A particularly handsome and impressive detached victorian house offering beautifully presented and generous contemporary accommodation (over 5,200 square feet) which includes six bedrooms, four bath/shower rooms, four reception rooms, A fine kitchen, extensive basement rooms and cellars all enjoying A wonderful setting in almost two thirds of an acre of elegant grounds with off road parking and wonderful views of the severn valley. Energy rating 'F'.
Situation and Location:
The property enjoys a convenient location approximately three miles south of Great Malvern, five miles from Ledbury, eleven miles from Worcester and approximately thirty four miles from Birmingham. Transport communications are excellent. There are mainline railway stations in both Malvern and Ledbury and a regular bus service runs past the property along Wells Road. Junction 1 (near Upton upon Severn) and 2 (near Ledbury) of the M50 as well as junction 7 of the M5 near Worcester are all within easy striking distance. The Old Croque is on the outskirts of the highly regarded area of Malvern Wells which has a number of local facilities including a nearby general stores, a Post Office, a beauticians and a service station. Great Malvern, the nearest major town, has a comprehensive choice of amenities including shops and banks, Waitrose supermarket, the renowned theatre and cinema complex and the Splash leisure pool and gymnasium. In nearby Malvern Link there is a large retail park with all the familiar high street names including Marks & Spencer, Boots, Next, Halfords, etc.
Education and Leisure:
The area has a deserved reputation for the quality of its educational facilities including the highly regarded Malvern St James Girls' School and the renowned Malvern College as well as The Elms and Downs prep schools in the nearby village of Colwall. In Malvern Wells itself there are two extremely highly rated local state primary schools. Situated as it is on the eastern slopes of the Malvern Hills, The Old Croque is less than half a mile from the Worcestershire Golf Club and is within walking distance of the network of paths and bridleways that criss-cross the hills themselves. Just under a mile away is the Three Counties Showground which hosts numerous national shows, concerts, antique fares, agricultural and equestrian events throughout the year. These include the world famous rhs garden show in the spring and autumn and The Three Counties festival in June. Cheltenham race course is less than half an hour's drive away.
Setting and Garden:
The property enjoys a lovely setting on the eastern slopes of the Malvern Hills. It stands in a large mature garden that extends to almost two thirds of an acre. Over the years this garden has clearly been a focal point of the house. In past years when the property was a Michelin star restaurant the then owners set aside part of the garden for the growing of herbs, vegetables and produce, effectively becoming self sufficient. Much of this garden remains today blending well with more formal landscaped areas, fine shrubs, some extremely impressive trees and even a small wooded copse all linked by a network of pathways. This all combines to provide a lovely private and sheltered setting. A private driveway provides off road parking. From its commanding position many of the principle rooms and parts of the garden itself enjoy fine views particularly to the east across the Severn Valley.
Description of Property:
The Old Croque is a handsome detached Victorian house constructed of local Malvern stone with dressed quoins under a tiled roof. It was originally built in the 1870s for a Victorian baker to an extremely high specification with emphasis on the quality of design and craftsmanship. A notable feature of the house are its large bay windows which ensure maximum natural light and take advantage of the commanding views.
All the principle rooms are well proportioned with high ceilings and a number of beautifully preserved period features including moulded cornicing, Victorian fireplaces, panelled doors and carved wood recesses, an elegant carved original main staircase, Oak floors and doors, sash windows, Ocre floor tiles, beautiful arches and perhaps of most historical interest the Victorian ovens which remain on the lower ground floor reminding occupants of its heritage as a bakery.
The present and previous owners have over the years completely refurbished the accommodation including the upgrading of wiring and plumbing systems, the installation of gas fired central heating, the pointing of external stone work and the constant maintenance and decoration of windows and woodwork. This added to the creation of a contemporary kitchen and the addition of several en suite bathrooms and shower rooms all combine to make this a fine Victorian dwelling ready for immediate occupation.
There is, however, scope for any purchaser to stamp their own mark. This could include the conversion of the lower ground floor and cellars into formal living accommodation or perhaps self contained apartments.
Past and Current History:
As mentioned earlier The Old Croque started life as a Victorian bakery as evidenced by its original ovens in the cellars. However, over the years it has also been a bank and a grocers shop. It also had a local connection to the railway when it was used as a receiving depot for parcels. For twenty four years until 2002 it was a Michelin star restaurant known as The Croque-en Bouche. At that time almost a third of the garden was dedicated to the growing of vegetables and herbs. In more recent years the current owners having refurbished and improved the house have been running a highly successful and lucrative Bed & Breakfast business, which draws in regular clients who visit this beautiful part of the world attracted by its famous history for the water cure, Sir Edward Elgar, its highly regarded culture and theatre, the beauty of the Malvern Hills and more recently by its proximity to The Three Counties Showground.
Though the accommodation is extremely generous (extending to over 5,200 square feet) The Old Croque is both a well presented and manageable home laid out over three main floors and complemented by two further levels of cellars and store rooms. Approached at ground floor level an impressive Oak front door opens into an attractive porch and main reception hall with its fine carved staircase leading to the first floor. The ground floor is dominated by its large open plan kitchen/family room. The kitchen is well equipped with a range of accessories, granite work tops, a Belfast sink and Rangemaster cooker. The kitchen shares this space with the family room, an extremely large and elegant space with solid Oak floor and impressive windows that give the house its distinctive appearance. Adjacent to the kitchen is a purpose built utility room which has proved extremely useful over the years in serving the property when it was being run as a restaurant and more recently as a Bed & Breakfast business. Also on the ground floor there are two further reception rooms both with period fireplaces including a study and a formal sitting room with its own external balcony from which there are views over the garden to the Severn Valley.
On the first floor a landing leads to another major focal point of the house. This is its very fine drawing room which with its large period fireplace and impressive bay window (with window seat) enjoys a stunning view across the Severn Valley. There are two bedrooms on this floor both of which have their own en suite facilities. There is also a family shower room and separate WC.
The staircase continues to the second floor where there are an additional four bedrooms including the master with its large en suite contemporary bathroom. Bedroom four was at one time two separate rooms but is now linked by a central open archway. It could easily be restored to its original layout. At the far end of the landing there is a separate WC.
The lower ground floor offers potential for further integration into the main accommodation or perhaps for conversion into a self-contained apartment. It enjoys access both internally from the ground floor or externally directly from the garden. The focal point of the floor is the former bakery with its striking range of original Victorian ovens. There are several rooms at this level including a laundry and three store rooms. There is direct internal access from the lower ground floor to the basement and to four excellent cellars. These can also be approached externally from the garden. As with the floor above these cellars could almost certainly be converted into further living quarters or a small flat.
The great strength of The Old Croque is its versatility as it can appeal to a wide range of potential buyers including those seeking a family home, anyone wishing to run a business such as Bed & Breakfast or even offices or of course restoring it back to its days as a highly successful restaurant.
The gardens are a lovely feature of The Old Croque extending to almost two thirds of an acre and located mainly to the rear of the house. Immediately in front of the property two gated entrances lead to a flagstone forecourt enclosed by a low brick wall with railings. A separate stepped pathway leads to the south side of the house where a large external porch leads to the lower ground floor. Further steps continue past this point down to the main rear garden which can also be approached from the northern side of the garden via its own driveway. This leads into the rear garden and to one of two lawns which has been designed to act as additional all weather parking.
Immediately behind the house there is a large flagstone terrace/seating area from which there is direct access into the cellars. Beyond the terrace the garden is laid to lawns enclosed by mature shrubs and hedging. There are some striking trees dating back many years including Copper Beech, Mulberry, Walnut, Medlar, Quince, Sour Cherry and various fruit trees. Formal walk ways flank the lawns and lead down to the large and highly productive kitchen garden which in its day provided enough produce to support the Croque-en Bouche restaurant. This has raised beds and gravelled pathways with three greenhouses. Beyond this kitchen garden is a small wooded copse which provides a lovely sheltered setting and a haven for wildlife.
A pre-application was submitted in January 2017 to Malvern Hills District Council for the sub-division of part of The Old Croque into five apartments. This met with sympathetic support from the planning authority. A copy of this report is available with the selling agent.
We have been advised that mains gas, electricity and water and drainage are connected to the property. This information has not been checked with the respective service providers and interested parties may wish to make their own enquiries with the relevant authorities. No statement relating to services or appliances should be taken to infer that such items are in satisfactory working order and intending purchasers are advised to satisfy themselves where necessary.
A full Energy Performance Certificate is available for this property from the selling agents Malvern Office.
Strictly by appointment through the Agents Malvern office .
'Intending purchasers will be required to produce identification documentation and proof of funding in order to comply with The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017. More information can be made available upon request'
From Great Malvern proceed south along Wells Road towards Ledbury for approximately three miles. You will see a Texaco filling station on your right hand side. The driveway to The Old Croque can be seen opposite this station.