Sunday, January 18, 2015

Lazy Girl in Antigua, Episode 2

You won't believe whose 
house I found.
On my recent trip to Antigua, I had the pleasure of a day at Half Moon Bay on the Atlantic Ocean. A pristine crescent of sand meets the azure sea, while vegetation marches upward from the beach's edge.

We walked to the far end of the beach, near a secluded grove of trees where we could place our bags and towels and avoid the sun's rays. Locals had constructed rustic benches and tables there. Our driver, Marcos, told us that Paul Mellon's house was above this spot on the beach.

Half Moon Bay 
The swimming was great -- the water warm.
At the entrance to the Bay,
the surf crashed and pounded the rocks.
Returning from my swim I noticed some
steps leading up from the beach.
Intrepidly, I climbed until I encountered
Indeed, it was none other than the house
of Rachel Lowe (Bunny) Mellon, horticulturalist,
gardner, philantropist and art collector.
Femme et Fleur readers will remember that I
recently attended an auction of her belongings,
along with my sisters, Jeanne and Susan, at Sotheby's.
Photo by Dolores Barclay
Bunny's house, as see from sea.
The house and private grounds,
are part of the Mill Reef Club, a private resort.
The estate is for sale for $6,950,000. Mrs. Mellon died last March.

From Christie's International Real Estate:
Gracefully occupying more than 17 verdant acres on Half Moon Bay, this exclusive estate is ideally situated in the Mill Reef Club. A main residence, guest house of three bedrooms, staff house, music house, and multiple outbuildings, each built in classic British-Colonial style, offer a lifestyle of refined tropical luxury.

The estate's main entrance opens to reveal manicured gardens arrayed around the property. A grand double staircase, overlooking a courtyard and reflecting pool, introduce the main residence. Imaginatively designed, the home abounds with inspired alfresco living spaces creating an indoor-outdoor ambiance perfectly suited to the surroundings.

A lavish double master suite overlooks the Bay and the flower gardens. A library or guest room with views of the reflecting pool provides a quiet retreat, while the great room sets the stage for grand entertaining with a vast terrace looking out onto Half Moon Bay. Opening onto another waterfront terrace, the dining room gives way to a lovely orchid nursery. The wine cellar resides below the kitchen and opens onto a seating area with access to the pool and the garden.

Custom designed to capture the tropical trade winds blowing across the island, the house needs no air conditioning. The structure was constructed of local stone quarried on the property, and the foot-thick walls give it the look and feel of a beautifully maintained 250-year-old plantation home. A functioning water catchment facility, cisterns, and various administrative outbuildings support the residence.

A substantial pool, a poolhouse including changing rooms and a kitchen, two greenhouses, vegetable gardens, and a citrus orchard also adorn the property. The expansive grounds gently slope toward the water, affording direct access to one of the most secluded and stunning beaches in the Caribbean. Additional acreage is available.

A peek at the house as seen from the Blue Gate.
 After our swim, we had a delightful lunch of
grilled shrimp and chicken curry roti here
at Tipi's Beach Shack.
 Suzanne helped us with our orders.
My Guinness was delicious.
A tip of the hat to my traveling companion, Tobi Barclay,
who took great shots of me for
these Antigua posts.

À Bientôt!

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