Whether you’re dreaming of a city high rise or a countryside estate, here’s the best of the best (Picture: Metro.co.uk)
Town or Country? With an imaginary (sadly) £15million, we look at what you could get.
Are you a town or country sort of a person? Are you at home among Chelsea tractors or actual tractors? Prefer the buzz of the smoke or the tweeting of the birds?
Since the 1700s, when people were pushed by enclosure acts and pulled by the industrial revolution, population trends have veered strongly from the rural to the urban.
But the recent yearning for returning to bucolic romanticism has been bolstered by the pandemic, with its threats of plague-wracked cities and its opportunities for remote working.
So here’s a question. If you had a wodge to spend – let’s call it £15million – would you prefer to live in the city or the country? Here’s two stunning properties which might help you decide.
Should you wish to have a place in the city, you can’t say fairer than Mayfair.
The area bordered by Hyde Park, Green Park, Piccadilly, Regent Street and Oxford Street has long been one of London’s prime spots, so let’s head straight for the hot zone.
Location is everything (Picture: Grant Frazer)
Not a bad entrance
Clarges Mayfair is a new Portland stone-facaded development on Piccadilly, across from the Ritz Hotel and overlooking Green Park, with nine storeys above ground and three below – well, you need somewhere to stash the residents-only health spa, swimming pool, gymnasium and private-hire Art Deco cinema.
With its own exclusive access boulevard – Ashburton Place, granted Mayfair’s first new postcode in 20 years – it contains 34 residences firmly aimed at the Ultra High Net Worth market.
The claim, unsubstantiable but unignorable, is that it’s home to more millionaires, billionaires and celebs than any other new apartment block in our fair capital – but among such company, dropping names with a clang would be infra dig, darling.
For £14.5million you can swan amongst the smart set by buying Apartment 4.03, a three-bed pad with 2,889sq ft of living space and no fewer than eight Juliet balconies.
Five are on the other side of the floor-to-ceiling windows in the double-aspect reception room, which is a shade under 40ft across; then there’s one in each of the three en-suite bedrooms.
Sleek city living is what this building is all about
Not a bad place for a dip (Picture: Clarges Mayfair)
(There is a windowless internal room – currently used as a big-telly media den – which you could convert into a bedroom for a heliophobe.)
Linking all these is a pleasingly sizeable entrance hall, perfect for hanging your Pollocks and Picassos.
Off this is a bathroom for guests to powder their noses, and as you’d expect the fitted kitchen is lavishly equipped with swish appliances atop and beneath the brown-veined marble tiling and worktops.
The decor is Deco-tinged, with sleek chrome fixtures and built-in mirrors.
Indeed, the whole Clarges building has overtones of that fine era, especially in the 60ft-high atrium (topped by the spectacular Amaranthyne dome lighting structure designed by Haberdashery) and elegant reception, where the 24-hour concierge sits patiently in front of a bespoke Yasemen Hussein copper sculpture based on the Elizabethan-era Piccadilly Ruff neckwear.
But what if you want to go even further back in history? What if your heart yearns for the ancient idyll of the countryside? Then you’d better saddle up your steed and set course for Surrey…
Henry VIII was an acquisitive soul – just ask those whose monasteries he dissolved, or Cardinal Wolsey, from whom he liberated Hampton Court Palace.
Another slice of Merrie England under Hank’s hand was the Chobham Park estate, which he acquired in 1535 from the Abbot of Chertsey and bequeathed to his daughter Mary I, England’s first ruling queen. And now, the 100-acre estate can be yours, if you hand over that £15m we discussed earlier.
For countryside lovers, space is everything
On a sunny day this would be heaven
You won’t get to stomp the same floors as Henry and Mary: Historic England’s Grade II listing sets the current manor house as ‘circa 1700, reusing older materials’.
It’s a delightful three-storey, brown- and red-brick affair, standing on the old moated site – there has been a dwelling here for at least 1,000 years, and you don’t get moats round hovels.
Within, a 37ft reception hall gives on to a 29ft drawing room with bay window; elsewhere on the ground floor, along with the old wooden ceiling beams and deep-set fireplaces, there’s a kitchen/breakfast room, study, dining room, family room and laundry.
On the first floor there’s a glorious bay-windowed, 20ft-wide master suite, with connected dressing room, plus three more bedrooms, two bathrooms, another study and a 24ft triple-aspect sitting room.
The second floor adds another four beds, three baths (one en-suite) and another sitting room.
Next to the main house is a former coach house, with a 23ft gym and garaging for four cars below a 23ft billiards room. Across the courtyard, a barn has been converted into office and meeting space.
You’d definitely have to adopt a no shoes policy
The wooden beams give the house a rustic charm
Then there’s the timber-framed tithe barn, with two bedrooms and a gallery above an enormous 45ft x 18ft reception room, plus its own landscaped private garden.
And finally, Chobham Park Cottage provides a 23ft reception room, 23ft dining room with kitchen, study and en-suite bedroom, while the adjoining but separate Little Chobham Park Cottage adds two beds, reception room and kitchen. All told, the outbuildings add 7,233sq ft to the main home’s 8,427.
Elsewhere on the estate you’ve got formal gardens, a tennis court and a swimming pool. Situated between (but safely distant from) Woking and Bracknell, Chobham Park is close to the M3, which your chauffeur will appreciate.
Henry VIII would understand, but then he could and did have multiple p(a)laces at once.
If it was your £15m, would you choose Mayfair or Chobham? And either way, can Metro come to the housewarming?
Clarges Mayfair Apartment 4.03, £14.5m, wetherell.co.uk
n Chobham Park Estate, £15m, knightfrank.co.uk
What you get for you money
Mayfair / Cobham
Floor area (sq ft): 2,889 / 15,660
Land (acres): 0.066 / 100
Bedrooms: 3 / 8+3*
Bathrooms: 4 / 6+8*
Receptions: 1 / 6+3*
Nearest Tube: 75m / 17km
*in the outhouses
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