We recently found a gem of a holiday home, The Old Stone Barns in Somerset, the perfect self-catering stay for an extended family of no less than 20 people. It was a birthday bash for our lovely ‘Grandma and Grandad’ – four generations headed off for the weekend to celebrate with them.
A bit of advance planning and the Sainsbury’s order, the self-caterers’ dream, was delivered. Next came a welcome and relaxed wait with tea and scones for the hordes of 20-somethings arriving at the end of their working Friday.
The Barns has a main house and garden with several smaller cottages attached which aren’t furnished to such a high standard as the house. The layout made for a place for central fun, we shot some pool, spent time in the hot tub and played croquet in the garden, but it also allowed for a lie-in and some quiet time and relaxation.
Cooked breakfast on Saturday was followed by a walk across country (steep but pretty) to the Blue Ball Inn for a pint and a sandwich. Our youngest member of the family, little Lilly, tucked into chips while Mad Maddy the Beagle had her favourite Mini Cheddars in this dog-friendly pub.
Rain on the walk home called for the log burner to be fired up for a cosy afternoon with a movie before a lively Saturday dinner together at the huge dining room table alongside the kitchen.
The West Somerset steam railway line runs from the bottom of the garden and we could occasionally hear the iconic whistle of the trains from the garden. So on Sunday morning, while some read the papers with coffee in the garden, others headed off down the public footpath that leads to the train line to wave at the driver, Railway Children fashion.
Sunday’s roast beef dinner was a doddle in this super-equipped kitchen and a champagne toast to Grandad for his 82nd birthday finished the perfect weekend. Thoroughly recommended!
Old Stone Barns is marketed by Kate and Tom’s Big Cottages. Finding luxury holiday homes for extended families can be a challenge but their website features many amazing properties in our Sensational South.