Last summer, I discovered one of Dorset’s many hidden gems, Dean’s Court.
This superb mansion now welcomes weddings, gorgeous events, photoshoots… The Gatehouse and servants’ houses, renovated, were turned into delightful cottages. The kind of simple elegance that makes you want to come back with wellies and a few books, and sigh happily “Home sweet Home”, even for a few days.
Having fallen under the spell, I arranged to come back as soon as I could. Dorset escapism! Indeed, as soon as you step in Plum Cottage, any little worry about your daily life is instantly forgotten. Every single detail feels perfect – the soft, diffused light, the neo vintage kettle and toaster in the kitchen, the fur on the rocking chair, the winter foliage and late season roses on the table, the view on the fields. Happy. You’re just happy.
There are two bedrooms on the first floor – one for adults, the other for kids with twin bunk beds, both spacious. You can already picture yourself in the luxurious Victorian style bath, surrounded by cloud of bubbles, maybe a few candles around and definitely a glass of white wine. Back downstairs, you simply can’t resist. You’re not cold but you simply have to light a fire in the chimney. It’s now time to sit back with a steaming cup of tea in hand, listening to the tiny cracking sounds. Doing nothing. Just dreaming – a luxury these days! There is a large TV, wifi of course but they are definitely superfluous.
In front of the cottage is a lovers’ nest, the cutest gipsy caravan with the sweetest interior. A bed, a chest of drawers, a table and chair, a vintage stove. It’s incredibly romantic. Just imagine waking up there and watching the dawn colour the sky pink…
Take the time to wander around – the vegetable garden was asleep for the winter, so were the hives, a soothing atmosphere. The squash court is now a shop featuring pieces by Dorset artists, vintage finds, home accessories. You will want it all, choosing is excruciating! I brought back Christmas decorations, a mistletoe garland made of felt, nests made of compressed leaves, enamel plates… Dean’s Court café serves homemade cakes, salads and quiches, fruit and veg from the garden in the summer. At the end of the alley is the village, picturesque, another good shopping opportunity with a few chains but also independent boutiques and restaurants. Then again, the idea of a lovely dinner by the chimney will probably bring you back to the cottage.
The mattress, pillows and duvet are so soft you’ll fall asleep in no time. There is no traffic noise, you see, just the wind playing in the oak trees nearby. No clock in the morning, only the birds to wake you up. It’s the perfect place to be lazy, get yourself a cup of tea and drink it in bed, make the most decadent breakfast with the back door open onto nature. Absolute comfort, fully equipped – you will entertain the idea of giving up everything to come and live here for a while, trust me. It brings you back to a forgotten kind of poetry in the day, the beauty of wooden furniture and a natural colour palette – in other words, going back to what really is essential in life, far from all the passing trends of London.