Open House: architect Paul Scrivener's seaside retreat in Lincolnshire
Our ‘Open House’ series sees us meet the owners of our most exceptional homes ahead of their sale. Here, architect Paul Scrivener shows us around his seaside retreat in Lincolnshire, the sales particulars for which can be seen here.
Paul: “A friend of mine once said, ‘How do you get to Anderby Creek? You go to the end of the world and keep going for half an hour!’. It does feel a bit like that here because it’s so quiet and peaceful.
“Everybody dreams of having a house by the sea, I think. I quite fancied the idea, certainly, and we had had a good year at the practice so I thought I would find somewhere to escape at the weekends.
“I couldn’t afford anywhere near London and, actually, I didn’t really want to be somewhere that would basically be London-on-Sea. Lincolnshire is very honest and unsophisticated and, in my eyes, so much nicer for that.
“I was born in Lincoln so knew Anderby Creek from my childhood, and 15 years ago you could buy something for a very reasonable price, so it all made sense.
“Anderby Creek emerged in the 1930s, when people from Sheffield, Peterborough and Nottingham built a collection of 20 or so houses here. They were rich enough to have a second home, just not on the Riviera, so they headed to the nearest stretch of coast.
“I bought the house in a terrible state. There were carpets that seemed like they could leap up and bite your ankles, and the garden had been taken over by the sand dunes. I was able to spend a bit of money on getting it into a reasonable order.
“I’m an architect by trade, having mostly worked on large-scale interior projects in London. To have a small domestic project was quite new to me, but rather enjoyable too. The plan was to create a getaway where friends could come.
“It was mainly about creating a seaside retreat because other than reading, painting, cooking and generally just chilling out, there isn’t a whole lot more to do here. I put a studio in the garden so I go out there to paint, but it would be a great place to write or just relax.
“It’s all about communing with nature, and having my dogs Luca, a Vizsla, and Molly, a German Shorthaired Pointer, is great because I take them for walks on the beach and in the Lincolnshire Wolds, which are completely undiscovered.
“The house sits on the other side of a dune from the beach, so it’s very tucked away and completely private. As such, it feels like a proper escape, and, if I get here on a Friday afternoon, I feel like I have had a week-long holiday in the space of a weekend.
“Being close to the beach is what it’s all about, and you can walk for miles along the coast in either direction and there’s just nothing.
“I’ve been here for 15 years and I was expecting the area to have changed more than it has done, which is actually really nice. You don’t come here for a stylish lifestyle or glamorous restaurants, but the food you can buy is fantastic. Lincolnshire has a strong agricultural tradition so the thing to do is to cook at home, which I do a lot of.
“I don’t get up here as much as I’d like anymore so I’ve decided that it’s time to move on. Life changes, circumstances change, but there is nothing about the place that is making me want to move on; I love it.”