Even if this Estate was not one of my clients, I would be drawn here. Every time I visit, my brain appears to reboot, my body seems to relax and I feel contentment in the very heart of my being.
For LeDomaine (in the Castile y Leon region of Spain) is a former monastery dating back to medieval period and at times, I can almost still hear their soft chanting and voices as I walk around the cloisters.
What I particularly love about the property is that the architect, Marco Serra, has re-interpreted the building, taking care – in the best Grand Designs tradition – to keep his contemporary additions apart from the historic walls whilst ensuring that the usage of space remains as its always been. Thus the monks’ cells are now guest accommodation, the cloisters the corridors and the former dining room, the hotel’s restaurant – complete with a fresco of the Last Supper.
The adjoining church is magnificent too and I often visit it to see the unique effect of the light streaming into the building. It is here too that I am introduced to the monumental sculpture of Ulrich Rückriem which I think works so very well in this environment.
If you like his sculpture, there is an outside museum dedicated to his work – the aptly named Hedge Museum. The hedgerows are in fact rooms in this foliage museum – leading you from one sculpture to the next – for me, the perfect backdrop to enjoy the artworks.
Of course, if you put aside the delicious food and wine that is produced here, it is the care and attention to detail that impresses the most and that is down to the dedicated staff at LeDomaine. They are gentle and courteous and they bask in your enjoyment of the property.
I can’t wait to visit LeDomaine again, to taste the elixir that is the winery’s product, to eat Pablo Montero’s amazing cuisine but most of all, to rediscover that sense of serenity that LeDomaine engenders. In this busy world of ours, a few hours here restores your soul.
Contributor & photographer: Sue Lowry
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