Mr Clarke thinks :
That he has made it!
Sometimes in life you just know something is perfect. Frogmore gives us that feeling. This beautiful four bedroom home is nestled along a quiet country lane, surrounded by woodland.
The front of Frogmore is like a picture from Country Living; ancient wisteria clings to the beautiful bricks, the pretty gate opens to a winding gravel footpath that takes you to the grand front door. The birds sit singing in the old trees and the smell from the garden is sweet. You feel at home.
Past the house on the left there is a double, five bar electric gate that opens onto a large gravel driveway and the wondrous garden. The odd chicken strolls around the one and a half acre formal garden, sheep graze in the two and half acres of fields beyond. The vast garden is well stocked with shrubs, herbaceous plants and lots of apple, maple and chestnut trees. There is a charming clematis clad gardener’s store and a kitchen garden that tempts you to grab a spade and your wellies.
You enter through a solid oak stable door into a large entrance hall. We particularly like the use of hard wearing slate floor tiles for this area of heavy traffic and muddy boots. There is a bench to sit and pull off your Hunters and hang up your Barbour and wipe the dog down before going into the home… and what a home it is.
Let’s start in the kitchen; the heart of every home. The large T-shape makes this kitchen unique. It allows for a real sociable space where people can sit in the window and watch the cook at work, people can stand and chat and others can help prepare food on the endless workspace. The day we visited there were six people chatting away in the kitchen and it had a wonderful social vibe. The shaker style cabinetry with granite worktops were fitted in 2013 and include a Neff electric hob, integrated fridge and freezer, Neff oven and grill and some great floor spotlights. The high ceilings and beautiful beams create a kitchen fit for a TV cookery show.
The main sitting room is huge and is a space for all seasons. On a summer evening you can wander in and out of the French doors onto the loggia where an evening glass of wine can be enjoyed. During the colder months the large inglenook fireplace would be home to a roaring fire. Christmas will be magical in here and we can only imagine the big tree. There is a space with book shelves, a table and a drinks trolley. The wool carpet, beams, beautifully decorated walls and front and rear windows make this a stunner of a room.
The dining room is light and spacious and can house a table large enough for the whole family and lots of friends. It’s wonderful to have a separate dining room for formal occasions, Sunday lunch and Christmas.
The family room is a cosy room at the front of the home. There is a large fireplace, two large windows and those ever present beams. The room is ideal as a sitting room, a playroom, a library or could be redesigned to open into the kitchen (with planning consents associated with a Grade II listed property and a clever architect).
The other room downstairs is my favourite, and I don’t often favour the WC and utility room! A barn has been renovated to form part of the main house and the owners have made it into a great utility room, which houses the washing machine and dryer, a sink and lots of storage. The WC was designed by Ripples of Knowle and there is oodles of storage space, a boot room and the original grain store has been converted into loft storage. It’s very, very useful for modern life.
Mrs Clarke loves :
The garden and the endless character
Head out into the garden and you feel like you have walked into the Chelsea Flower Show. There are stunning herbaceous borders with shrubs and flowers everywhere. There are mature trees, a fenced off chicken pen, a kitchen garden, lots and lots of lawn (there was a croquet lawn in place when we visited). There is a gardener’s loo, a gardener’s brick store, a well, beautiful gravelled areas, seating patios and arbours for relaxing in and under after an afternoons gardening. The compost area is cleverly concealed and there is even an established ecological insect hotel!
Beyond the garden are around 2.5 acres of fields that are currently used by a local farmer as grazing. The fields would be ideal for horses and with planning permission stabling could be built.
To the right of the driveway there is a separate garage block and ride on mower store, which was constructed in early 2000’s. The vast garaging is superb storage and offers ideal workshop provision for a variety of uses.
Back inside and up the stairs you come to the first floor with two en-suite bedrooms and a large bathroom. You could be mistaken for walking into a boutique Cotswolds hotel. The master bedroom is serene. The cream carpets, cream walls, double windows with wonderful rural views and the large space make this room magical. The en-suite bathroom has a Grohe shower, Vitra sink and WC.
The second bedroom is equally as gorgeous. It is bigger than you expect and with the en-suite, built-in storage and two windows you can’t ask for more.
The bathroom reminds us of a luxury spa. The sloping ceiling and exposed beams over the large bath make you want to light some candles, run a bubble bath and soak the stresses away.
There is lots of built-in storage on the landing.
Up another flight of stairs you find two more great bedrooms. On the right is a large bedroom with views over the back garden. It also has a WC, storage and plenty of radiators. It would be the ideal child’s bedroom. The other room is light and large with spotlights, a sink, windows over the drive and woodland beyond and radiators. There is a built-in wardrobe and lots of space.
- Property Type : Beautiful 16th Century Country House
- Lifestyle : Lord of the Manor mixed with The Good Life
- Garden : Gold medal winner
Our favourite part
The kitchen is a fabulous sociable space. It buzzes when everyone is in here and and it is the real heart of the home.
Fen End, Warwickshire
Nestled in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside sites Fen End.
Whilst feeling like you are in the middle of the countryside far from the madding crowd, you are actually so well connected that you could be in London in under two hours, Birmingham in thirty minutes or Geneva in three hours thirty minutes. Whatever your mode of transport the choice is there, M40, M42, M6, M1, Warwick Parkway and Dorridge stations and the excellent Birmingham International Airport are close by.
Never mind the boring stuff… what’s happening around Fen End? Mr Clarke can often be found in the fabulous The Orange Tree pub. Mrs Clarke quite likes it too although she usually heads to the Michelin starred restaurant The Cross in Kenilworth. Shopping and cultural hubs are in every direction: Birmingham, Leamington Spa, Warwick, Solihull and Stratford-upon-Avon are all close enough to go shopping, grab a meal or head to the cinema.
The beauty of living in the countryside is the countryside and Fen End has some stunning countryside. There is Frogmore Wood, Squirrel Coppice and endless footpaths and bridleways for walking, horse riding, cycling or running. The air is fresh and the life is good in Fen End.
The education available around Fen End is of the highest order. For co-education you have Solihull School, the boys only option is Warwick School, for girls only there is Kings High, Kingsley or Saint Martin’s. Heart of England offers a superb state school option.
You feel a bit like Mr Toad from Wind in The Willows as you drive along the wood lined country roads and past beautiful homes and gorgeous gardens. Toot Toot!
- Closest village/town: Knowle and Kenilworth are close by. Solihull and Leamington Spa are not far
- Post Office: 1
- Stores: A great farm shop at the end of the road
- Supermarket: Waitrose in Kenilworth
- Pubs: The Orange Tree in Chadwick End is great
- Walks: Endless walking in the countryside
- Sitting Room 14' 8" x 17' 11" (4.48m x 5.47m max into inglenook)
- Living Room 24' 3" x 18' 1" (7.40m x 5.53m)
- Kitchen 18' 4" x 8' 5" (5.59m x 2.58m)
- Dining Room 12' 5" x 13' 10" (3.79m x 4.22m)
- Utility Room & Boot Room
- Downstairs WC
- Master Bedroom 14' 9" x 14' 10" (4.52m x 4.54m) with en suite shower room
- Bedroom two 15' 0" x 15' 0" (4.58m x 4.58m) with en suite shower room
- Bathroom 10' 9" x 9' 6" max / 3'8" to purlin (3.29m x 2.90m max / 1.12m to purlin)
- Bedroom three 15' 1" x 6' 7" / 15'8" max (4.60m x 2.03m purlin to purlin / 4.79m max)
- Bedroom four 14' 9" x 6' 6" / 15'8" (4.52m x 2.00m purlin to purlin / 4.80m max) en suite WC
- Garaging 18' 6" width x 17' 7" depth (5.65m x 5.36m) and 14' 6" depth x 5' 8" width (4.42m x 1.73m)
- Ride-on mower store
- SERVICES Mains water and electricity are connected to the property. The central heating system is fuelled by oil and drainage is to an on-site Klargester.
- Boiler cupboard which houses the oil-fired central heating boiler, a gardener's WC, hot water tank, electrics and garden storage.