The Benches - Accommodation
Park up at the Benches, close the gates and follow the path to the front door; step into a wide hall where there’s herringbone Parquet flooring, a wood-burner in the corner, and because it doubles up as the games room, right in the middle, there’s a groovy red pool table. The Arts & Crafts style is evident straightaway – above your head are blue metal roof trusses and a 1930's iron chandelier, high on the wall is a fabulous canvas of an Italian landscape commissioned by the first owner of the house, the aunt of the poet W. H. Auden.
To the left is the kitchen/dining room, a big open plan space that’s cool in the summer and cosy in the winter with underfloor heating beneath the Travertone tiles, as well as the ambient heat that radiates from the Aga. Don't worry if you're not used to using an Aga - there's also an electric oven and a gas hob. Folding doors lead to a veranda and onto the terrace where the outdoor pool and hot tub are; the views over the river and the valley beyond are absolutely breath taking.
A long bespoke dining table with huge funky lights suspended above it makes a great setting for any celebration feast; there's a woodburning stove if you need extra warmth, but on sunny days you can open the French doors to the terrace at the side of the house and invite the sunshine in.
Back in the hall/games room, straight ahead is the living room with an enormous sofa you can snuggle up on for family film nights; there’s a big red brick fireplace with a wood-burner, one of the original features of the house, like the leaded windows and the latch and brace doors. A painted brick staircase typical of the Arts & Crafts movement leads to Bedrooms 1-4; Bedroom 1 has a super king bed and an ensuite bathroom with a bath and overhead shower.
Bedroom 2 is the other end of the landing and has zip and link beds that can be arranged as a super king or twins, and an en suite bathroom with a freestanding bath. Bedroom 3 is at the front of the house and has a king size bed and its own shower room; Bedroom 4 is a smaller room with a double bed and an ensuite shower room. This room has doors opening onto a balcony, a lovely spot for morning coffee. On a balmy summers evening, tiptoe up from a late night swim, leave the door open and let the night breeze float in as you drift off to sleep. Bedroom 5 is downstairs, off the kitchen, and has zip and link beds and an ensuite shower room; Bedroom 6 is in the Riverview Annex (see below).
A short winding path takes you to the self-contained Riverview Annex with a double bed, an ensuite wet room, and a small kitchenette. This is perfect for grandparents on a family holiday, or for people who like to have their own space away from the crowd. Full length windows let the light flood in and it's mesmerising to sit here and watch the river go by, or a peaceful spot to sit and read.
Above the annex is a decked terrace, a fantastic spot for drinks, for breakfast, an alfresco lunch or a leisurely bbq; wander around the gardens, with sloping lawns that are amass with little purple crocuses in the early springtime, and apple trees frothy with blossom. Take the little ones exploring, and just wait for the shrieks of excitement when they find the play area! At the side of the garden there’s a summer house where you can play table football or unwind in the sauna.
The Benches has something for everyone, for all ages, whatever the season; it’s a wonderful place to stay for any large group holiday or short break. Book today!