Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Dream home is so central

NEW Street is one of Henley’s main ‘famous’ streets, heaped with character properties, the site of the former Henley Brewery, Brakspear, and leading to the river

NEW Street is one of Henley’s main ‘famous’ streets, heaped with character properties, the site of the former Henley Brewery, Brakspear, and leading to the river.

Larger properties for sale here are like hen’s teeth, which is why the sale of one of its original townhouses, Lavender House, is such news.

With accommodation over three floors, this five bedroom, three bathroom, three reception room house is in excellent condition and decoration, having been given a high-specification makeover which manages to blend the new with the old beautifully. Expect character beams, sash windows and high ceilings, alongside bi-fold doors and loft-style exposed brickwork.

The designer kitchen/breakfast room looks out on to a lovely south-facing garden, which is like a mini country house walled garden.

There’s also a terraced area ideal for outdoor entertaining and a raised lawn area for the children to play on.

A dream town house indeed — and you can’t get any more central.

For sale with Knight Frank at a guide price of £1,495,000.

Call (01491) 844900 for more information. this much larger Grade II-listed offering in Watlington.

Its more rural location gets you lots for your money with London still fairly easy to access via the M40 — plus you’re in a village which has shops, schools, pubs, restaurants and more. Eight-bedroom High Street House is for sale with Savills at a guide price of £1,950,000.

Call (01491) 843000 for more information.

PERHAPS you’re not even sure what your dream house looks like? This next house, in Tidmarsh near Pangbourne, may help you decide.

Nestled in around 20 acres of woodland and pasture, Bere Leys is a property of exciting contradictions.

The footprint may be that of an old farmhouse (the original Bere Leys dates back so far, it even appears on Ordnance Survey maps), but inside it’s all modern edge and cool, with polished concrete floors and 20ft remote-controlled doors.

Likewise, the house is equally hidden and accessible — it’s positioned in a rural idyll, yet only four miles to the M4 and 35 miles to Heathrow.

This place offers all the things you’d expect from a dream house. Beautifully designed and decorated (Kevin McCloud would be proud) and offering an indoor pool, gym and guest annex alongside with its six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, the house is a modern family home that complements and capitalises on the beauty of its location — which is part of the magic.

Bere Leys has been situated centrally on its 14.5-acre plot, which means light floods it, and every room enjoys a view across a different aspect of the grounds, be it river (the Pang crosses the land), pond (there are trout!), woodland or pasture.

Needless to say, wildlife is abundant here, not to mention the Highland cattle (included in the sale).

“It all denotes what this house is really about,” said vendor Mark, who chose traditional thatched roofs for the four farm outbuildings, which are seamlessly connected on either side, as is the ‘grain silo’ home office. “The idea was to deliberately integrate external elements with the interior.”

For sale with Savills at a guide price of £5,395,000. Call (01491) 843000 for more information.

RENOVATE and innovate, that’s the ticket with our next property in the pretty village of Cuxham, near Watlington.

It takes steady nerves and some fairly deep pockets to embark on a major building project, but “nothing ventured nothing gained” as they say, and this Grade II-listed 18th century former mill, with 11th century roots, is a chocolate box property in need of someone with vision to give it a tasty upgrade.

“The Mill is a very special property,” said Nick Sherston, partner at Robinson Sherston, which has offices in Henley and Watlington.

“Since its launch it has generated extraordinary interest from both local and wider markets. Of course, its setting in a protected Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with the stream that fed the mill race and far-reaching views to the Chilterns is wonderful, but its interior is equally beguiling.”

The house offers four reception rooms, four/five bedrooms, four/five en suite shower/bathrooms and cellars, so you get a lot for your money here. But with a set of avocado bathroom fixtures, you’ll need a lot more to turn it into a 21st century millionaire marvel.

Previously owned by William Clark, a writer and diplomat and the former press secretary of prime minister Sir Anthony Eden, who bought and reworked it, as a weekend home with his long-term partner, the accommodation incorporates the building that housed the working elements of the mill.

Thought to have been last put to use in Twenties, the giant mill wheel is at a standstill in the entrance hall — just think what could be accomplished with a bit of designer input here?

Outside, the gardens are stunning — “magical”, “charming”, “gorgeous” and “delightful” would also be fitting descriptions — and bordered by meadows and a brook.

No prizes for guessing this is the brook that once fed the mill race. It runs along the southern side of the garden and flows across the front of the house through an extended culvert.

On the south side of the house is a sheltered terrace that has access to the attached conservatory as well as the dining room.

The Mill has not been on the market since the Fifties. “But,” notes Nick Sherston, “it’s now another 50 years on, and the property requires comprehensive refurbishment. It represents a wonderful opportunity to create a truly unique home.”

For sale with sole agent Robinson Sherston at a guide price of £800,000.

Call (01491) 614000 for more information.

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