Growing up, I never dreamt about my fantasy wedding or a Prince Charming sweeping me off my feet. Instead, I dreamt of owning the perfect house. It changed form a couple of times, depending on which film I had watched that evening, but the fact always remained – a dream home was top of my aspirational list. As I got older and the financial realities of life started to hit, I had all but lost that image of the perfect home. It was hidden in my mind somewhere behind Backstreet Boys lyrics and the ‘everlasting love’ I thought I had for Doc Martens. In the flash of an invisible lightning bolt, that dream came screaming back into my head the very second that I laid eyes on the ornate wooden door of Lothian House.
This all sounds very Shakespearian and prosaic but, putting the romance and the inevitable clichés aside, I had never imagined that a house like Lothian House even existed, let alone that it was just 45 minutes from CT International Airport. And there it was, in all its glory, in front of my very eyes – my home for the next three days. Walking through the foyer like a child at Disney Land, my eyes darted from feature to feature, artwork to artwork, and view to view.
Every surface shone in the magnificent winter sunshine. Light rays bounced from the artistically-shattered dining table to the mirrored coffee tables and the glittering wine glasses, proudly boasting the Lothian Vineyards logo.
Boasting eight double rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, Lothian House is the perfect place to escape to for a week or two of delectably isolated relaxation. While the house is fitted with high-speed internet, why not take the opportunity to turn off your phone and enjoy everything that the house has to offer? It is not the kind of experience that comes around every day, and believe me when I say that you will not find another house like Lothian House.
Design-wise, the house combines startlingly modern shapes with comforting furnishings, while still maintaining a stylish and elegant look and feel. Metallic and glass elements are used to further accent the angular design, while wooden floorings and different fabric textures manage to keep Lothian House feeling like a home. Completely approachable for families, the house is like a wonderland for children – various activities are available to keep them happy and busy while you relax by the pool with a glass of Lothian Vineyard’s award-winning Chardonnay, chilled to perfection ‒ the very same Chardonnay that won the South African Chardonnay Trophy at the IWC this year.
Activities at Lothian House include walking through the vineyards, fishing on the lake (catch and release only), water skiing, water boarding, tennis, paint-balling, bird watching, and tubing ‒ not to mention wine tasting and picnicking.
It is the smaller details that make something truly deserving of the word ‘perfect’, and while I do think that the word is thrown around perhaps too easily, that simply is not the case here. Every detail, and I have a serious eye for detail, was faultless. The bedrooms were up to five-star hotel standards, with much better views and infinitely more personality. Each bedroom has a distinct style, with a special aesthetic to go with it. Purple is a colour seen quite frequently in the house, and my room for the weekend, Strelitzia, was a celebration of the colour. Two dark purple velvet chairs stand resolute in the centre of the room, looking out over Applethwaite Lake. Floor-to-ceiling feature walls of purple flowers add extra interest to the room, and the wrap-around balcony is a great place for a morning cup of tea.
Because of the shape of the house, guests can enjoy both morning sunshine with their coffee and sunset rays with their glass of wine. Two outdoor patios sit either side of the two-story, open main area, which means this part of the house gets sun all day long and is warm year round. The winter lounge, decorated in darker leathers and even featuring a Harley Davidson, is ideal for winter evenings with a roaring fire. The sun lounge, located on the other side of the house, overlooks the pool and offers guests the opportunity to sit in the sun on the protruding, glass day bed complete with plush pillows. Grab the iPad that controls the house, put on some of your favourite tunes, and read your book in the sun. That is pretty much how I spent my weekend at Lothian House ‒ that and drinking their exceptional wine.
Some places have an effect on you. Most of the time, it is not immediately obvious why, but something about them just captures your attention. It could be the people, it could be the location, or it could be something a little more abstract – the essence of the place. Combining the ethos of the establishment, the atmosphere, and pretty much every other attribute, results in a destination that is the embodiment of extraordinary.
Photography © Linda Smal @ Lothianvineyards.com