showcasing the best of the south west

Top 10 House Party Venues in the South West

Boconnoc, Cornwall

boconnocmainNowhere more romantic than this country estate tucked away at the end of two miles of private road.

Boconnoc is a retreat from life, no sounds apart from the river which flows through the valley or the early morning birdsong. Home to the Fortescue family who have restored the manor house over the past 15 years, Boconnoc is now seriously stylish. The main house sleeps 18 and you can also rent 3 cottages in the grounds to boost your house party numbers to 36. Here you can have a party that is truly original. A dinner with dancing in the Georgian bathhouse, an old swimming pool built in 1804? A candlelit dinner on the painted staircase? Drinks in the secret quarry where there's a huge marble bath, palm trees and waterfall? Project images onto the front of the house, host a movie night in the library, drink sundowners by the lake and watching shooting stars after dinner. Boconnoc is utterly idyllic and completely unique.

Sparkford Hall, Somerset


The team that run Sparkford Hall excel at parties and can turn the Grade 11 listed Georgian house into anything you desire - recent themes include Saturday Night Shiva, Great Gatsby and House of Horrors. As they say the only limit is your imagination. There are 12 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms in the house but in summer you can also rent furnished teepees, bell tents, yurts and caravans if you want to boost the numbers. There's also a barn with space for up to 300.  The converted cellar rooms double up nicely as a nightclub (Studio 54 eat your heart out) and the top floor has 8 bunks and space for nannies so you can even bring the kids along. These guys turn partying into an art form, think underground and cool, think rocking house party.

Wortham Manor, Devon


And now for something a little more Medieval.  Wortham Manor, a Landmark Trust property, with its great hall - vast vaulted ceiling, slate floor, huge stone fireplace - screams out for a Tudor feast. Roast a pig, ship in some minstrels and let the merriment begin. The house still boasts some incredible architectural details such as the medieval screen found in the Great Hall and an original carved oak roof. Bedrooms are beautifully furnished and there's a large farmhouse style kitchen for  breakfast. Children will love it here, the house is full of secret hiding places for extended games of Sardines. Manicured gardens to rampage about in and the dogs can come too. Sleeps 15.

Pentillie Castle, Cornwall

Pentillie 2013-6

 Who needs Downton Abbey? We love Pentillie Castle in Cornwall, available for private parties of up to 20. Old school activities abound here in the 2000 acre estate, clay pigeon shooting or fly fishing on the Tamar, beautiful woodlands to explore, there's even an old fashioned bathing hut in the grounds.  Very Queen V. Ornate bedrooms with four poster beds. You also can B&B here, with home-cooked suppers left ready to pop in the aga and an honesty bar for when you fancy 'just one more.' Breakfast on home-made granola and immaculately sourced bacon and eggs. Don't know about you but we're loving the thought of Christmas tucked up here.

Butterfield House, Cornwall


Old meets new in wonderful Grade 11 listed Butterfield House. With the feel of an old school country house yet a very contemporary interior, with boutique bathrooms and bedrooms,  outdoor pool, sun terrace and six and a half acres of woodland and garden to roam in. Watergate Bay is a stone's throw away with 7 miles of golden sand and stellar surfing, not to mention Fifteen Cornwall for tapas or a full blown 5 course dinner. Six bedrooms for six couples? Celebrate a significant birthday in style.



Huntsham Court, Devon


You can invite 74 of your closest friends to this Baronial mansion on the borders of Exmoor. Most of the 31 bedrooms (yes 31) have en suite bathrooms with roll top baths and all come with crisp white bedlinen and fluffy white towels.  Once you're installed it's your house to party as you choose. Keep things simple with a Waitrose delivery or ship in a butler and full coterie of staff to oversee the proceedings. When you book Huntsham you'll be offered a session with a party planner to get things just so but the vibe here is very laid back - basically it's up to you. Archery, croquet, pistol shooting and fencing in the garden, a mobile spa is just a phone call away. Now that's one helluva house party.

Cornucopia, West Sussex 


It's true Cornucopia is a little bit off our beat but we couldn't not show you this ultimate party house. Let's start with a few of the frills and you'll see what we mean - swimming pool, bowling alley, tennis court, private lake with rowing boats, cinema room, hot tub and sauna. The house is set in 40 acres of parkland with manicured lawns and towering oaks. Inside you'll find 7 mega deluxe superking bedrooms all with ensuite bathrooms naturally. This is a weekend retreat for serious pampering. There's a house manager who lives in the grounds and while children are welcome (air hockey, trampoline, wall to wall WiFi) we'd really recommend an adults only mini-break. Bring your best playlist -  the house has an intelligent surround sound system - and a crate or 2 of champagne and get this party started.

Montana, Devon


And now for something totally different. This architect designed eco friendly retreat just outside Lyme Regis has incredible far-reaching woodland views. You're here for a Nordic style, back to nature, snow and birch twigs cabin experience. There's a deck to hang out on with a glass of champagne while you watch buzzards circle and hope to glimpse the resident deer and wild horses. At night this is the place to catch shooting stars. Caterers are available to create your perfect celebratory dinner, mobile spa treatments too. If you can drag yourself away you'll want to book into Mark Hix's Fish & Oyster House in Lyme. Sleeps 10

Symondsbury Manor, Dorset symondsbury

This historical manor house in the heart of quaint, chocolate box Symondsbury is the place for a relaxed weekend house party. Classic architecture on the outside, full of surprises on the inside - the decor is brightly coloured with lots of contemporary arts and squashy sofas to collapse in. The garden is wonderful and even has a full size zebra in its midst. No formality required here, though should you feel the  need there's an 18th century panelled ballroom. Table tennis, croquet, a record player with a vinyl collection (though surely bring your old 45s?) 12 bedrooms sleeping up to 23 guests, log fires, huge aga and a big oak table seating 24. You're in the middle of  a village here, so no techno raves, more 48 hours of catching up with your very best. Bridport is close by offering everything from beaches and cool cafes to a Saturday antiques market to rival Portobello.

Harptree Court, Somerset


Strictly speaking Harptree Court in the Chew Valley is a luxury B&B with 4 double bedrooms, a very cool treehouse and a yurt rather than a private house party venue. But it's so lovely here we'd be tempted to book all the rooms and walk 300 yards for a celebratory dinner in the foodie centric local pub the Waldegrave Arms. All bedrooms have wonderfully comfortable beds, expensive linen and roll top baths - fight over who gets the treehouse with its copper bath for 2 in the window. There's a tennis court and croquet and even an in-house therapist offering reflexology, Indian head massage and aromatherapy massages. Breakfasts are spectacular - everything from home-baked banana bread and stewed fruit to a traditional English with poached Harptree eggs and Blagdon sausages. Irresistible in the winter as you can see here. Nowhere more romantic, every year numerous couples get engaged in the treehouse. You have been warned.

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