Imagine a home that can only be found at the end of your own private drive and has a vast expanse of glorious Gower coastline and the wetlands of a river estuary as your incredible front garden.
It would instantly take your breath away.
And this is exactly what happened when now retired couple Julia and Frank Curtis came to view Brandy House when it was for sale in 1987.
Planning to move from Gloucestershire to a beautiful coast somewhere in the UK, the counties of Devon, Cornwall and Pembrokeshire were all considerations for the family.
But the stunning Gower coastline, the first location awarded an area of outstanding natural beauty in the UK, won the escape to the coast location battle.
Julia said: “For position, views and amenities in the area, Gower won hands down. When we first saw Brandy House it was run down and sad but as soon as we set eyes on it we all knew that it was the home for us.
“Standing inside and looking out across the marsh to the estuary beyond it felt relaxing, it felt like home and we could see the potential to bring it back to its former glory. A house can always be altered to suit your tastes but you can never alter the position.”
The couple were captivated from the moment they got to the end of the long private drive over 30 years ago and knew that their children would be as mesmerised as they were with the location.
Julia said: “The view had to be one of the best views we had ever seen and we liked the fact that Brandy House was on its own but it was also part of a small village community so that you didn’t feel isolated.
“With an acre of land including a small wooded area the children would have plenty of space to play and enjoy a wonderful childhood exploring the countryside and estuary that was on their doorstep. We thought it would be a very magical place for the children to grow up.
“The land is ideal for children to play safely and over the years our children have kept pet pot bellied pigs, sheep and rabbits.
“It has been a wonderful playground for our children and all their friends with archery, totem poles in the woods for wonderful adventures and a zip line and rope swings in the trees.”
But as the children explored the grounds, playing for hours and building dens, there was so much to entertain the adults back at the house, who were continually smitten with the panoramic vistas surrounding their family home.
Julia said: “When we first saw Brandy House we thought it was beautiful but we didn’t realise how beautiful it could be with the changes of the seasons and the tides; the view even changes throughout the day.
“But we also knew that the view would always be there as we are surrounded by National Trust land and the estuary to the front of the property, so nothing could ever be built to spoil the view.”
Over the years the couple have come to fully understand, recognise and engage with the incredible changing vista in front of their home as it played out its seasonal performances, to which they have had a daily front row seat.
Frank said: “Through spring and summer the candytuft covers the marsh causing it to change from pink through to purple and on high tides the water from the pils covers the marsh bringing in all the wading birds to feed.
“Brandy House is a bird watcher’s paradise with little egrets, herons, shell ducks, buzzards and red kites to name but a few.”
In autumn there is a special display in the sky that has nothing to do with fireworks night but more about the mesmerising group ‘dance’ of hundreds of starlings filling the sky, and filling anyone watching with awe.
Frank said: “It is also a unique place to see the wild horses on the marsh mixing with the sheep that produce the famous salt marsh lamb which is sold locally at Weobley Castle.
“The tides that cover the marsh landscape are also great for fishing with mullet and sea bass being caught in season.”
The couple feel blessed to have enjoyed living in the house which they think offers so many unique aspects of not just the coast and country, but also the city.
The fact that Brandy House is a peaceful retreat but that Swansea and Llanelli are close by, has been convenient as well as appealing over the years.
With good local schools for the children not far away either, the couple said they knew Brandy House would work for them as a family.
But it’s the views that have captivated them every day of the past 30 years that they have called Brandy House their home.
Julia said: “Rather than just a plain sea view, at Brandy House we also have the estuary view towards the Carmarthen coast from Pembrey to Loughor and the Brecon Beacons beyond make a wonderful sight when covered in snow.
“We have never closed our bedroom curtains at night because it is always a wonderful sight when all the coastline is lit up and it is extra special on Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve when all the firework displays along the coast can be enjoyed.”
Amazing Welsh homes
We’ve launched a new property group on Facebook.
Whether you love nosing around beautiful properties or always keep an eye open for your latest project, this group will bring you the best in Welsh homes, properties, renovations and more.
Join our new group for all the latest.
The property is said to have been an old smuggler’s house which would make perfect sense considering its peaceful location near the river with very few prying eyes around to discover any night-time smuggling.
And it’s not hard to guess the main commodity smuggled at the house was of course brandy.
Julia said Brandy House was originally part of the Penrice estate and after the Second World War it was used as a holiday home for many years by a family called Ebling.
Once the romance of the location and history has enthralled you, it’s time to get practical with what the house can physically offer a new owner.
Maybe the first decision a buyer needs to make will be where to place the telescope, there are so many substantial picture windows at the front of the property which are perfect for ensuring the views which are constantly flowing into each room.
The ground floor has four sizeable rooms that all look out onto the water views and also flow into each other, from the kitchen diner at one end to the living room at the other end via a central dining room.
Find your next perfect home here:
The addition of a sizeable orangery at the end of the house means relaxing and enjoying the view while feeling surrounded by it can happen every day, whatever the weather.
The ground floor has a utility room off the kitchen and a cloakroom too.
Upstairs there are four double bedrooms, with the master boasting an ensuite shower room, plus a family bathroom.
Any of these versatile spaces could be a home office, an attractive proposition made possible by the fibre broadband in the house which has speeds up to 900mb.
Frank said: “There is parking for up to six cars in the drive with plenty of room for a motorhome complete with electrics for people who like to travel.
“We have a cottage garden close to the house with patios and sitting areas for barbecues and raised beds with the rest of the land laid to lawn with trees for easy maintenance.
Julia aded: “Our children made canoes at school which they used on the pils outside the house, but nowadays we love just sitting in the garden with a glass of wine watching the changing seasons.”
The couple have been so captivated with the special location, they might be downsizing but they are only moving to the other side of the water.
Julia said: “This has been a wonderful home for us and we have been very privileged to live in such a beautiful place in such a glorious setting we will sadly miss it.
“But we now have a home on the opposite side of the estuary looking directly at Brandy House and we will always be able to look across and remember the wonderful life we had.
“It is now time for someone else to live their dreams there and make their own wonderful memories.”
Brandy House is for sale for offers in the region of £675,000 with Fine & Country Swansea. Call them on 01792 367301 to find out more.