In the 18th century, Ingram House was a coaching inn and a favourite haunt of the infamous Hawkhurst Gang. Fortunately for its owners, Anthony and Simon, shoot-outs are a thing of the past. It is now a tranquil rural retreat, beautifully refurbished and brought back to life – yet still full of treasure.

The entrance hall still contains an impressive timber-topped bar – perfect for when the couple are entertaining

The entrance hall still contains an impressive timber-topped bar – perfect for when the couple are entertaining

A larger-than-life Champagne label makes a classy and appropriate picture in the bar area alongside an original, illuminated aftershave advert from the 1970s

A larger-than-life Champagne label makes a classy and appropriate picture in the bar area alongside an original, illuminated aftershave advert from the 1970s

The spacious kitchen, which was once the pub kitchen, has been completely stripped out and refitted with a chic, grey Howdens kitchen and a distressed, marble-topped table

The spacious kitchen, which was once the pub kitchen, has been completely stripped out and refitted with a chic, grey Howdens kitchen and a distressed, marble-topped table

Glass doors between the hall and drawing room allow natural light to flood between the rooms at all times of day

Glass doors between the hall and drawing room allow natural light to flood between the rooms at all times of day

The drawing room contains matching French Deco wall and ceiling lights from WBR Interiors, a favourite shop on Wandsworth Bridge Road. Underneath is a coffee table constructed from a sheet of glass atop four Kartell Stone stools

The drawing room contains matching French Deco wall and ceiling lights from WBR Interiors, a favourite shop on Wandsworth Bridge Road. Underneath is a coffee table constructed from a sheet of glass atop four Kartell Stone stools

A cherub from Prague adorns the drawing room table while a huge gilt celestial mirror from RV Astley dominates the wall

A cherub from Prague adorns the drawing room table while a huge gilt celestial mirror from RV Astley dominates the wall

Pot plants fill the house with life and colour as does the very personal and individual art collection

Pot plants fill the house with life and colour as does the very personal and individual art collection

On one wall, over a Swedish desk is a lovely oil painting of a rabbi. The painting once belonged to Simon’s grandfather, Norman Ingram Hollowood

On one wall, over a Swedish desk is a lovely oil painting of a rabbi. The painting once belonged to Simon’s grandfather, Norman Ingram Hollowood

The expensive-looking dining room table was rescued by Simon from a local golf club who were throwing it out. He painted the top with Farrow & Ball’s ‘Railing’ and the legs with a shocking pink

The expensive-looking dining room table was rescued by Simon from a local golf club who were throwing it out. He painted the top with Farrow & Ball’s ‘Railing’ and the legs with a shocking pink

A glass-fronted ebonite cabinet was bought for ‘virtually nothing’ from Bentley’s auction in Cranbrook. Taxidermy dotted around the home is a reminder of its former life as a country pub and coaching inn

A glass-fronted ebonite cabinet was bought for ‘virtually nothing’ from Bentley’s auction in Cranbrook. Taxidermy dotted around the home is a reminder of its former life as a country pub and coaching inn

A huge, more-than-full-length mirror takes pride of place on the upstairs landing, reflecting the natural light which floods into the bedrooms through traditional sash windows

A huge, more-than-full-length mirror takes pride of place on the upstairs landing, reflecting the natural light which floods into the bedrooms through traditional sash windows

Chalk pastel depictions of Simon’s grandparents, outside the master bedroom suite, add a personal touch

Chalk pastel depictions of Simon’s grandparents, outside the master bedroom suite, add a personal touch

Black and white photographic prints in the master bedroom were taken by an official photographer to the French government

Black and white photographic prints in the master bedroom were taken by an official photographer to the French government

An original Dior poster is all that is needed to decorate the en suite shower room

An original Dior poster is all that is needed to decorate the en suite shower room

One of the guest rooms

One of the guest rooms

An upholstered bed from Coach House is flanked by two bedside lamps made from carved figures from a Belgian fire surround

An upholstered bed from Coach House is flanked by two bedside lamps made from carved figures from a Belgian fire surround

Rich fabric cushions and faux furs are used to dress up and add a touch of luxury to each of the guest rooms – while walls have just a picture or two

Rich fabric cushions and faux furs are used to dress up and add a touch of luxury to each of the guest rooms – while walls have just a picture or two

An antique French florist’s bench makes a wonderful desk-cum-sideboard at one end of the dining room – which was once part of the restaurant

An antique French florist’s bench makes a wonderful desk-sideboard at one end of the dining room – which was once part of the restaurant

A decorative glass panel disguises the door to the downstairs loo and utility room

A decorative glass panel disguises the door to the downstairs loo and utility room

The sheltered back garden, where Simon – who is a keen gardener – spends much of his time, looks out over the quintessential High Weald landscape

The sheltered back garden, where Simon – who is a keen gardener – spends much of his time, looks out over the quintessential High Weald landscape

“It really is a lovely base for a country break,” says Anthony

“It really is a lovely base for a country break,” says Anthony

“We’re surrounded by wonderful countryside and places of interest and the house and garden are perfect for a large gathering of friends or family. We will organise anything for our guests they may need – dinner bookings at local restaurants, entrance to local attractions, guides to the best country walks. So far, everyone has been delighted with their stay.”

“We’re surrounded by wonderful countryside and places of interest and the house and garden are perfect for a large gathering of friends or family. We will organise anything for our guests they may need – dinner bookings at local restaurants, entrance to local attractions, guides to the best country walks. So far, everyone has been delighted with their stay.”

A collection of tweed flat caps adorn the pegs in the rear hallway – ready and waiting for a walk in the surrounding countryside. The couple are happy to arrange guided walks for visitors

A collection of tweed flat caps adorn the pegs in the rear hallway – ready and waiting for a walk in the surrounding countryside. The couple are happy to arrange guided walks for visitors

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Jennifer Stuart-Smith

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