The outdoor bath offers a more discreet, less expensive alternative to the hot tub says Giles Kime. No wonder people are turning to them.
Wherever you stand on the burning issue of whether or not a hot tub is a desirable addition to a garden, there’s little doubt that few things beat sitting in warm, effervescent water being pummelled by jets as you admire a well-tended garden.
The problem is that it’s a luxury that comes at a financial cost — and, in many cases, an aesthetic one. A good hot tub will be priced between £10,000 and £20,000, plus there’s the power required to run it, as well as proper landscaping.
Hotels have good form when it comes to pioneering new concepts in bathroom design, notably the recent development of bathtubs in bedrooms. The Zetter Townhouse, a 24-bedroom hotel in a Georgian building a stone’s throw from the old US embassy on London’s Portman Square, is no exception. Designed by Russell Sage Studio, its Lear’s Loft — the artist and poet once lived here — has a fully-plumbed bathtub on its terrace with views of surrounding Marylebone (plus another inside for the faint-hearted). As a way to experience the world’s most exciting city, two minutes from Marble Arch, it is certainly hard to beat.
Bee Osborn, the Inchbald-trained interior designer based in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, understands better than anyone how to drag cottages kicking and screaming into the 21st century. She chronicled the extraordinary transformation of her picture-perfect Cotswold cottage on her Instagram account, garnering nearly 180,000 followers in the process — it also features in Katy Campbell’s book At Home in The Cotswolds (£45, Abrams Books).
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She’s now waving her magic wand over another, larger project that will include a copper bath for alfresco bathing. ‘On balmy summer evenings or frosty mornings, an outdoor bath offers a unique way to connect with Nature.’
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James Lentaigne, creative director at luxury bathroom specialist Drummonds agrees that copper is a great option for outdoor use, as is cast iron, as long as the outside is well painted. He recommends that a plumber is consulted on the best spot and that it can easily be drained in the winter. Another consideration is, of course, the location, particularly in town. Site chosen, tub installed: sit back and relax.
Arabella Youens examines the growing trend for baths in bedrooms.
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