The staycation business booming and there has never been a better time to holiday in the UK. For starters, staycations can be so much less stressful….. especially if you have kids …. or say, you know, for example if you have an ex-husband who gets stressed traveling through airports with kids. No 23kg packing restrictions or excess baggage, no flight at stupid o’clock in the morning and no jet lag. There is also something special about exploring your own country’s coastline.
But dear reader, all holiday homes were not created equally and after my recent family stay in East Lothian the word staycation just got levelled up …. significantly. Say hello to the luxury staycation…. scrap that …. the ultimate staycation …. the new way to holiday.
We all know that the property you stay in can make or break your …. break. Talking from experience …. that time when my family pitched up at a “luxury” retreat that had a flooded bathroom, dirty kitchen, nearly impassable pathway to the front door and the rest. So, it is fair to say that we learned to take the word “luxury” with a pinch of salt. However this summer, in what can only be described as one of my favourite holidays, we stayed at the uber stylish Williamstone Farm Steadings in North Berwick, where the word luxury does not give enough praise!
It was truly a perfect stay and there was no airport, no panic to find the passports and all barely an hour from my own home, but far enough for me to still forget daily life. Such a hidden gem, but not for long I suspect, the highly acclaimed Williamstone Farm Steadings became a place that my family truly relaxed and switched off.
All in the design
The three properties that make up Williamstone Farm Steadings …. The Barn, The Bothy and The Byre …. are quietly positioned in amongst farmland on the outer edge of North Berwick. Less than an hour from Edinburgh. Not only are they a comfortable walk to the local beach and High Street to pick up some local produce, they are also a short 8 minute walk from North Berwick station!
Meeting the balance perfectly, these traditional stone farm buildings have been renovated in a contemporary and modern design that still shows so much love for the original features. Bright, airy and incredibly well designed, Williamstone embraces everything that I love about East Lothian and puts a modern slant on it.
Super luxurious and beyond instagrammable, each of the properties is swoon worthy enough to make you want to get interior decorating as soon as you get home….. or start early with some of the magazines in the living room. Writing this, I am wondering actually how many superlatives I can use in this write-up!
We stayed in The Byre, which is the only property that is pet friendly. We instantly got a great vibe from the place and I knew that our 4 night stay was not going to be long enough. The Byre, which once housed livestock, has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and an enclosed garden with patio, outdoor seating and Weber BBQ.
Staying at Williamstone Farm Steadings is like staying at a good friends really beautiful home that has just been featured in Living ETC or Grand Design or a very classy interiors publication. Think stone walls, exposed wooden beams, exquisite high ceilings, red roofs, wooden floors, luxury fitted bathrooms, wood burning stove, Smart TV, PS4 with games, portable bluetooth speaker, Poggenpohl kitchens with Siemens appliances, underfloor heating, Farrow & Ball painted walls, sumptuous Egyptian cotton bedding and luxury soft furnishings. Each bedroom also had fluffy dressing gowns and the kids were beyond delighted with their kids sized ones too!
Truly 5 star, this is the perfect hideaway, perfect for families, couples and also larger groups if you want to take over all three properties. There is so much to do in the surrounding area …. beaches, golf,great food and so much history. My mum was born in North Berwick and I loved showing the kids some of her favourite spots. I also loved how genuinely excited everyone was to get back to our haven at the end of each day.
Need to Know/ The Low Down
Everything about the place…. we adored, but we also have to make a special note about the owners. The Lothian family were gracious, above and beyond helpful, super friendly and simply awesome hosts. Could not fault a thing at Williamstone … at all. A couple of stand outs for me included the supremely comfortable beds and those duvets were perfection! Literally I adored my bed there.
We appreciated the welcome pack with local beers, fresh bread, biscuits and jam. When it came to the wood burning stove there was wood ready to go, everything was so easy. Actually it is probably a good time to mention how well stocked the kitchens are …. everything you could want in the kitchen including cling film and even those funny things that you put at the end of your corn on the cob …. all there! Mr Dog even had his own dog bowl!
The shower in the master bathroom had the most amazing Porcelenosa tiles that were like wood. If you follow my on Instagram stories you will see that I became a little obsessed with them and the bathrooms in general.
Design – this needs a whole blog post to itself and I will come back to the sustainable angle of the properties in a separate post. What I will say here is that each of the properties has was brilliantly put together, the owners clearly spent time getting the renovation, innovation and interiors spot on! I could quite happily live there …. It is complete house goals! Oh, and the kids barely fought the whole time we were there, I know!!! Simply put it was very easy to stay at Williamstone …. and just as hard to leave too.
None… absolutely nothing disappointed us …. well apart from the fact we had to come home. None of us wanted to leave. The silence in the back of the car and the grumpy faces spoke volumes. Not even a bit of rain dampened this trip! Even though we have had a bumper summer when it comes to the weather in the UK this year, we did experience some rain on our stay, it just gave us an excuse to stay indoors …. win!
It has been a long while since I did a 5* Fifi Friendly award, but Williamstone Farm Steadings get one without fail. We cannot wait to get a return visit in soon! Throroughly recommended!