Pearl Villa sits in the Heart of England, just a ten-minute train ride from Birmingham, but so colonial that you could be in Burma. When you’ve finished stalking tigers, you’ll admire the whitewashed walls, the covered terraces, the ornate stonework and the paths that criss-cross through the estate.
Sleeping 21 in nine bedrooms, Pearl Villa is a convivial place to relax among family and friends. The Empire is no more, but the sense of relaxed colonial living lives on here. Swim in the outdoor pool. Take the natives on at tennis. Or take tiffin in the outdoor dining area with bar. At night, repair to the snooker room with a G&T.
The Sun Lounge calls for an aperitif before dinner, among knitted throws, damask floor cushions and distressed furniture. Retire to sumptuous bedrooms. The Master Suite’s all rattan wardrobes and crisp white linen. All that’s missing is the ceiling fan. Rich textures in the Black and Gold Suite come care of Indian gold and black velvet.
Out in the grounds, the paths criss-cross, the white stone walling’s ornate and the palms offer an authentic colonial feel. There are toys galore: these are outdoor spaces made for merriment.
Beyond the wrought-iron double gates, it all begins with a low-level parking area. Follow the wide steps up to the formal knot garden at the front of the house. Find the terraced sitting areas, take a tipple and toast the rolling countryside.
Work up a sweat on the all-weather tennis court with terraced areas and pavilion (with beds). After a quick orange squash, it’s on to the heated outdoor pool.
You can while away the day here in the al-fresco covered dining area. Hang out at the bar with cool drinks, get the barbie going, relax in the poolroom lounge. This is Aussie living in the Heart of England.
At Pearl Villa, modern flair comes peppered with lovely statement pieces. It’s all artfully done, yet as a family home. So it feels contemporary, but cosy and calm. Snuggle up in any of eight reception rooms that include a drawing room, study, TV room, snug and family room. Oh, and the rather nice gym with balcony views.
Pearl Villa reminds you what’s important in life and then lets you enjoy it while lavished in luxury. Cosy up in the Big Lounge in front of a TV that needs its own postcode. Escape to the Den to read or catch the match. For an indoors-outdoors feel, the Sun Room comes with windows that suck the sky in.
The heated swimming pool features its own relaxation room. Open it up to the veranda that overlooks the pool. The inside-out flow continues with the snooker room. Retire here in the evening with a drink, open up the doors to the gardens, pot a few reds and sink some drinks. Catch up on business in the private office space.
Through every door, the refinements keep on coming. You’ve got traditional fireplaces to light; limestone, oak or tiled floors to pad across, and subtle up-and-down lighting to set the mood. Double French doors from the reception rooms invite in lovely views of the knot garden and the rolling countryside beyond.
If you’re looking to flex your culinary muscles, the contemporary kitchen with extensive appliances should suit. For chopping and chatting, there’s an island unit roughly the size of Australia. Speaking of which: cooking outdoors? Take your steaks and sausages out to the poolside dining room and BBQ area.
Get together to eat indoors in the orangery-style dining room. Talk over the day and make plans for tomorrow. Need fresh supplies? Call Ocado; they’ve beaten a path to our door many times. If you want us to magic-up your mealtimes, just say the word and we’ll prepare a special celebration or fully catered break.
Just a stagger home in the village, you can choose authentic Thai food served in a pub atmosphere at the Exotic Thai. For fresh mussels, cask ales and wide smiles, try The Cottage Inn, or head to The Weaver’s Arms, where dogs can sit by the fire, provided their owners are on a leash.
Down the road in Meriden, The Bull’s Head offers a sticky platter, a lamb-rump dish, or an exotic sloe gin-smoked salmon with salmon caviar. For the cosmic taste of a Michelin star, head to Carter’s of Moseley for pine-mushroom porridge or The Cross at Kenilworth, whose chef learned his trade under esteemed Anton Mosimann.
No shortage of sleeping space here. Choose from nine sumptuous bedrooms plus the bonus curveball of sleeping in the en-suite out in the tennis pavilion. Kip with your rackets to hand, wake up to toast and coffee, then it’s straight onto the court for a morning hit in the sunshine.
Live like kings and queens in the master. Rise and make a morning of it, with breakfast in the double Jacuzzi with views of the garden, or power up for the day in the fully equipped gym with balcony views. Bring plenty of clothes to fill the bedroom-sized dressing room.
Elsewhere, the Black and Gold room swaggers with opulence, with its heavy curtains, wooden trunk and glinting chandelier. On the ground floor, the Parker sleeps two, while the Safari is as exotic as its name and comes with en-suite wet room. The Janene is a king-size double, as is the Alexandra, plus en-suite.
Kids will enjoy the Katherine, sleeping two (or three) in singles, and the Arabella, which sleeps three singles. Sleep deep in the lap of luxury, then wake to croissants and coffee and a dip in the heated pool. It’s a tough life.