As we pulled up to the picture postcard sight of the Manor House Stables the first sign of sound eco credentials was evident by the layer of snow settled firmly on the roof, a sure sign of good insulation.
Any fears that this was down to inadequate heating for the freezing temperatures were quickly abated as we were greeted by the cosy warmth of the Hayloft, warmth rivalled only by our hostess, Sherry’s, welcome.
First impressions were of a beautifully decorated, luxurious and immaculate interior. It quickly became clear that this was a result of Sherry’s passion for using good quality in everything with a view to longevity and minimum waste. Closer inspection revealed that there is barely a shred of plastic to be found. This is a material far out of favour with Sherry and Irven, both trained biologists who know only too well the environmental damage plastic waste can do. We were delighted to have the opportunity to read about how the renovation was achieved using eco and traditional materials in the glossy book provided, details of this amazing project can also be found on their website.
The heart of the home, and we did feel right at home, is without doubt the lovely wood burning stove which we found complete with expertly made fire ready to light and a plentiful supply of logs (sustainably sourced of course!)
The ideal welcome for weary travellers on a cold night was the lovely hamper of local produce and goodies, some as local as the splendid garden just outside! This continued to fresh bread and a fridge stocked with free range eggs, local sausages and organic milk. And what a fridge, had Sherry not pointed it out we might have gone on thinking it was just a beautiful antique cabinet. Luxury abounded but cleverly intertwined were eco measures at every turn, recycling, composting, energy saving light bulbs, insulation to rival any modern building that kept it too warm to light the wood burner for a full 10 hours from turning off the heating despite the sub zero temperatures outside. Having lit the stove we were then able to use the oven above to cook perfect pizzas in record time after which we snuggled up in the charming nook in the living room which doubles as an additional sleeping area for larger groups or families.
During our visit we were invited to join one of the craft courses run in the gift shop, itself an Alladin’s cave of locally sourced, natural and stunning treasures. The course leader Rachel is also an eco florist who grows all her own blooms managing to make beautiful displays all year round including the Christmas decorations at nearby Doddington Hall.
Although out in the sticks surrounded by gorgeous countryside those who choose to use public transport can be collected from the nearby, and delightfully quaint, station by the hosts. Or even the most amateur cyclist could manage the French crepe flat Lincolnshire landscape and pull up here for a well earned rest and soak in the bath. Sherry admits this is her one concession to luxury over eco living. The amazing bathroom houses mood lighting, fluffy towels, wonderful toiletries and the most spectacular freestanding, rolltop copper bath which granted does take some filling, we however managed to save some energy here too as it is the perfect size to share!
For booking details of Manor House Stables, Martin, Lincolnshire please visit www.manorhousestables.co.uk