Please Don’t Make Me Leave


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Nick Churton of Village Properties’ London office discovers no better place to spend a day or a lifetime.

Broker: Village Properties

Agent: Gregg Leach

Montecito always thrills. It is the combination of ocean, mountains, light, air, wine and sophistication. It is also a reflection of the Mediterranean – to a point. But one might as well say that the Mediterranean is a reflection of Montecito, as the town by the side of Santa Barbara in California stands on its own as a destination with a great climate, lifestyle and domestic architecture.

So given that this is an ideal location to live, where would one rest one’s head? I have the perfect answer. Set high on the Montecito slopes with the Pacific Ocean stretching west to the horizon and the Santa Ynez Mountains creating a gorgeous backdrop is a house of Provencal or Tuscan appearance and feel. But that is where the similarities stop because this is an American house, with American comfort and American ideas about modern living. And in America they do this as well as, if not better than, anywhere.

It is all done beautifully behind the mask of a rustic farmhouse, but it is all here. The elegant living spaces under rough-hewn ceiling beams, the beautiful timber and marble floors so tactile under bare feet, the media room, the wine cellar and the simple but fabulous bedrooms all thrill. But for me it was outside that perhaps created the strongest pull. After all in this climate much of one’s time is spent outdoors. I loved the ocean views, the sitting and dining areas, the olive trees against a perfectly blue sky and the fabulous infinity pool. In the evening there is a fire pit from where to watch the sunset and then the stars while perhaps sipping a Santa Ynez, Au Bon Climat, Pinot Noir.

This is single storey living at its very best. It is hard to think what would drag anyone away from this Shangri-La. Indeed one would never want to leave, as every minute of every day in this house and garden would be a blessing. If it were up to me I would still be there.

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