How much for a royal idyll?
Fancy snooping round a family home in a princessy property hotspot? Of course you do. Grab your tiara, *virtual curtsey* let the price guessing commence.
I don’t know about you but I love a little snoop around someone else’s house. So let’s have all push our noses up to the windows, peer in the cupboards, knock a few walls knowledgeably, and then the fun bit – guess how much it’s worth!
Today’s house is an absolute corker. Royal stalkers, I mean watchers, will love that the Middleton family are practically neighbours and the chance of spotting a certain duchess’s mother doing her weekly shop at Waitrose is very high (I’ve locked eyes with Ma Middie over a bottle of Sauv Blanc at the self checkout).
This four-bedroom, two-bathroom spacious family home is in the village of Bucklebury, West Berkshire – eight miles from Newbury and 12 miles from Reading. Bucklebury. Since Kate married her prince this area has become a seriously chi chi property hot spot – perfect for commuters and parents looking for excellent schools. And even more importantly, it has a properly good coffee shop, The Blackbird Café and two pubs, The Cottage Inn and The Bladebone (priorities, people!).
There’s a good village primary school and it’s in catchment for the outstanding Kennet School. Plus you’re surrounded by superb independents – for littlies there’s Harriet House in Frilsham, co-ed prep schools Elstree, Brockhurst & Marlston House and St Andrew’s are all nearby and for senior schools there’s Bradfield College.
This fabulous family house is on a leafy road with a sympathetic mix of large period and modern properties, but all sympathically blending in to their rural surroundings.
Inside, you’ll love the easy flow of this house – perfect for family living or anyone who loves to crack open the wine and invite everyone back to their’s. There is not one but three reception rooms – all interconnecting, with views onto the garden. So all the space you need for rampaging kids or for throwing shapes while balancing a martini and a couple of vol au vents. It’s a skill.
If you’re playing country house bingo, you’ll be on a winning streak here: country kitchen – tick; wood burners – tick. There are two; doors onto the garden – tick; al fresco dining space – tick; gated driveway – tick; large garden – tick. Throw in a large master bedroom with dressing room and en suite and all your house buying dreams will have come true.
The first floor is like a tardis. Any minute now the Doctor will pop out of a wardrobe. The four double bedrooms have slopey ceilings and lots of space for kids to store toys, do homework or hide from their embarrassing parents dancing downstairs. Only the master has an ensuite but there is lovely family bathroom within loo dashing distance of the other three bedrooms.
Outside is a 50ft mature garden which is good news for reluctant gardeners as it means the plants are harder to kill. Warning to the new owners of this house, in the summer months, you find me sipping G&Ts on the decked al fresco dining area. It’ll only be awkward at first.
If you get bored of hanging out here, there are plenty of playgrounds nearby – join the welly brigade on any number of woodland walks with pubs nearby, Bucklebury Farm Park is a winner with the kids; there’s not one but two Michelin star restaurants for grown ups – The Blackbird and The Woodspeen. You’re surrounded by good pubs, but if you want to rub shoulders with the Middletons, the Pot Kiln’s a pretty good bet. Let’s not forget you’re a short gallop to the Queen’s favourite racecourse in Newbury and the indie shopping is good too, The Corner Shop in Woolhampton, Scandi cool at B The Lifestyle Store, designer boutique Fifi & Moose. A right royal-ish rural idyll? You betcha!
So how much is it on for, do you think? Best guesses in the comments box below (or if you insist playing cheatypoos, then click here to find out).
Haslams estate agents, 159 Friar Street, Reading, RG1 1HE