Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty travels over the Atlantic to visit a remarkable property with some real echoes of home.
Over three hundred years ago an Englishman settled on the lower slopes of the Berkshire Mountains in New York. It reminded him of his family home in the English Lake District, an area of mountains, lakes and rivers that is an outstandingly – even sublimely – beautiful place which has inspired artists and writers from William Wordsworth to Beatrix Potter.
There was much to remind the English settler of home. A pretty, rock-strewn stream ran through his new property. Coming from Lakeland he would have called a stream a beck. The property became known as Troutbeck, after the village and valley in Cumbria, England which still looks today just as it would have done three centuries ago.
In another reminder of home the house at Troutbeck was built of local stone under a slate roof – the vernacular building materials of the Lake District.
Troutbeck started life as a farm. Since then it has grown from being a very well appointed home into a popular inn, sophisticated conference centre and executive retreat. Such is its popularity it remains in great demand as a venue even now, without being promoted or even open for business – rather a good sign for a buyer with ambition. Zoning now will permit further expansion and possibly the addition of cluster homes. Alternatively the whole could be converted back into a family estate.
Today the property, just two hours from Manhattan, comprises the main house, two additional houses, manager’s quarters, staff quarters, barn, indoor pool with pool house, outdoor pool with pool house and two tennis courts – all in about 45 glorious and tranquil acres.
When I visited Troutbeck recently I was immediately struck by how much it did resemble the English Lake District, a place I have visited on so many occasions to walk the fells and breath the fresh mountain air.
If you are in the market for a get-away-from-it-all family retreat within easy striking distance of Manhattan that will recharge your batteries on sight, or a hospitality business that will serve as the ultimate live/work opportunity then make your way to Amenia, New York. If the mountain air there doesn’t get you Troutbeck surely will.