Ralph reviews a Grade II detached period house in Tattenhall
During the course of this winter I have spent far too much time reclining in front of the fire indulging in my favourite carob treats so in the spirit of true Spring enthusiasm I have decided I should get active and take up a new hobby. Whilst considering my options my family have helpfully been offering up their suggestions although I have to say that I was less than enamoured with the ideas of car valeting (starting with ours, dad quipped), “speed dishwasher emptying” and power “dusters -on-paws” skating. I was, however, sorely tempted by the idea of landscape gardening – digging holes, lots of holes, appeals greatly. That said I have been leaning towards jousting or fencing – it seems rather fitting that I should pursue one of these rather noble pastimes, if they were good enough for King Henry VIII then they should be just perfect for the king of dogs, a pug….
Serendipitously my latest Ralph’s Review features a house with Tudor origins and so it was with even greater enthusiasm than normal that I set off to explore Woodlake House in Tattenhall, after all I may be inspired in my latest pursuits. We (myself and my driver, dad) reached the outskirts of this charming Cheshire village and promptly turned onto a treelined driveway which led us to a large cobbled courtyard. Jumping down from the car I gazed up at an imposing period house – history emanated from the walls and I simply could not wait to discover what delights Woodlake house had to offer – I wondered if there would be anywhere where I could practice my fencing skills (jousting may be unwise inside the house….).
I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and, rather like Alice in her wonderland, I stepped over the threshold and reopened my eyes to a new world. I was in an entrance hall and the door in front of me was no ordinary door – it was a stunning period style door that looked like Henry VIII himself could walk right through it in any moment. Beyond the door I found myself in a beautiful and atmospheric drawing room – the beamed ceiling, inglenook fireplace and spectacular Jacobean staircase, which I surmised led up to the first floor, left me in no doubt of the Tudor origins of this room. Settling down in front of the fire for forty winks, my half-closed drooping eyes could almost detect the whispering shadows of Tudor conspirators in the corners of the room…
Once I had roused myself from a slumber filled with dreams of daring does which would put a musketeer to shame, I got to my feet ready to explore the rest of Woodlake House. Beyond a door in the drawing room I found a charming and equally atmospheric snug once again complete with a beamed ceiling and an exposed brick fireplace and log burner. What an appealing room, this would be the perfect place to snuggle down and read a good book – The Six Wives of Henry VIII perhaps??
My next stop was the dining room which appeared to be in a more modern part of the house (dad informed me that parts of the original Tudor house were remodelled in 1693 with further additions in the 1800s). What I particularly loved about this room were the nearly full length bifolding doors which opened onto the garden – it is somewhat hard to imagine on a blustery March day but what a beautiful inside/outside space this would be in the heart of summer. The dining room opens into a wonderfully spacious kitchen furnished with bespoke oak units and a statement Aga – anyone who knows me or my Ralph’s Reviews will know that an Aga is one of my most favourite things in the world (after bonios, and roast chicken, and frisbees, and walks in the forest, and splashing in puddles, and carob cake…) but for sure, after those things it is most definitely top of my list!
Knowing that there was still much of Woodlake House to discover I made my way back to the entrance hall and took a further door which led me into a warm and welcoming sunroom. I was thrilled to spy more bifolding doors which open onto the back garden and, being south facing, make this room into a real suntrap – there is little doubt about where you would find me on a sunny Spring day… Curled up soaking up the rays in a patch of sunlight, it would be unlikely I would move for anyone –not even Henry or any of his six wives! Heading ever deeper into this exquisite home I discovered a handy cloakroom, a utility room, a study and, wait for it, a games room. With its exposed beams this atmospheric room really felt like somewhere a little pug would be able to spar with their fencing partner – Alllez, lunge, parry, reposte…
Dragging my thoughts away from my sporting aspirations, I set my focus firmly on the task in hand and, with my keen powers of observation, I spied a set of stairs in an inner hallway which beckoned me tantalisingly upwards and so up I trotted to a rather spectacular first floor room situated above the games room. This open plan split level space, with its pitched ceiling and exposed beams, was simply enchanting and would be the perfect teenage “crashpad” making your pups the envy of all their friends from Doggy Daycare.
Having had my tastebuds well and truly tickled (sadly not in the literal sense) I was keen to explore the rest of the upstairs space at Woodlake House and so I headed back to the main staircase and bounded up with the enthusiasm I am known for. On the first floor I found two good sized bedrooms, one with an en suite shower room and a wonderfully large family bathroom. But there was no time to dally as I had already spotted a further staircase and I was impatient to see what delights it led to. Arriving on the second floor I found a shower room and two cosy bedrooms, both with skylights allowing light to flood in making them feel fabulously warm and cosy. The urge to stay and snuggle on a bed for a midday snooze was almost overwhelming but, ever the professional, I knew that my job would not be done until I had cast my discerning eye over the outside space at this rather fabulous family home.
So I set off at speed down the stairs, such speed in fact that I have to confess to a certain feeling of relief when I arrived on the ground floor with all four paws safely underneath me. Pausing briefly to catch my breath I then headed outside to explore. Always a fan of anywhere where I can chase a frisbee or bound after a ball whilst running as fast as my (little) legs will carry me, I was delighted to find a large, well-kept garden, dad informed me that the property sits in 0.8 of an acre. There are stunning views over open countryside and I am sure I also spotted Bolesworth Castle across the fields – I always knew I was destined to live within sight of a bona fide castle….
My wholehearted admiration of Woodlake House was cemented by the discovery of a double garage and workshop – surely this beautiful home offers everything that any self-respecting family could want. If my explorations have piqued your interest, please do not hesitate to contact myself or one of my team on 01244 322322 to arrange a viewing of Woodlake House.
Until next time
Love Ralph X