Bliss in Blakeney
Tony Hall discovers an exciting new house with spectacular sea views across the wild Norfolk marshes to savour
O‘Another two wishes were to include our very own private ‘Everyman’ cinema and our own spa’
ver the years I have featured several homes in Blakeney, most of which are sweet converted fishermen’s cottages. So I was delighted to get an invitation from Lisa and Daniel Broch to see their stunning new build home, which boasts one of the most spectacular, panoramic views I have ever seen in the 25 years I have been doing this job.
Spread out in front of us, with the village to the right, are uninterrupted panoramas over the salt marshes and creeks to the sea beyond.
“There is no chance of anything changing our view as we had the opportunity of also buying the marshes as well,” explains Lisa. “It was a unique situation.” The couple, who were born and raised in Hertfordshire, bought their first property in Norfolk 15 years ago, in Cley, as a holiday home. “We knocked it down and re-built,” says Lisa. “My grandparents had a caravan at Brancaster and we all came up for the holidays, so for our children, Myla and Edith, we wanted to recreate those childhood memories of mine.
“One night on our way back home to London, driving through Blakeney, Daniel spotted this site was for sale. On it was a 1950’s five bed home with two acres, now in total 16 acres. We hastened back to view and had tea with the owner who had lost her husband. She was delighted when we said we would knock it down; she thought it a relief and the end of an era.”
The sale went to sealed bids and Lisa and Daniel were delighted when they discovered they had been successful.
“The wish list for the new build with the children included spaces that flow together, obviously taking full advantage of the spectacular views. As the view faces north we also though an enclosed courtyard garden with a swimming pool to the south would be a special added bonus
and as you see it is a fantastic suntrap; we have palm trees there. Another two wishes were to include our very own private ‘Everyman’ cinema, which has to be a firm favourite, and our own spa.”
They did all the project management throughout, acting as contractors, and with Daniel often away on business, a lot of that work has fallen to Lisa, who takes it all in her stride.
“My mantra,” she says, “is ‘it is what it is’. Get up, get on with it. Time is money, so attention to detail and the logistics of each and every piece arriving on site on time are paramount. But I am lucky with an excellent team of builders and workmen. I had great fun with the interior design, sourcing several items from Bayfield Hall Antiques.”
On leaving school Lisa joined well-known London hairdressers Daniel Galvin as an apprentice where the high profile client list included Princess Diana and
Nicole Kidman. Her husband Daniel worked with estate agents, buying and selling up-market properties in North London. Their career in property took a rather imaginative turn after they saw the Everyman Cinema in Hampstead was on the market.
“It was going through bad times,” explains Lisa. “Initially Daniel thought of buying it to just develop the site, but then we thought could we create a totally different cinema experience, up-market with decent facilities on site.
“So that’s what we did. Initially it was difficult attracting major box office films, not being part of a chain, but as more and more people discovered us and our popularity grew, we were able to get the pick of what we wanted.
We worked day and night for several years, acquiring other cinemas, branded ‘Everyman’ and more recently took over the ‘Screen on the Green’ chain.” The couple have taken a step back after completing their new home in Norfolk and are refocusing on what will be several ‘Bliss’ Boutique Hotels, the first opening in Southport.
“Now fully settled in, I love having family to stay - parents, sister, two brothers and lots of grandchildren,” says Lisa. “We are so lucky to have so much room that everyone has their own space. We all love days out on our little launch ‘Little Bliss’, looking at the seals and then having a picnic. Walks across the marshes, just me and the dog are fantastic, in fact although we work hard, life here in our permanent home is total bliss!
Bliss Blakeney is available for holiday stays and as a film and photo shoot location. Contact 0203 0304172, blissblakeney.co.uk; blissspace.co.uk. This feature is written and produced by Tony Hall, tonyhalleyepix.com
TOP LEFT: Design by Jackie Finch, 07776 292211; BC Landcrafts 01954 250830 Plants from Urban Jungle, 01603 744997; Decking by Kebony, Brooks Bros
LEFT: Terrace overlooking the marshes in the sun
ABOVE: Kitchen by Simon Thomas Pirie; Photograph of girl on marsh by British artist Frances Kearney, franceskearney.com; Dining table and pendants from Milan; Paint colour by Alcro from Paint & Paper, 01603 400777; Resin floor by Puur; Star pendant from Stiffkey lighting at Bayfield Antiques, bayfieldhallantiques.com; Dining chairs by Artifort, artifort.com
BELOW: Dressing table from made.com; Bed from The British Bed Company, 01603 258948; Linen from Trade Linens; Fur cushions from John Lewis; Standard lamp by Flos from Atrium, atrium.ltd.uk; Bath from Porcelanosa; Wallpaper from Arne Jacobson from Select Wallpapers, selectwallpaper.co.uk
Bed by Savoir beds; Cushions by Jeanne Laine, jeannelaine.com; Curtains by Osborne and Little, osborneandlittle.com; Paint colour by Alcro from Paint & Paper, 01603 400777; Lights, Abigail Ahern, abigailahern.com. All bath equipment from Mag Bathrooms, Norwich, magbathrooms.co.uk; Pendant light from Stiffkey lighting, at Bayfield Antiques, bayfieldhallantiques.com
Paint colour by Alcro from Paint & Paper, 01603 400777; Photos of family pictures framed by Picturecraft Gallery, Holt, 01263 711040. Photography art work by Frances Kearney, franceskearney. com. Wood flooring by Reeves Wood, 01553 776835 ABOVE: