Imagine going away on holiday, you step through the door of what looks like an ordinary house in a normal street from the outside, but once you step inside you step into a vintage inspired paradise. That’s how it felt going to Hollie’s House in Chichester, England. We were gifted a two night stay in return for this post, and paid for our own travel expenses and food for the weekend.
The house has four bedrooms, two reception rooms, a kitchen diner and two bathrooms. We decided (because we could) to take Grandma and Grandpa with us, because we don’t get to see them that often. The downstairs bedroom and bathroom were perfect for them, although they are more than capable of managing the stairs! This was their bedroom:
The house is basically an Instagram dream, the floorboards are all stripped and painted white, the walls are all white with bold art and mirrors everywhere. It’s all decorated on a theme, the owner obviously loves literature as there are many penguin book covers framed around the house. There are Cath Kidston accessories everywhere, even the two keys we had dangled Cath Kidston key rings.
The first cosy lounge at the front of the house had comfortable sofas, a coffee table, TV (you can use your own Netflix account or watch freeview) and a window bench with cushions. I discovered in the cupboards games and toys, and the window bench opens up to show more puzzles and board games for all ages. Under the stairs hides more toys, an ironing board and iron, and a steriliser, so you don’t need to bring one. It’s the little touches like this that really made it so family friendly. If you were bringing a baby, you wouldn’t need to bring so much luggage with you. There are changing mats, bath seats, toilet seats, a kid’s step stool, a cot and an extra travel cot. Bedding and towels are provided, as well as condiments, washing up liquid, kitchen roll and toilet roll.
Under the stairs is a little secret. What looks like a cupboard actually goes through like it’s own Narnia to an amazing walk in shower and toilet with a skylight flooding it with light. Perfect for my Father in law, who only has one arm. Our house is so similar except it isn’t extended, so it gave us much to think about.
Then there is another more grown up lounge with double doors out facing the garden. The furniture is something else, you feel like royalty. I loved lying on the chaise lounge and pretending to write at the bureau. Once the children were in bed we retired to the lounge to put the world to rights. This room also has a dolls house and rocking horse and a beautiful little children’s cane chair.
The kitchen really is the heart of the house, a round pine table encourages conversation and laughter, with a large pine sideboard with all the crockery you need plus the owners leave folders with local information and any instructions for the appliances.
A breakfast bar with high stools was very popular to sit for a cup of tea and a chat with the whole family. Skylights flood the kitchen with light making it a pleasurable place to be in. I felt so at home there, so I definitely took notes for my own home. We couldn’t resist having a go at making our own juice with the juicer, we had a stroll round the local market which was just down the road and bought a bowl of oranges for £1. The kids loved it and all had a go.
There was a Nespresso coffee machine which was like home from home for us as we have one at home. There’s a dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer. The big orange fridge is amazing! We didn’t use the washing machine as we were only there two nights, but I know from previous holiday home stays that going home with clean washing is a real boon.
Upstairs there is more magic. Phoebe and Daniel had the smallest room which had a bunk bed, a book case and a chest of drawers. Phoebe is almost 8 and she reads a lot. She stayed upstairs for ages looking at the books and we have a book wish list now! There were books for all ages including books for adults, so you wouldn’t need to bring any of those with you. Every room has the same quirky vintage shabby chic decor, so if that’s your thing you will love it here.
There is a laundry bin in the landing you can use, and a padded seat. William had the double bedroom at the front of the house, he was thrilled to have his own big space. Once again it was beautifully decorated and accessorised, it even had it’s own chaise lounge.
Our room had a blue theme and faced the garden. Our bed was a white framed double, meaning we actually had a chance of touching each other at night! There was a cot in this room, a gorgeous vintage wardrobe, a chest of drawers, a dresser and a full length mirror. Beach towels were provided too.
The weather was not too kind to us so we didn’t use the garden to it’s full potential, but I can tell it will be so lovely in the summer. There are two patio areas at the front of the garden, one with a barbecue, one more for drinks and chilling. High fences and mature plants keep it private and lead down towards the summer house, which has it’s own sofa, dolls house, chalk board and play kitchen. Colourful bunting surrounds the house. Off to the side is a little secret area with table and chairs.
What’s Chichester like?
Chichester is a small city in Sussex, close to Bognor Regis, so you can easily pop to the coast. Chichester itself has a historical feel, the cathedral is a dominant feature. There are lots of independent shops to browse, as well as the market. The famous Turner’s pies is worth a visit, and we couldn’t resist going into Montezuma’s Chocolate shop and their Lordy Lord chocolate had to be bought.
We didn’t go inside the Cathedral, but we took a walk around the cloisters and the palace gardens, which were beautiful. It was the beginning of March when we went, so flowers were just starting to emerge. There is plenty to do in and around Chichester that would keep you occupied for a week or more’s stay.
It’s the little touches
The house was warm, cosy and homely and the owner is so kind. She provides a hamper for all her guests with some goodies to get you started, including a bottle of Prosecco and chocolates. There are little notes on cupboard doors answering questions you might have. In each room there are glass water bottles and even the shampoo, conditioner and shower gel are provided – not just hotel samples but full bottles of luxury product. The upstairs bathroom housed a claw foot bath with overhead shower and a nautical theme, with luxury hand soap and moisturiser. I wish our stay had been longer. It’s no question that I’d recommend a family stay at Hollie’s House with Baby Friendly Boltholes. Everything has been thought of and it makes it a joy.
It’s like staying in a luxury hotel but home from home. We happily signed the guest book before we left. If you’d like to stay here or are looking for a holiday home that’s family (and baby) friendly, take a look at what Baby Friendly Boltholes has to offer.