Put a brake on time

Unwind and unburden yourself from the pressures of modern life in a Victorian home from the grand English tradition. Portland View sleeps 16 with a view of the Jurassic Coast from its sash windows. Convene in the drawing room for cocktails, play billiards in the cellar, take tea on the lawn. Put a brake on time.

Pleasures from a bygone age

Relax, unwind, uncork and unburden yourself from the pressures of modern life in a Victorian home from the grand English tradition. Portland View comes with the six acres of parkland, the drawing room for evening cocktails and the full-size billiards table. All that’s missing are a monocle, tweed suit and teddy bear called Aloysius.

Packed with original architraves and cornicing it might be, but there’s nothing stuffy about Portland View, sleeping 16 guests with a view of the romantic Jurassic Coast through its sash windows. It has been family-owned since it was built in 1858 and walls here have seen much history. So unpack your bags, move in, get the kettle on, take tea on the lawn.

Play a little ping-pong, kick a ball around or play rounders in the grounds, stream the BT broadband, and bring your Netflix password for the snug TV. Play hide-and-seek among the cellar rooms and eight bedrooms. Barbecue out in the south-coast sunshine on the terrace with local produce from Ducks Farm Shop. Bag the emperor bed.

Walk the Dorset hills, watch the sun rise on Weymouth beach, swim from Chesil Cove, comb the coast for treasures, then come home to drop your wellies in the boot room, throw some logs on the fire, pull up a bar stool next to the billiard table, and put a brake on time. Welcome to the pleasures and values of a bygone age.

Gardens and grounds

Walk the grounds with a G and T before supper and you’ll feel like part of the English landed gentry. These are lawns that deserve a marquee, a space for an epic celebration. But we suspect you’ll just want to sit out in the south-coast sunshine, kick a ball around the six acres and set up a game of rounders.

Shielded by specimen trees and broadleaf woodland, this is a garden that sits sheltered in a natural bowl. Stock up on local produce from Ducks Farm Shop, put the pop on ice and set the coal barbecue to simmer in the sea air.

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Living spaces

Once a wedding venue, Portland View could have been plucked from the pages of Bride magazine. The wealth of lovely period features are highly Instagrammable, but you’ll probably want to swerve all that for the duration of your stay. This is a family home from a bygone time that’s big yet cosy, grand but never showy.

Settle back amid fine fireplaces, chunky architraves, stained glass and an attractive tiled floor in the reception hall. From here, there’s a main staircase built for grand entrances when the dinner bell tolls. Pick from four reception rooms, so you’re never alone if you don’t want to be; never part of a crowd if you prefer some solitary chillage.

After a day out walking the Dorset heaths or combing the Jurassic beaches, come home to a roaring fire and Smart ultra HD TV in the snug. Play full-size snooker or table footie in the wine cellar with drinks from the bar or table-tennis in the dining room. And tap into the BT Wi-Fi, so don’t forget your Netflix password.

Cooking and dining

The kitchen’s the heart and the hub of the home and the large, sociable kitchen/breakfast room here comes lit from a large skylight. Cook on the four-oven Aga in the Victorian style kitchen with the French windows open to the gravelled courtyard. Drop your pots in the dishwasher when you’re done.

Convert the table-tennis table to a dining table and you’ll get 14 seated comfortably, with four more chairs on hand if you need them. Or maybe eat out on the terrace with barbecue meat from Ducks. Or consider cutting the apron strings and calling in the pros from Loose Moose or AB Dorset Catering.

Grab takeaways from Littlemoor Spice or Golden Bridge. Head out to friendly pubs such as The Old Ship Inn for hot, fresh, home-cooked food, or The Smuggler’s Inn for lamb medallions or chargrilled steak frites. Or try The King’s Arms for pan-fried pork tenderloin, fillet of salmon soi or tofu bon bon.

Head to The Crab House Café to eat whatever’s the catch of the day or fresh oysters from the restaurant’s own beds, all served with Chesil Beach views. Try Billy Winters, right on the beach, for hand-rolled pizza or in-house smoked meat. Or sit and stare at the coastline at The Boat That Rocks while munching on fresh fish and chips.

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Bedrooms here are spacious and special, with four-posters, thick carpet and heavy curtains. You’ll feel like you’re sleeping in an Evelyn Waugh novel.

Bedroom one, with its emperor bed and en-suite, is the one to bag if you like star-shaped sleeping, while bedroom two is also en-suite and boasts a grand four poster super king bed. Bedroom three offers a queen size double with an en-suite shower and bedroom four provides a queen with the alternative of twin beds.

Bedroom five is found on the ground floor with a king sized bed and en-suite shower, while bedroom six and seven are twins are the top floor. Bedroom eight is next on the top floor with its king size bed.

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Children welcome

It’s time to make giddy plans as richly tangled as the summer flora of the Dorset coast, as Ian McEwan once wrote in On Chesil Beach. Many of those plans might well unfurl down on the beach itself or across the many coves and caves of the Jurassic coastline. But there’s plenty on site to keep kids out of mischief.

They’ll feel right at home here, with twin bedrooms and space for 16 family and friends. You’ve a cot and a high chair on site for toddlers. Outside, there’s space aplenty in the six acres to kick a ball or start a game of rounders. A nature reserve and the sea stretch out beyond.

Inside, eight bedrooms and a bunch of cellar rooms suggest a never-ending game of hide-and-seek. Stick around in the cellar to play table football and full-size snooker or billiards. Or with just a quick tabletop modification, how about table-tennis in the dining room?

Catch up on box sets with the 40” TV in the snug or sneak off to the landing to hog the 30” Chromecast TV. Wi-Fi comes care of BT and works best on the ground floors, but maybe you’ll just want your kids to run a little wild for once, free from traffic or city smog, where coast meets country, high above the Jurassic beaches.

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What people say

What people say

Our stay here was very special and a wonderful opportunity for three families to get together. Our children loved the open grounds, space to explore and the nature that they discovered. The adults enjoyed the space to dine together and relax in some grand rooms with the sense of a grand country house everywhere. Nearby are a host of wonderful walks, and we spent relaxing afternoons at the beaches only a few miles away. We thoroughly recommend this house to anyone looking for a special place to come together. - Carol

Come forage for fossils

Cycle Dorset’s winding lanes right from the door, scuba-dive from Chesil Cove, play Came Down Golf Course, chuck axes with Insight Activities, or book a tour of the local breweries. See an amazing underwater world at Sealife Weymouth, coasteer with Weymouth Outdoor Education Centre, or forage for fossils on the Jurassic beaches.

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