I am a returning visitor. I encountered the owner Jim Parton originally through facebook, but he was not previously known to me.
I love the pace and magic of this place where I have rested so deeply. I have been there for magical concerts and for quiet times with friends, surrounded by families unknown (and friendly) or happy quite alone. I love the place. Its history is extraordinary, especially the romance of the charming painted ceiling in the ball room that dates from around 1620.
It is a 'work in progress'. Jim and his gorgeous wife Anna found and have taken on an enfeebled wreck of a building left heartless by years as a Soviet collective (my description not theirs). The ballroom apart, you will not be wowed by fairytale interiors with Versailles grandeur everywhere as that takes time to design, build up and bring to life. There are some very elegant rooms and some very nice suites. The grand bedroom upstairs with balcony is fine and has a rather wonderful bathroom as well its elegant semi-domed ceiling - but there is also a plain-ness that speaks of Jim and Anna's attempt to bring the whole place back to life. It is also a home for their wonderful children, a live-music and sports venue, and I can't imagine how Jim and Anna have already achieved so much in such a small period of time (8 years). I like the ground floor suites off the main courtyard where there are lovely views of the garden across a 'grass sculpture' of an owl that Jim created - these rooms are silent at night, with just the summer sounds of frogs and wildlife.
Jim also has great barns, some are used for sports events, others are used for Ceilidh type live-music events. Others are used to restore old cars.
Jim is a polymath who risks stretching himself too thinly, planting veg in the garden, mowing the rugby pitches, arguing historical minutiae with the local conservators - I know few in his league.
Don't come here looking for prissy, or 'juzhed up' or glamour. This is a place to find your inner Erda and let her hang out idly by the lake whilst deciding whether to walk around the other barn, or around the trees, or perhaps to explore the end of Anna's pebbled pathway. It isn't palatial, but they have troubled to make everything comfortable and simple - and it creates the loveliest simplicity.
The only con I would add is that the family are aware that there are some interesting smells around the place caused by a number of factors that are all being investigated and worked on. This didn't affect my accommodation at all, but I don't want to pretend it was all rosy!
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