This article was originally published on Christies International Real Estates blog Luxury Defined.


The advent of the farm-to-table movement has inspired many homeowners to try their hand at growing their own food. While some dream of living on a farm, others prefer the pastoral splendor of formal gardens that evoke the grandeur of a bygone age. Luxury Defined presents five such properties, where neoclassical gardens are complemented by fragrant flower beds and where greenhouses sit alongside orchards and walled kitchen gardens. Not only are these country houses located on significant acreage, they are luxurious private retreats with every expected amenity and near some of the world’s most exciting cities or glamorous resorts.


Queen Anne-Style Country House in Penshurst, Kent, England



Redwood is an exceptional Queen Anne-style country house set within 18.5 acres of gardens and parkland in the Kent countryside. The residence was designed and built by architects Quinlan & Francis Terry. Quinlan Terry is the foremost post-war classical revivalist whose works include refurbishing 10 Downing Street. The house was constructed in 1990 with the two elegant Regency-style wings added in 2005, together with the detached three-bedroom lodge. Redwood’s established gardens and grounds, designed in the neoclassical style, provide a stunning setting to the house and feature a two-acre lake. The gardens are principally laid to lawn and interspersed with many varieties of specimen trees and shrubs. Walking paths lead to a duck pond with duck house, a part-walled paved garden with ornamental pond and water feature, and a beautiful walled kitchen garden with fruit cages, raised vegetable beds, an orangery, two substantial greenhouses, and a workshop.


Rural Estate in São Pedro de Sintra, Portugal



This stately residence in São Pedro de Sintra is ensconced within private parkland and formal gardens designed by landscape architect Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles. The grand, 3,767-square-foot main house is adorned with ornate period details, such as hand-painted ceilings, Viúva Lamego tiled walls, and a curved stone staircase. Among the appointments are six bedrooms, grandly scaled reception rooms with fireplaces, a study, formal dining room, and modern kitchen. The ancillary buildings include a chapel, guest house, and atelier. The gardens are an oasis graced with statuary, allées, centuries-old trees, exotic plants, orchards, sweeping lawns, herb and vegetable gardens. A gardener’s shed, tennis court, dining pavilion, and terrace with barbecue area are further highlights.


Traditional Galluran Estate in Porto Pollo, Sardinia, Italy



Stazzu Olivastri is a traditional Galluran estate in the verdant hills above La Liscia Beach, with breathtaking views of Porto Pollo and the Archipelago of La Maddalena. Situated on nearly 7.5 acres of lush Mediterranean gardens, this unique property is composed of four historic dwellings, beautifully restored by the architect-owner to preserve the original structural elements with the addition of contemporary comforts. The heart of the three-bedroom main house is a covered verandah with living and dining areas and a kitchen. Inside, the simplicity of stone and wood creates a harmonious contrast with rich furnishing and fabrics. Stone terraces flow out to fragrant gardens with sweeping vistas of the Sardinian coastline.


Country Contemporary in Wilsonville, Oregon



This bucolic estate, between Lake Oswego and Wilsonville, an hour from Portland, Oregon, comprises a 4,840-square-foot Prairie-style main residence and nearly five acres of resplendent gardens. Designed by the current owner in 2012 to take advantage of the setting: a protective knoll which captures light and breezes, and views of the mountains and valley. A winding driveway, traversing a pond and small waterfall, leads to the lovely landscaped grounds developed over six years from a rocky meadow into a beautiful private park with 500 specimen trees, massive boulders, and over 5,000 plants and shrubs. Throughout spring, summer, and fall, the gardens are a celebration of color. Native Pacific Northwest materials are a predominant element of the house and the gardens, including such features as a boulder accented waterfall, kitchen garden with board and batten potting shed, and great level lawn.


Del Dios Ranch in Rancho Santa Fe, California 



A citrus lover’s paradise, this expansive estate boasts 15 acres of navel oranges and 25 acres of lemon trees plus a lake, tennis court, and equestrian facilities. The main residence—designed by noted architect Fred Briggs with interiors by Arthur Elrod—was completed in 1972 and features walls and beams of redwood that was milled on the property. An entire wing is given over to an indoor pool and spa that augment the property’s other resort-like amenities. Accessed by a long driveway, this very private home is located in an exclusive enclave of Rancho Santa Fe known as The Covenant. Although only 40 minutes or so from San Diego, it exists a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Older Blog Posts