First of all, I must say that the format of the bedrooms, spaciousness of the kitchen and main reception rooms suited our group of assorted adults up to 66 and children down to 2 extremely well.. The views were magnificent, we were able to enjoy them from outside all of the hot Easter weekend, everyone loved the table football too!
However, we did not consider the furnishings 'luxurious'.
1. Our bed (master bedroom) was seriously uncomfortable, very old and sunken mattress, so we both slept poorly most of the week, and ached accordingly, and several others found their mattresses not in the first flush of youth.
2. The bathtub in the master ensuite never once worked - this was reported to Tracey on day 1, she said the plumber had been due as the previous occupants had 'broken it' (but since there were no instructions as to how to use the taps, I'm not altogether surprised). This was a great disappointment as several of us were looking forward to enjoying a lovely bath with a view. It is clearly not the first time this has happened (see a previous review) so something either needs upgrading, or else careful instructions for use should be given, including how to reset the pump if necessary.
3. I had phoned Tracey to report the bathtub, and also, earlier, to ask where the walks 'from the house' were - I'd previously asked Sykes office to let me know about these, having seen the positive review, and was told there would be details in the house (there weren't) and Tracey knew nothing about the walks and simply said she preferred to use the car, before pointing us towards Queen's Wood Gruffalo Walk (14 miles away). We looked for a path from the back of the property, which she had said there was, and could only access the lane via one fence and two locked gates (one of the party is 7 months pregnant!). A path opposite the drive is marked on the OS map, but this has clearly been allowed to overgrow as all we could see was a steep drop and a very muddy ditch. The road was far to busy to walk along and the footpath in any case ends at the driveway. I realise the owner and Sykes are not in control of public footpaths, but there's no point saying local walks exist when they don't, and failing to provide information when it's been offered.
4. It was lovely warm weather and we ate outside several times. There are plenty of comfy outdoor chairs (plus we discovered a couple of dilapidated wooden ones that need to be discarded) but the two tables are insufficient for 20 to sit around comfortably, and the one sun umbrella is not enough.
5. We tried to put rubbish in appropriate bins, but no guidance re food waste. No indication of dustbin emptying day - we looked on the internet and put the bin out on 3 days, to no avail. Then two chaps appeared on our last evening to put them out anyway - and we could have saved ourselve the bother had we known this, and that the bin day was changing anyway!
6. We had been somewhat concerned about the main road - using the north exit is much safer, and we had no trouble finding or getting up either drive. However, although the road noise didn't bother us from inside, it is a considerable annoyance outside for anyone expecting a quiet week. Having said that, we enjoyed lots of outdoor time, and the view is wonderful (apart from the rather brightly lit farm immediately below).
7. The kitchen, and front bedrooms, were uncomfortably warm, and a lot of windows are painted over so can't be opened. I know we were lucky with unseasonably warm weather, but the AGA must make the kitchen warm whatever the weather, and it was quite difficult to achieve a through-draught. The hot water was fine, and we didn't need CH or log fires!!
8. The kitchen was a great layout for preparing meals for 20, but the utensils weren't brilliant and the crockery/cutlery definitely rather basic. Two teatrays is not enough between 20, and there need to be more small/medium sized jugs for milk. AND NO COFFEE POT. Couldn't see any filters for the coffee maker, which in any case was small.
This sounds like a real moan, but it is potentially a lovely property and needs a bit of investment in order to deliver the experience implied in the listing, also to achieve basic levels of adequacy bearing in mind the number of people likely to be staying. Would we stay again? Possibly, given how much we enjoy the area, but we'd look around first for somewhere quieter, with local walks, and better fitted. The large price rise for Easter next year would also put us off.
We did have a lovely week, despite the above - just trying to give honest feedback and several items could and should be easily dealt with. I doubt you'll wish to publish my feedback (feel free to!), but hope it improves the experience for future visitors.