Rooted in nostalgia, quality and style, Donna Ida is a brand designed to look and feel amazing. Inspired by Donna Ida’s Grandmother with styles named after the friends she would have had, the range is versatile, exceptionally high quality and timeless. Now, in addition to her thriving retail business alongside her husband, whom she affectionately nicknames ‘Bobby Dazzler’, the designer has swapped the city for the sea and a new adventure at Langdon Court Manor, the meticulously restored 16th-century property now available for private hire.
LS: What inspired you and your husband to buy Langdon Court Manor?
DI: I grew up in Australia, which, compared to The UK, is a very young country, so you don’t have these incredible old buildings steeped in history. We’re lucky to have them here, and I’ve always wanted to live the English country lifestyle. I was looking for places but couldn’t find the right one. We wanted space for guests, but the rooms needed en suites, too, so we decided to search for a small hotel instead. We went to see somewhere in Wales, and the second property we saw was Langdon Court Manor. We couldn’t believe how pretty she was. The house is so beautiful and near the sea, so the air is incredible. We just fell in love with her right away.
LS: When you first saw the house, what was your vision for what it would become?
DI: For me, it was always about de-hoteling her. I wanted to remove everything that made the building recognisable as a commercial property: the enormous kitchen, the plastic and the white paint which adorned everything and turn the existing structure into a big, beautiful, comfortable country home that was a hotel where people could stay, but it didn’t initially seem like it. There was to be no “back of house” or out-of-bounds areas. I wanted to reinvent the luxury hotel experience.