How to stay in Grayson Perry’s eccentric gingerbread holiday home

If you want to have a very surreal night of leisure, head to a field of dreams in Essex...

Turner-prize winning artist and cross-dresser extraordinaire Grayson Perry wants you to stay in his holiday home. No, it’s not a villa in Majorca or a beach house in the Algarve, but instead a decorative, fairytale-like creation in an Essex field. Perry was born and bred nearby, and wanted to build a piece of practical art in the village of Wrabness.


It was no easy feat persuading the council to let him knock down an old Essex farmhouse building and replace it with a gingerbread holiday house, but it’s now ready and waiting for guests. So if you’re eager to give it a go (and if you have some cash to spare), here’s how to stay in Perry’s wonderfully strange piece of art…

What’s the house called? Julie. Perry wanted the house to tell a story about the myth of an Essex woman – a fictional female called Julie Cope who was born in 1953, was a hippy and a Greenham Common protester, and was married and had kids, got divorced and married again. Julie led a normal life but sadly died in a tragic accident, aged 61.

What’s it like inside? Not like a villa in Spain, that’s for sure. It’s being kept a surprise, but we do know there’s a triple-height room with a statue of Julie in the centre, and in front of the bed there’s a 13 foot-high portrait of her and her husband. There’s also a chandelier designed to look like a moped (she was killed in a motorbike crash). Architect Charles Holland says, “There is a theatrical quality to the interior. It’s hard to be there without thinking you are in a strange play.”

How much does it cost? At least £700 for a two-night mid-week stay, but some weekends are £1,700 or more…

Will it be incredibly booked up? Well, it’s likely that art-lovers and Perry fans, of which there are many, will be scrambling to kip inside a piece of his art. Apparently the sleepy village of Wrabness is already seeing unprecedented numbers of people driving through to catch a glimpse of the artwork, so get in there quickly if you’re keen.

How do I book? The house is managed by Living Architecture, a company that rents out unusual holiday homes. You have to enter this ballot to have a chance of being able to stay there.  Entries will be selected at random (using a random number generator).


Grayson Perry’s Dream House is on Sunday 17th May at 9:00pm on Channel 4