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Monday, November 7, 2011

Private homes for house parties: four of the best

There has been a home on the site of Butterfly House, situated on the edge of the pretty hamlet of Over Compton, near Sherborne, since the Domesday Book. What stands today was built in the 16th century and then added to in the 1840s. Its most recent incarnation was as a butterfly and silkworm farm (it provided the silk used to make the Princess of Wales’s wedding dress). After falling into disrepair, it was bought in 2005 by the Fletcher family, who spent two years restoring original features such as the grand oak staircase and double-height stained-glass windows and adding contemporary features such as a Poggenpohl kitchen, a cinema with velvet sofas and beanbags, and limestone bathrooms with power showers. A brilliant house for social gatherings, it has seven bedrooms sleeping 10 adults and four children, and there is even an on-site deli, Trencherman’s, where you can stock up on local meats and cheeses, and home-cooked ready meals. Butterfly House is set in beautiful rolling countryside ideal for walking and horseriding; you can also get to the coast in half an hour.

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