The home and grounds date back to Ravelston Golf Club, which is just one of the reasons Brian Hunter and his wife Lorraine bought the property 23 years ago.
Brian is an avid golfer and has enjoyed being so close to the fairways over the years. But the other passion Lorraine shares is gardening, and the couple run Hunter’s Garden Services, a landscaping business, with their three adult children.
And so the outdoor space offered by Ravelston Lea was another big draw. Brian recalls, “We loved the house and although the garden was overgrown we could see the potential, especially having so much space so close to town.”
A stone pillar in the driveway dates the house to 1864 and is stylistically very reminiscent of its era. Brian knows Ravelston Lea was built by the Edinburgh Water Company.
The Hunters undertook a complete renovation when they moved in and have since added a rear extension. It houses a much larger kitchen and a garden room with a curved front wall to make the most of the view.
The kitchen was outfitted by Kitchen’s International with a brief to keep things traditional. Brian says: “Our taste is that the interior should reflect the age of the house and people have compared the look to a Highland hunting lodge. We like the old school look and we think it suits our house.”
Accommodation is spacious but not cavernous. Brian describes it as “a cosy, compact house – we have a coal and wood fire in the living room which is just brilliant when the house is full at Christmas.
“We also have the Aga in the kitchen, so we feel like it’s a year-round house – in the spring, summer and fall we’re mostly in the garden, but in the winter we’re tight-knit and feel very cosy.”
Ravelston Lea is spread over three floors; The extension also houses a breakfast room and utility room, whilst the older part of the ground floor has a dining room, drawing room and a few steps up to a raised living room with another cozy one just off it. The house has six bedrooms, one of which is currently used as a study, on the top two floors and there are two bathrooms.
The garden was a labor of love for Lorraine and Brian, with three separate seating areas to catch the sun for breakfast, lunch and evening. In addition, a corner garden house was installed so that the last rays of sunshine can be enjoyed.
Brian enjoys working with stone, so there are walls, elements and patios that all complement the fabric colors of the house.
The plant collection is impressive and as the garden is busy it actually requires little work as weeds don’t peek in. It took many thousands of hours to perfect, but the Hunters use it as a storefront for the business. Brian says, “We love it when potential customers come in and take a look.”
Trees sculpted with ornamental pruning line the driveway while others are left in their natural form. The seating areas are surrounded by striking plants and flower beds of fuchsias and hydrangeas, maples and heathers. Wisteria climbs up the walls of the house and a good mix of plants provides color in the garden at any time of the year.
It is a very private retreat and was designed for gatherings. Brian says, “I joke that I have the best beer garden in town.
“We’re not overlooked, so if we have people around we can put out candles and sit in the garden until late without annoying the neighbors. The kids turn on their music and there is no one to hear or complain.”
Ravelston Lea, Edinburgh is priced at over £1.95m.