Go visit the ul­ti­mate room with a view ...

What is it like to stay in a house made of glass? Noreen Barr and her fam­ily travel to Corn­wall to find out

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - TRAVEL -

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

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