Nowhere does English country style better than Goodwood. The House and Estate occupy an especially lovely corner of the Sussex countryside, nestled in the rolling hills and woodlands of the South Downs. In the summer months, the Estate comes alive, with its motorsport and vintage festivals (Festival of Speed and Revival), and its ultra-social horse-racing season. It’s a place where people come to have fun, dress up – and play.
This is where the first Duke of Richmond decided to settle in 1697, as the area was renowned for its hunting. It’s often been said that the English upper classes built better houses for their animals than they did for their human counterparts – Goodwood’s hounds had central heating in their kennels a century before it was put into the main house. By the late 19th century, the hounds moved out of their old home and into a new dwelling, Hound Lodge, a charming brick and flint building.
The dogs have long since moved out, and Hound Lodge is now available to rent to discerning visitors of the human variety. Under the unerring eye of interior designer Cindy Leveson, the lodge has been transformed. Her trademark is English country style with just the right dash of modernity. She also loves to delve into the history of a building and bring its story alive by repurposing discarded architectural details and sourcing wittily relevant objects, artworks and furniture.
The result is a richly layered, supremely comfortable sporting lodge. The drawing and dining rooms glow with jewel-coloured furnishings, and original sporting prints and dog paintings abound. In the boot room, there are lovely old stone floors and rows of robust, hand-made coat hooks. Delicately hand-painted fish bring a wood-panelled wall alive and throughout the house, including the bedrooms, there are pretty pieces of original antique furniture.
After a good walk (or, indeed, a spin around the motor circuit, round of golf or flit in an old Spitfire), you can imagine the pleasure of returning to these rooms, where baskets are piled with logs, fires crackle, glasses are clinked and all is warmth and comfort. It’s the ultimate in luxurious sporting style. And, naturally, dogs are very welcome.
Hound Lodge is available to rent as an entire property. For more information, visit scottdunn.com/houndlodge