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8 Bedroom detached house Tolleshunt Darcy £1,380,000

Magnificent Dodo Mansion is a stunning statement home, set in glorious countryside and offering sumptuous and stylish living space


Standing at the window, looking out across the open fields, the owners of Dodo Mansion know they chose exactly the right place for their home. They built the breath-taking property in picturesque countryside close to Tolleshunt D'Arcy approximately 10 years ago, hoping to create the house of their dreams within this magical setting. "We came across the plot by chance and knew it would be perfect for us," one of them recalls. "I was familiar with the area and liked it a lot; this particular place was secluded and was surrounded by fields. Having views like that really appealed to us."


Working closely with an architect to design a home which sat beautifully within its surroundings while also offering stylish, contemporary living, the couple came up with Dodo Mansion. "We love cooking and entertaining, and we have a big extended family, so we wanted to ensure we had a large kitchen and a decent-sized dining room," she remembers. "We wanted a walk-in pantry for all our herbs and spices, and my husband and I needed room to cook together without getting in each other's way! It was important to us to have lots of space for friends and family to spend time with us in the house and to stay overnight."


The result is a resplendent home which caters for every requirement. The ground floor of the house opens into a grand reception hall and drawing room, with a double-height ceiling, two magnificent walls of windows, capturing the views, and an elegant, sweeping staircase. There is also a snug, dining room, family room or study and the spacious kitchen breakfast room, with its larder. Also on the ground floor is a utility room and cloakroom. "We also created a wonderful entertaining room, which has a bar area, DJ decks, lots of comfortable seating and a pool table. This has proved to be a fantastic place to spend time with friends and family, relaxing together and having a drink," she says.


Five bedrooms are situated on the first floor of the house: three of these have en suite bath or shower rooms, as well as walk-in wardrobes. The two remaining rooms share the family bathroom. "We decided to design it so that everyone had lots of space and all the rooms were big and airy," she explains. "There are two more bedrooms and another bathroom on the top floor. We turned one of these into a cinema room as it was so large. The beauty of this house is that spaces can be used in all sorts of different ways." Two more rooms and a bathroom can be found above the entertaining space.


The ground floor of the house has a bright, open-plan style. "We also wanted it to feel open to the outside area," she says. "When you look out and see the fields, it is as if the outside is coming in. Even in the winter it is lovely, when you are warm inside and are gazing out on to the white snow." Each room has been finished to an exceptional quality. Marble for the bathrooms and downstairs floor was imported from Italy, there is underfloor heating, windows were made from beautiful natural oak and the kitchen has granite work surfaces and a range of high-end fixtures and fittings, including a coffee machine. "We also have two ovens to ensure there is plenty of space for roasting dishes for our large family," she adds.


The beautiful grounds have also given them great joy. In the past they have kept horses and there is a gazebo for summer entertaining and dining. "The children have loved being able to explore and pick berries to make into jam," she says. "We have enjoyed having parties outside here, and sitting out around a bonfire until four or five in the morning." It has been easy to reach local beauty spots and to travel into London for work and pleasure. "We go cycling and horse-riding nearby," she says. "At Tollesbury, there is an outdoor swimming pool and people sail. There is a real community feel here, with lots of events for those who

Setting the Scene
Dodo Mansion is set in attractive grounds of approximately three acres. There is a stable block and ample space for keeping horses. The lawned gardens are ideal for children and pets. There is a gazebo for entertaining and outside dining. The grounds take in extensive views in all directions.
Tolleshunt D'arcy is an historic and charming village, situated on the Blackwater Estuary about 12 miles south west of Colchester and 7 miles north east of Maldon. The village is particularly well placed for both sailing enthusiasts and commuters with Kelvedon Station (mainline) approximately 7 miles and Mersea Island (for sailing) approximately 8.5 miles. The village has a thriving community atmosphere which centres on its church, village shop, primary school and two public houses (one now an Indian restaurant).
For more comprehensive facilities,Maldon and Colchester are close by. The sailing facilities at Tollesbury and Heybridge are easily accessible, together with Five Lakes Golf and Country Club. To commute to London, Witham, Kelvedon and Hatfield Peverel Stations are all within easy reach. By road, access to the A12 is just 8 miles away and allows the motorist access to Colchester and Ipswich to the north or Chelmsford and London to the south.

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