Grey Craig Revisited

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Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty recalls a very special and secluded house on Rhode Island’s shore near Newport.

Over the years I have been in the doghouse on more occasions than I care to remember.  But recently I was very happy to be in a very special doghouse indeed. The Kennel Cottage was once the home of eighteen pampered Pekinese pets – owned by a late lamented Newport grand dame. Fortunately someone with great foresight recognised that it would make an even better home for pampered persons.

For a start this delightful house never fails to deliver.  Inside the colour palate is sophisticated, subtle, natural and calming.  It is furnished with restraint and seemingly effortless good taste to show off the superb architecture and detail with great élan.

But if the house and its interior enthral then the grounds will enchant.  What is extra special about The Kennel Cottage is its secrecy.  It is tucked away on the private 77 acre Grey Craig estate that it shares with only five other homes. Hardly a soul knows that the house is there.  It is a hidden garden kingdom.  Beyond the terrace and pool are almost nine acres of very special landscaping.

Apparently the gardens were designed to emulate those of an English country estate.  Perhaps.  But in some ways these are even better.  No English garden has views to Martha’s Vineyard! But in true English garden tradition the space is divided into distinct areas.  These include a formal rose garden, an amphitheatre garden with lake, walled fruit orchard with pillared Italianate tea house and a shade garden.  Beyond, the land falls gently to a rocky strand and the ocean.

If you want to live in Newport and make a bold – and even brash – statement to passers-by then The Kennel Cottage is not really for you.  There are no passers-by and it is by no means brash.  But if you want total privacy in your own coastal realm and a fabulous and tasteful building that you would be proud to call home then it is hard to see how this can be beaten.  I loved my walkies around The Kennel Cottage.  It gives new meaning to being in the doghouse.

By Nick Churton

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