Many of the houses we feature are English thoroughbreds, their lineage proudly evident and easily discernible – Medieval, Tudor, Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian. They may have moved with time and fashion – an addition here, an alteration there – but the essential integrity of the building remains.  

TEST Vickie bought the rustic painted dining table, dressed with fresh hollyhocks from the garden, from a local antiques dealer, unaware that it had belonged to the house’s previous occupants!

Vickie bought the rustic painted dining table, dressed with fresh hollyhocks from the garden, from a local antiques dealer, unaware that it had belonged to the house’s previous occupants!

TEST the open-plan living and kitchen area. Vickie found the green velvet sofa on eBay, and restored the wicker chairs, which used to belong to her grandmother

The open-plan living and kitchen area. Vickie found the green velvet sofa on eBay, and restored the wicker chairs, which used to belong to her grandmother

TEST the chairs sorrounding the kitchen table were reclaimed from an old Singer factory, whilst the imposing dresser is another one of Vickie’s eBay finds

The chairs surrounding the kitchen table were reclaimed from an old Singer factory, whilst the imposing dresser is another one of Vickie’s eBay finds

TEST the airy master bedroom leads straight into the living room through an impressive set of antique French painted doors

The airy master bedroom leads straight into the living room through an impressive set of antique French painted doors

TEST the view into the first-floor bathroom from the living room

The view into the first-floor bathroom from the living room

TEST the house is home to a host of interiors books that Vickie has collected and from which she has drawn inspiration, some of which are displayed on the Venetian-style bedside table in one of two guest bedrooms

The house is home to a host of interiors books that Vickie has collected and from which she has drawn inspiration, some of which are displayed on the Venetian-style bedside table in one of two guest bedrooms

TEST the staircase that leads up to the living room, and down to the second guest bedroom, is flooded with light from the stained-glass skylight

The staircase that leads up to the living room, and down to the second guest bedroom, is flooded with light from the stained-glass skylight

TEST Stroll into the cool hallway and upstairs beneath a stained-glass skylight – the house is built on a steep incline so the main living space is on the first floor – and you’re no longer in America nor England but France

Stroll into the cool hallway and upstairs beneath a stained-glass skylight – the house is built on a steep incline so the main living space is on the first floor – and you’re no longer in America nor England but France

TEST Vickie’s enviable eye for detail is evident in every room of the house. Here in the ground-floor guest bedroom, a breakfast tray is laid out on the paisley bedspread in anticipation of the arrival of the next guests

Vickie’s enviable eye for detail is evident in every room of the house. Here in the ground-floor guest bedroom, a breakfast tray is laid out on the paisley bedspread in anticipation of the arrival of the next guests

TEST the ground-floor bathroom features a reclaimed roll-top bath and Vickie and Graham have retained all the original tap fittings

The ground-floor bathroom features a reclaimed roll-top bath and Vickie and Graham have retained all the original tap fittings

TEST the inspiration for Vickie’s handpainted greetings cards are proudly displayed above the worktop in the ironing room downstairs

The inspiration for Vickie’s handpainted greetings cards are proudly displayed above the worktop in the ironing room downstairs

TEST a selection of cards displayed on the distressed dining-room table

A selection of cards displayed on the distressed dining-room table

TEST picturesque vignettes are apparent throughout the house and even creep onto the veranda and into the colourful garden behind

Picturesque vignettes are apparent throughout the house and even creep onto the veranda and into the colourful garden behind

TEST The Linen Shed has a final surprise – Vickie now runs it as a B&B combining her talents as welcoming hostess and Swiss-trained professional chef

The Linen Shed has a final surprise – Vickie now runs it as a B&B combining her talents as welcoming hostess and Swiss-trained professional chef

TEST Hiding in the greenery are a miniature gypsy caravan and a Hobbit-sized castle built by the previous owners for their children

Hiding in the greenery are a miniature gypsy caravan and a Hobbit-sized castle built by the previous owners for their children

TEST The miniature gypsy caravan

The miniature gypsy caravan

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Lucy Fleming

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