My dream house exists. I spotted it being built in southern Corsica last summer. Southern Corsica is just touristy enough, but not too touristy. It's wild and woolly without being too basic, and there are no high-rise developments. Situated on a mountain between the towns of Porto Vecchio and Bonifacio, the house is in a hugely romantic location. You drive up through olive groves and there it is, sitting on its perch overlooking the bay of Porto Vecchio.
ESSENTIAL LOCAL AMENITIES
Good restaurants, a golf course down the road for my husband, riding stables for my daughter, Sarah, who is 13 and a sailing school for my son, Sebastian, who is 11. As the house would be just for holidays, good local schools would be irrelevant.
CHARACTER OF THE BUILDING
Modern Corsican style, built on several levels with a courtyard and three huge verandahs/decks overlooking the bay.
Stone, with pink rendered cement all over it and terracotta roof tiles.
Six bedrooms because I like having visitors, providing they've got plenty of space.
Six. Four en suite, and two others which could be used during the day.
There would be one large - but not quite open plan - reception room with big windows. The emphasis would be on the view, the light and space, but there would be a cosy area where I would have a huge wood-burning stove for when the evenings got chilly, as they do even in Corsica.
ESSENTIAL KITCHEN FEATURES
The kitchen would be large, with plenty of storage space and masses of work surfaces. I am an inveterate cook and I like people in the kitchen while I'm chopping away, so there should be plenty of room for people to sit and chat. I don't swear by many gadgets: I'm not a microwave or Magimix person but I'd have a set of good knives, a good coffee grinder, a good pepper mill, a good garlic squeezer and a pestle and mortar.
Mediterranean. Bold plain colours - lots of blue, yellow and white. The odd big modern picture, which you could have in a house like this. The decorative style of my dream house is the complete antithesis of everything in my London home with its Aga, and bookshelves and pictures wall-to-wall; all of which is lovely, but it's jolly nice to go somewhere completely different.
Really good bathrooms with power showers that work properly, loads of hot water and thick towels. A cellar full of fine wine. A tennis court and a swimming pool on one of the decks.
I'd have a nice little house for the maid and her husband, who could do the garden. They would be that proverbial treasured couple who would look after the house with tender loving care when we weren't there and watered the geraniums.
VIEW FROM THE WINDOWS
A very pretty one across the bay to Porto Vecchio with its marina, and the old town high up on the hills with the mountains behind.
Terraced, with winding paths and secret places to sit. Although this house is going to be full of people and lots of bons vivants I'd like people to be able to find a quiet place to read a good book on their own. I would stack the garden with masses of flowers and exotic plants with wonderful scents.
At the bottom of the hill in case of emergency, but otherwise none.
MOTTO OVER THE DOOR
I don't think we'd have one - the place would speak for itself.
WHAT IT WOULD COST
After consultation with local property agents in Porto Vecchio, Cornerstone Estate Agents conclude that the cost of such a property would be anything up to pounds 275,000, subject to fluctuations in the French franc.Reuse content