It is not all too often that we are afforded a look into how the other half live, and even rarer still that we should be given the opportunity to step into their well-heeled shoes and stay in their properties ourselves.
But that, and plenty of other delights, is exactly what is on offer at The Manor in Holcombe, a grand Georgian property that makes quite the centrepiece within a sleepy Somerset village (just 20 minutes from Frome).
Lit up from all sides at night, the eight-bedroomed house is full of weaving corridors, staircases and leads guests in all directions, through various lounges, a games room, a full-equipped gym (better than some hotel fitness spaces we've seen) and a boot room, complete with dog shower.
And if it feels as though this grand home, with its impossibly high ceilings and giant windows that draw in the light from dawn until dusk, was once traversed by notable historical figures, that's because it was. The honey-hued building was once the family home of Scott of the Antarctic, the famed Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions.
Now though, it plays host to those looking to immerse themselves in the finer things in life, with private chefs and spa therapists easily organised to enhance your stay.
And yes, the beds are comfortable, and the baths palatial (though the bedrooms on the first floor must share between four), but the real star of the show is the imposing central gallery cum hallway, which could fit a two bedroom London house in it.
Flooded with light, and flanked by columns, the hallway has been thoughtfully left to speak for itself, with various artwork lining the walls, but no other future to impede your impression as you enter. During the day, the light bounces off the walls and lights up the breathtaking rounded staircase, cascading down from the original stained glass roof light, and in the evening, framed by the grand, illuminated tree outside, it becomes a surprisingly warm space, inviting heavy footsteps up to bed.
Outside, wrapped around outside the sash windows of the house, the manicured gardens include a swimming pool, oodles of comfortable furniture, a summer house, two pounds, a climbing frame and swings for children and a circular driveway that will have you wishing you'd arrived by carriage.
With views across the hills and fields that sit beyond the village, the garden is a versatile space that feels both calm and luxurious, while also opening up endless potential for fun. During our visit, we swam, we curled up on the gigantic (like everything else here) outdoor sofas to read books and play card games and we pushed each other on the swings until we were red in the face from laughing. And, come sunset, nicely worn out from our frolicking, we headed into the hot tub to keep ourselves warm.
On a rainy day, the indoor pool table provides ample opportunity for fun, as does the plethora of books and games in the TV snug, and there a plenty of cosy spots to hunker down in to while away the hours.
If it's a special occasion that lures you here, the dining room is fit for a party, although the large, light country kitchen — with its adjoining breakfast room — was big enough for our party to pitch in with the cooking, serve morning coffees and nibble away at the oversized Victoria sponge cake that was left for us on arrival.
As night draws in, king-size beds await both upstairs on the first floor and downstairs in rooms with vaulted brick entrance-ways and bright-coloured furniture to offset the natural palette of the stone.
Outside of the biscuit-coloured walls and gates that hide the magical grounds of the property, the highly-rated , AA 5 star Holcombe Inn boasts a Michelin-listed restaurant and it's own 'Tranquility Gardens' that look out over the surrounding fields. On colder days, a hearty roast is a welcome tonic after a brisk walk, while in the warmer months (if you can tear yourself away from the swimming pool at The Manor), the gardens are a well-known destination for an evening sundowner due to their privileged views of the sunset.
In short, you'll be hard-pressed not to fall under its spell.
BOOK HEREFrom £1,900 a night, sleeping 18 in 8 bedrooms. Dogs allowed.
Subscribe to Red now to get the magazine delivered to your door.
Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.
You Might Also Like