Artist, Lake Medina Texas. See me on airbnb.
I was looking for a place from which to explore the hill country and that was perfect for me. Laurence was very welcoming and it was quite interesting to talk about biculturalism with him.
The place was comfortable and tastefully furnished - but it's rustic (bugs and all), so you have to like that sort of environment. I had a great stay, and I would definitely recommend this place.
If remote, wild, and rustic is your aim, Laurence's place is perfect. That's just what I was looking for. The place is hard to describe -- You pull in through part of a forest, come upon his really awesome artist studio-slash-home, then take a hairpin, grassy turn to the portico. It's right on Medina Lake, which is dried up at the moment, but that state just added to the experience for me. The portico is adorable. Laurence is a really friendly, interesting, creative guy. He was a great host. It's not far from various levels of food + entertainment -- closeby country dive bars and restaurants to all that Bandera offers. My husband and I had a relaxing time.
Laurence's portico was the perfect spot for indulging in a little bit of Bandera Cowboy culture. We loved it. The portico is simply and beautifully furnished with a great outdoor space to kick back with a beer. Laurence was a charming and entertaining host, just wish we 'd had more time to enjoy this lovely spot.
Laurence was a wonderful host and so was Zoe. My goal was rest and relaxation and this place served my purpose beautifully. I would describe Laurence's place, and the surrounding hill country, as rustic charm at it's best. Peace and quiet overall. I would venture into Bandera during the day to laze about by the river. This is a place to disconnect from the stresses of city life!
It was a great experience to stay at Laurence place. The accommodation was very nice with all the beautiful paintings on the wall. Laurence is a nice person and he made us really feel at home. The house, garden and surrouding are really gorgeous and restful.
We recommend this lovely place!
British by birth, formally educated, painter of landscapes makes one think of Turner but much to our delight Laurence is not a Victorian copy but instead an original example of wabi-sabi hosting and living. The accommodations are perfect for a couple who are not conformists in terms of living space. The bedroom/bathroom is a modern room; the rest of the living area is quiet, restful open space under a tin roof and the deep Texas sky. If you are interested in the kitchen area know that it is more then serviceable for simple meals but if stainless steel is your thing you will be disappointed. Laurence and Zoe (big white dog) are perfect hosts: one in her willingness to accept belly rubs in the morning the other in his ability to converse, at your discretion, on just about any topic. (One issue: he thinks Warhol more important then Dali. It was a bright day when he said this so I will chalk his silliness up to a small temporary case of heatstroke.) The location is ideal in that there are more than enough things to experience inside of a 1 hour drive (including San Antonio). Drought be damned, the Lake Hills area, Laurence and Zoe are worth a visit. We will return.
Very nice and quite location in the Hillcountry close to a typical cowboybar and a Mexican restaurant. Unfortunately there was no water in the river because it was to dry. Very nice garden with a lot of plants, cactus etc. The accomodation was very cool with nice paintings from Laurence on the wall and a patio to chill out. The bed was ok and there is a nice and warm shower. Every day we spent some time together in the morning he made tea and real coffee for us in the very cool kitchen ouside in the garden and we had Easter eggs too. And we also had an apero together. He showed us his home and his studio where he paints. Very nice. Next time I will try one of his paintingslessons! His white dog Zoë is very friendly too. Laurence told us a lot about the region and we were very happy with our stay.
Staying in thr Hill Country with Laurence was a real treat! His property is very picturesque as well as the surrounding hills, valleys and gorges. To find a gracious English gentleman in this part of the country was a rare and informative experience.
The location is nice for a quick getaway (we drove in from Austin, TX)
Although Lake Medina is nearly empty as of Sept. 2012, hiking down river through the former lake bed was really quite nice. Laurence suggested stopping in at Apizza Mia up the road for good Italian food and he couldn't have been more spot on with the advice. Tony, the owner/chef will treat you quite well and the food is great! Laurence has done some neat things with the property; the buildings feature interesting rustic architecture and some very cool art of his own creation is on display. There was a slight mishap involving the water supply at the property upon our arrival but Laurence was reachable by phone and helped me address the issue.
I would highly recommend staying at El Portico. Laurence was a great host. It was a lot of fun hanging out with him also. The setting is very beautiful and in many ways quintessential Texas Hill Country. The room is private, quiet, and comfortable. It has everything you need and has a great rustic feel to it.
I LOVE THIS HOUSE. Lawrence built it with his very own hands. It's amazing and beautiful and quiet and relaxing and lovely and comfortable and clean. And you will be surrounded by his amazing paintings and drawings. I stayed here over Christmas. We made fires in the rocks. We walked in the river. We hiked with the dog. We drove way out to buy some awesome beef jerky. We hung out in the Cowboy Capital. Stay here if you can. You couldn't have a better time. Lawrence couldn't be a better human.
What a marvelously fun, free spirited, intelligent, warm, engaging, entertaining host. An artist who has lived all over the world, touched so many lives in so many ways, and hosts a place (or should I say, an "experience") that is one of his many "living" / architectural designs and creations. True art. Wonderfully hip. Magical location along the river. The perfect storm in terms of... host, indoor/outdoor environment and geographical location. You could NOT possibly go wrong.