Somewhere up Hackney way is Sutton House, a beautiful Tudor pile that almost ended up as one. It’s a national trust property that isn’t a castle, a grand house or an oddity of an eccentric gentleman of long ago. OK, it’s bigger than the average London home but not by much. It’s not particularly huge. And it probably doesn’t have a ghost.
What makes it special is the way the house has evolved over the years, surviving tumultuous times of change from country estate to inner-London squat – it’s seen everything. Renovated, divided in two, desecrated, and boarded up, it still keeps keeping on.
In a house, there is always a sense of joy in finding your own spot. Personally, I liked the attic at the top a set of stairs, in the part of the house that, I think, became a secondary residence after it was subdivided. It had good vibes. Others were choosing their own. Some preferred the downstairs drawing room. Others wanted nothing more than to relax in the courtyard. The kitchen, with its beautiful fireplace, seemed like a fantasy or a set. You just wanted to get that apron on and rustle up a pie.