Friday, August 21, 2009

Goldilocks And The Three Houses

Once upon a time, there was a blogger with a forelock of chemically-enhanced  yellow hair who loved nothing more on weekends than to idly peruse the Period Property section of the London Telegraph. She would sip her tea and daydream about which country house she would purchase on the day she received word that an aged and unknown benefactor had bequeathed her his fortune.

She liked this one but it was too big.
(Welcome to Great Maytham Hall in Kent, England. Marvelous, isn't it? Frances Hodgson Burnett thought so. During her stay here in 1898, a robin led her to a rusty gate nearly hidden by ivy; on the other side, she discovered a walled garden overrun with roses. Years later, she wrote a book about it. Yes, that book. It's since undergone an apartment conversion; private flats start at £245,000.)

She also liked this one, but it was too small.(Interested? It's a timber frame home built especially for members of the canine persuasion, replete with mortise-and-tenon joints, antique beams and an authentic thatched roof. The antique glass windows are kept in place by -- wait for it -- bone-shaped latches. The house is currently occupied, but the book, "Barkitecture", is available to all.)



Then she saw this one and thought it was just perfect. 
(And...breathe. Isn't it to die for? Built in 1822, it's called Hill House, it's in Norfolk and it's for sale at £595,000. It boasts a sweeping driveway, classic Georgian details, a secluded walled garden and endless lawns apparently "bursting with copper beech, oak, yew, holly and apple trees." Can you see Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet in the upper windows? No? Squint harder.)

I'm giddy with love. Who's going to buy it and invite me over?

28 comments:

kate salenfriend said...

Me! Me!

C.T. said...

Ooooh my Lord! This is the one I want. The only thing that's missing is the cash! Give me some time - lol -. I'll show my hubby the previous post; because our home changes with the seasons. So it's norrrrrrmal ;-)

ArchitectDesign™ said...

OMG -thats a bargain! You can barely buy a decent townhouse in DC for that price (yes, after the conversion!). What a beautiful house!! Buy it and invite me over for a country weekend!

The Glamorous Housewife said...

When I was a little girl around 10 years old, I went to London with my grandparents. My granfather was a fancy business person, so we went to meet another fancy business person in their home in the country. It was very similar to the first house- huge home, amazing gardens, and a MOAT! It even had a fireplace you could SIT IN! The only other thing I remember about it is that it had the oldest set of stairs in all of England. It was really an amazing home.

Thanks doll,
The Glamorous Housewife

Thomas said...

I can actually see Emma and Kate in the window. And boy, ArchitectDesign is right, here in DC that house would cost a fortune.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Kate Salenfriend, C.T: I know, isn't it spectacular? I actually suggested to my husband last night that we uproot and move there... :)

Architect Design and Thomas: I know! That's what's killing me. It's SUCH a bargain, compared to what you get in LA (and SF and DC and NYC, etc, etc, etc). It's the steal of the century. I can't stop thinking about it.

Glamorous Housewife: That sounds incredible. It's amazing that impressions made when young are indelibly marked on the brain and the heart. Do you remember where it was? The oldest set of stairs in England...a moat...you have me totally intrigued!

pve design said...

I will, and I will hire you to decorate it.
pve

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

PVE: Done!

Amy said...

Wow. Hill House reminds me a little bit of some of the houses in Sense and Sensibility! I can see Emma and Kate in the front parlor!
The house where Frances Hodgson Burnett lived is amazingly large, beautiful but too big. I love seeing whjere The Secret Garden came to life!
The adorable thatched roof home looks about my size! lol adorable.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

It's sublime, no doubt. But Edward has his eye on the second one.

Vanya @ Endless Inspiration said...

I agree its perfection

Pimm's and Lemonade said...

Followed your link to Great Maytham: "... Lutyens ... Getrude Jeykll ... the 17-acre formal gardens rival those at Sissinghurst a few miles away."

Get me my smelling salts!

Prairie Girl Studio said...

ok ... so i didn't get to blogland yesterday ... and so by today, there were so many to catch up on! i always start at the bottom of my reading list and work towards the most recent postings ...
well ... i caught a glimpse of your title, of course on my way by and couldn't wait to get here ... and was already in a fit of glee before i started to read ...
so wait ... are you SURE it's only 595,000? i just can't imagine a family selling this home ... think of the history ... the sweeping driveway ... the mellow-coloured (love that) brick ... how great would it be to have morning porridge in the secluded courtyard garden ...
it is just right ...
pg xo

Jane said...

Yes it's incredibly beautiful and the symmetry and proportions are perfect. Those Georgians knew a thing or two about that. However without being mean to the north of England, it is in Norfolk (at least 4 hours from London) so hence the great value price. That's okay though, one's chauffeur could zip you up and down the M1 to London for shopping trips and dinners.....

Claire said...

I have just finished a fantastic book based in England in the 1920's, I think you'll enjoy it. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. I have to say that I love the fact that you love all things English. You make me see my country through fresh eyes. Thank you.

two hippos said...

There is something wonderful about a Georgian country house, sweeping gravel driveway and kissed by sunlight! Hill House looks perfect!

Angela said...

I love this post! I think I did see Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson looking through the window of the last house. Also, great thatched house. I want to read more about it.

Sara said...

"In the doghouse" doesn't sound quite so bad now that I've seen that thatched roof dog's cottage!

Simply Mel said...

Can we put together a blogger's 'pool' and buy the house! of course, the cute little canine cottage will have to go along with it!

m said...

It's not for sale but have a look at www.greenknowe.co.uk which is absolutely as atmospheric as it looks, is the second oldest (inhabited) house in England and has another children's book connection. And a lovely tangled old rose garden. What more could you want?

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Amy, Vanya, Two Hippos, Angela: I'm glad you've drunk the Kool-aid on Hill House, too. I am convinced it's perfect inside as well. I wish we knew someone who could go there and report back to all of us!

Pamela Terry and Edward: I completely agree that Edward SO belongs in that thatched house!

Pimm's and Lemonade: I know, I about swooned when I read that Sissinghurst was around the corner. I'd be there every day (when I wasn't trying to scale the hedge into the secret garden)!

Prairie Girl: I can't believe the price, either. That's why it's made such a dent on my soul, because for that price here in LA, you would get a teeny bit of NOTHING.

Jane: Didn't realize it was quite that far. Thought maybe 2 or 2 1/2 hours. But for all you'd save buying a house there rather than in Kent, you're right, you could hire a full-time chauffeur with what's left over...

Claire: That book sounds great. I'm going on Amazon right now to check it out. Thank you...it sounds right up my alley. xx

Sara: Totally agree. Put me in Chateau Bow wow any day.

Simply Mel: I had the SAME idea! 30 bloggers, we each put in 20,000 or so...and we have the perfect time-share vacation home!

m: Just looked at Hemingford Grey Manor House...my heart is still pumping madly. What a place! Love the book connection as well. What a find...thank you! xx

Laura [What I Like] said...

Lisa that home is, as everyone has already mentioned, perfectly beautiful. But more importantly, I love your new header! Did you, with your extraordinary innate creativity, craft it yourself? I wouldn't be a bit surprised if that was the case!

StuckInABook said...

So wonderful!
And I love the new header to your blog - with the Persephone books especially!

beth said...

Hey Lisa,

I've just stumbled across your blog and love the way you combine design with the Bloomsbury set. I love Charleston too, particularly the bedroom with the bath (I think it's Vanessa's). I want one just like it. I adore the Deborah Bowness wallpaper in your dining room. It reminds me of Carrington's trompe l'oeil of the books at Ham Spray :)

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Beth: Thank you for your comment and welcome to "A Bloomsbury Life"! You obviously are an aficionada of the group...I know exactly which bedroom you're talking about, and I love it too. I must look in my books on Dora Carrington and see if there's a photo of the trompe l'oeil book fresco you mention as it doesn't ring a bell at the moment. And yes, Deborah Bowness' work is incredible, isn't it? xx

Tod Abrams said...

Darling..it's gorgeous. I'll split it with you!!!

Sildenafil said...

I love the second three house, it looks like a house from a tale, from the white snow and the seven dwarfs, it is pretty cute I wish I could have one!

Generic Viagra said...

I'd love to build a home like the first above, I think most of the people have the same dream, you know... a huge house, with 27 rooms in England! If I was the owner... it's my main desire.

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