The Shropshire village is named Stanton-Upon-Hine-Heath. The only neighbours for a whole mile are Highland cattle and sheep. It’s a converted water mill. The sole sound is the gentle babble of the ornamental fountain and the wings of the bats. Safe to say, things are going to be fairly laid back at Riverside Mill.
This is the ultimate escape. Get together with family and friends and erase the urban grind from your minds. Breathe the pure air, walk the idyllic grounds, potter to the country pub. If all that’s a little on the pedestrian side, might we recommend the entertainment floor, complete with home cinema, pool and air hockey?
Riverside Mill is cool and contemporary, stylish and special. Take in the lush views from the freestanding wrought-iron bath, fling open the French doors from the main bedroom, cook up a storm in the Aga kitchen. Turn up the heat in the hot-tub or steam room. Chill at the Mill.
The two acres of verdure sprawl before you. The lawn’s as English as Elgar. The cricket and croquet seem like an inviting proposition after a Pimm’s or two. And the terrace table, laden with salads, Sauvignon and fresh local produce, looks far from shabby in the sunshine. Light the barbie and live it large.
It’s even better in the hot tub. At night, light pollution doesn’t get a look-in here. So chillax with something chilled and check out the starlit canopy. By day, you’ll want to picnic by the lake, watch the kids go wild in the playground and get giddy on the trampoline.
With four reception rooms, Riverside Mill comes with space to be together and plenty of space to be apart. The huge open fires seem to issue an invitation to do either. Light the logs and make yourself C-shaped on the L-shaped sofa with a good book, or get together for cards or charades. This is what memories are made of.
Is there a games room? No, there’s not. Instead, you’ll have to make do with an entertainment floor. Shame. Gather around the huge home cinema for family film nights in front of the Barbas gas logburner. Or if you’re just content to contemplate, simply gaze through the glazing at the Highland cattle and Shropshire uplands.
If the weather’s not playing ball, at least you can. Rack up the pool balls or take them on at table tennis. Lose yet more hours around the air hockey table. Stay connected on the wifi and kick back with Sky TV.
Riverside Mill is a cool and contemporary conversion. The staircase is a solid study in glass and oak; doors are heavy oak. Living spaces come with exposed beams, heavy curtains, and wooden floors or tactile, deep-pile carpets. Kick off your shoes and scrunch your toes. This feels like home.
The kitchen/breakfast room with Aga, coffee machine and gas hobs will have you kissing your carving knife. If it doesn’t, don’t worry. We can wade in. Call up our chef and we’ll pull on our whites while you down a glass of red. We’ll even wash up afterwards. From a one-off celebration to a fully catered holiday, just say the word.
One word that works here is al-fresco. Open up the kitchen onto the large terrace with dining and lounge furniture. There’s a barbie out there. Fire it up and break out the steaks. If the clouds part, the dining room comes with huge fireplace, chunky table and velvet chairs. Light the logs and spark up the conversation.
Eating out? Just a wander away, The Stanton Arms serves real ale and rural charm by the barrel-load. Hearty fare includes sticky belly pork or saffron risotto. Traditional Sunday lunch comes with all the trimmings. Equally wholesome are The Fox and Hounds at Shawbury and The Inn at Grinshill.
Shrewsbury comes peppered with eateries of every hue. For afternoon tea, fine dining or just a pint of real ale. Try Carluccio’s for Italian, Cantina Café for Mexican, Avatar for Indian, or The Olive Tree for Greek. Feel like lazing and lounging? The local Indian will deliver with a smile.
Riverside Mill sleeps 18 in eight bedrooms between the house and cottage in stony silence. The superking here reigns supreme. Rustic exposed beams, local brickwork and spotlights have a five-star feel. Thick carpet is a treat for the toes. There’s Sky TV on the wall for movies without having to move. French doors open onto the glass-ballustraded balcony.
Four king-sized bedrooms are spacious and stylish, two of which are zip-and-link for adaptable accommodation. There’s one further double, two singles one with bunk beds and the other with trundle.
Three of the rooms come with bath or shower, two have a shower and one with a sink and toilet. You’ll enjoy two shared bathrooms. Feel free to squabble.
The more the merrier? One sofa bed and two zedbeds come at slight extra cost. Whichever you choose, you’ll love the nocturnal hush, punctuated by just the occasional sheep bleat or muted moo from the Highland cattle. Sleep tight.