Devon/Cornwall Escape to the Country


Devon/Cornwall

Alistair Appleton is in Devon house-hunting with a couple looking for their first home together. One of them is a hoarder while the other wants a minimalist home.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Devon/Cornwall. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

That is the Tavistock viaduct, one of the last great railway viaducts built in Britain.

0:00:020:00:06

It was finished in 1907 and it joins two counties

0:00:060:00:09

and spans a river whose banks were once the greatest producer of tin, copper and arsenic in the world.

0:00:090:00:16

Intrigued where we are? Find out in just a moment on Escape To The Country.

0:00:160:00:21

Today, we'll be helping a couple of Londoners swap busy streets for a laidback rural lifestyle...

0:00:330:00:39

I've got my chair and tree picked out!

0:00:390:00:41

We'll be viewing some breathtaking West Country homes...

0:00:410:00:45

Not many people leave me speechless, but that just left me speechless!

0:00:450:00:49

Or will it be the Mystery House that converts today's buyers?

0:00:490:00:54

I have a feeling you're home.

0:00:540:00:55

Yes.

0:00:560:00:57

This is the River Tamar which, historically, has always

0:01:020:01:05

separated Devon, over there, from Cornwall on this side.

0:01:050:01:08

Back in the day, it was mining where the money was - in mediaeval

0:01:080:01:11

times, silver and tin, and in the 1800s, copper was the big thing.

0:01:110:01:16

Of course, now, the mining days are long gone but, in 2006, the European Union pumped in £6m-worth

0:01:160:01:23

of development money and that's been good news for the tourists and also for the housing market.

0:01:230:01:28

Sandwiched between Dartmoor National Park in Devon

0:01:300:01:32

and Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, the Tamar valley stretches from

0:01:320:01:36

Plymouth in the south to Tavistock and near Launceston in the north.

0:01:360:01:39

At just 75 miles square, the valley is by no means vast, but packed into this little slice of Cornwall and

0:01:410:01:47

Devon is some of the most lush countryside to be found in the UK.

0:01:470:01:51

And, in 1995, the entire region was designated "an area of outstanding natural beauty".

0:01:510:01:57

At the heart of the valley is the River Tamar itself.

0:01:570:02:02

Along this scenic stretch of water, you'll find ancient woodlands, pretty villages and, of course,

0:02:020:02:08

the striking remains of the region's mining past.

0:02:080:02:10

Today, it's farming that's the bread and butter of the Tamar,

0:02:100:02:14

with 75% of the area given over to farmland.

0:02:140:02:17

So, if it's a Victorian cottage or a rambling farmhouse you're after,

0:02:200:02:24

you're more than likely to find it along the Tamar's shores.

0:02:240:02:28

As well as separating the two counties geographically,

0:02:300:02:33

the Tamar also separates Devon from Cornwall financially.

0:02:330:02:37

Over there in Devon, an average detached property will set you back £278,000, whereas here on this

0:02:370:02:42

side, on the Cornish side, it will cost you £265,000, which is still 13% above the national average.

0:02:420:02:49

On both sides of the river, prices have been going down, but take a look at what you can buy.

0:02:490:02:54

If you fancy living like a lord and lady of the manor, then this five-bedroom historic Tudor family

0:02:560:03:01

house in the grounds of Buckland Abbey, near Tavistock, could be just the thing.

0:03:010:03:05

For a rather stately £2m, you get spacious period accommodation, 16 acres of land

0:03:050:03:12

and, just in case that's not enough, there are two separate three-bedroom cottages included in the price.

0:03:120:03:18

For something more modern, check out this individually

0:03:210:03:24

designed four-bedroom house in St Dominic, Cornwall.

0:03:240:03:28

On the market for £595,000, the contemporary accommodation

0:03:280:03:32

is built around a huge reception hall and galleried landing.

0:03:320:03:35

But it's the setting that makes this a real stand-out,

0:03:350:03:38

with nearly every room enjoying far-reaching views over the Tamar valley.

0:03:380:03:42

If you're after a traditional cottage, then this 19th-Century

0:03:460:03:49

four-bedroom stone farmhouse in Portgate, Devon, could be yours for just under £400,000.

0:03:490:03:55

For that price, you get two good-sized reception rooms, complete with character features,

0:03:550:04:01

a farmhouse kitchen-diner, plus a self-contained one-bedroom annexe.

0:04:010:04:05

And you won't need a tractor to look after the pretty landscaped gardens.

0:04:050:04:09

Beautiful properties on both sides of the river here in Cornwall and

0:04:120:04:15

Devon, but will it be enough to lure our buyers from their homes in the Big Smoke?

0:04:150:04:20

For US-born Bob and Londoner James, retiring to the West Country would

0:04:200:04:25

be a huge step, as these two have never lived together before.

0:04:250:04:29

Whilst James has a two-bed flat in Surbiton, Surrey,

0:04:290:04:32

for the last 40 years, Bob's home has been this five-bedroom Edwardian

0:04:320:04:36

terrace in West London, but they've been planning a rural escape together for the last nine months.

0:04:360:04:42

The home I'm in now is past its sell-by date as far as I'm concerned.

0:04:420:04:45

I've just run out of space.

0:04:450:04:48

And there's too many stairs for me every day.

0:04:480:04:50

I've been up these stairs, you know, five times today already and that's wearing me out.

0:04:500:04:56

Arthritis means stairs are no longer an option for Bob, so a versatile

0:04:560:04:59

living space will be key, but what else are they looking for?

0:04:590:05:03

Something with a bit of character.

0:05:030:05:05

I quite like conversions, either barns, chapels...

0:05:050:05:09

What I'm looking for is a spacious home that would allow me

0:05:090:05:14

to live mostly on the ground floor, with a bedroom and a bathroom.

0:05:140:05:18

Whilst James lives in a very modern, almost minimalist, flat, Bob's home is crammed full of

0:05:180:05:25

period features and furniture, so will these two be able to agree on what they really want?

0:05:250:05:31

I'm more for the more modern interiors than Bob.

0:05:310:05:34

I'd hate something old-fashioned.

0:05:340:05:36

I don't mind modern if it's got some period features, but a completely modern house, I don't know...

0:05:360:05:42

Well, I could adjust to it.

0:05:420:05:44

'Style-wise, then, this could be quite a tricky balancing act,

0:05:440:05:48

'but at least they're agreed on the space they want.'

0:05:480:05:50

This is what passes for my kitchen, but originally it was a box room, so that's why it's so small.

0:05:500:05:56

I love to cook and part of the joy of cooking for me is preparation,

0:05:560:06:01

and there's just simply no space in here to do any of that.

0:06:010:06:05

And, of course, you need somewhere for your wine.

0:06:050:06:08

Well...keep that in the cellar.

0:06:080:06:10

Oh, we're getting a cellar, are we?!

0:06:100:06:11

And outside is equally important.

0:06:110:06:14

This is Bob's garden, very easy to maintain. It's also secluded.

0:06:140:06:18

This is the sort of garden we would like in our new place, but a bit bigger.

0:06:180:06:22

A barbecue area would be really good.

0:06:220:06:24

But, for opera fan Bob, it's the interior space he wants to up-scale.

0:06:240:06:28

This is what somebody affectionately referred to as my "wall of sound".

0:06:280:06:33

There are tapes all over the house, a DVD collection,

0:06:330:06:36

and I, literally, have no place to put them anymore.

0:06:360:06:38

I would like to have a room where I could separate where I live from the actual collection.

0:06:380:06:44

Before they can home in on their new country pile, they need to know just what they can afford,

0:06:440:06:50

so we've invited a local estate agent round to value Bob's home.

0:06:500:06:54

This is a substantial Edwardian family home,

0:06:540:06:58

on three floors, with five bedrooms. In my opinion,

0:06:580:07:01

the value is £650,000.

0:07:010:07:03

That's a good sum of money, but do they intend spending it all on their new pad?

0:07:070:07:11

After pooling our finances, we will have money to live on.

0:07:110:07:14

Our budget should be round about the £550,000 mark.

0:07:140:07:17

As I've understood our brief, what we're looking for is a four-bedroomed

0:07:210:07:25

house with at least one of the bedrooms and a bathroom down on the ground floor.

0:07:250:07:29

Also space for Bob's amazingly huge operatic collection,

0:07:290:07:33

though I haven't quite fathomed how big that actually is.

0:07:330:07:36

I'm sure I'll find out.

0:07:360:07:38

And then a manageable garden although, interestingly, at this budget in this area,

0:07:380:07:42

most properties come with enormous gardens, so that might be a problem.

0:07:420:07:46

To maximise our chances of finding Bob and James

0:07:480:07:51

their very spacious dream house, we're starting today's property

0:07:510:07:55

search on the Cornish side of the River Tamar,

0:07:550:07:57

where they should get more for their money.

0:07:570:07:59

To appeal to their very different tastes, we'll be viewing

0:07:590:08:02

a real mix of contemporary and character country homes.

0:08:020:08:05

As always, I'll be staying tight-lipped on the price tags until they've had a good look round.

0:08:050:08:11

Last of the three is the Mystery House, which should challenge them to think outside the box.

0:08:110:08:15

-Hello, gents.

-Hi.

-Hi. You've made it to the amazing Tamar valley.

0:08:180:08:21

-Isn't it gorgeous?

-A change from smoky old London?

0:08:210:08:24

-It certainly does.

-My God, yes.

0:08:240:08:26

Now, why have you picked this bit of narrow little corridor of the West Country? Why here?

0:08:260:08:31

Well, it's far enough away from London, but it's still accessible

0:08:310:08:36

to the main roads if you want to get to the airport or anything.

0:08:360:08:39

Yeah. Exeter, as well. You can go to all those places.

0:08:390:08:42

Your budget is a bit more fluid than we originally thought?

0:08:420:08:45

Yes, we've extended it slightly.

0:08:450:08:48

-How slightly?

-Well, about...50,000, maybe?

0:08:480:08:52

-So you could stretch up to 600?

-600, yes.

0:08:520:08:54

Very good. That's very good news.

0:08:540:08:57

-It is?

-Excellent, yes. And this is the first time you guys have

0:08:570:09:00

bought a property together, so are there going to be any style issues?

0:09:000:09:04

Possibly, because I'm more minimalist and tidy and you're...

0:09:040:09:08

-I'm more into clutter.

-More into clutter.

0:09:080:09:11

-Clutter makes a home, I always feel.

-Let's call it maximalist.

-All right.

0:09:110:09:14

I'm not sure I can pronounce that!

0:09:140:09:17

Well, hopefully we'll find you a property with plenty of space so you can spread out.

0:09:170:09:22

That's really what we're looking for.

0:09:220:09:24

Well, we'd better get looking. Shall we get in the car? Let's go.

0:09:240:09:27

So, for a top budget of £600,000,

0:09:280:09:31

Bob and James have a pretty long wish list.

0:09:310:09:33

They want a four-bedroom character home with ground-floor sleeping

0:09:330:09:37

accommodation for Bob and at least two separate reception rooms.

0:09:370:09:40

A huge kitchen-diner is a must,

0:09:400:09:43

whilst a big country garden is a must-not.

0:09:430:09:45

But with their opposite tastes in decor, I have a feeling meeting both

0:09:450:09:49

of their needs under just one roof is going to be quite a challenge.

0:09:490:09:54

I know you've got this issue with your opera collection.

0:09:540:09:58

-Yes.

-I haven't quite got my head around how big that is. How many...?

0:09:580:10:03

Do you need a whole extra room or two...?

0:10:030:10:05

Yes, or three.

0:10:050:10:07

I probably have more CDs than most record shops have, so it's quite extensive.

0:10:070:10:13

That's your primary concern. What about you, James?

0:10:130:10:16

I'd just like some really nice room to show off my collection of paintings, modern paintings,

0:10:160:10:21

and somewhere to chill out with a really large 50-inch TV screen.

0:10:210:10:28

That would be really great.

0:10:280:10:29

Well, our first property certainly has plenty of chilling-out space.

0:10:290:10:34

It's situated on the outskirts of the Cornish village of Calstock,

0:10:340:10:37

In the heart of the Tamar valley, 20 miles north of Plymouth.

0:10:370:10:41

Its riverside setting takes some beating.

0:10:410:10:44

Almost clinging to the banks of the Tamar, Calstock has been an important port since Saxon times,

0:10:450:10:50

but its heyday came with the Victorian mining boom

0:10:500:10:54

and the construction of the mighty viaduct.

0:10:540:10:56

The miners are long-gone, but their stone cottages still line the narrow streets.

0:10:560:11:01

The village is served by the Gunnislake to Plymouth line,

0:11:010:11:04

if Bob and James feel like branching out,

0:11:040:11:07

or for an entirely more sedate mode of travel,

0:11:070:11:09

they can take the village ferry from shore to shore.

0:11:090:11:12

We don't have to hire a boat, though, as our property is just on the edge of the village.

0:11:120:11:18

-What do you think of this?

-Very nice.

0:11:180:11:20

Very nice indeed. I quite like it. Is that slate on the front?

0:11:200:11:24

-That's Cornish slate. Not just any old slate.

-Cornish slate.

0:11:240:11:28

It was a tin miner's cottage. It's been extended.

0:11:280:11:31

It's obviously quite a deal bigger than it was when it was first built. Let's have a look inside.

0:11:310:11:36

This cottage delivers on versatile living space.

0:11:370:11:40

In we come.

0:11:420:11:44

-Straight into the kitchen.

-Now that I like.

0:11:440:11:47

Because you can just come right in and put your groceries down.

0:11:470:11:50

-You don't have to climb 15 stairs.

-This is your area, isn't it?

-It is.

0:11:500:11:54

-Is it going to be big enough?

-No.

0:11:540:11:57

It's really not much bigger than what I've got now, and I was hoping for one three times the size.

0:11:570:12:02

Three times the size. I shall make a mental note.

0:12:020:12:05

I wanted a gigantic kitchen. Lots of workspace.

0:12:050:12:09

For me, this is a nice size. It's workable.

0:12:090:12:12

But then, you cook and leave everything out, whereas I put things away.

0:12:120:12:16

-You're the tidy one, aren't you?

-Yes. I like the finish. Nice and modern.

0:12:160:12:20

There's a little more space. Next door you've got a large dining room, but I know you've got special

0:12:200:12:26

requirements in terms of wanting a downstairs bedroom. Let's talk about that.

0:12:260:12:30

'Tricky. James likes it but Bob seems to have written this property off already.

0:12:300:12:35

'Let's see if we can turn him around with his own annexe, complete with bedroom, study and bathroom.'

0:12:350:12:41

-You don't look totally wowed.

-Well, no. I'm not wowed, and I'll tell you why.

0:12:410:12:46

I was hoping for a bedroom that had en suite,

0:12:460:12:51

rather than having to walk from there down to here.

0:12:510:12:55

I can see there are several little steps.

0:12:550:12:58

Small steps, but steps, to get to the bathroom.

0:12:590:13:01

That could be a problem at 3:00am.

0:13:010:13:04

Let's look at the rest of the house.

0:13:040:13:06

'I know Bob doesn't want stairs, but I hadn't realised one step would be an issue.

0:13:060:13:12

'Hopefully, the rest of his quarters will get a better reaction.'

0:13:120:13:16

This is the downstairs bedroom. At the moment.

0:13:160:13:20

But it could be any number of things.

0:13:200:13:22

I think it's nice. I like it.

0:13:220:13:24

Bob would be the one living down here, so...

0:13:240:13:27

There's the step issue but I think it's nicely set out.

0:13:270:13:31

-As a bedroom, it's not too small.

-There's a bigger option downstairs.

0:13:310:13:35

Let's have a look at that.

0:13:350:13:37

'Right next door is a living room, where Bob should feel right at home,

0:13:380:13:42

as it's full of the owners' artwork.'

0:13:420:13:45

-This is the most spacious room downstairs.

-Very nice.

0:13:450:13:49

This is the extension they put this way into the cottage.

0:13:490:13:52

You can see how the rooms are much bigger and less cramped.

0:13:520:13:56

-Also, there seems to be more light.

-Much more. This is south-west facing. You get afternoon sunlight.

0:13:570:14:03

-They're very nice views.

-My storage room and your sun room.

0:14:030:14:06

-Well, no. If you use it for storage, where's my TV room?

-Oh, right.

0:14:060:14:11

-It would go there.

-Sorry, I forgot.

0:14:110:14:14

Such a waste to put an opera collection in here.

0:14:140:14:17

'Oh dear, disagreeing already.

0:14:170:14:19

But there's no need, as upstairs there are plenty of options.

0:14:190:14:22

For a start, this guest room could be used for storage,

0:14:220:14:25

and James has his own separatebathroom.'

0:14:250:14:27

This, I guess, would be your bedroom, James.

0:14:300:14:33

The view is superb.

0:14:330:14:35

Amazing view, yeah.

0:14:350:14:37

-What about the size, for you?

-Perfect.

0:14:370:14:40

Don't be so brash, where are you going to put your clothes?

0:14:400:14:43

You do have that little bedroom over there,

0:14:450:14:48

and you've got a bit of storage, here.

0:14:480:14:50

He's going to have all the room downstairs with his opera collection.

0:14:500:14:54

Out of bed in the morning, onto the balcony to do your morning exercises.

0:14:540:14:58

-Breathe the fresh air.

-I'm not sure there's room for aerobics out there.

0:14:580:15:03

A beautiful balcony. It's quite slippy, mind yourself.

0:15:030:15:06

And so unspoilt. You don't have anybody overlooking you.

0:15:080:15:12

-It's all your view.

-Absolutely fabulous.

0:15:120:15:15

But, that's not all the upstairs has to offer.

0:15:150:15:18

Back in.

0:15:180:15:20

'I'm saving the best room for last, for James, anyway.

0:15:280:15:31

-That's a surprise.

-It is, isn't it?

-This is fabulous.

0:15:360:15:40

-Why couldn't this be downstairs?

-He's getting envious of your space!

0:15:400:15:45

-This is really good.

-It would be a great space, I thought, for an upstairs lounge.

0:15:460:15:52

Very spacious. I was not expecting this at all.

0:15:520:15:55

-What would you do with it?

-I'd have a nice, large television, there.

0:15:550:15:58

It would be great. Let's have a peek outside.

0:15:580:16:02

'I know Bob and James want a little garden,

0:16:020:16:05

'however, small gardens and big, country houses don't usually go together.

0:16:050:16:09

'But this one is relatively manageableat just under an acre.'

0:16:090:16:13

The best thing about this property is the view from the land.

0:16:130:16:17

The land itself is quite small, because it's just all this hedgerow, the ditch,

0:16:170:16:24

-over to there, beyond those trees.

-Quite large.

0:16:240:16:27

-It's enough. Larger than a London...

-Larger than my current one.

0:16:270:16:32

But it's not unmanageable.

0:16:320:16:34

Looking at the property from here, and considering the location,

0:16:340:16:38

what do you think it's on the market at?

0:16:380:16:40

I'd probably say 499.

0:16:410:16:43

It's difficult because I don't know the area.

0:16:440:16:46

I would say a bit lower.

0:16:460:16:49

470.

0:16:510:16:53

Right.

0:16:530:16:54

Well, it's on the market at your price.

0:16:550:16:58

-Offers around 500.

-Oh, right.

0:16:580:17:00

So that's the benchmark of prices in the area.

0:17:010:17:05

Obviously, in the current climate,

0:17:050:17:08

-there's quite a bit of leeway.

-Yes.

0:17:080:17:10

Now you're armed with that bit of information, have a wander round, we'll meet at the front.

0:17:100:17:16

'Well, we're off to an interesting start.

0:17:160:17:18

'This house is a hit for James but a miss for Bob.

0:17:180:17:22

'At half a million pounds, it's a massive £100,000 under budget,

0:17:220:17:27

'and has nearly everything they've asked for.

0:17:270:17:30

'Three reception rooms, three bedrooms and the downstairs annexe.

0:17:300:17:34

'But neither the annexe nor the kitchen is quite right for Bob,

0:17:340:17:39

'so we're going to have to look harder at finding something that suits both their tastes.'

0:17:390:17:44

The major sticking point in this house would be the kitchen.

0:17:440:17:48

Because, frankly, it is no larger than the kitchen I have already,

0:17:480:17:52

and there's no workable space.

0:17:520:17:54

The other problem would be that the ideal room for my purposes, in terms of my music collection,

0:17:540:18:01

would be the upstairs artist room, but I don't want to have to climb those stairs.

0:18:010:18:05

It's just not practical.

0:18:050:18:07

Well, this is a fabulous room.

0:18:080:18:10

It's a terrific size. It's great.

0:18:100:18:13

But that wall cries out for a "wall of sound", to me.

0:18:130:18:17

-But then you can't do the stairs.

-I can't do the stairs.

0:18:190:18:22

For me, it's great, but I have to think about Bob as well.

0:18:220:18:26

I don't think that downstairs would work for him.

0:18:260:18:28

I could make it work but I don't think Bob can.

0:18:280:18:31

I've been exploring the bottom of your garden. It's very nice.

0:18:320:18:35

-The whole of Cornwall is at your foot slips.

-I know. It's great.

0:18:350:18:40

'Despite having visited both Devon and Cornwall before,

0:18:440:18:48

'the Tamar valley is a relatively unknown area for Bob and James,

0:18:480:18:51

'so before making the all-important decision to buy,

0:18:510:18:55

'they are keen to soak up some of the region's many cultural and scenic highlights.

0:18:550:18:59

'First stop is the thriving market town of Tavistock in Devon.

0:18:590:19:03

'The birthplace of Sir Frances Drake, its rich historical past is in evidence just about everywhere,

0:19:030:19:09

and the remains of Tavistock Abbey are a must-see for history buffs.'

0:19:090:19:14

It would have been mammoth, I would have thought.

0:19:140:19:17

And quite inspiring.

0:19:170:19:20

'The abbey was founded in 961, but was destroyed in the 1500s,

0:19:200:19:24

'during the dissolution of the monasteries,

0:19:240:19:27

'when the monks surrendered it for a paltry £100.

0:19:270:19:30

'For some peace and quiet, the river Tavy, running through the centre of the town,

0:19:320:19:36

'is the perfect setting for a gentle stroll.

0:19:360:19:39

'But the Tavy isn't just pretty, it played a vital role in the 1800s' industrial boom

0:19:390:19:45

'by feeding the Tavistock canal, which serviced the Cornish port

0:19:450:19:49

'and mining town of Morwellham Quay, three miles away.

0:19:490:19:52

'Once the busiest port in the UK - at its peak busier, even, than Liverpool,

0:19:530:19:57

'the village is now a heritage site

0:19:570:19:59

'and is preserved in all its Victorian glory.

0:19:590:20:02

'Well worth a visit to appreciate the region's past, even in the rain.

0:20:020:20:06

Imagine what it must have been like to live in a thriving village like this in Victorian times.

0:20:080:20:14

'Dawn Todd, Morwellham Quay's education co-ordinator,

0:20:140:20:17

'is more than happy to give Bob and James the answer.'

0:20:170:20:20

You see behind you the river Tamar.

0:20:200:20:23

Boats would travel up the river to Plymouth in that direction, carrying ore.

0:20:230:20:27

Behind you, you can see the tracks for the wagons.

0:20:270:20:30

These would carry the ore from the mine down to the dressing floor,

0:20:300:20:34

where the girls, the bal maidens, would work with young children,

0:20:340:20:38

breaking rocks all day long, so that they could reveal the copper at the centre of the rocks.

0:20:380:20:44

'That sounds like hard work.

0:20:440:20:46

'Let's hope finding Bob and James their dream country house won't be.'

0:20:460:20:50

-Thank you very, very much. That was wonderful.

-No problem.

0:20:500:20:53

-Thank you.

-Bye-bye, now.

0:20:530:20:55

'We're venturing north-west towards the wilds of Bodmin Moor

0:20:590:21:06

'and the edges of the old mining village of Pensilva.

0:21:060:21:08

'If it's peace and quiet Bob and James are after, this little village should be perfect.

0:21:090:21:14

'It started life specifically to house miners during the expansion of the copper mines at nearby Caradon.

0:21:140:21:21

'What's left of that industrial boom is a vast array

0:21:210:21:23

'of quarry-stone cottages, but our property is on the outskirts of Pensilva, overlooking the valley.'

0:21:230:21:30

Look where I've brought you.

0:21:320:21:33

-Fabulous.

-Isn't it good?

-I can hear the river.

0:21:350:21:38

-Your own valley.

-That's beautiful.

0:21:380:21:41

And this is an ideal property, because you come in at the top.

0:21:410:21:44

It's a sort of upside-down house, then there's another floor underneath, which will be yours.

0:21:440:21:49

-It look very small from this angle, but I'm sure it's not.

-I'm sure it goes long ways.

0:21:490:21:54

You're seeing the end of it, if you can imagine.

0:21:540:21:56

'This house was originally two cottages built in 1850,

0:21:560:21:59

'but converted into a single dwelling ten years ago.

0:21:590:22:03

'There's one thing that it's not - and that's small.'

0:22:030:22:06

Come into your, hopefully, dream kitchen.

0:22:060:22:10

-You like it?

-Yes!

-It's big, huh?

0:22:140:22:17

-I love it. Everywhere I look, there's counter space.

-Exactly.

0:22:170:22:20

It's just fabulous.

0:22:200:22:22

It's huge. Huge. It really is huge.

0:22:220:22:26

-Enough space for you...

-I think so, yes.

-..to create!

0:22:260:22:29

Success!

0:22:310:22:32

'I think Bob's a bit overwhelmed.

0:22:320:22:35

'I just hope the rest of this floor can live up to that kitchen.'

0:22:350:22:38

Now, Bob, there are some steps but, at the moment, this is

0:22:380:22:42

used as the bedroom, largely because of this exceptional view.

0:22:420:22:46

It is exceptional, isn't it?

0:22:470:22:49

I like it, yes, very much.

0:22:490:22:51

Would you have issues with the steps?

0:22:510:22:53

Well, I can do one or two steps.

0:22:530:22:56

-It's having to climb a flight of steps that I'm trying to avoid.

-OK.

0:22:560:23:01

I think this is just about right.

0:23:010:23:02

Let's take a look at next door, and then you can make a decision about what goes where.

0:23:020:23:06

'So far, so good. Even the steps and lack of en-suite don't seem to be dampening Bob's spirits.

0:23:060:23:13

-And more steps.

-Right.

-So, a nice log burner...

0:23:140:23:17

No, actually, it's a fake gas fire, but it gives off a lot of heat.

0:23:170:23:22

This would be your drawing-room/lounge/opera room.

0:23:220:23:27

-Yes, I think it has potential for that.

-'I would say that's a result.

0:23:280:23:31

'And next door is Bob's bathroom.

0:23:310:23:33

'It may not be an en suite, but it's definitely roomy.'

0:23:330:23:36

-I think I could fit in that.

-Very good.

-Put plants in the bath tub.

0:23:360:23:40

It's a nice size.

0:23:410:23:43

'That should be Bob's upstairs accommodation sorted,

0:23:430:23:46

'but when they see downstairs, they might have other plans.'

0:23:460:23:48

Now, downstairs, they've replaced the steps with ramps...

0:23:480:23:52

-Right.

-..because there is the option of actually reversing the whole set-up and you could have this floor

0:23:520:23:58

-and then French doors that open out into the garden.

-Wake up to that in the morning.

0:23:580:24:02

They've put this awning across the French windows.

0:24:020:24:05

I don't quite know why, cos you could get rid of it and get a lot more light.

0:24:050:24:09

You'll see there are...three, four, five rooms off this corridor

0:24:090:24:13

-and they do get a lot of light, so let's have a look at those.

-Right.

0:24:130:24:16

'This ground floor just keeps on going.

0:24:160:24:19

'There are two guest bedrooms - one is currently a study -

0:24:190:24:22

'a small sitting room and a guest bathroom.'

0:24:220:24:26

This, I guess, would be your TV room.

0:24:260:24:27

Oh, very nice.

0:24:270:24:29

Is this kind of enough for what you need?

0:24:290:24:31

For me, yes, perfect.

0:24:310:24:34

Well, now, if you didn't have this as a TV room...

0:24:340:24:36

-Yeah?

-..I think I could get the entire collection into this room.

0:24:360:24:41

I'm living upstairs, aren't I?

0:24:430:24:45

You're being edged upstairs.

0:24:450:24:47

But what about the stairs?

0:24:470:24:49

You'd have to negotiate the stairs a fair bit to get to the kitchen.

0:24:490:24:53

Yes.

0:24:530:24:55

Well, when I say I could fit the entire collection in here, I'm talking about storage,

0:24:550:25:00

so I don't come down and take out

0:25:000:25:04

the CDs that often.

0:25:060:25:07

What I'm thinking of is some place to put them...

0:25:070:25:10

-Oh.

-..where I'm not having to live with them.

0:25:100:25:13

But he is.

0:25:130:25:15

But he'd have to find somewhere else to put his TV!

0:25:150:25:18

That's all I'm saying, if he found somewhere else to put his TV,

0:25:180:25:23

then this would be ideal for that.

0:25:230:25:25

'James seems suitably unimpressed with that idea.

0:25:250:25:29

'Maybe sharing a house will be more difficult than they anticipated.

0:25:290:25:32

'Let's nip this debate in the bud and get them outside.

0:25:320:25:36

If they thought the last garden was big, wait 'til they see this one. Over two acres.

0:25:360:25:41

If you turn, you can get a better look at the house.

0:25:410:25:43

It's big, huh?

0:25:430:25:45

-It is very large, yes.

-So the big question is - can you afford it?

0:25:450:25:48

How much do you think it is?

0:25:480:25:50

I would say 575.

0:25:500:25:53

I was thinking more in terms of 595.

0:25:550:25:58

Well, you're both wrong.

0:26:000:26:02

It is actually a shade under £500,000.

0:26:020:26:08

-Ah!

-That was the sound of your jaw dropping.

0:26:100:26:14

Not many people leave me speechless, but that line just left me speechless.

0:26:140:26:19

Yes, it's a great bargain.

0:26:190:26:20

-Don't tell the owner!

-No, no.

0:26:200:26:23

If you want to start making your way upstairs - it might take some time...

0:26:230:26:27

-I can afford the ski lift now.

-Yeah, absolutely!

0:26:270:26:29

Or a tunnel or a chute.

0:26:290:26:32

Yeah.

0:26:320:26:34

That always makes me very happy, when people guesstimate the price

0:26:360:26:39

of a house they really like about £75,000 over the real price.

0:26:390:26:44

And I think they really like it and, bar the ski slope of a garden, it's got a lot going for it.

0:26:440:26:51

'With a price tag of just under £500,000,

0:26:510:26:54

'this house is massively under their £600,000 budget,

0:26:540:26:58

'and what a lot of house there is for the money.

0:26:580:27:00

'Bob gets his huge kitchen-diner, at least five times the size of

0:27:000:27:04

'his one in London, there's ample upstairs/downstairs living space

0:27:040:27:08

'for them both, if they can decide who gets which level. It has two reception rooms and four bedrooms.

0:27:080:27:15

'The only thing I can see letting this house down is the two-acre garden.

0:27:150:27:19

'It's not often I get to say that.'

0:27:190:27:22

There's so much here. The downstairs bedroom,

0:27:220:27:25

which I would have, is fabulous, and the price is incredible.

0:27:250:27:28

I can't believe it.

0:27:280:27:30

Imagine getting up to that.

0:27:300:27:32

It'd be well worth waking up, wouldn't it?

0:27:320:27:34

I'm not sure how you'd manage the slopes on the different levels.

0:27:340:27:38

Well, I probably wouldn't.

0:27:380:27:40

-In terms of the garden, we'd have to get somebody in.

-Oh, yes, it's too much.

0:27:400:27:44

The rooms are quite nice, they look comfortable, they're useable.

0:27:440:27:47

I want to separate out my living area from my music area and that is doable

0:27:470:27:52

in this house, but the kitchen is ideal cos it had absolutely everything I was looking for.

0:27:520:27:58

I can't think of one thing that's even missing.

0:27:580:28:01

There's plenty of scope to do all kinds of things here.

0:28:010:28:05

Are you taking in your view?

0:28:050:28:07

We are. We're just discussing who would do the gardening. Do you know a good gardener?

0:28:070:28:12

Neither of you...? Well, I'd love you to just feast on all these lovely landscapes,

0:28:120:28:17

but we've got much more of Cornwall and Devon to explore, so come on.

0:28:170:28:21

That's true.

0:28:210:28:23

'We may have found Bob his dream kitchen, so what better time for a spot of culinary inspiration?

0:28:330:28:38

'To get the creative juices flowing, we've come to Buckland Abbey just outside of Tavistock

0:28:380:28:43

-'to meet Pat Coxson for a cookery masterclass of the historic kind.'

-Welcome to Buckland Abbey.

0:28:430:28:51

'Converted from the abbey into this grand Elizabethan manor in the late 1500s,

0:28:510:28:56

'it was the family home of Tudor seafaring hero Sir Francis Drake,

0:28:560:29:00

'and was owned by Drake's descendants until the 1940s when it was passed to the National Trust.

0:29:000:29:07

'But it's the kitchens we're interested in, and the catering facilities here are far from modern.

0:29:070:29:12

'Pat is more at home in traditional surroundings, knocking up traditional Tudor fare.

0:29:120:29:17

'Whilst the normal Tudor diet was made up of bread, cheese and seasonal vegetables,

0:29:170:29:22

'for important households like the Drakes, food was more elaborate

0:29:220:29:26

'and, today, we're cooking a genuine 15th-century fish dish.

0:29:260:29:30

I've cut a shape here.

0:29:300:29:32

First we skin the piece of fish.

0:29:320:29:35

I've learned something already.

0:29:350:29:38

So, if you would like to use this bacon to wrap around the salmon.

0:29:380:29:44

So if I move to your side...

0:29:440:29:47

So salmon, presumably they would've just taken out of the river.

0:29:470:29:50

Would've taken them out of the river and they would also have fish ponds

0:29:500:29:53

here, which would have meant they would be fully stocked.

0:29:530:29:56

In fact, they were very self-sufficient.

0:29:560:29:57

'This is a really simple recipe if you want to try it at home.

0:29:570:30:01

'Use shortcrust pastry, cut into the fishy shape of your choosing,

0:30:010:30:05

add a sprinkling of parsley, a splash of red wine,

0:30:050:30:09

and the dish is almost complete.

0:30:090:30:12

-Oh, I see. That's the Tudor way.

-That's the Tudor way.

0:30:120:30:15

'Seal with egg and crimp the pastry,

0:30:150:30:18

'and our historic pasty is ready to be cooked.

0:30:180:30:21

'In a modern oven, Tudor salmon en croute takes just 20 minutes.

0:30:210:30:25

'And the proof, they say, is in the pudding and, for once, we're all speechless.'

0:30:280:30:32

You approve?

0:30:370:30:39

-I'm too busy.

-You're too busy.

0:30:390:30:41

I can't talk with my mouth full.

0:30:410:30:43

'As the sun sets over the Tamar valley, Bob and James mull over the houses they have seen.'

0:30:470:30:53

What did you think of the Calstock property?

0:30:540:30:56

I liked it very much. It was great. The setting was fabulous.

0:30:560:31:00

You couldn't fault the setting, but the thing that was out for me was the kitchen.

0:31:000:31:04

That was way too small.

0:31:040:31:07

I didn't think there was enough rooms.

0:31:070:31:09

Then there's the one in the valley, which was incredible.

0:31:090:31:12

I'm a bit speechless about that one.

0:31:120:31:15

It had everything I wanted in a kitchen. It was fabulous.

0:31:150:31:18

Plus, it's got all those extra rooms.

0:31:180:31:20

We'd probably be arguing over who had the downstairs bedroom.

0:31:200:31:24

-There's enough rooms there, I'm sure we could sort it out. The views...

-The views are wonderful.

0:31:240:31:30

I think it had everything that we needed in a home.

0:31:300:31:33

I can't wait 'til tomorrow. See what Alistair's got for us.

0:31:330:31:37

'Bob and James want to retire from London life and set up home

0:31:450:31:48

'together in the Tamar Valley, on the border of Devon and Cornwall.

0:31:480:31:53

'For their £600,000, they want a big character property with downstairs sleeping accommodation,

0:31:530:31:59

space for their large opera and art collections, and a huge kitchen.

0:31:590:32:03

It's just fabulous.

0:32:030:32:04

But coming up, there's plenty more to whet their appetites.

0:32:040:32:08

My Lord!

0:32:080:32:09

And will today's Mystery House get the thumbs-up?

0:32:090:32:12

Chef definitely says yes.

0:32:120:32:15

Another beautiful Cornish morning.

0:32:170:32:20

This is something I love about the countryside. The honesty box.

0:32:200:32:23

You can get your blue hen's eggs, £1.20, and no food miles.

0:32:230:32:27

But as regards to our house hunt for James and Bob,

0:32:270:32:30

yesterday we showed them lovely countryside locations,

0:32:300:32:33

but quite modern properties and interiors.

0:32:330:32:36

Today we're going to go along the rustic route.

0:32:360:32:39

Since Bob and James seem to love the Cornish countryside so much,

0:32:410:32:45

we're sticking to the western side of the Tamar

0:32:450:32:48

and heading to the outskirts of the village of St Cleer, situated on the southern slopes of Bodmin Moor.

0:32:480:32:54

This lofty moorland village started as - yes, you've guessed it - a mining town.

0:32:530:32:59

Today, it offers residents a large slice of rural tranquillity, ideal for Bob and James.

0:32:590:33:05

St Cleer has two pubs and a post office, but the real focal point is the medieval church of St Clarus

0:33:050:33:11

whose well waters are said to have healing properties.

0:33:110:33:14

Perhaps a quick splash could ease Bob's aching joints.

0:33:140:33:19

And, as you'd expect, the majority of houses here are

0:33:190:33:22

old mining properties, so character homes aren't in short supply.

0:33:220:33:26

Well, if I speak personally, I don't think we've found a more beautiful

0:33:260:33:31

-rural location in quite some time than this.

-I have to say - wow!

0:33:310:33:36

I wasn't going to say it, but wow!

0:33:360:33:39

Cornwall has come up trumps here because this is the River Fowey,

0:33:390:33:42

these banks are yours.

0:33:420:33:44

Could be yours. You have fishing rights.

0:33:440:33:47

There's brown trout, all sorts of trout, and also otters.

0:33:470:33:51

Oh, wonderful.

0:33:510:33:53

Can you imagine sitting here, watching the otters?

0:33:530:33:56

I certainly can. I've got my chair and my tree picked out already.

0:33:560:34:01

'And these two said outside space wasn't that important.'

0:34:010:34:05

Not a massive amount of land - that's good for you - but you do get this!

0:34:050:34:10

My goodness.

0:34:100:34:12

-That's beautiful.

-You're going to get a double wow!

0:34:120:34:15

Double wow! Ah.

0:34:150:34:16

-It's very old.

-It looks old!

-And yet it's clean in features.

0:34:160:34:21

If the inside's anything like the outside, how soon can I move in?

0:34:210:34:25

Is this your dream country cottage?

0:34:250:34:28

I think it looks fabulous, but I'm a bit concerned whether it's going to be big enough inside.

0:34:280:34:35

'Built in 1850, this traditional cottage

0:34:350:34:38

'is the smallest house we're seeing, but what it lacks in stature, it makes up for in character.'

0:34:380:34:44

It's very different from the other interiors.

0:34:440:34:46

-It is, yes.

-I find it a bit dark, and I'm a bit concerned

0:34:460:34:51

as to where to put paintings, but it's got so much character.

0:34:510:34:56

There'll have to be lots and lots of compromises.

0:34:560:34:58

Yes, I have to agree with that.

0:34:580:35:00

So this was... They had it as a restaurant,

0:35:000:35:04

as a restaurant for a long time, so this was the dining room where the guests came.

0:35:040:35:08

-The fireplace is...

-It's wonderful.

0:35:080:35:10

It's got a bread oven where you can let your bread raise, and this hook where also you can put this...

0:35:100:35:16

-Kettle on there.

-You can cook steak and kidney pudding on there.

0:35:160:35:20

Does it have a kitchen?

0:35:200:35:21

-No, you remember I said this was a restaurant?

-Yes.

0:35:210:35:24

-So what comes with a restaurant?

-A massive kitchen.

0:35:240:35:27

Oh, yes, a massive kitchen.

0:35:270:35:29

I forgot! It's what we came for.

0:35:290:35:32

Wow.

0:35:370:35:39

-My God!

-Yes!

0:35:390:35:41

Oh, my Lord!

0:35:410:35:43

-There's some serious cooking going on here.

-There is.

0:35:430:35:45

There certainly is.

0:35:450:35:47

I've never seen a cooker like that.

0:35:470:35:51

That's because it was a restaurant.

0:35:510:35:53

From the restaurant trade. And you've got all this as well.

0:35:530:35:56

So again, it's a different sort of tone from the one we saw.

0:35:560:35:59

Very different, yes.

0:35:590:36:00

It's certainly workable, that's for sure.

0:36:000:36:04

And also, you've got a second exit, which is always good for French farce moments.

0:36:040:36:08

THEY LAUGH

0:36:080:36:10

'So plenty of space here for Bob to show off his culinary skills,

0:36:100:36:14

'but will the rest of his quarters be roomy enough?'

0:36:140:36:17

So another set of steps.

0:36:170:36:20

These are quite easy to do.

0:36:200:36:23

This wing - let's call it a wing, shall we?

0:36:230:36:26

-This wing is eight years old.

-Right.

0:36:260:36:29

It's more modern than the rest of the house.

0:36:290:36:31

So this is... I was thinking of it as your bedroom.

0:36:310:36:34

-Right, yes.

-It's got a nice en-suite with a big double shower.

0:36:340:36:38

Oh, yes, that's enough room.

0:36:420:36:45

-It's not massive. And then you've got a built-in closet.

-Right.

0:36:450:36:49

I get the impression it's not big enough for you.

0:36:490:36:51

Well, I have a walk-in closet where I live now, so I'm quite used

0:36:510:36:56

to that, and I'm the sort of person that, if you give me space, I fill it up, so my closet is choc-a-block.

0:36:560:37:02

-If we give you a little space, do you thin it out?

-No.

0:37:020:37:05

I didn't think it would work.

0:37:050:37:07

But you have got a walk-in next door.

0:37:070:37:08

I move when you give me a little space!

0:37:080:37:10

-How about this?

-Oh, this is lovely.

0:37:140:37:17

It's got a fireplace as well.

0:37:170:37:19

This is a proper fireplace, wood-burner, and I was thinking this could be your opera room.

0:37:190:37:24

It has potential. Lots of wall space for putting the shelving on.

0:37:240:37:28

-I'm just thinking this would be a nice TV room!

-Ah...

0:37:280:37:31

-Here we go.

-So where's the TV room gone?

0:37:310:37:33

Well, shall we look upstairs cos that's your realm.

0:37:330:37:36

OK. It would make a nice TV room, wouldn't it, cos you could put the TV over the fire.

0:37:360:37:42

'Ah, the ongoing TV-versus-opera-room battle.

0:37:420:37:46

'It's becoming quite a feature of our house tours.

0:37:460:37:49

'Maybe upstairs has the solution.

0:37:490:37:51

'There's a study area and guest room, neither of which are huge, but could

0:37:510:37:55

'be rejigged to create more space for a flat screen.'

0:37:550:37:58

And then we've got a nice family bathroom here.

0:38:000:38:03

There's no shower. That's easily remedied.

0:38:070:38:10

Lots of wall space but you can't put many paintings.

0:38:100:38:14

Not in the bathroom, no.

0:38:140:38:17

And then your bedroom in here.

0:38:170:38:19

This, I suppose, is what they'd call the master bedroom, although they're all the same sort of size.

0:38:190:38:25

That's a good size.

0:38:250:38:27

It's quite small but if the other room was a dressing room, it wouldn't make any difference.

0:38:270:38:32

No, could use it as an en-suite.

0:38:320:38:35

It's lovely but I don't think it's going to work.

0:38:350:38:37

I mean, the setting and the aspect is absolutely wonderful,

0:38:370:38:41

but the room sizes just don't seem to be quite big enough.

0:38:410:38:45

Maybe I should get you back outside and get you all kind of enchanted by the setting again.

0:38:450:38:50

-And the otters.

-Let's go and see if the otters will persuade you.

0:38:500:38:53

OK!

0:38:530:38:55

Oh, what a shame. Such a beautiful setting but they're right, it is a bit small.

0:38:550:39:01

Of course, the garden isn't lacking in size at all, nearly two acres.

0:39:040:39:09

On the plus side, there's a workshop which already has planning permission to be extended by 50%

0:39:090:39:13

so potentially a good storage place for Bob's CDs.

0:39:130:39:18

This is a...

0:39:180:39:21

I mean, it is a stunning location.

0:39:210:39:23

It is.

0:39:230:39:25

How much do you think this is on the market for?

0:39:250:39:28

580.

0:39:280:39:30

I think this is more. I think the location is stunning, it's a fabulous house.

0:39:300:39:34

I think it's above the budget. I would say 625.

0:39:340:39:39

Well, you're both very pessimistic on the prices.

0:39:390:39:41

This is actually on the market for 575,

0:39:410:39:45

-and it's been on the market for about nine months.

-Really?

0:39:450:39:49

So have a stroll around and we'll meet out front.

0:39:490:39:51

-Right.

-OK.

0:39:510:39:53

Yeah, I can't really see the inside space working so

0:39:550:39:57

well, not with the massive opera collection, the massive TV, but it's such a shame because this...

0:39:570:40:04

It's got to be priceless, surely?

0:40:040:40:06

'At £575,000, this cottage is still £25,000 under budget.

0:40:100:40:16

'It definitely delivers in terms of character and comes complete with

0:40:160:40:20

'a professional kitchen, three bedrooms and two reception rooms.

0:40:200:40:24

'But I don't think character or location

0:40:240:40:27

'is going to make up for the cosy dimensions.'

0:40:270:40:31

The setting is stunning, the house is beautiful, the rooms just don't work for us.

0:40:310:40:37

My heart wants to buy, my head says no.

0:40:370:40:39

This is a nice size.

0:40:390:40:40

Oh, yes, it is. This would

0:40:400:40:43

make a great music room if it was attached to the house.

0:40:430:40:46

-You could still use it for storage.

-That's true.

0:40:460:40:49

It's a very useful space.

0:40:490:40:51

It is. The only problem is that the rooms are too small.

0:40:510:40:54

I don't think there's adequate space here to accommodate everything that I have and everything that James has,

0:40:540:41:00

which is too bad, because I'm really in love with it.

0:41:000:41:03

If I were to change my lifestyle and throw everything away, I'd buy it tomorrow.

0:41:030:41:07

-Bye-bye, pretty cottage.

-Yes, goodbye.

0:41:090:41:12

-Farewell.

-Bye-bye, otters, if they actually exist.

-Mustn't forget the otters!

0:41:120:41:17

'As this is a retirement move, Bob and James will have plenty more time to indulge in their hobbies.

0:41:230:41:29

'For Bob, that's cookery and opera, but it's art James is interested in,

0:41:290:41:34

'and he couldn't have picked a better spot than Cornwall or Devon.

0:41:340:41:37

'The region is home to hundreds of artists and galleries,

0:41:370:41:40

'so they're dropping into the studios of local portrait sculptor, Luke Shepherd,

0:41:400:41:45

'where James can try his hand at modern art of his own.'

0:41:450:41:48

-I'm Luke.

-Luke, I'm Bob.

0:41:480:41:50

'Luke's sculptures range from traditional to modern.

0:41:500:41:53

'And he's been commissioned by a host of celebrities and politicians.'

0:41:530:41:58

-James, I hear you like abstract art.

-I'm very much into modern art.

0:41:580:42:02

Not that I don't appreciate the old stuff. I'd like something a bit quirky, a bit unusual.

0:42:020:42:09

-Can Bob be a model?

-Why not? Bob's a good model.

0:42:090:42:11

-I'll sit over there, shall I?

-That's a good modelling chair.

0:42:110:42:16

'Traditionally, Luke uses clay as his base sculpting material, and copper casts the end product.

0:42:160:42:22

'But for James' modern sculpture, he's made plaster blocks moulded in drainpipes,

0:42:220:42:27

'which will make up the main body of abstract Bob.'

0:42:270:42:31

This'll form the structure, the armature, of the piece.

0:42:310:42:34

We're going to put the shoulders across here.

0:42:340:42:36

From now on, you need to start making decisions.

0:42:360:42:39

How wide do you want the shoulders to be?

0:42:390:42:41

'This building block technique is really simple and ideal for beginners.'

0:42:410:42:46

The plaster mixes into the water.

0:42:460:42:48

Then a quick stir and you end up with a thick, gooey paste,

0:42:480:42:53

which is going to act like a glue and cement.

0:42:530:42:55

'The whole piece is then covered with the plaster mix.

0:42:580:43:00

'It's at this point you can create the sculpture's shape and texture and add personal flourishes.'

0:43:000:43:06

That's the way to do it.

0:43:090:43:10

The only part of the sculpture I've seen is the back part.

0:43:100:43:13

When do I get to see the front part?

0:43:130:43:15

'The great thing about the plaster, for impatient models,

0:43:150:43:19

'is that it dries quite rapidly, so artists need to act quickly.'

0:43:190:43:23

-OK. You ready?

-Ready.

-How about that?

0:43:230:43:26

Oh my God! That's amazing!

0:43:260:43:29

That's fantastic. I really like that.

0:43:290:43:32

'Let's hope one of the homes we show them will be the perfect setting for modern Bob.

0:43:320:43:37

My carefully worked-out theory that James's desire for sleek-line minimalism was crushing Bob's more

0:43:410:43:48

varied and colourful desire for rustic clutter has completely gone

0:43:480:43:52

out of the window because neither of them really cared for the beautiful interiors of that rustic cottage.

0:43:520:43:58

However, they do want big rooms with white walls so they can hang lots of art, and the Mystery House has both

0:43:580:44:04

of those, including something that's going to please the sun-loving James and the sun-hating Bob.

0:44:040:44:10

So what about the Mystery House? What will it be?

0:44:140:44:17

Maybe a converted barn or something like that, or school or something similar.

0:44:170:44:23

We'll see.

0:44:230:44:25

'The big reveal isn't far away.

0:44:250:44:28

'It is, however, the very first property we're viewing in Devon, as we're on our way

0:44:280:44:33

'to the north-eastern outskirts of the Tamar valley,

0:44:330:44:36

'and the countryside around the village of Lifton.

0:44:360:44:38

'Situated in the valley of the River Lyd, Lifton is one of the earliest recorded villages in West Devon,

0:44:380:44:44

'and is mentioned in King Alfred's will of 880AD.

0:44:440:44:49

With its ancient brooks and streams criss-crossing the land, the village is tranquillity personified.

0:44:490:44:54

Although Lifton prospered during the mining boom, leaving in its wake a wealth of fine Victorian homes,

0:44:540:45:01

it's farming that has always been the mainstay of life here.

0:45:010:45:05

The Mystery House is on the outskirts of the village and should be the perfect combination

0:45:050:45:10

of character and contemporary living. Fingers crossed.

0:45:100:45:13

-Your guess about the barns wasn't far wrong.

-No, I can see that.

0:45:130:45:19

But what a barn conversion it is.

0:45:190:45:23

-It's very unusual.

-That is different.

0:45:230:45:26

-There are barn conversions and there are barn conversions. This is the gold standard.

-Is it?

0:45:260:45:30

Well, I must say I like it already.

0:45:300:45:32

-Really?

-Yes.

-Should we go in?

-We should.

0:45:320:45:35

Please.

0:45:350:45:37

'This old cider barn was converted in 2003.

0:45:410:45:45

'It's beautifully finished and comes with lots of space.'

0:45:450:45:49

This is the vestibule.

0:45:490:45:52

-Vestibule.

-Beautiful oak floors.

0:45:520:45:53

-Isn't that beautiful?

-Proper, proper oak.

-Yes.

0:45:530:45:57

Let's look at the winter room, shall we?

0:45:570:45:59

Bob, I think this is yours.

0:45:590:46:01

The winter room.

0:46:030:46:05

Very nice.

0:46:050:46:07

Now, how do you feel about the size of the rooms?

0:46:070:46:09

-It's an excellent size.

-Right.

0:46:090:46:11

You've got lots of wall space.

0:46:110:46:14

Some original touches. These are the original beams that they salvaged from the original barn.

0:46:140:46:17

But it's a whole wing, actually.

0:46:170:46:20

They use it for guests here, so the guests come and go without having to bother the owners.

0:46:200:46:25

So let's take a look at the rest of the wing.

0:46:250:46:29

-OK.

-Then, here we have

0:46:290:46:31

your bedroom, I guess, Bob.

0:46:310:46:34

Oh, another good-sized room.

0:46:340:46:36

Very good size. The wardrobe's very large.

0:46:360:46:39

Space for storage.

0:46:390:46:42

But there's more. This wing is completely self-contained

0:46:420:46:46

with a tiny kitchen and bathroom, separated only by a partition wall.

0:46:460:46:50

You could just knock this wall out and make it a huge wet room.

0:46:500:46:54

-Yes.

-Isn't that funny?

0:46:540:46:55

I was thinking the same thing.

0:46:550:46:57

Before we see your wing, let's take a look at the kitchen.

0:46:570:47:00

Oh, that's right, I have to have a kitchen, don't I?

0:47:000:47:04

For the main event, we need to go back through the annexe.

0:47:060:47:11

Culinary heaven, or not?

0:47:110:47:14

-What does the big chef think?

-Yes.

0:47:140:47:16

-Chef says yes.

-Chef definitely says yes.

-Do we like the granite tops?

0:47:160:47:21

I love the granite tops, I love the fact that there's the island in the middle. I've never had one.

0:47:210:47:26

This is really nicely done, isn't it?

0:47:260:47:28

-It is.

-It's very high-end finish.

0:47:280:47:30

-Quality stuff.

-Well, you could stay here if you like because it's his turn now, his wing.

0:47:300:47:35

Oh, no, no, no. I want to find out what he's got that I don't have!

0:47:350:47:40

And judging on past performances, Bob will probably want it too.

0:47:400:47:44

Let's start with the living room.

0:47:440:47:47

Welcome to the summer wing.

0:47:490:47:51

Yes!

0:47:510:47:53

Look at that. What a view!

0:47:530:47:56

That is incredible.

0:47:560:47:58

I have a feeling you're home.

0:47:580:48:01

Yes.

0:48:010:48:02

Now, if you can't get a 92" television on that wall, then there's something wrong!

0:48:020:48:07

-It's great, isn't it?

-This is unbelievable.

0:48:070:48:09

It's a lovely, lovely reception room. Lots of light.

0:48:090:48:12

And if there's not enough white walls to put your paintings...

0:48:120:48:16

-It's practically a gallery.

-It is.

0:48:160:48:18

-This is not all. This is the beginning of the summer wing.

-Oh, my goodness.

0:48:180:48:22

And this is the summer lounge.

0:48:240:48:26

Very nice.

0:48:260:48:28

They're using it as the dining room, but you could use it for whatever you liked.

0:48:280:48:33

It's fabulous, again.

0:48:330:48:35

And again, the size.

0:48:350:48:37

'There's no end to the space in this barn.

0:48:370:48:40

'Right next door is a study which I'm sure, if Bob asks nicely, James will

0:48:400:48:45

'give up for some CDs, because upstairs is just as spacious.'

0:48:450:48:50

This is the upstairs bathroom. Very nice size.

0:48:500:48:52

Very nice size.

0:48:520:48:54

Oh, wow, that's a nice shower.

0:48:540:48:56

-Nice shower. Yeah, that is nice.

-Lots of space.

0:48:560:48:59

There is a miraculously large amount of space. From the outside, it doesn't look as big.

0:48:590:49:03

-No, I can't believe it.

-Let's see the master bedroom.

-OK.

-All right.

0:49:030:49:08

-After you.

-On this landing, there's also a double bedroom and two single

0:49:080:49:13

rooms, so more than enough space for storage and visitors.

0:49:130:49:16

-Ta-da!

-Wow. The master bedroom this is.

0:49:160:49:20

The master bedroom. So while you can still get up the stairs,

0:49:200:49:24

you'll have to fight over this one.

0:49:240:49:27

-Right.

-Cos you've got enormous closet space.

-Yes.

0:49:270:49:31

-That works.

-And, if you take a look over there, your own en-suite.

0:49:310:49:34

Wow, downstairs. Mind the step. This is a nice size.

0:49:410:49:44

-This is different.

-Nice shower, and the bath.

0:49:440:49:47

'House tours don't really go much better than this

0:49:470:49:51

'and I can't see the outside space putting them off either.'

0:49:510:49:55

And the garden - like everything about this property, perfectly sized, I think.

0:49:550:49:59

-It's perfect.

-It is. Absolutely.

-Even I could manage that.

0:49:590:50:04

Yeah, that's just an afternoon's gentle mowing, isn't it?

0:50:040:50:07

-Yeah.

-Not gentle, but yes.

0:50:070:50:09

If we step back onto the lawn, get the full glory of the property.

0:50:090:50:14

-So are you both happy?

-Very happy.

0:50:140:50:16

-I think we are.

-Overly happy.

0:50:160:50:19

Until I tell you the price.

0:50:190:50:21

Oh, no.

0:50:210:50:22

How much do you think it costs?

0:50:220:50:24

Would you be that mean? I'm hoping you wouldn't be mean and I'm hoping it'll be...

0:50:240:50:29

I'm pushing it at 600. I think it's a lot more but I'm hoping it's 600.

0:50:290:50:35

Well, I was hoping it was 579.

0:50:360:50:39

-579?

-Yes.

0:50:390:50:41

Well, for once, you're optimistic.

0:50:410:50:43

You are, however, almost exactly right. It's just a shade under 600.

0:50:430:50:47

-Yes.

-And it has been on the market for a year.

0:50:470:50:50

For a year? I think it's a fabulous building.

0:50:500:50:54

Everything we want, all the rooms we want, space we need.

0:50:540:50:58

Go inside and have a look around. See if there's anything you can find fault with.

0:50:580:51:03

-I doubt it.

-I'm seriously doubting that one as well.

0:51:030:51:06

Remember that it's a buyer's market. You might be able to get more from your budget.

0:51:060:51:10

-Try and find a fault.

-Let's go and find a fault.

0:51:100:51:12

I'll see you in the Italian courtyard.

0:51:120:51:14

-OK. Sounds great.

-Fantastic.

0:51:140:51:18

Well, I have to say that is what you call an unqualified success.

0:51:180:51:21

There was nothing they didn't like about it,

0:51:210:51:24

which is rare on this show, but it's a beautiful property and within their budget, so I think that

0:51:240:51:29

qualifies for a big, fat, golden tick.

0:51:290:51:33

'On the market for £600,000, the Mystery House is bang on budget and there's still room for negotiation.

0:51:340:51:41

'In terms of living space, it has the self-contained annexe for Bob,

0:51:410:51:45

'a high-spec country kitchen, James gets his own ground-floor wing,

0:51:450:51:48

'with three reception rooms,

0:51:480:51:51

'and upstairs, four bedrooms.

0:51:510:51:53

'The icing on the cake has to be the easy-to-manage garden.

0:51:530:51:57

'The only question is - if they moved in here,

0:51:570:52:00

'would they ever see each other?'

0:52:000:52:02

It looked small.

0:52:020:52:04

And then, when we got inside, I could not believe the amount of rooms.

0:52:040:52:07

I could have one wing all to myself, Bob can have his wing to himself.

0:52:070:52:11

There's bedrooms upstairs for guests, and the garden is a perfect size.

0:52:110:52:16

Everything is right about this house.

0:52:160:52:18

This I would like to keep

0:52:180:52:20

sort of as a lounge/sitting room but, because of all the wall space,

0:52:200:52:28

I would also want to put some of the opera collection in here.

0:52:280:52:32

-I don't see any problem...

-If you can't manage with this...

0:52:320:52:36

Then there's something wrong with me.

0:52:360:52:38

The rooms are very large here, and it's much more in keeping with what I was looking for.

0:52:380:52:44

Something that has larger rooms, plus the ability to live on the ground floor, which it has,

0:52:440:52:49

and the kitchen is big enough to do what I want to do as well, so I'd love to make an offer today.

0:52:490:52:57

Ah, I was admiring the summer wing from the walls of the winter wing.

0:52:570:53:01

It's absolutely fabulous.

0:53:010:53:03

-Big smiles.

-Yes, it's a wonderful, wonderful house.

0:53:030:53:08

I said you were sneaky.

0:53:080:53:11

-Let's press on.

-Leaving the best for last.

0:53:110:53:14

'Well, that's it. Bob and James have seen all of our houses.

0:53:180:53:22

'Some have been definite noes and some have been definite maybes,

0:53:220:53:25

'so now it's time to decide which, if any, will come out on top.'

0:53:250:53:30

Time for some decision-making,

0:53:340:53:36

you don't have to be a genius to work out which one was their favourite.

0:53:360:53:40

I have an inkling which of the houses you like most,

0:53:440:53:47

but let's go through them one by one.

0:53:470:53:49

Let's spin back the clock to the first property I showed you,

0:53:490:53:53

which was a nice property. What do you think about it now?

0:53:530:53:56

That's the property in Calstock. It was a very nice property.

0:53:560:54:00

I liked it. A good start.

0:54:000:54:01

The area and surrounding countryside was stunning.

0:54:010:54:05

The kitchen was a complete no.

0:54:050:54:08

For me, that was definitely not the property.

0:54:080:54:11

Cornwall has come up trumps in terms of the locations here.

0:54:110:54:14

I think we've done you proud in terms of stunning spots.

0:54:140:54:18

-Every one.

-The house in the valley

0:54:180:54:20

that you seemed to really like.

0:54:210:54:23

It was a beautiful location. What do you think about that now?

0:54:230:54:26

I still like that one. It's very nice. Lots of rooms.

0:54:260:54:30

The property for me was the kitchen. I fell in love with that kitchen and I didn't want to leave it.

0:54:300:54:36

But the drawback there would be with the garden,

0:54:360:54:40

as far as I'm concerned,

0:54:400:54:41

cos it sloped so that I'd never use it.

0:54:410:54:45

It would just be complete wasted space.

0:54:450:54:48

The garden in the little rustic cottage, however, I thought,

0:54:480:54:53

was absolutely beautiful and I think you liked the location a lot.

0:54:530:54:58

That was the best location - the whole setting was wonderful.

0:54:580:55:02

It was very rustic, in terms of how we imagine rustic to be, with beams and wood.

0:55:030:55:09

And I have one problem with rustic, the rooms tend to be terribly small,

0:55:090:55:13

and I really don't want small rooms.

0:55:130:55:17

I need big rooms cos I have my vast collection of opera and everything else that I have.

0:55:170:55:23

-So, come on, let's talk about the Mystery House.

-Yes, it's fabulous.

0:55:240:55:27

The amount of rooms in there - I think we'd have space left over.

0:55:270:55:31

And the lounge on MY wing -

0:55:310:55:33

well, the ceiling, the lights. It was bright, looking onto the garden.

0:55:340:55:39

-It was just perfect.

-How did your wing shape up?

0:55:390:55:43

Well, my wing was equally as perfect.

0:55:430:55:45

I have a sitting room, plenty of space for storing the collection,

0:55:460:55:50

and if I needed more room, my God, there's another five rooms upstairs that I could use for storage.

0:55:500:55:56

And how might you proceed? Will you go ahead on that property?

0:55:570:56:00

We're very interested and we're going to get

0:56:000:56:03

a surveyor down to this property and see where we can go from there.

0:56:030:56:06

-That sounds like traction, it sounds like you're going to move and take it.

-Yes.

0:56:060:56:11

I think so. I hope so.

0:56:110:56:13

-I think the Tamar Valley deserves you both.

-Thank you.

0:56:130:56:16

It'll be a marriage made in heaven. The whole county will rejoice.

0:56:160:56:19

-Thank you.

-Good luck.

-Let's hope so.

0:56:190:56:22

I can hear it now, the Tamar Valley ringing with the sound of Italian bel canto opera.

0:56:250:56:29

And the chip-chip of James with his new sculptural project,

0:56:290:56:33

ready to be displayed in his own personal gallery.

0:56:340:56:37

I think you'll agree that that was a successful Escape To The Country.

0:56:370:56:41

If you want to join more country escapees, then do tune in next time.

0:56:410:56:45

'And great news - Bob and James have made an offer on the Mystery House,

0:56:460:56:50

subject to the sale of Bob's London home. We wish them a speedy sale.

0:56:500:56:54

'If you'd like to escape to the country and would like our help, apply online at...'

0:56:540:56:58

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:030:57:06

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:060:57:08

Alistair Appleton is in Devon house-hunting with a couple looking for their first home together. One of them is a hoarder with a passion for character features while the other wants a minimalist home. With a budget of £550,000, they want at least four bedrooms, a room big enough for an enormous music collection and at least two separate reception rooms. A huge kitchen/diner is a must, while a big country garden is a must not!


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS