6 en suite bedrooms, including one on the ground floor and one in the self-contained Riverview annex – large kitchen/diner – games room – pool table and table football - sitting room – outdoor heated swimming pool – large hot tub – summerhouse with infrared sauna – 1 acre of grounds – large patio with BBQ (charcoal not provided) and outdoor seating – children's play equipment - secure gated parking for 6 vehicles – online grocery shopping available for delivery or collection from Waitrose, M&S, Tesco and Able & Cole.
The Benches is a spacious, bright and airy Italianette style villa; the decor is undeniably attractive, with furnishings that really suit the property. Leaded windows, latch and brace doors, fabulous artwork; heaps of eclectic style. Step into the cool of the porch and push open the front door to step inside the spacious hallway; herringbone Parquet flooring, a wood-burner in the corner, a window seat and a stereo, and right in the middle is a groovy red pool table. A painted brick staircase typical of the Arts & Crafts movement leads to bedrooms 1-4; there's big metal roof trusses painted blue, a 1930's iron chandelier and high up on the wall is a fabulous painting on canvas of an Italian landscape commissioned by the first owner of the house, the aunt of the poet W. H. Auden.
Continue through to the open plan kitchen-dining room; a big open plan space with comfy seating. It's cool in the summer and cosy in the winter with Travertine flooring and underfloor heating, as well as the ambient heat that radiates from the 4 oven Aga. Don't worry if you're not used to using an Aga - there's also an electric oven and a gas hot plate.
A stylish red island in the middle of the kitchen allows for socialising and cooking at the same time, and there's a walk-in pantry. Folding patio doors lead out to a covered veranda and onto the terrace where the outdoor pool and hot tub are. From here the views over the river and the valley beyond are absolutely breathtaking.
A long custom built dining table with huge funky lights suspended high above it makes a great setting for you all to get together for a celebration feast, for breakfast, lunches, whatever! There's a woodburning stove if you need extra warmth and an outlook of the gardens; to one side French doors open to the terrace at the side of the house where there's garden furinture and a barbecue (Apr-Oct).
Just across the way is a summer house where you can play table football, and do your laundry! Or you can step into the Scandanavian style 4-person sauna ... and relax.
The sitting room is lovely; tucked away in a corner of the house off the hallway; there's a huge red brick fireplace with a wood-burning stove, a right and airy alcove by a bay window, plenty of comfy seating, and a big TV. A great place to snuglle together and watch a good film.
When you get to the top of the stairs, Bedroom 1 is off to the left, a capacious double aspect room with a superking bed and built in wardobes. It has a lovely en suite bathroom with a bath tub with overhead shower; fill the tub with bubbles, lie back and enjoy the views out over the river to the hills beyond. In the morning pull back the curtains and see wild geese and swans coming in to land on the water, and river mist lingering over the fields and around the arches of what's left of the aquaduct that used to span the Wye. The whole of the first floor is carpeted so it's warm and cosy underfoot.
The bedrooms are all carpeted so it's warm and cosy underfoot. At the other end of the landing, Bedroom 2 is another spacious room with the option of a superking or twin beds, and some seriously cool zebra print wallpaper. The ensuite for this room has a double ended, freestanding bath where you can relax and dream a little whilst you gaze out over the garden...
Bedroom 3 is at the front of the house and has a blend of more modern and period styles; there's a kingsize bed and a very stylish ensuite shower room.
Bedroom 4 is a smaller room that has an ensuite shower room. There's a double bed and doors that lead out onto a balcony, so you can step outside in the morning, take a breath of fresh air and admire the far reaching views over the River Wye; it's a lovely spot for morning coffee and what a way to start the day! On a balmy summers evening, tiptoe up from a late night swim, leave the door open and let the gentle night breeze float in as you drift off to sleep.
Back down on the ground floor, Bedroom 5 is off the kitchen, through a lobby with a WC. This is another very comfortable room with zip and link beds, an ensuite shower room and a lovely outlook of the garden and the river.
The covered veranda at the back of the house leads onto the terrace and to decking with a big bubbly hot tub, and a 10 x 4m outdoor pool (with a constant depth of 4ft). You don't need us to tell you how blissful it is to unwind out there - with that spectacular view over the river to the distant hills!
A short winding path takes you to the self-contained Riverview Annex; perfect for grandparents on a family holiday, or for people who like to have their own space away from the crowd now and then. 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. The Annex has all you need - a double bed, an ensuite wet room, and a small kitchenette.
Above the annex is a private decked terrace; sit there with a drink or two, have breakfast or lunch out here, or a BBQ. With the backdrop of the River Wye it really is the perfect spot for it.
Wander around the acre of gardens, sloping lawns that are amass with little purple crocus in the early springtime, and apple trees frothy with blossom. Take the younger ones exploring, and they can while away the hours on the chunky play equipment. The Benches has soemthing for everyone so we'd understand perfectly if you wanted to spend every minute of your stay here; in fact a lot of guests do.
4-oven electric Aga - 1 built-in electric oven - gas hob - 1 microwave - 1 dishwasher - drinks fridge, fridge-freezer and separate fridge – automatic washing machine and tumble dryer – infrared sauna – hot tub - Bose speaker – wireless broadband - 1 TV and DVD player - duvets/linen/towels provided – 2 travel cots - 1 toddler bed - 2 highchairs - stairgates – patio furniture – BBQ (charcoal not provided) – pubs 0.5 -1 mile - local shop 0.25 miles - main shops 0.5 miles. NB: Consideration required for neighbouring property. Strictly no fireworks, sky lanterns or drones.
Pets by prior arrangement £50 charge. Non-smokers only. Friday-Friday bookings. Short breaks available all year round.