Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty explores a treasure island in Connecticut to discover a house of immense charm and great potential.
Off come the hand-made John Lobb, 5 eyelet Oxfords with the punch-hole toecaps and on go the Gucci loafers – or even no shoes at all. For this is Contentment Island, Darien, CT, the oh-so-smart but oh-so-laid-back Long Island Sound enclave that is home to some New York CEOs, top professionals and others of that ilk. This is where bespoke suits hang at ease with Ralph Lauren and Vineyard Vines.
If I wanted to get to Grand Central every day in about an hour, yet wanted to return home to the sound of lapping water and birdsong; if I wanted to pursue a demanding and lucrative career yet have my family grow in a safe and protected but sociable area of great beauty: if I wanted to kick off my shoes at the weekend, play tennis or take my boat out on the Sound; if I worked in a demanding world during the day but wanted a non-demanding home life, then it would be here on Contentment Island that I should be very content.
There are many fine houses here. There are grand ones and bijou ones. There are beautiful ones and imposing ones. But the one I saw was really none of those. It was in some ways better. This house reflects, to me, what living on Contentment Island, is all about. This is a comfortable house without pretension for a comfortable family without pretension – and aren’t they in many ways the best houses?
Pop across the road and down the path and there is a private jetty. A small boat kept there would get you out to your deep water mooring at most states of the tide. Hop over the garden fence – or use the gate – and reach the club next door that is the hub of this friendly and active community. It is ideal for offspring of whatever youthful age. Here they can play with their friends and try out new, interesting and exciting activities in as safe and controlled an environment you may find for them without keeping them locked up.
Look at Contentment Island on Google Earth and you will see a treasure map of an area, bejewelled with swimming pools, and bounded by interesting creeks and inlets. But drive around it and the map unfolds to reveal the unmistakable feel of a community at ease with itself and its place. No Google map can ever show that.
So if you are a CEO, top professional or other of that ilk – or even if you are not – I urge you to take a look. I am sure that there are many wonderful communities that bound Long Island Sound, but surely few like this. And here is a house that wouldn’t just shelter your family it would be part of the family. If you are searching for a real treasure of a property then this is where x marks the spot.