trees and wild woodlands deep within Dillington Park. Outside spaces invite dalliances with nature. Sip scrumpy on the outside terrace. Stare at the parklands by day or the sparkling stars by night as you soak in the bubbling woodfired hot tub.
Chase the chickens, snaffle their eggs, pluck the fruit from the apple, pear and plum trees in the orchard, fire up the coal barbie and sear your steaks in the Somerset sun. Watch the sun dip over the Blackdown Hills. Retreat to family fireside games and the promise of 400 thread count cotton, soft mattress toppers and fluffy bathrobes.
This isn’t just a garden to look at; it’s a garden to do. Wander the woodlands, ensconced within 3000-acre Dillington Park. Let the kids loose in the play area. Picnic on the lawn where flowerbeds burst all around and exotic trees dapple the mature landscape.
Take tea on the terrace in the Somerset sunshine. Get a barbie going. Admire the parklands by day from the woodfired hot tub and the constellations that crackle across the sky by night. Pluck apples, pears and plums from the orchard. Collect eggs from the coop. Chat with the chickens.
The focus of life here is the woodburning stove, theatrically set in its own stage, a huge fireplace topped by a chunky oak beam. Gather round, top up your glasses, get some games going, throw another log on the fire. There’s cosiness in spades here, with the fireside rug, ceiling beams and mullioned windows.
Cooking, eating and living come all as one here, with a giant open-plan space illuminated by wide windows. It’s just a short shimmy from drinks in the living space to dining at the 16-seat table, with the French doors open to the parkland views and the clean West Country air.
Slide off the main lounge into a sitting room to escape the madding crowd and soak up the silence or binge on a box set. There’s a 55” flatscreen smart TV in there with Bluetooth soundbar for flooding the place with tunes. Board games, cards and books are also all happily on hand.
The Dairy House & Cowshed is a masterpiece of historic features and modern touches. There’s BT wifi whizzing about the place for entertainment and email, and another escape room off the kitchen, a garden room that stares out over the hedging and the specimen trees. Just add Nespresso from the kitchen.
It’s the little things that matter. Like the basket of fresh produce laid out on arrival, plus essentials that mean you’ll enjoy buttery toast and a pot of tea after your long drive. But the bigger things will make an impact, too. If you’re a keen chef, the two electric ovens, large induction hob and kitchen island, for starters.
It’s a huge, sociable area, the kitchen flowing into the dining area and on into the living space, where the warmth from the woodburner permeates every corner of the building. So it feels like home. Chop, chat, move seamlessly from room to room, and from aperitif to dining to cheese and port.
Eat around the 16-seater dining table or out on the stone terrace with the wine nicely chilled and the smoke from the barbie drifting up into the sunshine. When you’re done, the dishwasher stands ready. Or just follow the winding lanes along to The Wyndham Arms for hearty fare with a quaff of mead or slurp of wine.
Tackle the roast pheasant with game boudin or day-boat Cornish haddock at The Barrington Boar, or the turkey escalope or braised venison at Celandines. Try the Five Dials for their famous Otter beer-battered cod with triple-cooked chips. Or mix it up with a little Moroccan at f.east, all wrapped up with a wedge of walnut cake.
Seven bedrooms, three with en-suites, promise fluffy robes, superking beds, indulgent mattress toppers and deliciously crisp 400 thread count cotton bedding to slide into.
The master bedroom is a superking, a double sleighbed that comes with en-suite bathroom with double sinks, bath and shower. Bedroom two offers a superking double or twin singles, thanks to the magic of zip-and-link. An en-suite offers a shower over the bath. Bedroom three and four are also superking/twin beds affairs with shared bathrooms featuring a shower over the bath.
Over in the cowshed – don’t worry, there’s no hay involved, just cosy cotton – bedroom five is a superking double/twins with en-suite complete with walk-in shower, while bedroom six offers the same flexible accommodation plus a bathroom shared with bedroom seven, sleeping three in a bunk with pullout roller bed.