The country estate that played host to the TV show “The Great British Bake Off” hit the market last week with a £5 million (US$6.7 million) price tag.
Built in 1796, the Grade II-listed Harptree Court, is located on more than 50 acres in Mendip Hills, just south of Bristol, England.
The nine-bedroom home belongs to Linda and Charles Hill and has been in Mr. Hill’s family since 1920. The estate was the location of the famed Bake Off tent, where the show’s amateur bakers are put to work making pastries and whipping up creme patissiere, in 2012 and 2013.
“We got a phone call out of the blue asking if we would consider having a tent in our garden,” said Mrs. Hill, a fan of the show— known stateside as “The Great British Baking Show.” She said she couldn’t contain her excitement when they contacted her.
Host Mary Berry was “so warm and chatty and spent hours in our kitchen,” Mrs. Hill said. “Sue and Mel [the show’s hosts] are the funniest people I’ve ever met in my entire life.” And the show’s second host, Paul Hollywood, was extremely lovely, she added. “They were so fantastic. We had such a great time.”
The tents would take a week to set up, and another week to take down, Mrs. Hill said. For filming, crews would bring in a huge generator, which would be tucked behind a hedge in a field to supply electricity, and for water they hooked up to the estate’s commercial hoses. In particularly cold weather the hoses were prone to freezing, so crews would fill up buckets from the kitchen.
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“We looked out of the dining room window and straight into the tent,” Mrs. Hill said. The couple, along with visiting friends, had to sign confidentiality agreements.
Mr. and Mrs. Hill, 63 and 60 respectively, are selling now that they’re preparing to retire. “It’s a lot of house for two people,” Mrs. Hill said. “you do sort of rattle around.”
The home is famed beyond “The Great British Bake Off,” though.
“My husband and I aren’t exactly Vogue people,” Mrs. Hill said. Nonetheless, the home’s luxury treehouse—built in 2011—has been featured in the fashion magazine three times. The house was used as a set in the British teen drama “Skins” and has been the backdrop for music videos.
“We had 120 zombies floating around for something else,” Mrs. Hill said.
It has a drawing room, a dining room, a morning room, seven bathrooms and a staff apartment on the ground floor. There is also “a billiards room that doesn’t have a billiards table that’s been very useful for parties,” Mrs. Hill said. In addition, the home has three rooms which, along with the treehouse, vacationers can pay to stay in.
On the grounds is a cottage, walled garden, a stable yard and a tennis court, according to the listing with James McKillop of Knight Frank, who did not immediately return a request for comment.
The Daily Telegraph first reported the listing.
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