Saturday, 10 July 2010

Cothay Manor

All these beautiful flowers were spilling over a big stone urn . . .

In our house hunting, we stopped in the idyllic village of Curry Mallet. This is the Manor House - just our sort of property!

This looks like a gigantic baptismal font . . .

A glimpse of the beautiful gardens.

This would have suited us down to the ground too. Recently on the market by the look of things, as it was being re-thatched and the garden had been flattened as recently very overgrown.

On Friday we killed two birds with one stone and combined a day out at Cothay Manor Antiques Fair with house-hunting, and viewed 3 properties whilst we were in Somerset. We had a complimentary ticket to get in the Antiques Fair, so we got to see the fabulous interior of the house as well as the gardens. I can honestly say, had we the money, and were the property for sale, we would move in tomorrow!!!

The gardens were absolutely amazing too, and I now long for some huge stone urns to plant up as they had - spilling over with sweet peas and all manner of beautiful flowers. I will do a special posting of just the gardens, and can only say, if you have the chance, visit Cothay - you won't regret it.

The houses to view were an interesting mixture. We were told, the moment we arrived at the first property, that it was now under offer . . . Just what you love to hear when you have travelled all the way from Wales to view it! It would have suited me, on my own, as it was a smallholding, and the neighbour over the lane sold eggs, home made jam and marmalade and garden produce - I just knew we would get on! OH didn't care for it at all - cottage was too small unless you added an extension(he had a point - OK for us but no room for the larger pieces of our furniture!), but the views from the land across the Somerset levels were amazing. I'd get no work done . . .

The next house was big enough, had a nice atmosphere, and had a fabulous garden (similar plantings to mine, but more formal, and how I envied her Banksia rose) but the compromise was the closeness of the M5, and sadly that was too big a compromise especially as the house needed re-rendering and chimney work done by the look of things . . .

The final property was the "sensible option" for us approaching-geriatrics, as it was a nearly new barn conversion, the end property and with a bigger garden overlooking fields. It had a fabulous kitchen, and was nicely presented, BUT when I asked if the land around was green belt, the agent had to confess it wasn't and indeed, there was further building work scheduled the other side of the courtyard. Sigh.

At least we have ironed out some more compromises which we would accept (attached properties if the right sort, and much newer property with character) and those we wouldn't (too small though in lovely spot, and proximity to motorway). Until you actually view, you can't know for sure what you will compromise on.

Anyway, I have finally got the area by the front gate just about planted up (two new beds). I went a bit mad yesterday and got a HUGE Fuschia to fill a gap and give instant colour, and a lovely red Achillea with yellow centres to each flower, which backs up the Fuschia and compliments it. I bunged in a couple of dozen Stocks which were still languishing in small pots too. Then we had several hours of rain which watered everything in, and this morning we are back to gorgeous sunshine again.

I think this could be Raubritter though it seems like a climber rather than a scrambler which Raubritter is meant to be. One for the next garden methinks . . .


  1. Cothay looks beautiful - just my kind of house! Shame about the properties, it's a long way to go without finding even a possibility. That rose in the last photo is gorgeous isn't it?

  2. Our recent experience of property hunting was very sobering--houses viewed on-line or in a realter's brochure can be worse than disappointing when you arrive at the destination.
    Some things just aren't options--such as too close to a highway or too close to another house.
    Our compromise has been the much smaller house in exchange for location and acreage. I have surely been blessed by the fact that a flower lover owned this place before me.

  3. Rowan - in our price bracket - though it seems a really good one - we are still having to compromise. If we were going to spend what we got for this house in total, we would have few problems. It's because we can't downsize to miniscule yet . . . so all the properties come with an if and a but (bar the one we offered on and were turned down).

    MM - The properties are rarely what they appear on paper - apart from the one we offered on! - but the experience is at least showing us WHERE we can compromise and where we are not prepared to. Generally I can get a feel for a place if I can do the google earth walk along the lane/road near the property. That's what drew me to the "practical option" barn conversion on Friday, but then as we left, school turned out and 100s of kids came down the "quiet" lane past the barn . . . and nearby roads got VERY busy with traffic. But we are still considering that one.

  4. Although it's undoubtedly a chore and a drag, you're house search failures mean that you have successfully eliminated yet another unsuitable possibility.

    The right one is out there for you I'm sure and 'what's for you won't go by you' - as my Granny used to say.

    Best of luck.....Al.

  5. You're right Al. There's one special house out there with our name on it and we've weeded out some more unsuitable ones! Just heard that one of the houses we fell in love with (though we would need to extend/get PP on an outbuilding) is being offered on. Hmmmmmmmmm.

  6. That is a beautiful rose in the last photo.

    It is so hard finding somewhere that suits all the humans and is still safe enough for the cats to roam without meeting a busy road. Early days BB...

  7. It sounds crazy I know, but I actually love house hunting! I'd really love house hunting where you are looking...amazing properties! I know the perfect one will be there waiting just for you two!

  8. Oh, I'd love to visit...but not own it. Fun to be an armchair tourist/traveler/visitor. Those last flowers are amazing, look as vintage as the villages