Come families and friends, come hens, come corporates to an Elizabethan gem so aristocratic it’s practically wearing a cravat and beating you at croquet. But there’s nothing stuffy about Austen House, close to the Jurassic coast and boasting its own beach hut. Family fun comes easily here beneath a glittering canopy of sparkling stars.
So where’s the fun? Well, you’ve got five acres of it attached to the rolling Somerset countryside and dotted with ancient yews and fruit trees. Head out to the old grass tennis court for yoga, ball games, badminton, volleyball, netball, and boules. And you can take the mallets to the croquet lawn, too. The house will tell you the rules.
Inside, amid a delicious palette of oak panelling, stucco ceilings, antique furniture and marble bathrooms, you’ll binge Netflix and Amazon Prime Video or play on the Nintendo Wii in the winter parlour room and upload your piccies on the Three Wi-Fi. Don’t leave without wasting precious time making fabulous memories.
Amid the five acres of fun and frolics, you’ll enjoy the old grass tennis court. No longer a mini Wimbledon, it’s been repurposed for yoga, ball games, badminton, volleyball, netball, and boules. And don’t forget the croquet lawn, best enjoyed with a hint of humour and a splash of gin.
Amid the spreading yew trees and the old fruit trees, you’ll find the summerhouse. Throw some meat or another shrimp on the barbie and eat out in the sunshine. Stay out for bubbles in the hot tub. End the evening around the firepit under the pollution-free, star-spangled sky.
Let’s start with the cute: Austen House comes with its own free beach hut at Lyme Regis. So get your polka-dot cossies ready. Back at base, you can see why Jane Austen loved this place and name-checked it in ‘Persuasion’. It’s a tranquil oasis of oak panels, stucco ceilings, sparkling chandeliers and exquisite artwork.
In amongst the period loveliness, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the rolling hills of rural Somerset. When you’re not gazing wistfully from the windows like Captain Wentworth from Persuasion, you’ll catch matches and movies on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, and feed Instagram over the Three Wi-Fi.
In between times, head out to the summerhouse where you can set up a games-room Olympics over the table football and table tennis. For a break with a book, put your feet up by one of the open fires or curl up on one of the many sofas around the house. Indeed, you’ll not struggle for escape of any kind, amid 850 square metres of luxurious living space.
Could you need anything else in a kitchen? It comes fed by a natural spring water supply and is fully equipped with two thermoelectric ovens. A five-burner gas hob keeps the pots and pans bubbling. If you’re rather someone else did the searing and simmering, call up Kit and Kee or Posh Nosh for on-site professional catering.
There’s space for alfresco dining out there by the summerhouse that seats 22 happily in the sunshine. Feed yourselves from the coal or gas barbies with meat from Colyford’s or three local farmers’ markets. Stop off at Moorish and Banham for wines. Finish up with a ‘waffer-theen mint’ and coffee from the DeLonghi.
Takeaways? It’s Golden River for Chinese, Spice Villa for Indian, and White’s for fish and chips. Head out for chic gastro at the Tytherleigh Arms and Lord Poulett or locally sourced fresh menus at The Barrington Boar, such as loin of Somerset hogget or 40 day-aged red beef.
Refuel on battered haddock or goat’s cheese salad right on the wave-lashed beach at The Anchor Inn. Eat the best of local seafood by the harbour at Mark Hix’s The Oyster and Fish House. Take a trip through the tasting menu at classy Holm. Or tuck into dry-aged Cornish lamb or Somerset duck with quince at 28 Marketplace.
In the shadow of The Blackdown Hills and with a buffer of five acres of English landscaping around you, you’ll sleep like a log or one of the ducks at nearby Chard Reservoir. Pick from eight bedrooms sleeping 16 adults and six children, sleep in fine Egyptian cotton, all backed up with nine contemporary marble bathrooms.
Bedroom one (The Northumberland) on the ground floor comes with a queen-size four-poster bed and en-suite. On the first floor, en-suite bedroom two (The Dolland Hulke) sleeps three in a superking (or twin) plus a single. And en-suite bedroom three (The Oak Room) also sleeps three in a king and single.
Bedroom four (The Charleston) accommodates three in a kingsize and single with en-suite while, on the second floor, bedroom five (The Sanctuary) has space for four in a kingsize and two singles with a small private shower room and use of the larger family bathroom. En-suite bedroom six (The Wattle Room) sleeps three in a superking (or twin) and a single.
Sharing a bathroom are bedroom seven (The Henley Suite Ante-Chamber), a double room, and bedroom eight (The Henley Suite Main Chamber) with a rather nice superking four-poster bed.
Nestled on the picturesque Lyme Regis beach, this delightful beach hut offers house guests a cozy and inviting space to set up camp for the day to take in the beauty of the surroundings. You’ll be greeted by a quaint gas hob where you can prepare a quick snack or hot drink and be sure to bring along a beachside picnic.
Equipped with an array of beach games and essentials, this hut guarantees endless fun for all ages. Whether you’re up for a competitive game of beach volleyball, want to go crabbing off the Cobb or simply want to relax with a book, the hut has got you covered. The table with chairs provides a convenient spot to enjoy a meal inside or engage in board games with your loved ones. For those seeking relaxation, the deck chairs offer a comfortable spot to bask in the sun’s warmth.
With its idyllic location, thoughtful amenities, and charming ambiance, this spot at Lyme Regis gives you the perfect day out at the beach away from Austen House. Don’t forget to toss your swimwear and your own towels into your bag before you set off on your beach hut adventure!