A picture paints a thousand words...maybe, but in the case of Swallowtails even the extensive pictures online do not give justice to this remarkable home. After pulling off the public road for the drive up the private lane you are surrounded by stone walls topped with wild flowers and surrounded with mature trees. You arrive at a ´quaint´ but not ostentatious home which looks very attractive and apt for the setting.

The real surprise is when you enter through the stable door, you are fooled by the little utility room in front of you and as your turn, the surprise of the wonderful light open kitchen. The exploration continues through to the large comfortable dining room then through into the cosy living room. Please don´t be fooled by the use of the word ´cosy´. Do not think 'compact', but rather large with tall ceilings (and yet, cosy!). Too often contemporary homes can feel sterile or cold and have echoing space, but at Swallowtails the owners have balanced it perfectly. Warm, inviting and just what you need for a care free holiday. Did I mention the log burner? A real treat when you can pretend to feel a little cold (because you turned off the heating deliberately) and be warmed by a real fire instead.

However, the property goes on, and this is the clever bit. We move on from renovation to contemporary as steps lead down into the garden room and we leave behind the cosy living room and enter a stylish, modern and light room thanks to 270 degree windows set in robust hardwood framing capped off with a slide shaped ceiling that angles down towards the double doors and seamlessly connects to the garden. With views over the gardens, pool and grasslands you could sit for hours whatever the weather reading, listening to music or just watching the wildlife and the clouds drift by.The bedrooms were charming and the beds comfortable so we woke up rested every day and with the restaurant suggestions given to us by the owner eating out was a pleasure rather than the usual hit and miss.

Would I recommend a stay at Swallowtails? I would like to say absolutely not and keep it as a secret to myself but that is selfish so the answer is a big yes, absolutely, no hesitation, a must!