KIT HESKETH-HARVEY ENTERTAINER AND WRITER Lives with his wife and two children in a rambling Georgian house in a Norfolk village in a Georgian house in Cornwall

LOCATION: On the shores of Lake Malawi, in Malawi - formerly Nyasaland - where I spent my childhood. We had a house there which we used at weekends and on holidays. Lake Malawi is about 350 miles long and terribly deep. Alarmingly beautiful, its shores are fringed with rainforest, white sand and African fishing villages.

ESSENTIAL LOCAL AMENITIES: The paddle steamer that chugs round the lake delivering mail and supplies. A seaplane - handy for nipping over to Lilongwe airport, should I ever need the world outside. Friendly Africans to catch fish in the lake and provide wonderful fruits - guava, pawpaw, papaya and mango.

CHARACTER AND CONSTRUCTION: A colonial house, like "Tara" in Gone With the Wind, but more ramshackle. Built of brick, it would have three storeys, hard wood floors and a thatched roof.

PERIOD AND HISTORICAL ASSOCIATIONS: Like my childhood home, it would have been built as a summer retreat for Europeans living in Nyasaland in the late 19th century.

BEDROOMS: Four.

BATHROOMS: I'd need a supply of purified drinking water, but I wouldn't need a bathroom. The lake is freshwater, and so hot that it's like a bath. In the forest there are little waterfalls with secret chambers behind which I could put my sponge-bag while I had a shower. Loos are almost more trouble than they're worth because they tend to be hiding-places for hideous spiders and God knows what, so maybe I would just go with a shovel to the vegetable patch.

RECEPTION ROOMS: One huge one on the first floor. It would have a polished floor so I could dance, a big fireplace for the rainy season and billowing curtains leading out to the verandah.

ESSENTIAL KITCHEN FEATURES: The Nyasaland Cookery Book. All wives of district commissioners were given this book, and my mother's battered copy is something I treasure. It's hilarious. Ovens were incredibly primitive, and the book tells you to throw a piece of paper into them. If it doesn't discolour it's alright for meringues; if it goes yellow it's alright for sponges; if it goes brown it's alright for roasts; if it catches fire, your oven is too hot!

DECORATIVE STYLE: African rugs and musical instruments dotted around. I like to paint and would hang my own daubs on the walls. I'd furnish with rattan armchairs with big calico cushions, and extended chaise longues for sunning myself. The beds would be extremely comfortable. Most of us spend about a third of our lives in bed - I slightly more, I'm afraid - so it's worth having a good one.

LUXURIES: A piano. When I was a child we had a piano lined with 112 tons of galvanized steel to make it termite-proof. I'd need some sort of sonic mosquito zapper, and somebody to fight off crocodiles and snakes. It would be reassuring to have the ayah who looked after me when I was little. She was a wonderful lady. Regularly drunk, she had no front teeth but saved my life after a snake bite by biting me with her remaining teeth and sucking out the poison.

SPECIAL OUTBUILDINGS: Without making it look like an A-frame chalet park, I'd like four guest houses in the rainforest.

VIEW FROM THE WINDOWS: Verdant rainforest, white sandy beaches, fishing boats on the lake and African children diving off the rocks. At night the sky would turn pink with flamingoes coming in to roost. I would have a rifle permanently set up in case anyone dreamed of using a jet ski.

GARDEN: With the best garden in the world on my doorstep, I wouldn't need one of my own.

NEIGHBOURS: None, apart from the Africans in the fishing villages. The sound of singing, or a calabash orchestra, is the nicest in the world. There would be no stereos, as there is no electricity.

MOTTO OVER THE DOOR: If there were one, it would very quickly be eaten by termites.

WHAT IT WOULD COST: Jeremy Wagner, of Malawi Protea Hotels, says Kit should expect to pay £45,000-£50,000 for his dream home. Many holiday homes on the shores of Lake Malawi are company-owned and do not often come up for sale. There are also restrictions on the purchase of such properties by foreigners.

INTERVIEW BY ROSANNA GREENSTREET

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace was caught by a camera van driving 32mph over the speed limit

TV
Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Iain reacts to his GBBO disaster

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Outlaw Pete is based on an eight-minute ballad from Springsteen’s 2009 Working on a Dream album

books
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012

film
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian

film
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

    ... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
    Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

    Europe's biggest steampunk convention

    Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

    The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor