Most of us would love to live in the country if it wasn’t for the commute. But if you have £4.5million to spare, this house in the village of Plaistow, West Sussex, is the answer. It comes with 21 acres and a three-acre rainbow trout lake, but is only 90 minutes to central London.
The humbly named Lake House also has its own helicopter hangar and helipad. You can fly to the City in the same time it takes to cook a frozen pizza, Gatwick in less than eight minutes and Farnborough International in 10 minutes.
‘The current owner often entertains guests from all over the world, so being able to fly to your own home with an unrestricted helipad is a definite advantage,’ says David Williams, director at The Grantley Group.
The home comprises five bedrooms, two home offices, a party room, a home cinema and a fully equipped music room with a bar. The gardens have been extensively landscaped and offer complete privacy – all within a parkland setting.
Standing on the substantial rear terrace, you can see out to the rainbow trout lake, with a jetty a jetty and the wild flower meadow, as well as the ancient bluebell woodland and grounds suitable for paddocks. Within the 4,800sq ft of ancillary buildings, you also get a workshop, triple bay garage, helicopter hangar, barn and wine cellar.
In addition, a one-bedroom summer house can be used as staff quarters or studio, with its own services and private sunken patio. Discreetly tucked away and screened from view of the house is a tennis court.
But because the house is so lavish in its detail, not to mention extensively lit by pink and blue lighting at night (perhaps not to everyone’s taste), it’s surprising that its eco credentials are the most dazzling feature. Designed by German company Huf Haus, the property is zero-emission and uses no fossil fuels.
It’s also super-insulated and the ecological structure is filled with the latest energy-saving technology, including geothermal underfloor heating and automated lighting. It’s extremely cheap to run and maintenance costs are very low.
‘Aside from the parkland grounds and the three-acre rainbow trout lake, it is the property’s eco-friendly features that stand out,’ David says.
‘The house is heated via a geothermal heat exchange unit and its ultra-insulated floors and glass walls cover 90 per cent of the back of the property – which overlooks the meadows and lake. This makes the home incredibly cheap to run, energy efficient and ensures there is always a high level of natural light throughout the property.’
Regardless of the weather, the moment you walk into the property there is a sense of space, light and complete peacefulness. With unashamed contemporary architecture – thankfully a departure from the standard neo-classical billionaire bait that fills this section of the market – the house has been carefully constructed with vaulted reception rooms and bedrooms, providing a real connection to its surroundings from anywhere in the house. ‘The owners have managed to bring the outside in,’ David adds.
A fully equipped music room with a bar and karaoke machine is ideal for budding musicians, or a weekend mini-rave. The Lake House has been carefully designed to suit a range of potential buyers, whether they are looking for a peaceful weekend retreat to escape city life, or a family home surrounded by woodland and forestry commission land.
With a separate access and hidden infrastructure, the music room area can be converted into a self-contained suite for an au pair or guests.
The master bedroom suite is a highlight of the house. It features a bespoke-designed Morphosis Alpha Jacuzzi, a walk through shower and Beckham-grade his and hers loos, complete with luxury fittings.
The remaining four double bedrooms all have en-suite bathrooms, with two of these rooms providing excellent mezzanine levels to maximise the use of space. All of the bedrooms have balconies overlooking the lawn, meadow, lake and woodland beyond. The house is packed full of modern technologies, including Cat7 cabling to ensure all rooms and occupants can be connected to the net and the integral sound system.
And if all this space is not enough, the way the house has been constructed means it would be easy to add an additional wing to the building, a pool house or tertiary accommodation, subject to planning.
It’s staggering to think all this space and luxury costs about the same as a three-bed apartment in Vauxhall.
‘The potential buyer might currently work in the City and be looking for a home outside of the capital, be a London-based family looking to raise their children in the countryside, or an international buyer looking for a UK base when visiting,’ David says.
What you get for your money
■ 5,591sq ft contemporary house with five bedrooms
■ Helicopter hangar (above), helipad, triple bay garage, barn, two offices and wine cellar
■ Tennis court – screened from view of main house
■ 21 acres with a three-acre rainbow trout lake (below)
■ Super insulation in a zero-emission, no fossil fuel home
■ Low maintenance costs and low energy bills thanks to smart construction and design
■ Master bedroom suite with bespoke-designed Morphosis Alpha Jacuzzi, walk-through shower and his and hers loos
* The Lake House is £4.5million with thegrantleygroup.co.uk