Stay here: One Abbey Lane, Southam
This beautifully renovated Tudor gem in Warwickshire featured on BBC 2's Restoration Home is now a stylish one-bedroom B&B retreat.
Fancy staying in the oldest house in the village – a stylishly renovated elm timber framed building featured on BBC 2’s Restoration Home with Caroline Quentin? Georgina Forsythe has an overnighter at One Abbey Lane in Southam, our 2018 Muddy Awards’ Boutique Stay finalist in Warwickshire.
A large luxe self-contained one bedroomed apartment, One Abbey Lane dates back to 1600. It’s one of the oldest buildings in the small Warwickshire market town of Southam and a short stay B&B. In 2010 owners Sally and Stuart Forgan started a major restoration project to bring it back to life and the development was followed by BBC2′s Restoration Home with Caroline Quentin.
After a warm welcome, Sally shows us to our private parking space, from where we walk up a flight of stairs into our accommodation – an architecturally sympathetic extension to the rear of this once crumbling historic building. It’s now a lovely light-filled airy space with sustainable design features and cool mod cons.
It’s all very relaxed with white-washed walls and still reassuringly unstuffy enough for a laidback family hol. At the top of the stairs we enter the spacious master bedroom with comfy Super king size bed and en-suite.
Three steps up is the kitchen/diner and living room where a double sofa bed is laid out for the children – still leaving plenty of living space.
One Abbey Lane feels like a home from home – cosy, homely, spacious, modern, with hi-tech features including Sonos speakers throughout and power shower with massage feature and underfloor heating.
Other features include free Wi-Fi, daily room service, Apple TV with a library of films, Netflix HD and Spotify unlimited. Sally shows us iPads for the kids and takes us through Netflix. Yessssss! Friday night’s sorted. We feel immediately at home. It’s the end of the working week, now take-a-deep breath and relax into the weekend.
As well as having a modern twist, I also love how Sally and Stuart have kept the space in keeping with the rest of the building which holds a lot of history. Sally and Stuart bought their beautiful property in 2010. In 2013 the extension began and being featured on BBC2’s Restoration Home spurred them on immensely. The B&B opened in 2014 and the couple have never looked back. Sally and Stuart welcome back a lot of repeat business and it’s clear to see why.
Our two children were rather intrigued about staying in a holiday home with everything on one level and played with every gadget possible – there are quite a few. After venturing out into Southam for tea we headed back to base for a movie night. I must say after snuggling with the kids on the double sofa bed watching The Greatest Showman for the hundredth time I really could’ve stayed there for the night- so, so comfy! Although the children slept in the living room, we still felt like we had our own space for the evening. Sally, herself a mum-of-three welcomes families and children of all ages and can provide additional beds, travel cots and high-chairs. Babysitting can also be arranged in advance with a CRB checked babysitter.
SCOFF & QUAFF
This self-catering accommodation comes with a delicious continental breakfast included – croissants, jams, cereal, fresh bread, orange juice, tea and coffee. A silent honesty mini bar is stocked with all the essentials – beer, wine and soft drinks. There’s dining space and plenty of crockery if needed – I sound more and more like my mother every day, but it’s true!
The four of us took a short stroll into town to enjoy some much-needed pub grub at the child-friendly Bowling Green pub. A few minutes out-of-town, the cosy country pub Bell Inn in Ladbroke comes highly recommended, and if you like amazing vistas try The White Hart Inn at Ufton with its panoramic countryside views, its very popular with walkers. For somewhere a bit more quirky I like The Folly Inn, an unpretentious wood-beamed pub decorated with vintage bric-a-brac on the canal side in Napton-on-the-hill – it hosts Folly Fest, a popular summer music festival. In the same village is the award-winning independent Napton Village Stores – Post Office and Cafe which prides itself on stocking local products and meats.
AROUND & ABOUT
As well as being a luxe bolthole for couples and small families, One Abbey Lane is very popular for pre-wedding overnighters. Wedding venue Warwick House (above) is located just across the road.
Ideally set on the outskirts of Southam town centre it’s surrounded by the Warwickshire countryside, with a lovely one-hour circular walk on the doorstep – the Holy Well Trail, taking in a Grade 2 listed ancient well, the Stoneythorpe Estate and Dallas Burston Polo Club grounds. Southam has a pleasant high street and is a great base for exploring Warwickshire, and the north Cotswold towns of Moreton-in-Marsh and Stow-on-the Wold along the Fosse Way. The canal network is just a mile away with lovely walks – and it’s well placed for pubs.
The Spa town of Leamington Spa, with its smart white Georgian terraces, is just seven miles away – great for lunching and shopping. A couple of miles further is the pretty market town of Warwick, known for its beautiful castle and if you fancy a trip to the RSC and Shakespeare’s family homes, Stratford-upon-Avon is just 20 miles away. The scenic River Avon runs alongside the theatre and there are plenty of boats to hire.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Anyone who loves a bit of history, couples, family’s, girlie weekends and pre-wedding nights for Warwick House.
Not for: Pets. Although Sally and Stuart will occasionally let very well-behaved pets stay so always worth asking
The damage: from £125 per night Sun- Fri for two adults or a family, £145 per night on weekends for two adults (including continental breakfast). This can vary at peak and off-peak times of the year.
1 Abbey Ln, Southam CV47 1HR. The best way to book is best via http://oneabbeylane or by emailing Sally on firstname.lastname@example.org