The house and grounds back onto Ravelston Golf Club, which is just one of the reasons Brian Hunter and his wife, Lorraine, bought the property 23 years ago.
Brian is a keen golfer and has enjoyed being so close to the fairways over the years. But his other passion, which Lorraine shares, is gardening, and the couple run Hunter’s Garden Services, a landscaping company, together with their three adult children.
And so the outside space offered by Ravelston Lea was another major draw. Brian recalls: “We loved the house, and while the garden was overgrown, we could see the potential, especially having this much space so close to the city.”
A stone pillar in the driveway dates the house to 1864, and it is very redolent of its era in style. Brian understands that Ravelston Lea was built by the Edinburgh Water Company.
The Hunters carried out a full renovation when they first moved in and have since added an extension to the rear. It houses a much larger kitchen, and a garden room with a curved end wall to make the most of the views.
The kitchen was fitted by Kitchen’s International with a remit to keep things traditional. Brian says: “Our taste is for the interior to be in keeping with the age of the house, and people have compared the look to a Highland hunting lodge. We like the old-school look and that is what we felt suits the house.”
The accommodation is spacious, but not cavernous. Brian describes it as “a cosy compact house – we have a coal and log fire in the sitting room, which is just brilliant when the house is full for Christmas.
"We’ve got the Aga in the kitchen as well, so we feel it is a year-round house – in spring, summer and autumn we are mostly in the garden, but in winter we batten-down and feel very cosy.”
Ravelston Lea is set over three floors; the extension also houses a breakfast room and utility, while the older part of the ground floor has a dining room, drawing room, and a few steps to a raised sitting room with a further snug just off it. The home has six bedrooms, one of which is currently used as a home office, on its upper two floors, and there are two bathrooms.
The garden has been a labour of love for both Lorraine and Brian, with three separate areas for seating to catch the sun at breakfast time, lunch and in the evening. In addition, a corner summer house has been installed to ensure the last rays can be enjoyed.
Brian enjoys working in stone, so there are walls, features and terracing all complementing the colours of the house’s fabric.
The plant collection is impressive, and because the garden is full, it actually requires little work, as weeds don’t get a look in. It has taken many thousands of hours to perfect, but the Hunters use it as a showcase for the business. Brian says: “We are very happy for potential customers to come round and have a look.”
Trees shaped with ornamental pruning line the driveway, while others are left in natural form. The seating areas are surrounded by statement plants and flower beds of fuchsias and hydrangea, acers and heather. Wisteria climbs up the walls of the house and a good mix of plants ensures there is colour in the garden at all times of the year.
It makes for a very private haven and has been designed for get-togethers. Brian says: “I joke that I have the best beer garden in the city.
"We aren’t overlooked, so if we have people round we can put out candles and sit in the garden till late, without annoying the neighbours. The kids put on their music and there is nobody to hear or complain.”
Ravelston Lea, Edinburgh is priced at offers over £1.95m.
For more information, contact selling agents Simpson & Marwick on 0131-581 5700.