Trinity House, Aldeburgh, Suffolk
This creatively inspired cottage has been thoughtfully furnished with hand-crafted objects that suffuse the Shaker-like interiors with warmth and meaning. In the living room, you’ll find naturally dyed velvet cushions made by Kirsten Hecktermann, whose studio is in nearby Saxmundham. The kitchen and four-poster bed have been crafted by furniture maker Sebastian Cox, and there’s a growing collection of Made in Cley ceramics on the curated open shelves. Local leather studio Doe Leather has designed the soft-as-butter key fobs, and the local illustrator and ceramicist Polly Fern has been commissioned to design a stack of in-house stationery for gloating guests to send home. From £512 per week (sleeps 3)
The Newt, Hadspen, Somerset
Contemporary design and traditional craft coalesce at this impeccably restored historic country estate, which opened quietly last summer. The interiors have been designed by co-owner Karen Roos. As the former editor of Elle Decoration South Africa, Roos has brought a pared-back simplicity to the 23 rooms, which are spread across the main grade-II listed Hadspen House and surrounding outbuildings. International design is championed, but there is strong support for local makers here too. The shop is full of homewares crafted in the southwest, including slipware from the nearby Barrington Pottery, ceramics from the Bruton-based Richard Pomeroy, willow basketry from Coates English Willow and sheepskin rugs from Yeovil. The Newt’s own cold-pressed craft cider deserves a mention. • From £275 a night; day passes to the garden are £15 for adults, £7 for children; thenewtinsomerset.com
Bankside Hotel, London
This six-storey hotel on London’s South Bank is part of Mariott International’s portfolio of independent hotels. As such, dull, identikit interiors have been superseded by the artful and individual (the interior designer, Dayna Lee of Powerstrip Studio, used to dress sets for films). What’s more, there is a dedicated craft space on the ground floor which is occupied year-round by makers in residence who host creative workshops during their tenancy. After a couple of hours of ink painting or paper craft, guests can head to the bar for a local Bermondsey craft ale or gin, followed by a meal in the Art Yard restaurant, home to Laura Carlin’s ceramic mural, depicting playful scenes from London’s riverside history.
• From £230 a night; banksidehotel.com
The Dower House, West Firle, East Sussex
The Omega Workshops – an English applied arts company, founded by members of the Bloomsbury Group in 1913 – closed their doors 100 years ago. Happily, the designer Cressida Bell – granddaughter of Vanessa Bell and great-niece of Virginia Woolf – has recently opened the door to her parents’ (the critic, author and artist Quentin Bell and the scholar Anne Olivier Bell) bohemian cottage deep in the South Downs. Inside, you’ll find brightly painted rooms full of Cressida’s printed textiles, dressers groaning with antique ceramics (including Quentin’s own teapot), and furniture painted with joyous patterns. The cottage is just two miles from Charleston House, the official country seat of the Bloomsbury set. Here you can take part in a free-spirited workshop, and take home your own printed fabric or lampshade.
• From £350 per night (sleeps 7, minimum 3-night stay); airbnb.co.uk
The Craftsman’s Cottage, Semley, Wiltshire
This entirely shoppable cottage is a lively showcase of contemporary British craft. From the Guillotine lambswool tweed gilets hanging in the hallway, to the John Julian porcelain fruit stand in the kitchen, each object combines utility with beauty. The snug rooms have been furnished with a combination of heritage and contemporary British furniture brands (Ercol, Heal’s and Liberty pieces sit alongside contemporary designs by Pinch and Another Country), while shelf and wall space has been given over to one-off pieces by exhibiting makers and artists. The owner – who is deeply embedded in the local craft scene – is able to arrange bespoke, creative retreats for groups of four to eight people.
• From £285 per night (sleeps 6, minimum 3-night stay); thecraftsmanscottage.com
The Green Dragon, Hereford
This historic 83-room hotel in the centre of Hereford underwent extensive refurbishment last year. Rather than rip out and replace the tired interiors, the owners employed interior design studio Harding and Read. Known for their commitment to sustainability and their adventurous take on colour, the duo have created an interior that celebrates the history of the hotel, while championing local craftsmanship. Exquisite terrazzo floors have been revealed, bold colours have replaced the beige, fresh textiles have been sourced from Tinsmiths of Ledbury – even the lampshades in the main lounge have been hand-printed with designs inspired by patterns found in the local area. The result is a refreshingly revived interior that is entirely of the area.
• From £62 a night; greendragonhotel.com
Heckfield Place, Hook, Hampshire
This late-Georgian mansion exudes subtle, earthy luxury. Interior designer Ben Thompson attributes this to the living, breathing materials that fill the graceful space. With a vast budget at his disposal, Thompson furnished each of the 47 rooms with bespoke cabinetry by British furniture makers including Pinch and Benchmark. Basketry, matting and accessories have been woven with wild bulrush by Felicity Irons, one of Britain’s last rush weavers. Bespoke textiles have been created by Lucy Bathurst. Look out for the tapestry in the study which features a fine, gold embroidered line mapping the edge of the woodlands and the path through the estate. Even the staff are wearing exquisite uniforms by Egg Trading. Craft-focused workshops are held here throughout the year. This April, furniture maker Sebastian Cox will be hosting a half-day workshop, teaching guests how to build a bench from fallen trees found on the 400-acre estate.
• From £350 a night; heckfieldplace.com
Mole Cottage, Presteigne, Powys
This is the third holiday cottage designed and run by the artist Justine Cook, who has brought her calm aesthetic to holiday rentals in Wales and France. The new space, due to open this Easter, will be a compact studio for couples and solo travellers seeking a simple, nurturing retreat. It also serves as a showcase for Cook’s expanding range of carefully crafted homeware, including her luxurious, linen-covered sofa bed, bespoke scented candles (made with with sustainable soy wax by a local Welsh company that works with adults with learning difficulties) and tactile mugs made by Dantes Ceramics. Even the pillow mist is mixed with essential oils and water from the Black Mountains.
• From £250 for mini-breaks (two nights); harpcottage.co.uk
Vinegar Hill Pottery, Milford on Sea, Hampshire
Behind the top floor window of this whitewashed brick building, stand three giant vessels – a clue to what goes on behind the cobalt-blue stable door. Vinegar Hill is a working pottery and a diminutive bed and breakfast. There are only three rooms, if you include the beautifully restored 19th-century showman’s wagon in the back garden, which has been refurbished and painted by one of the last trained gypsy wagon painters in the country. There’s also an additional, six-bedroom cottage on another site. Guests can take part in a one- or three-day pottery course, instructed by master potter Dave Rogers. For those who don’t want to get their hands dirty at the wheel, simply fill your boot with Rogers’s minimal, functional stoneware.
• From £90 a night; vinegarhillpottery.co.uk
Cove House, Lamorna, Cornwall
This seafront cottage in the former outpost of the Newlyn artists’ colony is owned by the art historian Ruth Guilding. Over the years, Guilding (who blogs at The Bible of British Taste and writes regularly for The World of Interiors) has filled the soulful interiors with a combination of local craft, original artworks and thrifty finds. In the dining room – which overlooks the deep, clear waters of the cove – the shelves are chock-a-block with studio ware from the Leach Pottery in St Ives and the Wenford Bridge Pottery on Bodmin Moor. In the front room, the sofas have been covered in antique Welsh tapestry blankets, sourced decades ago from the market in Carmarthen. Paintings by local artists Breon O’Casey, Roy Conn and Vanessa Gardiner line the corridors and there’s hand-blocked wallpaper by Marthe Armitage in the bunk room. An artistic, creative retreat in this underpopulated spot near Penzance.
• From £550 a week (sleeps 2-8); lamornacovehouse.com
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