It’s not often you stumble upon a family home near London with a swimming pool in its back garden. The modern house sits in the idyllic, riverside village of Amwell, within walking distance of a cosy local pub and a handful of shops, cafés and restaurants. It’s a fifteen-minute walk from St Margeret’s (Herts) train station if you’re arriving by rail or want to get into London. The swimming pool in the back garden, flanked by palms, wouldn’t look out of place in Palm Springs, and a bubbling hot tub awaits at the side of the pool house. Inside, it’s a classy, monotone affair, as though a black and white filter has been applied. The main lounge is a vision of dove-grey velvet, from floor to sofas (there’s plenty of room for the whole group in here) and the kitchen is sleek slate and black with all the mod cons of the 21st century. Gather the group at the long dining table for a big meal before heading off to bed in one of the stone-grey and white havens.
Home truths: *It's a half-hour train journey to London
*A private Turkish barbecue service or Michelin-starred chef can be arranged through your host
*The pool is closed from November to April
*To keep the carpets and floors pristine, the host asks that shoes be taken off in the house
*Two additional guests can be accommodated on pull-out single sofa beds in the fifth and sixth bedrooms