Passing through the imposing gates and down the impressive tree-lined drive, one cannot but feel a delicious sense of anticipation – one that is amply rewarded by glimpses of a perfect Palladian mansion set in acres of immaculate parklands, laid out by the celebrated 18th century landscape designer, Humphry Repton. These include a number of curiosities, including a castellated folly, an ice house and a grotto. Welcome to Ston Easton Park, framed by ancient cedars, beeches and chestnuts, with lush lawns and pastures stretching away in a sea of green. For hundreds of years the cherished home of the Hippisley family, it is now one of the West Country’s most desirable retreats – and yours for as long as you’d like.
A grand setting for total relaxation
Lovingly maintained, the façade is breathtaking. Inside, the décor is sumptuous, stylish and perfectly in harmony with the period features. The impressive collection of paintings and exquisite antique furnishings are comfortably at home in their setting of dramatic stucco and elaborate plasterwork. The estate’s impressive history is apparent on every level and is reaffirmed when you go ‘below stairs’ to the preserved Edwardian kitchen or step through the Drawing Room onto the terrace at the back of the house and drink in a view across acres of preserved parkland. The surroundings are grand but the ‘upstairs downstairs’ formality is long gone. There’s fresh laughter instead of hushed whispers and warm welcoming smiles instead of stiff upper lips.
Rooms that stay with you
The bedrooms at Ston Easton Park are every bit as grand as the public rooms. Guests have the choice of 22, each lavishly designed with its own very distinctive character. Striking contemporary fabrics and wallpapers are combined with traditional swags and tails, whilst in selected State bedrooms, Chippendale four-poster beds are complemented by antique prints, ornaments and vases. The Terrace bedroom, as its name depicts, even features its very own roof terrace with an intimate seating area, perfect for a delicious and wonderfully private al fresco breakfast or a romantic dinner à deux as the sun sets over the Somerset countryside.
One Night is Not Enough
As each room is so very different, it’s quite a challenge deciding which one to stay in. A view over the cascading River Norr set against a backdrop of weeping willows or perhaps a bedroom that looks out over the expansive parklands, across to the pretty church and the village beyond? Though generously proportioned and extravagantly furnished, the bedrooms are intimate rather than intimidating; these are rooms in which to kick your shoes off, put your feet up, relax and enjoy yourself.
Kitchen and garden in perfect harmony
Ston Easton Park is not just a feast for the eyes. The chef and gardener work closely together to ensure that the seasonal menus for the award-winning restaurant are designed around fruits and vegetables harvested daily from the Victorian kitchen garden, complemented by excellent produce sourced from the very finest local farms and suppliers. The award-winning Sorrel restaurant provides the perfect setting for sumptuous lunches and dinners. Private dining is also available in the magnificent Saloon, regarded as one of the most beautiful rooms in all Somerset. The more intimate Print Room, the Yellow Dining Room with its splendid Georgian and Regency furniture, as well as the perfectly preserved Edwardian kitchen provide three equally inviting possibilities.
Kitchen and garden in perfect harmony
What could be more romantic or peaceful than a secluded country retreat, hidden in the grounds, yet within a minute’s walk of the main house? The 17th century Gardener’s Cottage, overlooking the Victorian kitchen garden and sitting right on the banks of the heavily wooded river, is country living at its most comfortable. Comprising three self-contained suites, a spacious kitchen and comfortable sitting room, it provides a variety of options. Guests can take just one of the suites or book the whole cottage exclusively to enjoy with family or friends. Badgers, deer and foxes are regular visitors after dark while kingfishers, swallows and woodpeckers are guests’ companions by day. Less formal than the main house, it’s the epitome of rustic chic, surrounded by flowers, woodland and walled gardens.