PROPERTY / If you could live anywhere: Roger Scruton, Philosopher - Owns a small farm in Wiltshire, where he lives with five horses and a cat

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LOCATION: The back door would look out on to old English rolling parkland in Rutland, the front door on to a canal in Venice. I could go fox-hunting in Rutland and indulge my passion for architecture and art in Venice.

ESSENTIAL LOCAL AMENITIES: No motorways, supermarkets or anything like that.

CHARACTER OF THE BUILDING: The English side would be a fine Palladian-style building. The other, a Venetian Gothic palace like the Ca'd'Oro, a 15th-century house in Venice.

CONSTRUCTION: The English side would be built from mellow limestone, the roof hidden by a balustrade. The Venetian facade would be made from the usual brick and ashlar.

BEDROOMS: Three in use on both sides of the house, but others unknown down unexplored corridors for me to visit in old age. Cooler, more phlegmatic visitors would be housed on the English side. Those bedrooms on the Venetian side would be for the more romantic. All would be uncomfortable, so if guests stayed long it would not be for comfort.

BATHROOMS: Just a couple, with old-fashioned baths with claw feet and brass taps. There would be nothing modern, apart from a wonderful hot water system.

RECEPTION ROOMS: The few people who would be received would be indifferent to anything except a library, a music room and a dining room. There would be no sitting room or TV room - there would be no TV.

ESSENTIAL KITCHEN FEATURES: On the English side, an old-fashioned English cook like Mrs Beeton. She would produce copious quantities of nursery food with exotic ingredients, such as steak and kidney pudding with oysters. The Venetian side would have a kitchen that I would sometimes inhabit myself. It would be provided with fresh fish and I would cook delicate things such as mullet in olive oil. I'm quite a good cook, so they say.

DECORATIVE STYLE: Just unostentatious good taste.

LUXURIES: There would be none: luxuries such as jacuzzis are vulgar.

ANY SPECIAL OUTBUILDINGS: On the English side there would be stables and barns. On the Venetian side, a little boat house in which the gondola could harbour.

SIZE OF GARDEN: There would be a small kitchen garden on the English side from which flowers would be ruthlessly excluded. It would contain interesting herbs and nice vegetables, especially beetroot and broad beans.

NEIGHBOURS: None on the English side. On the Venetian side they would be inaccessible except by water.

MOTTO OVER THE DOOR: I haven't got a family motto: perhaps there would be no motto, because they are a little ostentatious.

HOW MUCH WOULD IT COST: According to Cornerstone Estate Agents, a mini estate in Rutland would cost between pounds 375,000 and pounds 400,000. Cornerstone estimates the price of a Venetian palace at pounds 500,000- pounds 650,000, depending on competitive bids at the time.

Roger Scruton's latest book, 'Modern Philosophy' is published by Sinclair Stevenson at pounds 25

(Photograph omitted)

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