My house in the Cotswolds is the first house I’ve owned but never had sex in.
In 2011 my wife, Alina, and I decided to leave New York City, where I owned and operated several well-known restaurants, and move to London. Like many affluent families living in a city, the moment we settled into our new house we began rapaciously searching for another one. This time for the weekends.
After two years of looking we bought Great Brockhampton Farm. There was nothing Great about Brockhampton Farm. It wasn’t even a farm. Just an ungainly 1919 stone house that had been “modernized” in the 1950s into something genteel and suburban. The formality of its dining room expressed a sad, aspirational quality that made me wonder which of the changes I was about to make would have me looking equally sad to the next owner. But one terrific feature redeemed the
When entrepreneur and industrial designer Gorka Ibargoyen invested in a bit of Basque country hillside just east of Bilbao and San Sebastian, he had in mind a small inn where guests could unplug from city life and immerse themselves into the site’s forested landscape. To realize this vision, he hired Jordi Hidalgo Tané, a Barcelona-based architect and the designer behind a string of contemporary houses thoughtfully integrated into their environments.
The site came with a 100-year-old stone house in a state of considerable disrepair. “I wouldn’t really have called it a house,” says Hidalgo Tané. “It was more of a construction, an unfinished shell.” Renovations to it shored up its structure and added a series of contemporary guest rooms. A black steel staircase connects the building’s three floors and provides contemporary sculptural relief in the historic context.
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