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What is it like to stay in a house made of glass? Noreen Barr and her family travel to Cornwall to find out
If ever a holiday home was perfectly designed for Instagram loveliness, the new Glass Lodge on Cornwall’s Clowance Estate must be it. Twinkling in the sunlight, this ultra-modern dwelling is entirely glass fronted. Trendily furnished inside, it boasts a secluded hot tub on the patio — and its setting is a gorgeous 97-acre country estate, once owned by a powerful Cornish family, the St Aubyns, for more than 500 years.
With so many envy-inducing photo opportunities, it’s little wonder the lodge is being marketed as “a must for fashionable families visiting the South West”.
Our family — fashionable or not — consisting of myself and husband Mark, tricky-to-impress Max (14) and mess-creating Eve (6) visited for a long-weekend.
Here’s everything you need to know about holidaying in a designer glass lodge... Isn’t it embarrassing to stay in a see-through house? Standing outside, you can see straight through the glass into the open-plan living and dining areas, and kitchen. But luckily, the Glass Lodge is strategically positioned on the edge of the estate, overlooking arable farmland, so there was no-one to see us in our pants or pyjamas — save for a beady-eyed robin perched on the patio.
The two ground-floor bedrooms — one with an en suite shower room — and a bathroom with a free-standing tub are discreetly tucked away to the side and back of the house. The mezzanine child’s bedroom above the kitchen is partly visible, but can be curtained off. Is the Glass Lodge really as luxurious as it seems? Everything in the house is pristine, and the child’s bedroom is incredible. Designed as a miniature prehistoric cave, complete with wall paintings by a local artist, it’s as cosy as a woolly mammoth.
The gleaming, streamlined kitchen has a touch-screen oven and trendily-angled work surface.
A huge L-shaped sofa facing an enormous flat-screen TV is everything Max dreams of. And lounging in the hot tub as the evening mist rolls in is truly luxurious.
In a cupboard, there’s a washer-dryer to quickly sort out ice-cream stained clothes. And to stop adults causing breakages in the hot tub, there are plastic champagne flutes on offer. The pale-grey sofa earns maximum respect and survives our stay unscathed. Is there anything exciting to do on the estate? Max’s fears of being trapped in the countryside with only his family for company, vanish the moment he steps onto a Segway. He’s instantly zooming along at the maximum speed of 13mph.
Soon, even us parents have mastered the basics, and we go off road, whizzing over the lawn to the lakeside, bumping up a woodland path and fording a stream.
Later, we try an archery class, competing to hit a classic target, balloons and even a foam zombie.
We all love swimming in the warm, indoor pools and one sunny afternoon we row on the shimmering lake — mostly in circles, and followed by a bemused duck and her wake of baby ducklings.
On dry land, there’s also free tennis, badminton, croquet, giant chess and draughts, and ‘Frisbee golf ’.
EYE OPENER: the Glass Lodge in Clowance Estate and Noreen and Mark (top right) enjoy a relaxing time in the lodge’s hot tub