We have just returned from a family holiday in Norfolk, which was our third trip this month – life isn’t usually so jet set. It just seems to be the way things have fallen this year, with friends getting married in Ireland and family schedules. So whilst I’m not complaining, it does mean time for blogging has fallen a little by the way side and this post is late… but they do say ‘better late than never’ and in honour of our time in Norfolk both of this month’s picks from East Anglia.
01. The Curates House, Hartest, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
This pretty five bedroom cottage overlooks the village green, in Hartest, a pretty village near Sudbury, Suffolk which has its own primary school, butchers, doctors surgery, pub and village church. The cottage itself comes with a variety of out buildings and a lovely walled garden.
The listing states it could do with some internal modernisation but from the pictures it seems to be in a reasonable condition, with lots of period features and by my standards is most definitely livable. The ground floor of the house has two reception rooms at the front and a long thin room to the back, which houses the dining and family room plus a small kitchen area to one end. To make the space more conducive to modern living I would close off the small kitchen area to create a functional utility room to house all the usual washing appliances plus some extra kitchen storage and then create a slightly less functional, but beautiful eat in kitchen along the back, optimising that gorgeous original brick floor, pine dresser and the Aga. I would also enlarge the window openings and add French doors to brighten the space and open it up to the garden.
I would also consider opening up one of the reception rooms to the kitchen area, to create a big family space, as the second reception room would still allow for a separate living room.
The first floor is split level with two bathrooms on the lower level and three bedrooms on the upper level, which has two small staircases leading to it. It is a bit tricky to work out exactly where all the stairs lead, but it does seem from the plan that the areas could be reconfigured to create a master bedroom with an en-suite plus a large family bathroom and two double bedrooms without too much difficulty.
The house then goes up one more level to the loft, which currently has two bedrooms, with sloping ceilings. Ideally you would also want to try and get a bathroom in up here, however it may be a bit tight with the existing space. This could be remedied with a few small dormer windows to the front of the property, which would also benefit the bedrooms, however it would require planning permission and as the property is in a conservation area, it could prove to be a contentious issue.
Outside the cottage a track runs across the green to a parking area in front of the cottage and a large garage with workshop, which was previously used as the village fire station – unfortunately there are no old fire trucks, but there is and inspection pit and this could make a great little holiday let (subject to planning) fronting the village green.
In addition to the old fire station there is also a large studio and an additional outbuilding to the rear which total just under 50 SqM. The garden itself is partly walled and beautifully stocked with colourful plants, including roses and Yew trees.
Now for the nitty-gritty… The cottage is currently on the market with David Burr in Long Melford for £675,000, which is exactly the same price as the last house in the village sold for 2 years ago!
02. Coast Road, Salthouse, Holt, Norfolk
The second project this month is by no means a project, it is more a turn up with your stuff and never lift a finger, but it is so gorgeous and we drove right past it on our trip that I couldn’t not include it.
Overlooking Salthouse Marshes, these former farm workers cottages have been reinvented by the highly acclaimed architect Carl Turner to form one larger house, with an upside down layout. It has three double bedrooms and a bathroom to the ground floor of the existing cottages plus a master suite housed in a contemporary extension, designed by Turner overlooking the garden.
The on the first floor is a large open plan kitchen and living space with a huge vaulted ceiling. This is slightly unconventional but it means the living area has uninterupted views across the marshes to the sea and there is lots of space for guests – who I am sure will be queuing up!
The style of the interior is typical of Carl Turner with exposed services, bare block work and brick, bespoke joinery made of birch ply and poured concrete floors, all seamlessly brought together to create a harmonious interior.
In addition to the cottage there is also a large studio and workshop in the garden, which has a gorgeous glazed facade, wood burner and a WC with space for a shower, so could be utilised as an annex for even more guests!
Salthouse itself lies within a large coastal area managed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust which is renowned for its variety of bird life and interesting walks; including the North Norfolk coastal path. In the immediate vicinity of the house there is a great pub called The Dun Cow (I can vouch for this as we ate there on another tip) and a great crab shack which draws in tourists and locals throughout the year.
A little way along the coats is Cley, which also has a delicatessen and grocer, smokehouse plus a couple more pubs and a tearoom, as well as a few bed and breakfasts. The property also isn’t too far from the famous beach at Holkham and the gorgeous town of Holt with its fashionable antique shops.
So if this takes your fancy it is currently on the market for £799,950 with The Modern House… you have to promise to let me come and stay!