Stoke Poges has a long history. In the Domesday Book of 1086, it was recorded as "Stoche." Today it is known for Stoke Park, originally a country mansion, which was designed by James Wyatt in 1788. Located in the middle of some 300 acres of parkland, lakes, gardens and monument, this is said to have become the first country club and hotel in the UK in 1908. The golf course at Stoke Park was the setting of a match in the James Bond film Goldfinger. Stoke Poges is mentioned in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, where it is the location of a frequently-visited golf course. The village is also known for its memorial gardens, where there is a statue to Thomas Gray. The poet famously wrote his masterpiece, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, in Stoke Poges in 1750.
The concept of Tithe Farm Cottage, he explains, was to build an opulent home where the new owners could enjoy their incredible surroundings in comfort. "The house had to have at least six bedrooms and to incorporate wonderful open-plan living spaces," he explains. "I wanted it to be very modern inside, featuring high quality brands and designers, as well as a number of beautiful, bespoke touches." Eye-catching features abound throughout the house: the exquisite, hand-made, wood and glass staircase, sweeps down into the reception hall, making an immediate statement; bathrooms are by Villeroy & Boch; Porcelanosa tiles have been laid throughout and high-tech features, including mood lighting and a speaker system, have been cleverly designed. "Everything here has been finished to the highest quality," he adds.
The splendid country home is entered via the impressive reception hall. To the right, this gives on to the formal drawing room and dining room, as well as the snug. To the left are the cloakroom, study, boot room and utility room. Spanning much of the back of the house is the breath-taking kitchen, breakfast and family room, with its contemporary fittings and generous central island. This open-plan area offers ample space for dining furniture and comfortable seating. "This is excellent for family living and will also be fantastic for entertaining," he observes. "In summer, the bi-folding doors along here will be able to be pulled right back on to the terrace and garden."
The first floor of the house has been arranged to encompass five sumptuous bedrooms. Each of these has its own bath or shower room. The master bedroom and one of the guest rooms also have a dedicated dressing area. A sixth bedroom and dressing room are situated on the top floor of the property. There is also a possible seventh bedroom or cinema or games room at this level. "Again, we wanted to create a home which offered very high standards of comfort and had plenty of room to spread out into," he adds.
BEST OF ALL
The garden at To the Farm Cottage will make an excellent entertaining space and is something of a blank canvas for the next owners to put their own stamp on.