Friday, 24 September 2021

Gorgeous, no messing ...

THIS week, Standard Property focuses on riverside properties in the run up to Henley’s renowned Regatta

THIS week, Standard Property focuses on riverside properties in the run up to Henley’s renowned Regatta season, which kicks off in a few weeks with the Henley Women’s Regatta (June 19 to 21)

AH, messing about in boats. There is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing, according to The Wind in the Willows author Kenneth Grahame.

And if you are one to agree with him, then Standard Property is of the opinion that there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth buying as this stunning six-bedroom riverfront house in Shiplake, which is only three years old and has been built to the highest specification imaginable.

In short, Timbers is gorgeous. It has so much to offer that it’s hard to know where to start. Great thought has gone into the layout, with all principal rooms overlooking the water and most having access to outside decking or a balcony.

The house may be new, but it has been made to look extremely attractive, giving a nod to the former inhabitant of its plot — a 100-year-old thatched cottage that burned to the ground and then lay empty for several years before the vendor bought the site.

Approached over a sweeping driveway (well, of course) the current house has garaging for three cars with staff flat/additional guest suite/offices over. Upstairs, you’ll find a master bedroom suite, three guest suites and two further bedrooms (one currently used as a gym), a handy utility room and a shower room. Downstairs, just off the hall (with cloakroom) is the most spectacular kitchen/breakfast/family room, which is surely the main draw if you’re indoors.

This has state-of-the-art integrated appliances, as well as a traditional pantry with cold shelf, and is fully fitted with a variety of units and a built-in breakfast table, with a family room/snug to one side. Bi-fold doors lead on to the main decking area (more about that later), which has breathtaking views of the water and the part-owned river island opposite. This shelters the house from the view of others on the river and the central portion will pass with the sale.

There is also a drawing room with feature fireplace on this ground level, as well as a huge dining room, study, snooker room and the other pièce de résistance — the nine-seat cinema — which comes with terraced seating, aisle lighting, air conditioning and popcorn on tap. (Okay, so that last one was made up, but wouldn’t that be a great invention?)

Needless to say, the house has been built using the latest technologies for lighting, under-floor heating, security, music and entertainment.

And then there’s the river. The wet boat house has space for a 30ft launch plus one other boat, and there is riverside mooring for three further boats as well as a landing stage.

The vendor, who built Timbers, told Standard Property that they see the Thames as another room and when the weather’s good they frequently dine not in the dining room but on their wooden slipper launch, as it takes a jaunt upstream.

Can you already picture the ducks and moorhens diving for food and water-boatmen skating on the dappled surface while you glide by sipping your ice-cold beer or bubbly?

If you love entertaining, this is certainly the right house for it.

Apart from the extensive accommodation already mentioned, together with the cinema and snooker room, the house offers about an acre of landscaped gardens for guests to meander through — as well as a heated swimming pool. There is also space for a tennis court, subject to consents.

(With an eye to additional guest accommodation, there is even the possibility of adding a third floor in the roof, totalling about another 2,000 sq ft of space.)

The massive decked area on the ground floor is full-width and raised, with a built-in hot tub. This is a fantastic area for a party and is accessible from all principal rooms.

As for location, most people know Henley, but the lesser-known village of Shiplake, half a mile away, is a hidden gem of a community. It has a village shop with a post office, a highly regarded butchers and an award-winning gastropub, The Baskerville.

Shiplake is also just seven minutes from Twyford by rail, where connecting services include trains to Oxford, Reading and London Paddington.

So if you fancy messing about in boats in time for the forthcoming Henley Royal Regatta, Standard Property suggests you give local agents Ballards a call on (01491) 411055. Timbers is for sale with them at a guide price of £6,500,000.

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