Stay in Hampshire's most desirable Airbnb
- Credit: Boon
Far-flung holidays may still be a distant speck on the horizon, but when we’ve got five-star accommodation here on our doorstep, who needs to hit the runway and take to the skies to enjoy a luxury break?
When Airbnb released its most wishlisted properties last month, we weren’t the only ones delighted to see that Hampshire’s very own The Pigsty, made it to the top spot. Tucked away within the grounds of Vale Farm, and billing itself as Winchester’s first luxury woodland hideaway, it seems the success of this unconventional overnight lodgings comes firmly down to style; and that is all thanks to creative genius and designer, George Mayes.
Under his company name, Boon, George, together with his wife Rose, has been quietly creating these gorgeous dwellings for around three years after making the decision to leave his life in London working in construction, and pursuing the dream of creating cool cabins in his beloved home county of Hampshire.
Rose starts to explain: ‘George grew up here, he was born and bred in Hampshire and went to Twyford School with Sam Burge.’ Sam and his wife Min are the owners of Vale Farm, and, armed with designs for what is now known as The Pigsty, George approached Sam to see if he had anywhere suitable for him to be able to turn his dream in to a reality. George continues: ‘He said, ‘yes no problem, you can use one of the grain barns in the winter’, so I started building it and he then was interested in putting something on the farm. It worked out well...we built what we wanted and then Sam got to add it to his farm.’
Talking about the idea behind the design, Rose shares how a chance holiday to America for a friend’s wedding ended up planting the seed in the couples’ mind: ‘After the wedding we went travelling and we stayed in this place on the West Coast of California, we were in tents but it was the most amazing set up with an honesty bar, and local rose wine and bikes and we just thought one day we need to create our own, that’s the dream.’
Since then, the idea of luxury glamping has never been far from the couple’s minds, and after travelling around the UK staying in shepherd’s huts and quirky hotels and picking up ideas along the way, Rose says, ‘Knowing what we want from a complete retreat in the countryside has enabled us to come up with the designs that take The Pigsty to the next level.’
‘Basically, it's everything which we love compiled in to one small building,’ continues George. ‘Because it’s a holiday let you can be more creative, it’s not somebody’s home where everything has to be a bit more functional.’
- 1 WIN £200 worth of luxury silk bed products
- 2 Win a luxury ladies watch worth £199
- 3 20 of the best places to eat out in St Ives
- 4 Win super stylish summer shades!
- 5 20 of the best restaurants in Hertfordshire
- 6 A fond farewell to Torbay from the captain of cruise ship Eurodam
- 7 35 great Surrey pubs with beer gardens and terraces
- 8 Property of the month: Godfreys Farmhouse, Great Totham
- 9 8 great family walks in the North West
- 10 6 waterfall walks in Derbyshire and the Peak District
When it comes to materials, the couple have worked hard to ensure that everything is made from reclaimed wood, and sourced quirky additions such as the roll top bath, and Parisian sink, to give The Pigsty a luxury but rustic feel. With modern touches such as the Google Nest heating, allowing owners to turn the heating on and off remotely, and the Smeg fridges, it’s no wonder The Pigsty has become so popular with visitors, and admirers from across the country.
With the instant success of his flagship design, George has been busy working on numerous other projects; each one inching him closer to the pair’s life goals of owning their own retreat. ‘We’ve just done one called The Farley Hangar, which is up at Farley Mount near Braishfield,’ shares Rose. Tying in a bespoke colour scheme to highlight the surrounding rapeseed fields with yellows and greens, The Farley Hangar has a different feel to The Pigsty; which shows how individual the buildings can be.
With dreams of working with other designers, as well as creating bespoke areas for businesses to showcase interior design or new lighting concepts, we have no doubt that we will all be seeing many more Boon designs popping up around the county. And if anyone has some spare land up for grabs, we may just know a couple who would be interested. byboon.co.uk
Book a stay
The Pigsty has availability from July 29 with prices starting at £406 for a two-night minimum stay.
The Farley Hangar is also on Airbnb and has availability when we checked from May onwards, prices start at £350 for a two-night minimum stay.