November has arrived, meaning it might just be acceptable now to start thinking about your festive escape – somewhere to retreat to to celebrate Christmas with loved ones, or see in New Year with a bang.
If you’re debating leaving the North East over the Christmas break, consider a trip down south to the cosy Cotswolds – it’s one of our go-to destinations for wintry walks, scenic views and hip and hygge holiday homes.
The Huntsman Lakehouse recently caught our eye – a modern, three-storey villa, sitting on the lushly landscaped 650-acre Lakes By Yoo estate. Artistically-designed, it offers a heavy dose of country cosiness, with armchairs by the fire, tactile fabrics and chic barnwood furnishings.
Highlights include a large, light, open living, dining and kitchen area, decked out with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Huntsman Lake and opening out to a fully-furnished terrace – the place to enjoy your morning coffee (or Buck’s Fizz).
One living area has industrial-style scuffed metal walls, with an in-built fireplace, surrounded by soft, tartan-upholstered sofas and leather, mid-century modern armchairs – snuggle up here at the end of the day with a good book and maybe some Merlot.
The second living area has a charcoal-grey wraparound sofa lined with lemon-yellow and taupe cushions. There’s a TV, footstool and doors opening out to the terrace, making it a prime spot for kids, teens to laze about and migrate from sofa to outdoor activities as they please.
A study and library leads off from the main living area, with one sofa running along one wall. Here, guests, old and young, can play chess or even strum an acoustic guitar. This room can also be used as an extra bedroom.
Kitchen-wise, it’s all about clean whites and room to breathe – and entertain. Gather around the floating island and dine at the long, pendant light-lit barnwood table (it seats up to eight), perching your behinds on sheepskin-lined benches. Our favourite.
Bedroom one, the villa’s master bedroom and solarium suite, sits on the top floor. Decorated in a modern style by Yoo Design Studio, there are flashes of neon brights, a cow hide-print rug, large flatscreen TV and a log-burning fireplace. A 360-degree terrace overlooks the lake and surrounding greenery. There’s a super king-size bed and an ensuite with a bath tub and shower.
Bedroom two, the second master suite, is on the first floor. It’s outfitted in bright Scandi-style, with white walls, organic elements (knitted pillows, sheepskin throws) and industrial lighting. There’s a king-size bed and an ensuite bathroom with a bath tub and shower. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook Bowmoor Lake.
Bedroom three is cosy and cool, with hints of tartan and fluffy pillows on the king-size bed. This room shares an ensuite shower room with bedroom four. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook Bowmoor Lake.
Bedroom four, on the first floor, is the children’s bedroom. It’s sweetly dressed in wool and sheepskin, with a Miffy lamp, fluffy ‘rocking sheep’ and a wigwam. There are bunk beds built into this room, two twin beds, which can be used on request, and this room shares an ensuite shower room with bedroom three.
Villages Thornhill and Claydon are a five-minute drive away (go there to stock up on all your larder essentials), market town Cirencester is a 15-minute drive and Cheltenham, Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold are 30 minutes by car if you fancy tootling out further afield. London Heathrow is the closest international hub – a 90-minute drive from the Lakes By Yoo estate. The charming main reception, pool and spa are a 10-minute walk away.