I am currently cosied up by a roaring fire, writing my latest Ralph’s Review. It has been so bitterly cold recently that I heaped on as many layers as I could before I ventured out the office. I have to be honest, on the way to the car, it was rather an effort to walk under the weight of so many coats and, if I could sweat, I surely would have done – I had to drink an entire bowl of water before I got in the car.
On the journey to Waverton I stripped a few layers off and found that it was infinitely easier to breathe! Arriving in the heart of old Waverton village I felt like I had stepped back in time, being surrounded by charming period properties it was rather like being an extra on the set of Pride and Prejudice! One building stood out head and shoulders above the rest, a very imposing, magnificently stunning three storey house which, to my delight, I realised was Church Manor – the very property I was coming to see. Dad informed me that the house was designed by the illustrious architect, John Douglas and, as such, is a Grade II listed building. Feeling very impressed and puffing out my chest just a little bit more, I made my way through the white painted garden gate and stepped up to the front door.
Once inside I found myself in a lovely hallway but I did not dally as a number of open doors showed tantilising glimpses of exciting spaces that I just could not wait to explore. So, claws clicking on the amtico flooring I took a door to my right and found myself in a rather grand dining room. The high ceilings, intricate coving and ornate fireplace only added to my fantasy of 19th century period dramas. I closed my eyes and could literally hear the sound of wine glasses clinking and the low hum of conversation. It was rather a shock to open my eyes and find myself, far from being asleep by the roaring fire whilst my elegantly dressed humans talked about the latest top hats and the state of their carriages, but rather I was stood in the middle of the room with my dad beside me dressed in decidedly 21st century clothes!
Giving a little shake of my head I ventured back into the hall and across to the drawing room which I was delighted to find is another very elegant room, perfect for entertaining guests. I was very glad that I had kept my tweed coat on, it was nice to be appropriately dressed for such elegant surroundings. I admired the fabulous ornate marble fire surround and I must make particular reference to the stone mullion windows, not just in the drawing room but throughout the house, they are simply spectacular and truly give the sense of stepping back in time.
Tucked away at the back of the drawing room I found a room which I would use as a study. With the door closed it would be nice and quiet and yet I would still be close to the rest of the family.
Heading back out of the drawing room I realised that my journey through this amazing property was only just beginning. My next stop was a sitting room or family room which has a decidedly cosy and informal feeling, with a charming part exposed brick fireplace and a glorious wood burner.
Oh yes, this would be the place where I would lounge around, watching films after a walk around Waverton and the surrounding countryside. Reluctantly dragging myself away from this welcoming room I headed through a door at the back of the sitting room and found myself in the kitchen – well, what a show-stopping space this is with a vaulted, beamed ceiling, country style units and plenty of interesting nooks and crannies to explore, around the corner I found a lovely dining area with French doors to the garden whilst another set of French doors leads to a delightful little walled courtyard (the perfect place to escape to for a quiet 40 winks in the sun).
My nose for adventure led me on and I found myself in an inner hallway with a cloakroom and utility room leading off from it. Like the gold at the end of the rainbow, the room at the end of the corridor was an absolute gem – it is called the garden room because it boasts three windows overlooking the garden. I visited in the morning and the winter sunshine was flooding in through the windows so I would be tempted to choose this as my favourite spot for curling up by mum’s feet whilst she indulges in her morning coffee.
Trotting back through the house to the main entrance hall, I then bounded up the stairs to the first floor. As I had come to expect with this fabulous house, it was spacious and full of character. I found three bedrooms on this floor, the main bedroom with an en suite shower room and the family bathroom.
One thing that I loved was the fact that the landing was so large, it was almost a room in itself and the perfect spot for a chaise long where I could relax and read my “Most Popular Dog Breeds” book in the evening sun – I aspire one day to have my photograph in its pages (my agent -aka dad - is fully briefed to accept a commission from them no matter what the terms).
My next stop was the second floor and I have to admit that, by the time I reached it I was flagging a little bit (I am still not quite on top of my Christmas weight and this is an exceptionally large house to explore). However, it was well worth the effort, I found two bedrooms on this floor and one of them has a feature free standing bath in the bedroom – without doubt, this would be my “pug paradise”.
With renewed vigour I skipped downstairs and before venturing back outside in the cold to explore, I popped my head into the cellar, oh yes, this house has even more to give. Not only are there plenty of places for storage throughout the house but the cellar could also store an awful lot of dog toys….
I stepped into the garden from the French doors in the kitchen/breakfast area, straight onto a patio with a delightful waterfall feature in centre stage. Oh the possibilities abound, whilst mum enjoyed a glass of wine on a summer’s evening (dad doesn’t drink – which mum says is a good thing as he is boisterous enough!), it would be exceptional fun to dive-bomb into the waterfall. I think they would definitely see the funny side of that…
I discovered the bulk of the garden at the back of the house and a single car garage at the side. The garden itself really did charm me, it is adjacent to the church and overlooks Cheshire farmland at the back.
The garden also scored a major plus point for me as it contains a magnolia tree, one of my mum’s favourite trees (well along with monkey puzzle trees – don’t ask!)
Church Manor has made quite an impression on me, there is no doubt that this is a forever home, one to raise a family of pups in and build perfect memories. In my humble opinion the new guardian of Church View will be very lucky indeed.
Until next time
About the author
What Ralph lacks in years, he makes up for in charm, charisma and good looks. There is nothing Ralph likes better than meeting and greeting clients old and new in his office. He may appear to sleep alot on the sofa but his mind never rests, always th…
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