Imagine a quintessentially English scene. There’d be a grand house, overlooking the village green, just across from the village pub. The silence would be broken only by church bells and the summer smack of leather on willow.
The grand house would be an elegant Edwardian refurbishment nestling into a Constable landscape. The lawn would be a croquet-ready, verdant sweep. The terrace would cry out for a G&T and the sizzle of steaks.
Throw a party, plant a marquee on the former tennis court, cook up a storm in the magnificent kitchen, sleep deeply in the sumptuous bedrooms, plan a movie night, walk the Chiltern Hills, tuck in at the Fat Duck or Waterside Inn. The Orchard is an oasis of calm away from the giddy maelstrom of modern life.
Life flows naturally into the outdoors here. Fling open the French doors onto a haven of sweeping greenery and peaceful birdsong. The vast terrace wrapping around two sides of the house is the place to take it all in. Pour a cool drink, set the steaks to sizzle on the BBQ and gaze out over the verdant sweep to Cliveden House and the hills beyond.
Get the family together and make things as easy or energetic as you please. There’s a former tennis court to throw down a marquee, a hot tub in which to laze and lounge, and plenty of lawn to picnic upon. Bring your dog (and doggy bags) and let him loose to sniff out poochy pleasures.
With three floors, six huge bedrooms and five reception rooms, The Orchard yawns with space. There’s space to be a part of things with a party and space to be apart with a book and a plate of cookies.
Unlatch the heavy gate and the story begins on the in/out gravel drive. Park up and fetch your bags into the panelled, polished-wood hall. From here, doors open to the study, the dining room, sitting room, cloakroom, family room and modern lounge. It’s like a game of Cluedo. But the only crime is why you haven’t been before.
Comfort and elegance go hand in hand here. The Orchard is a homescape of original fireplaces, glittering chandeliers, tasteful décor and soft furnishings, made for sinking into, armed only with a book and a drink.
It’s the perfect space to get together with the people who matter most; to celebrate friendship in an atmosphere of simple luxury and quiet contemplation.
If you tire of the gleaming kitchen and breakfast room, with space for twelve and all the gear you need for a fancy feast, the barbie awaits, should the sun have his hat on.
Kitchen or barbie? Tough choice. The elegant and sumptuous kitchen will give you ideas. If it doesn’t, we’ll send over a chef to rustle up a culinary symphony in three delicious movements. Outside, the sweep of the terrace and the open Berkshire air lend themselves to the aroma of steak and the bouquet of a fine Beaujolais.
For eating out, try the place voted the Best Restaurant in the World. That’s Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck. Just follow the glint of the three Michelin stars just five miles away down the road in Bray.
If snail porridge, mock-turtle soup and whiskey wine gums are a bridge too far, there’s heartier fare on offer at Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Jolly Farmer and the Bel and Dragon. Tuck in, sup up and wobble homewards.
Nothing beats bedding down in the rural hush. Inch open the window at night to hear the rustle of the breeze and the hoot of an owl. On a Sunday morning, only the church bells from across the green crack the silence.
With six bedrooms and six bathrooms, you won’t want for luxury and convenience at The Orchard. On the first floor, you’ll find the master suite, two double en-suite bedrooms and a large twin with adjacent bathroom.
On the top floor, another master suite sprawls out before you, and there’s another twin with adjacent bathroom.
In every one, décor is lush, carpets are thick. Curtains hang heavy and blackout blinds ensure deep slumber. Modern bathrooms gleam under spotlit ceilings. Take a lie-in, then a long laze in the bath. You deserve it.