This historic seven-bedroom home in Dorset may look like a traditional country manor house, but take a closer look and you’ll see all is not quite as it seems. Behind the doors of this grand country home is an incredible 1950s-style American diner and a luxurious underground leisure centre, and outside there’s a three-storey treehouse. It’s currently on the market with Tailor Made estate agents in Sandbanks.
Situated in Charlton Marshall, this exceptional property sits above the banks of the winding River Stour, and is just a mile from England’s most complete small Georgian town, Blandford Forum.
“It’s the ideal mix of privacy and accessibility,” says the current owner. “We feel like we’re in the countryside, but you don’t have to drive down miles of winding country lanes to get to us.” The hubbub of Poole or Bournemouth and the seaside are all a short drive away.
A modern manor with a retro twist
When they bought their home in 2014, the current owners inherited a property that was in need of more than just a bit of TLC, and because the home isn’t listed, they were able to fulfil their imaginative design briefs. They didn’t want any of their entertaining spaces to feel too formal, so the idea of creating a 1950s-style diner was born.
“American diners are typically a fun and inviting environment. We wanted to bring some life to the heart of the home where we spend most of our time.”
Every design detail has been carefully considered: from the rounded counter-top edges – very American diner-esque in style, but also child-friendly – to the cool Tiffany-blue colour palette and vintage jukebox. “This room also has a stunning view out onto the garden where we can watch the children play.”
The diner overlooks an incredible three-level treehouse, which was built as the ultimate adventure space. The walls were reinforced so hammocks can safely be hung to sleep in and having its own power supply means you can properly set up camp in there.
Underneath the house you’ll find the pool, jacuzzi and steam room, as well as a private bar. “We wanted to be able to swim 365 days a year, so decided to bring the pool indoors and underground,” they explained. There’s also a swim-jet for those looking to get their lengths in, a shallow bubble play area for the children, and a huge spa.
Head outdoors to practice your rallies on the sports court or relax next to the stone seat-encircled fire pit and enjoy the view.
Set behind the main house you’ll find the luxurious fully self-contained cottage, a workshop and greenhouse.
The walled garden is a rustic entertaining space filled with its bountiful stock of fresh produce that can be picked straight from the soil to enjoy al fresco.
And let’s not forget the property’s wildflower meadow, which offers the ultimate horticultural playground: “The meadow attracts all kinds of wildlife. We see hedgehogs, stoats, and abundant birdlife”.