Stunning six bedroom Regency house set in secluded grounds approximately four miles from the Georgian market town of Retford and approximately two miles away from the A1.lark rise
Tucked away on a gated private country estate, Forest House must be one of the prettiest Regency houses in north Nottinghamshire. It began life as a farmhouse but has been a private house for many years, meticulously maintained, developed and decorated with style and panache by the current owners. Secluded in extensive gardens laid out by two leading garden designers, this unique property exudes a sense of peace and nurture, surrounded by fields and woodland.
The flow of the house and the accommodation make it ideal for family living. The front door opens into a spacious hall with parquet flooring, off which is a downstairs cloakroom and storage cupboard. To the right is the south-facing drawing room. An open fire blazes in the hearth in winter. Two sets of large arched glazed French doors open onto a lavender-lined York stone terrace and spectacular views over the lawns, with a ha-ha and fields and a wood beyond. Off the drawing room is another reception room, currently used as a study. This too faces south, with similar large arched French doors opening onto the wide terrace and gardens and a tall Regency window facing west over the drive.
Turn left off the hall and you enter the dining room, with two Regency pine corner cupboards at one end. But don't be deceived: part of the charm of Forest House is its hidden doors to unexpected pleasures. One of the corner cupboards here opens into a study, with a south facing window over the garden and a half-glazed door onto a York stone terrace, sheltered by a prolific fig tree and surrounded by the formal, walled and yew-hedged 'enclosed garden'.
Through the dining room is the farmhouse kitchen, whose large windows face both east and west for morning and evening light. The floor is Jerusalem limestone, which extends into the walk-in pantry. There's a half-glazed door into the kitchen garden and access through an arched wooden gate in an old brick wall, back on to the enclosed garden's terrace. The back staircase is carpeted, like the rest of the stairs and landing, in hand-woven wool and leads to the accommodation upstairs. To the left of the built-in kitchen Aga are two more Regency doors, masquerading as cupboards. Only one fulfils that task, since the other leads into a slate-floored back kitchen/utility and an exterior door on to the front gravel drive. The back kitchen gives access directly on to the kitchen garden, where dark wooden fencing topped by pleached hornbeams and an ancient beech 'hedge on stilts' enclose a vegetable garden. To its right is the charming old handmade-brick outbuilding (once a garage), with potting shed (still with the original fireplace), with old paving setts dividing the two.
The back kitchen passage once again reveals a once-cupboard door that opens into a light-filled 'orangery', the perfect place for morning coffee overlooking the kitchen garden. At the far end of this room is a 'gardeners' loo', beyond which is a spacious workshop, tiled in the original terracotta pammets, with walk-in storage and a knee-high dog bath/shower (ideal for Wellington boots or muddy children). Two large-paned mirrors on the orangery wall aren't what they seem either: a concealed catch on one opens it into the library/snooker/media room, with three French windows sliding up for access to the drive and wooded seating area beyond. This west-facing room is perfect to watch the spectacular sunsets.
Back once more to the front door and the hall, from which a sweeping staircase leads up to a landing and the first of the bedrooms. This suite comprises a small 'boudoir' entrance, off which are a dressing room and bathroom. The bedroom faces south and west, with 'Nottinghamshire shutters' at the larger of the south-facing windows.
Turn right off the landing and you enter a lobby that gives onto another light and airy bedroom facing south across the lawns and gardens (once more with Nottinghamshire shutters), with bathroom off. Next to this is a bedroom currently used as a spacious dressing room, with views over the enclosed garden.
Next door are stairs down to the kitchen, at the top of which is a generous walk-in linen cupboard with built-in wardrobe and walls lined with shelving. You are now in the oldest, 18th century part of the house, with two further east-facing bedrooms and family bathroom. A door at the end of this corridor takes you up four steps into the principal bedroom suite. One door leads into a single cupboard-lined bedroom (currently a nursery but equally useful as a dressing room). The owners incorporated, in true Narnia fashion, a wardrobe door that leads into the en-suite bathroom, which itself leads back into the principal bedroom. Glazed double doors lead onto a roof terrace where you can sit and watch the sun go down.
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Tucked away at the end of a long driveway and beautifully presented throughout, this a stunning family homeRoo Fisher