Abbots Retreat is a picture postcard of a home. It is home with charm and character that you usually only find in Country Life Magazine. We are in love.
Built in the 15th Century, this gorgeous three bedroom thatched cottage has all the lovely features of an old property but it has been lovingly developed and decorated to allow its new owners to turn the key and live in cosy, comfortable bliss. Mrs Clarke was so taken by the beauty of Abbots Retreat that she didn’t want to leave. Sitting on Main Street in Offenham, Abbots Retreat is an immaculate example of an English country terraced cottage; white washed walls, two equally sized downstairs windows next to a panelled door. Pretty eyebrow dormer window underneath a perfectly maintained thatched roof. But the outside is only the start.
Through the white wooden door you enter into a small but perfectly formed porch, which has a tiled floor, a window into the living room, a console table and coat rack and enough space for a few pairs of wellington boots. Open the internal door into the home and prepare to be wowed.The first thing we noticed was the space, the big space. This is not a poky cottage with low ceilings. This is modern home with the charming trappings of another age. The sitting room has plenty of space for two large sofas and a coffee table. The gorgeous inglenook fireplace houses a Villager multi fuel burner and an original bread oven. The large window and the open plan feel of the downstairs make the sitting room light and lovely. However, you could close the curtains, light the fire and be in your own cosy world.The stunning beams frame the downstairs beautifully.
Looking from the front of the home to the back you can see right through to the garden beyond, it an invite to head out and explore. On the way you find lots more beams and great rooms. The dining room can easily sit eight people for a dinner party of Christmas lunch. Then it through to the breakfast room with large French doors. Breakfast room doesn’t do this space justice. There is space for sofas, a dining table or a desk where you can sit and enjoy the stunning view of the garden. The glass doors can shut off the rest of the downstairs or you can have them open and enjoy the open plan living that so many of us crave. The kitchen is the kind of kitchen you could find Delia Smith in preparing wholesome meals for the family. The range oven and six gas hobs sits neatly amongst hand crafted solid oak units with granite work tops. Delia would be very much at home in here!The kitchen double Belfast sink has a view into the garden that you wouldn’t mind looking out to when doing the dishes, although there is an integrated Kenwood dishwasher. The stone floor is in keeping with the age of the home but the integrated fridge, freezer and washing machine are modern m
ust haves. There is a handy utility cupboard around the corner to hide the ironing board and vacuum cleaner. You might think that is it for downstairs. You would be mistaken. There is a great sized bedroom, which is currently being used as an office. It can fit a double bed or could be set up as a guest room with sofa bed or it could remain as a useful home office. There is also a smart downstairs shower room with sink and WC. Head out through the French doors into the garden and you are treated to an idyllic English country garden scene. The two tiered patio is big enough for a table and chairs and lots of pots.
Up the steps and through the arch you enter the main garden with manicured lawn and packed herbaceous borders of pretty perennials and volumes evergreens. There are pear and apple trees and a beautiful Virginia creeper that turns a fabulous red in the autumn. At the bottom of the garden there is a large garden room, which could be used as an office, a store, a man cave or a posh potting shed. Turn a corner and you find the kitchen garden. Get ready for the good life at Abbots Retreat. To the side of the garden is The Chapel”. Not a place of worship but a place of washing. The Chapel houses a great utility room full of cupboards and a tumble dryer. There is so much storage space on offer in here. Up the stairs you will continue to be impressed. The two bedrooms are like a five star boutique hotel. The master bedroom in particular is beautiful. There are beams, built in storage and a small window looking out to the back garden. Its a peaceful spot where sleeping will be a pleasure.The main bathroom is immaculate. There is a large bath tub with shower above, a sink and WC as well as storage.
Our favourite part
The downstairs has space and style. It is a wonderful home for a family that likes to entertain.
A village with the lot
The clever band of developers that designed Dickens Heath were having a good day when they sat down and drew up their plans, there was some seriously good blue sky thinking going on in that meeting. Pretty houses, stylish apartments, lots of amenities, plenty of green space, waterways to wander along on a Sunday afternoon, close to Solihull and near transport links. This is possibly the perfect place to live...
Let's start in the middle of the village. Main Street provides your everyday necessities and more - a posh pub/ wine bar (a necessity in our book!) that serves up lovely pizzas, is child friendly during the day but also somewhere to let your hair down on a Friday night. A cafe for the daily latte. Pharmacist, doctors, supermarket etc etc. There is even a village hall with everything from Zumba to baby ballet.
It is the vibe of Dickens Heath that we love so much. Everyone is so friendly. Walking along the manicured streets people won't pass you without a nod, a smile or a "top of the morning to you!" kind of greeting. It's as though you have become a local by just being there.
You are minutes from the fabulous town of Solihull where you can shop at Waitrose darling, have a coffee at Joe & The Juice and get some serious retail therapy at John Lewis, Zara and every other High Street favourite fashion house you could dream of.
Well connected? Whitlock's End is your nearest station where you can be whizzing off to Birmingham Moor Street. From Solihull or Dorridge you can jump on a train and be in London Marylebone in an hour and 40 mins to two hours. If driving is more your style you can be in Birmingham in thirty minutes or zooming down the M40, M5 or M1 within five minutes.
Schools Primaries: The Dickens Heath Primary School was rated “good” by Ofsted.
- Closest village/town: Earlswood, Lapworth and Dorridge are on your doorstep
- Post Office: 1
- Stores: Belushi for the stylish gent
- Supermarket: Tesco Express will have all of those essentials you forget during the weekly big shop
- Pubs: Mortons is a trendy pub where you will be drawn to like a magnet to the fridge
- Walks: Along the canal to clear the head after a night at Mortons
- Kitchen -- Nobila kitchen with a range of wood effect fronted wall and base mounted units and contrasting work surfaces. Integrated appliances inc fan assisted oven, gas hob with extractor over, dishwasher, fridge/freezer and second fridge.
- Open plan dining room and living room
- Cloak room and under stairs storage
- First Floor -- Master bedroom with Jack and Jill bathroom (Porcelanosa suite comprises a low level WC, pedestal wash hand basin and panelled bath with power shower. Tiling to floor and walls, integrated vanity mirror and heated towel rail), second bedroom and laundry room
- Top Floor -- Two bedrooms with Jack and Jill bathroom (as bathroom on first floor)
- Private courtyard garden
- Residents only garden square
- Two car-parking spaces in secure parking area
- Lease -- 999 lease (990 years remaining)
- Ground Rent -- £138 per annum
- Service Charge -- (2018) £816 per annum
- Services -- Mains water, electricity and gas
- Nest thermostat, 3x Nest Protect smoke and C02 alarms hard wired on all floors
- ADSL2 and Infinity Broadband. Hyperopic 1GB finer 5G is available soon
- Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. Mr & Mrs Clarke ltd. has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.