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As a business owner I am sure many of you can relate to the fact that you just 'keep going' and often forget to take sufficient breaks, holidays and well general 'me time' and I am no exception, so when Jamie and Tina Polak, owners of the 5 star gold awarded Horspools Luxury Retreat, invited me to stay, you couldn't get me there fast enough...
Horspools is based in the quaint village of Gibsmere, Southwell in beautiful rural surroundings, which were once derelict farm buildings, dating back from between 1816 and 1910. Situated within 16 acres of private gated land, the orchard and landscaped gardens are also South facing meaning the main bedroom is an amazing sun trap which spills out onto a terraced area- great for BBQ's! The accommodation has been well designed to allow as much natural light in as possible and is clearly finished to the highest of standards. A quadrangle configuration around a Mediterranean style courtyard, really does give the feeling of being on holiday abroad when the sun is out. The interior of the property is done to a stylish, contemporary finish and you will find a 15ft heated swimming pool located in the former vaulted threshing barn, along with an air conditioned relaxation area with tables, chairs and recliners. Upon arrival into the stony driveway you cannot help but say 'wow' to both the exterior of the barn conversion and the scenic beauty of the surroundings.
We were greeted by the manager Luke, with a friendly smile and given our keys, excitedly looking forward to seeing our Jacuzzi suite, we did not anticipate the sheer size of the property until we were inside, the open plan kitchen had enough storage space to open a shop! Whilst wondering around the property, we counted three ovens, nine televisions, seven DVD players and enough beds to sleep twenty five... great for celebrations and family/friend getaways and what's more they accept same sex parties- duly noted.
With regards to hiring the property for celebrations, it really does lend itself to this, having a 7ft slate pool table with cues, a great quality chess set 'area' with seating, as well as other games, a DVD library and a private area for beauty treatments - of course not forgetting the pool, Jacuzzi and outdoor areas, this place really is set up to house all of your requirements, they don't seem to have missed a trick. I myself really just needed to relax, so most of the above extras on this occasion were not required but nice to have on call nevertheless, as I simply laid back on the luxury leather couch, in the 'Garden Room' relaxed and watched wildlife from the window with 'Enya's Greatest Hits' on my Ipod. I did rise a little later to enjoy a pub lunch at the local Bromley Arms, which came recommended by the owner Tina and was a very impressive experience- great food and great service with absolutely no cause for complaint and is now on my list to revisit. Dinner was planned after a dip in the pool and Jacuzzi- well it would be rude not to! The main bathroom, is very large, with an impressive wet room and the largest rain shower head you have ever seen and comes with full sized White Company toiletries provided - the smell of Jasmine will now always remind me of my time at Horspools.
Dinner was a fun experience as we got to use the humongous 60ft kitchen and all its amenities, there isn't anything they have forgotten, so there really is no need to take anything with you if you plan to spend your time cooking at the retreat- which is advised. Plus all those foodies out there would certainly appreciate the high spec of the equipment, such as the Smeg dishwasher and ovens, warming draws, entertainment grills, the American style fridge/freezer and Vinidor wine cabinet. We did finally manage to find something that was missed at the place however, when we could not find a kettle to make a cup of tea- ah ha and so obvious too, only then to discover the impressive chrome 'Zip Tap' which runs instant boiling water upon pressing a button, along with a chilled water version right next to it- whatever next! Generously a bottle of Champagne on ice was gifted to us, along with a box of delightful Hotel Chocolat's and so these were enjoyed whilst we prepared dinner - a pasta dish with garlic bread, which we ate at one of the two large tables in the place. (one table seats twenty four so again great for large parties ).
Spring and Summer is a lovely time to visit the retreat as the place really does lend itself to attracting the sunlight through every window and with the view of fields from every direction, sunbathing, garden activities and BBQ's are a real must. Equally my fiancé and I are planning to return in December just before Christmas for a Festive break as there are lovely modern fireplaces in the building, which need to be used and snuggling up on the sofa watching Christmas films, after cooking up a feast really does seem appealing at that time of year. It is worth mentioning the under floor heating at this point too, which really makes a subtle difference to the temperature of the rooms and is very comforting when walking around barefooted. Horspools recommend local attractions in the area, on their website and in pamphlets, as well as offering optional extras upon booking, such as beauty treatments, which of course I took full advantage of with Laura the lovely therapist, who arrived at 6pm sharp for my full body massage.
It was a much-needed pamper after a super busy first quarter of the year and a great quality, professional treatment which I will no doubt be booking again on my next visit. The property also provides free unlimited WIFI access, Sky television including sports and movie channels, a docking system with speakers, an extensive book collection and utility room with full laundry facilities. Most bedrooms come with en suite including baths, luxury while bed linen, towels, robes and slippers. The secured parking can house up to 40 cars, with additional parking to the side of the property, if necessary.
A BBQ is available on request and outdoor dining furniture is provided. Country walks in the area are an absolute must, so don't forget your wellies in the winter months and outside catering can also be available upon recommendation. The highlight for me was simply the location and tranquil sounds of the countryside, a place to relax, unwind and de-stress before going back into the world to the old routine, therefore regular visits to Horspools Retreat are advised and I will most certainly be reserving my dates for the remainder of 2016. I'm so pleased to have discovered this idyllic place - Most grateful thanks to the Polak family.
Fiona Duncan, RSViP