designer villa rental

The History and Rebirth of Aynhoe Park

The view of Aynhoe Park, when you first pass through its lavish gates, fills you with pride and admiration. “Good morning Madam” greeted the butler as we arrived at the front door of this stunning country home. Aynhoe Park is a party home to celebrate life with family and friends with stunning venues and accommodation in 16 one-of-a-kind bedrooms; with the option for 6 apartments with 12 additional bedrooms.

Aynhoe Park is so special, compared to many other country estates in Britain. It’s a real home, full of warmth, dedication and surprises. The interiors are creative, fascinating and exciting; filled with taxidermy, amazing pieces of art and a great warm atmosphere. The owner, a passionate collector of the historic, the unusual and beautiful has made Aynhoe Park a delightful wonderland full of stories told through objects and artworks. 

Just 50 minutes from London, Aynhoe Park with its 250 acres of Capability Brown Oxfordshire countryside, sits in the medieval village of Aynho on the edge of the Cotswolds. 

Aynhoe Park was originally built in 1615 by the Cartwright family and has been updated over the years as each generation adds their touches. In 1707 Cartwright’s grandson engaged Architect Thomas Archer to enlarge his Jacobean home and include fine touches such as the grand main staircase. Further embellishments followed, introduced by Sir John Soane who remodelled Aynhoe in 1798.

In 2003, James Perkins bough Aynhoe after the dissolution of the Country Houses Association which had converted the building into flats. James has undertook the challenge of restoring Aynhoe, remaining true to the creative vision of Archer and Soane whilst bringing it up to date with his stylish personal touch. Today this Grade 1 listed country house hosts prestigious guests, weddings and parties.

After visiting the property, we noted the most unforgettable traits of this unique estate:

  • A grand Palladian house with rural views
  • Large private collection of plaster corbels, modern sculptures and eclectic taxidermy
  • The passion, vision and hospitality of the present owner
  • Hollywood Regency style salon with theatrical flourishes
  • The grand dining room, a stunning venue for a celebration
  • The vast gallery-like space of the Orangery
  • The privileged archives in the owner’s private library
  • The secret spaces and cubiholes to explore
  • The opulent, creative and welcoming bedrooms
  • The support of the personal butler and their team
  • The tailor made menus, locally sourced and farm fresh
  • The fine English country house tea
  • The memorabilia-decorated games room with yellow baise billiard table
  • The outdoor wooden deck entertainment area with BBQ and hot tub

Aynhoe Park is one of our British Country Estates for rental. Somewhere to discover the country pursuits and history of the Oxfordshire countryside and within a short distance from the quaint villages and antique shops of the Cotswolds.

This year Aynhoe Park is celebrating being on the doorstep of the home of british racing, opening their doors for the 2016 Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, hosting the ultimate in luxurious stays.

For more information about Aynhoe Park's offering and our other country homes, please get in touch.

London Yacht, Jet and Prestige Car Show Cocktail Party

Prestige cars welcoming visitors to the  London Yacht, Jet and Prestige Car Show

Prestige cars welcoming visitors to the London Yacht, Jet and Prestige Car Show

With the introduction of our new services in yacht and private jet charters this past year and after the success of the London Boat Show, we looked forward to the London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show this week. The trade show presents a range of luxury transport products and solutions in Old Billingsgate, a prestigious Thames-side exhibition venue. 

Sun greeted our team as we made our way to the show on its opening day. This year the show exhibited plenty of modern concepts such as drone videography, digital travel chartering solutions and philanthropy consultants. The stars of the show was naturally the vast array of glossy sports cars and boat engines.

 Julie and Sacha Gauthier welcoming partners and new faces to  Art de Vivre 's new properties and services

 Julie and Sacha Gauthier welcoming partners and new faces to Art de Vivre's new properties and services

Beautiful luxury hamper prize provided by Gordon Castle

The Luxury Network, which Art de Vivre is a member of, hosts a cocktail party annually at the show and we co-sponsored this years event. With our new show banner displaying the variety and quality of the properties in our collection, we set up near the centre stage for the upcoming party. Gordon Castle, a beautiful Scottish property in our debuting British country homes collection, kindly provided a luxury prize for the evening; a beautiful luxury hamper. The Gordon Castle Walled Garden hamper contained their new range of products from the Gordon Castle estate including a bottle of award-winning Gordon Castle gin and from the Herb Garden and Orangery, a salt scrub, shampoo, candle and luxury hand soap. 

Julie Gauthier presenting  Gordon Castle  hamper to winner Kevin Drayton,  One17  with team Matthew Lee and Kerry Doyle

Julie Gauthier presenting Gordon Castle hamper to winner Kevin Drayton, One17 with team Matthew Lee and Kerry Doyle

Gordon Castle  Luxury Hamper Prize with beautiful products from  The Gordon Castle Walled Garden

Gordon Castle Luxury Hamper Prize with beautiful products from The Gordon Castle Walled Garden

Art de Vivre team, Jasmine and Sacha Gauthier, enjoying cocktails by  Stock and Bailey Catering

Art de Vivre team, Jasmine and Sacha Gauthier, enjoying cocktails by Stock and Bailey Catering

When the prize giving came around, team member, Sacha quickly entered at the last moment and won Linn’s prize of 6 months of Tidal membership. Kevin Drayton from One17 won our Gordon Castle luxury hamper prize; the lifestyle publication that accompanies their architectural practice recently published a Q&A with our founder, Julie Gauthier. The night was a great success for introducing ourselves to new potential clients and other luxury brands and services. The canapés from Stock and Bailey Catering and the beautiful Vodka cocktails, courtesy of Wild Knight Vodka, were delicious and ensured everyone was in high spirits all evening.

Delicious cocktails and canapés by  Stock & Bailey Catering  with  Wild Knight Vodka

Delicious cocktails and canapés by Stock & Bailey Catering with Wild Knight Vodka

Beautiful cocktail location at Old Billingsgate looking over  London Yacht, Jet and Prestige Car Show

Beautiful cocktail location at Old Billingsgate looking over London Yacht, Jet and Prestige Car Show

A great event with plenty of friendly faces and good weather, we couldn't have asked for more. Art de Vivre was proud to sponsor the cocktail party and looks forward to future events with like-minded brands and services. The London Yacht, Jet and Prestige Car Show is still ongoing and the weather for this week is stunning, so we encourage you to give it a visit.

The Top 5 Private Island Rentals in the Indian Ocean

Art de Vivre is proud to announce its new luxury Private Island Collection. These islands feature exclusive-use rentals, often with their own endemic ecosystem and unique experiences for their prestigious guests. These island paradises are an unrivalled luxury escape for the adventurous traveller.

Cousine Island, Seychelles

As one of the smallest of the Seychelles islands, Cousine offers unparalleled privacy and seclusion to its visitors. With only four luxury villas on the entire island, and some of the most stunning views of untouched nature in the world, Cousine Island is a must visit for lovers of uninterrupted natural beauty. 

As well as being home to beautiful flora and fauna, Cousine Island hosts a variety of native animals, including lizards, turtles and birds. Visitors will be sharing the island with twelve Aldabra giant tortoises, and many extremely rare and exotic Seychelles birds, including the warbler, the blue pigeon and the sunbird. 

Cousine is one of the most conservation-friendly islands in the world. It is managed by the non-profit Nature Seychelles, and part of the profit from each stay at our Cousine Island villa goes towards conserving the island.

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Coco Privé, Kuda Hithi Island, Maldives

Of the 1192 islands that make up the Maldives, Kuda Hithi Island is one of the most beautiful. The island prides itself on being among the most exclusive in the world, reserved only for the lucky few who seek it out and choose to stay. 

At Coco Privé, visitors can walk across the white sandy beaches and soak in the sun by the azure sea or relax and unwind at the island’s luxurious private spa. Those who are feeling a little more adventurous can observe the island’s exotic colourful sea life while snorkeling, or ride the waves on a surfboard, jet ski or kayak.

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North Island, Seychelles

Much like Cousine, its Seychelles cousin, North Island is gorgeous and secluded with stunning beaches and views of the Indian Ocean. The people on the island are also equally dedicated to conserving the natural environment, which features abundant rare wildlife and plants.

The proprietors of North Island are extremely passionate about the wellness of their guests. The island has a spa that takes a holistic approach to rejuvenating the mind, body and soul. Where better to do that than on a private island, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and the everyday stress of modern life?

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Miavana, Madagascar

A stunning new exclusive-use private island located off the coast of Nosy Ankao. There are fourteen one, two and three bedroom villas decorating the western coast. With wild beaches, incredible diving, fishing, helicopter tours and a world class spa, Miavana brings a new level of luxury adventure to the Indian Ocean. Designed by Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, who also designed the award-winning North Island, Seychelles and Leobo Observatory Villa.

All aspects of design, construction and the management of the lodge have been created with the environment, local wildlife and regeneration of native plants in mind. Restoring the ecosystem by replanting trees endemic to the island has become an important role for the island. Conserving endemic species of wildlife prevents these rare and exclusive animals from becoming endangered. Community work that the estate has focused on includes building a local school and teaching sustainability. Solar, wind and Biomass energy is used to power the island to achieve an independent renewable resource for the villas’ delicate and isolated environment.

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Thanda Island, Tanzania

Opening to guests this month, Thanda Island is perhaps the most exclusive private island in the world. Ten years in development, Thanda Island will give visitors the chance to swim with whale sharks and watch nesting sea turtles in a private marine reserve. 

Thanda Island is located off the coast of Tanzania, in a very secluded location giving guests complete privacy in their personal paradise. The island’s sole villa sleeps up to ten guests, plus children, and has dedicated staff, catering to your every need. Excursions to other islands will be available, though Thanda Island should be varied and exciting enough for even the most experienced private island visitor.

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Our Private Island Collection is the perfect inspiration for a unique and beautiful holiday in the Indian Ocean; the most untouched paradises, fully staffed and featuring plenty of luxury facilities and experiences. We look forward to arranging your island stay, please do get in touch.