Grounds for action

When Jennifer Caira, the owner of The Orchard, Laverockdale House, says that the usual response to her home is one of surprise and it is not hard to understand why. Firstly, it is located right in the heart of Colinton, on the south-western edges of Edinburgh, but many residents in the sought-after enclave will never even have suspected it was there.

As its name would suggest, The Orchard was built in the grounds of Laverockdale House, an early 20th-centrury pile designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, but this is no new build squeezed into a small tranche of garden.

The imposing Orchard House sits in more than two acres of landscaped gardens, which, as well as providing a beautiful setting, gives a great deal of privacy. It is approached through two sets of security gates, and the other few houses in the development - the main house, a couple of new builds and conversions from the original outbuildings - are all set well away from The Orchard.

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The house is built of red brick, which is another surprise to the first-time viewer as it's hardly an indigenous building material in this part of the world. But it is a reflection of its time and purpose - it was completed in 1988 after being commissioned by the then manager of Rangers, Graham Souness. His wife bred horses and when the current owners took over the house 12 years ago, they demolished the stables in the grounds but kept the fenced menage area, so that anyone interested in the house for its equestrian potential wouldn't have much to reinstate. There can't be many properties suitable for keeping horses this close to the city centre.

The Bonaly Burn runs through the garden, but is gentle and shallow enough for the smallest children to play in, as Caira recalls her own four doing.

The football manager may have planned and landscaped the grounds of the property, but it is only now, years after he left, that they are coming to maturity. As well as the burn, there is a Japanese garden, tennis court and ornamental pond.

Records show that the architect was a Scot, from Greenock, but it is only when you get inside the house that you understand why this anachronistic piece of architecture works. The scale of the individual rooms are huge, and Caira and her husband Mario were attracted to it as both a family house and a perfect venue for parties. Light is important, with a huge glass skylight dominating the staircase and a double-height window in the hallway. The dining room, drawing room and master bedroom have curved windows which make the gardens very much part of the house. It works because the level of privacy afforded means that the house isn't overlooked.

Of the six bedrooms, four are en suite and the master bedroom, with its huge proportions, has a dressing room, an en suite bathroom, a separate shower room and a steam room.

"We loved the amount of light in the house, and the amount of glass also makes it a very warm house, with the sunshine heating it even in the depths of winter," says Caira. The use of curved walls and glass gives it a feminine, welcoming air too.

Blair Steward, of Strutt and Parker, believes that the house's unique design will mean that it will be sold to a family moving in from outside Edinburgh. "It isn't a traditional Edinburgh house, but that will appeal to someone from the Home Counties or Cheshire, where this type of property is highly prized."

• Offers over 1.6million, contact Strutt and Parker on 0131-226 2500 or Rettie and Co on 0131-220 4160.

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