CASA LA SIESTA – ANDALUCIA, SPAIN
With its hushed air, exposed beams and open fireplace, the main hall at this country house could hardly look more authentically antique. So it’s a surprise to discover that this serene retreat, overlooking pastureland outside Vejer de la Frontera, was mostly created from scratch, using tiles, doors and shutters recovered from other farmhouses.
Even more remarkably, its English owners, Lee and Amelia Thornley, were in their twenties when they created it. For their guests, here to visit pueblos blancos, drink sherry and walk to the lighthouse at Cabo Trafalgar, it is a complete haven.
The seven rooms are big and uncluttered, with vintage dressing tables and roll-top baths. Breakfast is taken at little tables set among the orange trees and lavender; supper, made by Amelia and including clams cooked in fino, is served with wines from the bijou bodega.
Days can be divided between dips in the pool, massages in the yurt, or helping to rehabilitate the rescued horses stabled in the grounds. After all that, and several manzanillas under the pergola, it would be rude not to sleep very soundly indeed.