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What makes a proper village? To be honest no one really knows but at the very least it needs a shop, a pub, a village hall, a school and somewhere for the kids to let off steam. Leeswood has all of these along with a couple of fast food outlets and some of the most attractive surroundings you could hope for which, to my mind, makes it almost over-qualified. So following the village theme, the idea of a little cottage in such a setting becomes ever more appealing, but appealing means expensive and the problem is finding one with a price tag slightly less than the national debt of a small third world country. With this little gem, we may have found the answer…..
On in an elevated position above Pontybodkin Hill sits Eaton Place, a well established terrace of traditional two bedroom homes. We access number 6 via a small alleyway between this and the adjacent terrace and which also leads through to the rear garden. Two steps lead up onto a small front garden area consisting of a path to the front door and a section of decorative crushed slate surrounded by a low perimeter wall.
Opening the white UPVC front door takes us straight into the lounge, delivering the first of many pleasant surprises. I had expected to find an open plan configuration to make the most of the cottage’s limited dimensions, but arrived instead in a formal front room. This was all the more surprising because it did not feel small in any way, possibly helped in this regard by the large picture window to the front giving open views of the adjacent hillside. A high quality wood laminate floor adds to the ‘cottage’ feel but what really makes this room special and provides the natural focal point is the chimney breast. This has as its base a huge slab of slate while the sides and back of the fireplace are lined with quite beautiful ceramic tiles with a myriad of different colours and patterns. I know it sounds fussy but the effect is quite stunning and in the centre sits a brand new and unused log burner. This has been professionally installed at a considerable cost and comes with all the necessary safety certificates.
Moving to the rear of the room there is the door into the kitchen, where the good news continues. This has an attractive and practical ceramic tiled floor: practical until you drop crockery on it. Today’s Top Tip - Don’t. It is indestructible and easy to clean but can be unforgiving to your best Wedgewood china. However it is the fitted units in here that take pride of place. Although not new, they are living proof that even today, you only get what you pay for. These solid wood units were from Schreiber, installed at great expense and look as good today as they did when freshly positioned. They are laid out in a classic ‘U’ shape with the free standing gas cooker in the centre of the middle wall. An automatic washing machine sits adjacent to the ceramic sink unit beside the door through into the bathroom, while the staircase rises along the inner wall.
This door brings another example of the care that has been put into the detailing of this home. The lobby beyond the door is undeniably small so in order to save space, the door is a bi-fold type, something that is replicated on the angled bathroom door opposite.
Stepping into here the floor tiles change into an attractive mock marble pattern, something which continues up onto the walls as well. The room, although not huge is very conveniently laid out and offers a stainless heated towel rail/radiator to keep you toastie on those winter’s mornings and a suite featuring a pedestal hand basin, lavatory and a ‘P’ shaped bath with glass screen and a mains water powered shower over.
Moving out of the back door in the lobby between here and the kitchen takes us (unsurprisingly) into the garden. Actually, ‘garden’ is a bit misleading as there is not a blade of grass to be seen but a series of different hard standing or decked areas, each with its own character and use. First of these is small yard containing the gate into the previously mentioned side alleyway to the front of the home, an enclosed log store beside the back door so you can feed the fire without tramping all the way down the garden and a brick outhouse. Originally the outside lavatory but thankfully, those days have gone and it now contains the tumble drier and general storage.
The first and lowest of the decked areas provides space for a washing line for more traditional drying methods, perhaps more in keeping with cottage life…. The next level up offers space to relax with an al fresco BBQ and two further wooden storage sheds. The decking then gives way to an attractive area of decorative crushed slate with paved stepping stones across it, before we come to the veranda in front of the large summer house. The veranda has an unusual hand-made steel chiminea (don’t panic, it is sufficiently well insulated to prevent you becoming part of the BBQ) and a wooden gazebo above, making outdoor relaxation possible even when the weather turns. The summer house is spacious, in excellent condition and features power and light, even usable as a spare bedroom for occasional visitors.
Back indoors and up the stairs we turn right into the smaller of the bedrooms. Overlooking the rear garden, this room continues the cottage theme of the home with its use of wood fixtures and stripped doors. One of these doors reveals the gas combi central heating boiler and hanging space for clothes which removes the need for a free standing wardrobe, leaving more available floor space. Beside this is a lovely hand-built unit of a further wardrobe with cupboards and drawers alongside and also incorporating a small dressing table. It is neat, stylish and clever. Rather like the rest of the home actually…..
Finally we come to the front facing main bedroom with its attractive wood laminate floor. This mirrors the lounge for space and is thus a large bedroom, from which you begin to appreciate the elevated position as you look out across the nearby hillside and further down the valley where the home’s position allows you to witness some fabulous sunsets. The room has no fitted furniture but nor does it need any as there is more than enough space for all the free standing wardrobes, chests of drawers and dressing tables you could wish for.