Fancy a nose around this country idyll? There’s a barn and full equestrian facilities – paddocks, stables, stable boy… Okay, so I can’t be sure about the latter, but we won’t know unless we have a snoop around. So what are we waiting for?
Usual rules apply – look at the pics and description, guess the price and do a victory dance around the kitchen/office/dentist’s waiting room, when you get it spot on.
So, a few little factoids first… this peach of a period house to the north of Sevenoaks, insanely convenient to London – I mean it’s inside the M25, people. Location-wise from Sevenoaks you take the A225 north towards Otford and then you hit Eysnford. It’s a picturesque village with pubs, tea rooms and a butcher and even Eynsford Castle. There are several good schools in the area, both independent and state and from Eynsford Station you can be in London Victoria in not much more than half an hour. There’s clue number one: all this means the price goes up.
The property itself, Austin House, sits in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is that ideal kind of family most of us are seeking when we move out of London and into the Shires. Enough period features to make you feel countrified, combined with all the stuff you don’t want to sacrifice like a big modern kitchen, open plan flowing space and good-sized bedrooms. Plus it’s all recently been renovated, and it’s set on a huge plot of land that includes five paddocks (polo anyone?).
Yes, sireeee. Austin House certainly doesn’t scrimp on space, and it’s also been very tastefully updated. Inside, there’s a wonderfully light entrance hall that leads to a fabulous kitchen dining room, utility room and a family room just beyond, if you are a grown up you can move through to the sitting room (well, it would be a nice rule to have wouldn’t it?) complete with brick fireplace, wood-burning stove and double doors leading to the rear garden terrace.
It’s a beautiful, cosy and calm space – perfect for putting your feet up (on that leather ottoman perhaps?)
Slipping our shoes off and tip-toeing up stairs, the first floor guest bedroom (complete with en suite) is approached via a secondary staircase and features a Juliet balcony (you know, so the stable boy can, er, serenade you) with views over open fields.
• The master bedroom also has an en suite shower room as well as the *sniff* obligatory walk-in wardrobe. There are three further bedrooms, so five in total. And then there’s the garden – which appears to just go on, and on.
Any luck spotting that stable-yard stallion yet? Have you tried the modernised barn with roller shutter doors or the other many equestrian out-buildings/facilities – including a stable block (three stables, tack room, hay barn and covered store), Mark Scott sand and rubber school, (pictured above) which is basically a kind of pony training arena and five paddocks (one of which features a tree house). In total the grounds amount to about 6 acres. Tally-ho!
So, there you have it. Time to tot up the numbers and see where you are price-wise. A faberoo family home with for the pony-mad, especially anyone that might want to run a riding school on the side. And not one of those derelict barns ‘with bags of potential’. This one has all been Brilliant if you’re not a lover of sledge-hammering walls à la Kirsty Allsop. If you’ve got a price in mind then get ready for the big reveal.