Nature is taking centre stage at historic Gloucestershire wedding venue, Elmore Court, with six new luxury treehouses opening on Wednesday 24 May 2023.
The 1,000 acre estate near Quedgeley set aside 250 acres for its major rewilding project in 2020 to allow wildlife to flourish.
And the best seat in the house is from one of six new sustainable treehouses, described as where 'refined meets rewild' with incredible views of it all.
Tucked away in woodland, a short distance from the exclusive wedding grounds, the treehouses have been built with the environment in mind, with British cedar cladding, corrugated roofs, cosy cork flooring and poplar ply walls — with electric car charging points, too.
Each cabin, sleeping up to four people, has been designed in a natural colour palate with Scandinavian sleek lines and bright psychedelic details from interior designer Tracey Boyd. Super king-size beds have been built by Jamie Fraser, a cousin of Elmore Court owner Anselm Guise.
The new treehouses have a separate entrance and driveway from the weddings. Each treehouse is totally private, accessed by its own boardwalk with a wraparound deck from which to enjoy the dramatic and varied landscapes.
But what's it like to spend a night tucked up in a treehouse? We were keen to find out.
The first things that struck us was the way being immersed in woodland lights up your senses. Here, nature takes centre stage. There are no televisions and with an alfresco kitchen and bath tub, your eyes are always drawn to the horizon and your ears to the birds singing from the trees around you. The scent of soil, bluebells and leafy trees rising from the rain drenched ground is a heady combination that draws you completely into the present moment.
And once you're cosied up inside your own bucolic bubble, it's the theatre of the sky that holds you in its thrall, with the changing light and clouds creating a dreamscape that makes you feel a world away from it all.
Fantastic food is a focus here too, with wild-farmed wheat used in Elmore Court's bakery and pastry kitchen via a regeneration scheme set up by former Groove Armada musician, Andy Cato.
Our alfresco fridge was stocked with delicious dishes to enjoy, including beef shin stew and spaghetti bolognaise with homemade garlic bread. There was even a thoughtful bottle of locally made dandelion cordial — something surprisingly delicious we'd never tasted before!
And it's the attention to detail that shines through, with every creature comfort taken care of, from the Nespresso coffee machine to the luxurious bath products from Commune. We felt connected to the wonderful wilderness of the great Gloucestershire outdoors and wrapped up in luxury at the same time - particularly while admiring the views from the alfresco bath tub.
Thanks to work with Slimbridge Wetland Centre, the estate has a spring-fed lake for wild swimming and 23 acres of land is being transformed into a new wetland area, which will encourage wildlife and native wild flowers to return.
In our 'earth' treehouse, the others are wistfully named after American medicine wheels; adder, wildcat, wren, sky and kite, we looked out on the wetlands soaking up the sights and sounds of geese and ducks flapping in the water and swooshing past us as they flew, while also hearing pheasants vocally marking their territory.
Elmore Court has reintroduced rare breeds of long horn cattle and Tamworth pigs, with red deer and Exmoor ponies set to arrive soon for grazing.
Guise said: 'By combining rewilding and regenerative farming, we will increase biodiversity, improve the soil, produce food and allow the land to breathe colour and positivity back into our environment.
'As part of the rewilding project, it was always a passion of mine to be able to sleep and relax within nature on the estate. This was the main driver to build the treehouses as sustainably as possible and allow more people to come and stay and see what we are doing here.'
Prices start from around £250 per night on a self-catering basis with a two-night minimum stay and bookings are open now.