Can you tell us about where you live and why you enjoy it?
For the past 15 years I have enjoyed the best of both worlds, with a house in South Gloucestershire and a flat in Parsons Green, west London. Gardening is a passion of mine, and I’ve been hugely lucky to enjoy that in both places – though in London it doesn’t take nearly as much time!
What do you think makes the perfect country house?
A garden, an Aga, an open fireplace, central heating and a dog.
What is the most appealing aspect of owning a country house?
For me it would be the sunsets, which we see with far-reaching westerly views.
Besides the view from your own garden, what’s your favourite countryside vista?
The Tresham Valley, which is nearby and feels more or less as it would have done several hundred years ago.
Do you have a favourite architectural style of country house?
I have seen the best of every English style over the years. When done well, they are all sensational, from early Tudor/late medieval to Jacobean, William and Mary, Queen Anne and Georgian. I’ve also seen some very fine Victorian houses and dreamy Arts & Crafts homes, which have a softness about them that I love.
What is your favourite style of interior design?
I’m so torn, not least because I think of my many talented friends who all have wonderful houses in their own distinctive styles. But my favourite would be relaxed, slightly faded comfort with a mix of old furniture and modern pictures.
What’s the best book or film about country-house living?
I love Gosford Park. Maggie Smith is delightful as Lady Trentham, with her withering comment about bought marmalade. A wonderful and evocative book of a bygone age, but with a wry sense of humour, is Marigold Armitage’s A Motley to the View. It is delicious.
Is there a property you once lived in that you think of fondly today?
I once lived in a tiny and not-so-great flat in Chelsea. I sold it for peanuts then, and now it is, of course, worth millions…
What’s your favourite thing about working in residential property?
After nearly 40 years, there is one constant, and that is the people. First of all there are my colleagues, many of whom have become lifelong friends. I’ve also been lucky to work with clients who are universally lovely.
If you invested in a property today, where and what would it be?
With my country hat on, I would head for a tiny coastal cottage anywhere westerly. If I were to stay in London, I would try to find a small, perfect flat in a quiet old street close to the City of London, or perhaps somewhere around Southwark, which I think has a great vibe.
What is your perfect season in the country?
Inevitably spring. The vibrancy of spring green catches one’s breath.
Pictures from top: Lindsay Cuthill; Cotswold Way views (Getty); a country house kitchen (Getty); sunset over Burford church (Getty)