The spirit of Hackney is thriving in a castle in Cornwall. Absolutely London meets the founders of House of Hackney
By Pendle Harte
When House of Hackney founders Frieda Gormley and Javvy Royle first fell in love with Cornwall’s Trematon Castle, they never dreamed that they would soon be invited to decorate it in their own style. At the time it was leased by royal landscape gardeners Julian and Isabel Bannerman, who had transformed the grounds into what the Telegraph described as a ‘Cornish Pre-Raphelite fantasy’ – and now the house has been given a full House of Hackney makeover and is opening for a series of wellness retreats in a programme called the ‘Summer of Self-Love’.
At the heart of Trematon stands a grand Georgian house overlooking the castle courtyard. Built in 1808, the 9-bedroom building was designed by Benjamin Tucker, who bought a 100-year-lease on the castle after it had fallen into ruins. Tucker was a follower of Sir John Soane, the influential British architect noted for his original interpretations of Neo-Classical style – and so the architecture of the house reflects Soane’s love of symmetrical, light-filled spaces.
Since House of Hackney’s Frieda and Javvy have become its new custodians, the house has undergone an extensive renovation; one that celebrates the castle’s intriguing history while welcoming in the botanical beauty of the surrounding gardens.
As Frieda and Javvy believe in the restorative virtues of colour, the palette for the interiors draws inspiration from the serene natural tones found in the ground’s flowers and foliage – think myriad greens, lilacs, yellows, clay-pinks and earthy reds. The house itself is painted a lichen-green as both an ode to Cornwall’s native moss and a symbol of the purity of its coastal air.
Adorned in House of Hackney’s imaginative prints, the interiors also act as a miniature museum for irreverent British design. In keeping with the brand’s ethos of championing local factories and generations-old techniques, the décor is anchored by timeless yet characterful creations crafted by artisans. From the artwork to the lighting, everything is available to buy and take home with you (or purchase later via the House of Hackney website) as a memento of your stay.
Luxurious yet comfortable, all rooms boast breathtaking views out on to the gardens. To ensure the deepest of sleeps, the super king-size beds will be either antique or four-posters handcrafted by Titchmarsh & Goodwin, all topped with traditionally made mattresses (filled with wool, cashmere and silk) by EPOC Handcrafted Beds. Each bed will then be dressed in fine linens by Peter Reed, woollen blankets by Johnstons of Elgin and, of course, House of Hackney cushions.
Lining the house are exquisitely woven carpets and rugs, the fruits of a special collaboration between House of Hackney and Royal Warrant holders Axminster Carpets. In sympathy to the original plans for the house, the bathrooms are shared (with one bathroom per two bedrooms), all beautifully refurbished with classic Georgian-style bathware courtesy of Burlington. The join bathroom for ‘Flora Fantasia’ and ‘Wild Card’ even retains the original canopy bath. Mirrors are the only luxuries missing from the Castle of Trematon, as the intention is that guests spend their time looking inwardly instead.
As the first in a series of getaways to be held at the Castle of Trematon, ‘The Summer of (Self)Love’ offers a carefully curated experience in a setting of untamed beauty. For a limited time from Wednesday 5th and Wednesday 19th August can check in to our B&B&B (that’s Bed & Breakfast & Beauty) for overnight stays unlike anything else. Reviving the traditional B&B by infusing it with a distinctive and imaginative touch, you’ll have the chance to sleep in sumptuously designed bedrooms before waking up to a breakfast of locally sourced, vegetarian produce – and then spending your day soaking up the beauty of the castle’s surroundings.
Running later in August until September the castle will be hosting four carefully curated restorative retreats, each revolving around a sensory wellness programme that harnesses the healing powers of the natural world alongside those of gifted practitioners.
House of Hackney, Trematon Castle, Saltash, Cornwall; Book at houseofhackney.com
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