A vision in understated elegance, Coln Lodge gazes out adoringly at the ethereal expanses of Bowmoor Lake. All pure white and light neutrals, this Kelly Hoppen-designed lodge is like a White Company brochure – and you’re invited to inhabit the pages.
Part of The Lakes by Yoo eco-complex in 650 acres of Cotswold beauty, Coln Lodge is like a Buddhist retreat. You’d be forgiven for meditating on the deck as the morning mist hangs over the lakewater. There’s plenty of space to do so: the south-facing terrace is vast, and ripe and ready for a barbie or a dip in the hot tub.
After a day on the water or in the spa, grab some logs from the pile and curl your toes as you feed the fire. Slide back the doors and breathe the lakeside air as you pour yourself a Nespresso and fire up Sky TV or the Bose sound system. Stare at the licking flames or the rippling water. Be mesmerised by the tranquility.
Focus of life here by the water could well be the hot tub. Who can blame you? Bowmore Lake is the largest of the clearwater lakes on site. What better way to enjoy it than wrapped in a blanket of hot bubbles with a long drink in your hand and the call of the wild birds in the lakeside air?
The silence is sanity for the soul and there are so many ways to enjoy it. Bring your rod and dip it off the deck to catch perch, trout and tench. Smoke your fish on a terrace family barbie or bring it along to the Saturday Hook and Cook version and tell tall tales about the one that got away.
The lake’s a cool dip on a hot day, or you can paddle your kayak over to the Orchard Spa. There to greet you is the 17-metre heated pool, sauna, steam room and gym. Feel the magic fingers of rejuvenation in the treatment rooms, get manicured or pedicured, then shoot some pool in the club room with a long, cool drink.
Refreshed and revived, you’ll want to get to know the eco-site. With 650 acres of wild woodland trail and serene water to explore by bike or on foot, you’ll be plenty busy. And so will the kids – keep them buzzing in the tepees or on the trampoline, or send them along to the School of Rock and Ben Fogle’s School of Wild.
There’s a natural, neutral palette here that banishes stress to the farthest shores of your consciousness. Natural floorings in wood and seagrass are delicious against bare feet and the natural-textures theme continues with the wicker chairs that skirt the heavy-wood dining table.
Living spaces here have an inside-out flow that chimes with the calm serenity of the setting. The floor-to-ceiling glass doors glide back to put you seemingly on the deck of a boat, with the call of the wildfowl and the wind through the reed beds a delightful distraction.
In the evenings, wiggle your toes around the logburner in the lounge, bury yourself in a Bluray blockbuster, channel-hop around Sky TV or set up some suitably serene sounds through the Bose system. Pour yourself a Nespresso, settle back and chill with games or in the den with Nintendo and the people who matter most.
By the end of your stay, you’ll believe in the simple power of hypnotism. The hypnotic feel that comes from living in a stripped-back yet luxurious world of muted colour and endless water. Or the hypnotism of staring deep into a roaring fire, or of gazing idly at the gentle motion of the ripples on the lake.
With the doors open to the deck and the pure air and lake sounds filtering in, the intoxicating aromas of dinner have an added edge. There’s a clapboard look to the kitchen and a washed feel, accentuating the sense that you’re aboard a boat. Eat indoors or out, with a bench table right outside your sliding doors.
Your dining table has a nautical look, too, a hunk of oak that seems to have been hewn from the hull of an old ship. Around it are wicker chairs that add to the array of natural textures on display. Tuck in to the fish you caught fresh from the deck that very day, cooked in your kitchen or on the deck barbie.
But if you’d prefer to hang out in the hot tub while someone else does the hard yards, we have the very people. We’ve curated the Cotswolds’ leading chefs from Cotswold Catering, Mint, Gusto and Soushi to bring you exciting dishes ranging from authentic Japanese to traditional English.
If you’re eating out, we highly recommend The Swan at Southrop. Maybe tackle the steamed Fowey mussels or the Laverstock Park Farm buffalo mozzarella. If it’s a red-letter day, head for Upper Slaughter, where the Lords of the Manor’s tasting menu glitters brightly with a Michelin star.
Sleeping six adults, or ten in total (plus well-behaved pooch), Coln Lodge is a masterclass in calm serenity that’s delicious for dozing. Each premium-cottoned bed comes with floor-to-ceiling views of the placid lakewater amid pure white and rich neutrals that’ll leave you revived, refreshed and ready for more.
The master suite sleeps two in a superking bed, and a modern chaise longue offers the opportunity to stare lovingly at the lake. In the en-suite bathroom, a freestanding bath suggests a long, lazy soak until lunchtime.
The second bedroom, with kingsize bed, is equally tranquil in a similarly washed colour palette. Bedroom three offers bunks, plus two rollaway beds perfect for youngsters and midnight feast-fests. Bedroom four sleeps two in a sofa bed.
Sleep here is a delectable dream. With the windows open to the call of the wildfowl on the lake and the pure night air filtering in, you might never want to wake up.
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