Time to nosey through the corridors, cupboards – and magnificent walk-in wardrobe – of this stupendous Somerset pad. Shall we...?
Don’t be fooled by the elegant proportions, natural stone, slate roof and lattice windows of this Somerset stunner. The Old Rectory in Ditcheat may look Georgian but the luxury family home is actually newly built. So you get the style and feel of a period property with the comforts and technology of a contemporary home – like room-by-room controlled underfloor heating, sustainable Jetmaster fires and a wired-in music system – and no need to do a thing to it. Apart from move in.
Let’s go in through the main entrance or, if you’ve got muddy feet, might be best to use the doorway at the side – it leads you directly to the boot room. A vast reception hall complete with fireplace lies at the heart of the house, with a triple – not double, note – height oak and painted staircase that just goes up and up… and up.
The bespoke kitchen is like Mary Poppins: practically perfect in every way. There’s an oven on one side and a matching microwave system on the other, an induction hob, a large central island with a wooden-topped breakfast bar and a spacious pantry off to the side.
There’s another spacious living area off the kitchen which leads down to the dining room. Could it be any more light and airy? The windows give all-around views of the surrounding fields and countryside by day; by night, I’m imagining flickering candles reflecting in the glass.
With another lovely living room, there’s no need for you to ever see each other if you don’t want to.
Fancy a snifter? You’ve got your own bar.
You can slope away to the den.
That’s if you’ve finished that pesky bit of work or household admin in the study.
Upstairs on the first floor: there are three large bedrooms (all en suite, natch) arranged around a galleried landing. First dibbs on the spectacular main suite. Not just for the French windows leading out onto a terrace with a glass balcony.
Or the super large and swanky en suite bathroom.
But for this: a Hollywood style walk-in wardrobe. I mean, wow. Eat your heart out, Carrie Bradshaw.
The other two bedrooms (also en suite), aren’t bad either.
There’s just so much space here: a laundry/ironing room and the perfect place to put your feet up with a book.
We’re not finished yet. There’s a third floor too, with a 20 foot bedroom, en suite bathroom and dressing room – ideal to give a teenager a sense of having their very own pad – and under eaves storage all around (just in case you couldn’t fit all your stuff anywhere else in this enormous house.)
Ready to go back downstairs and explore the grounds? Let’s have a coffee – or a sundowner – on the terrace, first.
The acre of garden is a bit of a blank canvas, with some shrubs, herbaceous plants and a lawn just crying out for a croquet set.
There’s garaging for four cars (is that enough?) and a gym. And by the way, those wooden gates are automated.
Traditional estate railings are nice touch. The surrounding grounds are owned by the church, so you don’t have to do anything other than enjoy the views.
If you’re into horse racing or cheese, you may recognise the name Ditcheat; it’s home to Paul Nicholls’ racing stables (the Queen went to say hello last year) and Barber’s, the oldest cheddar cheese makers in the world. There’s a farm shop, excellent primary school and two good pubs close by. Secondary schools include state Ansford Academy and independent Hazlegrove Prep, Bruton School for Girls and King’s Bruton. On the doorstep: Castle Cary for independent shops and cafes and the fastest train to London Paddington in around 90 mins and Bruton for excellent restaurants and the internationally acclaimed Hauser & Wirth art gallery.
So how much is it on for, do you think? Best guesses in the comments box below and click here to see if you’re right. No cheating, that’s naughty.