I have been dreaming of hosting a reading retreat ever since the launch of my small book business, but trying to find a property which ticks all the boxes necessary was proving to be quite a difficult task.

That was until Scarlet Hall, a new Unique Homestays property, popped up on my social media feed. After clicking through the images and reading the description the reading retreat lightbulb was lit and shining brightly; it ticked every single box.

Before the retreat was open for booking I took the 45 minute trip from my home town to Scarlet Hall on a sunny September morning to have a look around. I arrived at some wooden gates which opened onto a long sweeping driveway and led to two gorgeous buildings. The owners, Chris and Gail, welcomed me with open arms at the main house, talking through some of the house's fascinating history before showing me around.

I honestly don’t think I have ever been inside a house as luxurious as Scarlet Hall. I walked around with a big smile on my face as I took in all the detail; each room decorated exquisitely and different to the last but with such an expert eye for interiors. I wondered if Gail hired a professional interior designer; she smiled and informed me that no, she had not.

The reading retreat sold out in just 48 hours, and five months later my team and I arrived to welcome our 15 guests.

Days during the retreat were extremely relaxed. Everyone squirrelled away with a good book in all the different areas of the house, cosied by windows and in enormous, squishy sofas. We floated in the heated pool, ate delicious food and made friends and memories that will last a lifetime. We lit the fires and snuggled down in thick jumpers, toasting our toes as close to the flames as we dared.

The Book Matchmaker will be hosting another reading retreat towards the end of the year. For more information head to www.thebookmatchmaker.co.uk and hit the reading retreat tab.

All photos by Cerys Lowe