Le Groignet, in Castel, combines centuries of vernacular architecture with delightful grounds and unusually matching interiors.
Try as we to write entertaining and informative words to go alongside the images on the property pages of Country Life, we’re well aware that the eyes are invariably drawn to the images before the words that surround them.
And thus, it’s impossible not to deal with the elephant in the room right from the off, for this truly magnificent house in Guernsey — for sale through Savills at an asking price of £4.95 million — boasts one of the most unusual interior decoration schemes we’ve ever seen.
As you can see from this picture of the master bedroom, there is a bold, floral pattern that’s matched across wallpaper, curtains, pelmets and bedspreads… even the waste paper basket matches.
And it’s not just in one room, either:
We don’t ever recall seeing such an intriguing effect — it’s almost like camouflage, at once inspiring and (particularly in the case of this rustic, green design) often rather restful and calming.
Sometimes, the effect borders on the hypnotic; this tighter, floral pattern, for example, had a touch of those ‘magic eye’ pictures that were all the rage in the 1990s.
Best of all, even the rooms’ respective en-suite bathrooms continue the theme:
Le Groignet is, as it stands today, a Victorian manor house in the Talbot Valley in Guernsey, though it stands on the site of a house which originally dated from 1581. It’s been extended and remodelled over the centuries, particularly in the 19th century times, to become a treasure trove of Guernsey’s vernacular architecture.
The accommodation spans 6,021sq ft, with ten bedrooms and five reception rooms split across the main residence, an ancillary wing and an attached cottage. Many original features have remained intact, including flagstone floorings and exposed granite on the walls.
The ground floor houses an elegant dining room with fine fireplaces, an even more impressive drawing room, a separate sitting room, a family room, a vast kitchen and breakfast room (which could perhaps do with some updating), plus a bedroom and a snug.
An imposing staircase leads to the first floor, where the bedrooms are an extraordinary feat of matching wallpaper, curtains and bedding in traditional floral or toile patterns.
The master suite has its own dressing room, as does another bedroom. There are four further bedrooms on the second floor.
The back of the house enjoys leafy views across its own land and the valley beyond. The grounds, which total 15 acres, are nothing short of spectacular, with a sequence of walled gardens, terraces, paddocks, two streams, wetlands and mature woodland. There’s also a barn with scope for development.
Guernsey: What you need to know
- Location: Guernsey is 55 minutes’ flight from London.
- Atmosphere: Guernsey feels like a year-round holiday: small but sophisticated, with its own blend of British and French culture, gorgeous architecture, magnificent gardens and those sea views.
- Things to do: There’s no shortage of stuff to do, whether it’s Nature or coastal walks, tucking into some exquisite seafood, yatching or going wildlife spotting.
- Schools: the island has three independent schools, including the well regarded Elizabeth College for boys and Ladies’ College for girls, plus a grammar school and other state options.Find more properties in the area.