I once heard someone say that if you truly love your job you will never feel as though you need a holiday. Well in the case of that particular person, I can honestly say that they have categorically never heard of Unique Home Stays and nor must they have ever been a PA.
With our UK Staycation campaign reaching it’s 2nd instalment, there is no better opportunity I could use in order to introduce you all to the sensational team at Unique Home Stays and the ability they have in truly nailing the idea of the perfect UK Staycation with the added benefit of a hot tub and a visiting beauty therapist thrown in here and there.
Established by Sarah Stanley in 2001, Unique Home Stays was created as an opportunity for culture chasing guests to enjoy an authentic, immersive escape among a unique collection of iconic self-catered homes. Reinventing the luxury travel market, their homes are nothing short of exceptional living spaces imaginatively designed across a portfolio consisting of cliffhanger beach huts, remote mountain retreats and period housing with awe-inspiring interiors. They are uniquely positioned in the market to be the only company with access to the properties available to view on their website stretching from the cutest Cornish coves, winding up through every part of the UK and now situated in Ireland, whether you only wish to travel an hour outside of London or 7 hours outside of London, Unique Home Stays has you covered.
For us, it was Cornwall. Heading down to Bodmin Moor from London Paddington on a cheerfully bright day, it took us shy of four hours to reach our destination where our UK Staycation began. Suggested in advance by the amazing Harriet Frisby, Business Development Manager for Unique Home Stays, a car was certainly something we should have considered hiring once off the train, however, our mission was pure and simple, detox and relax from the hustle and bustle of London with our feet up and a glass of wine in our hand at all times throughout our stay. Visiting local landmarks could wait for our next trip, our online shop had taken care of everything we needed that weekend, bringing the pub to us with a few of our favourite bottles of red. Departing the station, we quickly made a new friend in the form of our eccentric cab driver Arthur. First stop, the Unique Home Stays office.
Nestled among a few of the first houses under the Unique Home Stays luxury collection, I met the amazing team behind a brand that I have been nothing short of addicted to since the beginning of The Assistant Room almost two years ago. Two and a half hours into our conversation we had covered pretty much everything from the evolution of the business from a small collection of homes to their recent expansion into Ireland and of course, how the readers of The Assistant Room need to know about Unique Home Stays for the ultimate UK Staycation inspiration not only for themselves, their friends and their family, but their bosses and colleagues too. By this point, my travel buddy had been in the pub for the entire duration of our meeting, Arthur had made a second drop off after leaving me with Harriet and the UHS team earlier that afternoon.
Swinging by the local pub, my guest departed the Red Lion after becoming friends with the entire drinking conglomerate in the village with nothing short of cheers and wolf whistles, a strong attempt to get him back to the bar. It was 30 minutes later that we arrived at our cosy Cornish corner in Warleggan, a real-life hamlet said to be ‘twinned with Narnia’, to our cottage for the weekend, Pixie Nook.
Designed with romance in mind, Pixie Nook is the perfect hideaway oozing style and whimsical vibes. My inner Jane Austen suddenly exploded and walking through the door into Pixie Nook was nothing short of stepping into a dream.
Recently given a facelift from Unique Home Stays interior designer/wizard Jess, white washed walls with blue, purple and yellow featured throughout the cottage for two. With its crackling wood burner, original beamed ceilings and garden hot tub, it was obvious that not having hired a car was going to be no problem whatsoever as venturing outside and going further than the hot tub with a glass of champagne in hand, was highly unlikely.
‘…stepping through the door into Pixie Nook was nothing short of stepping into a dream.’
We were in for a weekend of pure bliss and some serious R&R.
Evening one, exploring the cottage just did not stop. Our Friday night was spent investigating every part of the property in our linen dressing gowns which were left hanging for us in the bedroom. From the hamper of treats which included fresh scones and bread, to the chilled bottle of wine in the fridge provided by our hosts, it didn’t take long before we had decided that three nights at Pixie Nook were just not going to be enough however, the thought of our Saturday activities occurring the following day could not have made me more excited to get into bed and snooze away until the official start to the weekend.
‘From the hamper of treats which included fresh scones and bread, to the chilled bottle of wine in the fridge provided by our hosts, it didn’t take long before we had decided that three nights at Pixie Nook were just not going to be enough’
Waking up in a king sized bed with fresh air breezing through the cottage was amazing. When you’re so used to the haze of London, you learn a new appreciation for the simple things in life, really putting into perspective the amount of time I should dedicate to something other than work.
Breakfast was eaten and after half an hour spent in the hot tub, there was a knock at the door. The incredible thing about Unique Home Stays is that leaving your weekend abode is really not necessary. Whether it’s a private chef to come in and cook you supper or a beauty therapist to visit for some pampering during anything from a girls weekend to a family retreat to the countryside, Unique Home Stays have partnered with a number of highly reputable brands to bring luxury to you.
For us, it was a one-hour deep tissue massage each from the incredible Lindsay, part of the My Personal Sanctuary team and who I legitimately asked to marry me before she left, she was that good.
My Personal Santuary
Founded in 2007 by Gillie Lane, My Personal Sanctuary is a travelling luxury spa company providing in-house indulgence to people up and down the country. With hand-selected male and female therapists by the MPS team, they come armed with everything required to turn your home into your own little private sanctuary for the day. We couldn’t have been more excited to welcome Lindsay to Pixie Nook and left her to organise the lounge room only re-visiting her once she was ready to walk us through our massage options and to select our choice of pure organic oils from one of my favourite brands, Neal’s Yard.
Lindsay could not have taken better care of both of us. With an incredible wealth of knowledge about how to work around a number of existing injuries my guest had experienced as a product of playing rugby for years and for me personally this being my first massage and not knowing what to expect, we were both so relaxed after an hour with Lindsay that we each almost fell off of the heated bed.
My Personal Sanctuary
Our weekend could not have started any better and waving goodbye to Lindsay was absolutely heartbreaking, to have her stay longer would have been indulgent but certainly worth it and with a home visit, we were really able to relax without the pressure of getting dressed and jumping in the car to a local salon. You know…all the things you just wished that you didn’t have to do when on a short break.
Continuing on with the weekend, we were able to focus on everything but emails. Positioned absolutely perfectly in the throws of the countryside, Pixie Nook and its beautiful garden looked over the Cornish countryside with a view from the hot tub that we just could not pull ourselves away from. With outside lighting a mix of fairy lights and candles in small hanging lanterns, stargazing became our nightly entertainment with the bubbles both in the tub and in hand. If it was a romantic getaway you are longing for during your next UK Staycation, Pixie Nook is high on my personal recommendations list if not the highest.
As mentioned earlier, the idea of a hire car was not something we had entertained and it certainly was not something that to us, was necessary throughout our stay. The beauty of the landscape, the feeling of romance that Pixie Nook invokes in you and the peace and quiet of the Narnian twinned Hamlet is everything you need with the thought of leaving at any point throughout our stay not even crossing our mind. Something that I truly thought was impossible in a one bedroom cottage, however, being pleasantly surprised has always been one of my favourite emotions.
‘With outside lighting a mix of fairy lights and candles in small hanging lanterns, stargazing became our nightly entertainment with the bubbles both in the tub and in hand.’
Spending a further two nights at Pixie Nook with Unique Home Stays with evenings spent cooking, reading Charles Dickens in the roll top bath filled with peony scented bubbles, cosying up by the wood burning fire in our dressing gowns listening to music, appreciating the pace of life outside of London all contributed to the best UK Staycation either of us had experienced.
Making our way back to the station on Monday morning, our trusty friend Arthur collected us from the place I had decided would one day be my go-to weekend hideaway and transported us back to Bodmin where we headed back to London Paddington feeling ready to take on the world again.
‘If it was a romantic getaway you are longing for during your next UK Staycation, Pixie Nook is high on my personal recommendations list if not the highest.’
It was within half an hour that we had already decided, after perusing the Unique Home Stays website, where our next trip will be with them which we settled on Burdock Fox in the Cotswolds. A beautiful cottage sleeping 6 in yet again another beautiful village only a short distance from London.
Going back to my opening line where I once heard someone say that if you truly love your job you will never feel as though you need a holiday. If it meant that I could book a weekend away every month with Unique Home Stays, I would happily take on the worst job in the world known to man.
For all enquiries with My Personal Sanctuary visit them here – www.mypersonalsanctuary.co.uk