As you get further from the A9, two things happen: the roads get smaller and a delicious sense of peace begins to creep over you. The final 2 km to Simplicitas are up a roughish mountain road, but when you finally reach this utterly unpretentious 19thC villa, just switch off your engine, open the door and listen to the glorious sound of absolutely nothing at all. This is a much-loved, lived-in house, oozing charm and character and filled with 19thC antiques and objects (and a magnificent billiard table) and an air of rustic gentility. Meals, taken on the terrace in fine weather, usually feature produce from the surrounding 80-hectare farm. ‘Very variable, with very limited choice amongst the five courses and the wines’, has been a negative comment; other recent visitors have been happier.
The bedrooms (some small), most with lovely views, are like comfortable guest rooms in a private house, with a liberal scattering of knick-knacks. Shower rooms are simple. Six further rooms have recently been renovated and added, but overall, with the exception of electric lights, the 20th century hasn’t made much impression on the villa. Once your energy levels are restored, you can walk, ride, play tennis or golf nearby. ‘Gorgeous building in a wonderful setting’ – so ends the latest report.