Ascot Cottage - What's in a name?
PUBLISHED: 16:36 08 February 2008 | UPDATED: 15:01 20 February 2013
Ascot Cottage is not, as you might imagine, a modest dwelling, but a mansion that's a polo player's dream. Josephine Murray reports...
Don't be fooled by the modest moniker: Ascot Cottage is a fabulous 12-bedroom mansion on the edge of Winkfield with exclusive neighbours. The luxurious residence is right next door to the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club and near the Guards Polo Club and Coworth Park, just a few miles from both Ascot and Windsor. It also boasts its own stick and ball polo field, accessed via a gallop owned by the Royal Berkshire Polo Club (but over which Ascot Cottage has a right of access.).
Dating from Victorian times, the property had not been lived in for several years before it was purchased by its current owners, who have a keen interest and involvement in polo.
Interior designer Grant White of Grant White Design Ltd took on the task of transforming Ascot Cottage into a comfortable family home, which could also function as a polo club house, whilst retaining the feel of a Victorian country house.
"It was the perfect house to be remodelled as there was nothing worth retaining and it could be improved to suit the new owners."
He explains: "There was little to be retained and it was a case of putting back the original features rather than restoring as such, as the house had been badly remodelled by the previous owners, with internal bathrooms and cupboards in impractical places. It was the perfect house to be remodelled as there was nothing worth retaining and it could be improved to suit the new owners. The antique floor was restored, antique fire places put in and the windows replaced with wooden ones. The top floor was extended and a sky-light put in to bring light right through the centre of the house."
At the heart of the property is the Argentinian Room, a fabulous 700 sq ft kitchen/entertaining room with a lofty beamed ceiling and space for a long table added by the current owners. Double doors lead out to the swimming pool and entertaining terrace. Says Grant:
"The Argentinian Room is multifunctional as well as elegant. The concept was to bring the sunny southern hemisphere into the house, allowing the owners to enjoy outside eating despite the UK weather."
The kitchen area has state-of-the-art appliances including a wood burning hot plate/barbeque set within the recesses of a former fireplace - with an extractor fan above. The room, which is flanked by a family room and a sitting room, also benefits from under-floor heating.
The property boasts just over 12,000 sq ft of luxurious accommodation, with a wide range of rooms for both entertaining and family use. Says Grant: "The house can be used for casual and formal entertaining. It is also a family house suitable for young children and teenagers alike."
The ground floor family accommodation comprises a reception hall with a feature fireplace and herringbone floor, drawing room, a charming dining room, study, family room, breakfast room, office, kitchen/entertaining room and sitting room. All the reception rooms boast
high ceilings and period charm. There is also a gym, sauna and shower, cloakrooms, and cellar.
Domestic offices, essential in a house of this size, comprise a secondary kitchen, an air conditioned state-of-the-art laundry, pantry and rear lobby. An integral staff flat can be accessed via the back door of the property and is located off the secondary kitchen. It comprises a living room, bedroom and bathroom.
"It has two dressing rooms, one large and one small, a luxurious en suite bathroom and a sitting area/private study."
The first floor accommodation includes a master bedroom suite with its own staircase to the ground floor, although it can also be accessed via the main stairs. It has two dressing rooms, one large and one small, a luxurious en suite bathroom and a sitting area/private study. There are a further 11 bedrooms, including a recently added three-bedroom guest wing, that sits apart from the other first and second-floor bedrooms and is to be found to the western end of the house.
Outside there is garaging for six cars, a games room and stable yard, comprising 12 loose boxes, tack room and groom's office (with WC and running water). The yard benefits from its own gated entrance that leads on to North Street.
The gardens are an important part of the property, giving seclusion and framing the house beautifully. They comprise expansive areas of lawn, dotted with specimen trees including a majestic cedar and an old oak tree. A lavender border leads through to an area of formal planting with a hydrangea walkway and white rose garden culminating with two weeping trees that flank the stone pillared, domed gazebo. Together the whole of the grounds comprise around 16 acres (about 6.5 hectares) of land including a paddock and reservoir.
For information contact either: Sarah Woodward at Savills on
Tel: 020 7016 3713
James Heron at Knight Frank on tel: 01344 624 732