Why stay in the big smoke when you can live the life of Reilly at this baronial mansion that dates to 1645? It stands at the end of a tree-lined drive in 12 acres of woodland and gardens, with birdsong, strutting chickens and carpets of flowers to greet you. As for the house, it’s a bona fide jaw-dropper. There’s a wood-burner in the downstairs snug, then a crackling fire in a regal first-floor sitting room. You gather here for drinks before dinner (BYO), then spin down to the dining room, where you eat at one table in country-house style, feasting on delicious food, perhaps smoked haddock, chicken with tarragon, a chilled lemon mousse. After which you retire to delightful rooms and find huge beds, smart fabrics, antique furniture and garden flowers. Robes wait in fine bathrooms, three of which have claw-foot baths that overlook the garden. You’re five miles from links golf at Gullane and North Berwick, ten miles from Edinburgh, with a bus that stops at the end of the drive. All of which would be blossom in the wind without Chris and Barbara, the undisputed stars of the show. Don’t miss it.