27 EWINGTON AVE MT EDEN
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SIZE: Land 2848sq m, house 322sq m.
PRICE: CV $2.36 million. Tender closes November 30 at 2pm.
INSPECT: By appointment.
SCHOOL ZONES: Mt Eden Normal Primary, Kowhai Intermediate, Auckland Grammar, Epsom Girls' Grammar, Auckland Girls' Grammar, Mt Albert Grammar.
CONTACT: Rick Thevenard, ph 027 448 1888 or 638 9158, or Robyn Preece, ph 021 936 080, Barfoot & Thompson.
FEATURES: Landmark, secluded four- bedroom house in park-like grounds close to shops. Two self-contained one- bedroom cottages also on site.

Hilary Attwood says living in her Mt Eden villa is like enjoying a secluded country estate in the middle of the city.

And the English-born GP can't be accused of exaggerating about the home she has lived in with her family for almost 25 years.

She says many Mt Eden residents don't know about her 2848sq m property - which is tucked up a right-of-way behind busy Eden Quarter in Ewington Ave, off Dominion Rd - even if they have lived nearby for years.

Her four-bedroom, single-storey villa was the original homestead of estate agent Captain George Ewington and is thought to have been moved to Mt Eden from St Heliers after it was built in the 1880s.

Hilary, her former husband and two of her three children, now adults, were living nearby in a small villa in Royal Tce, when she spotted the house for sale in 1986. "The amount of space instantly appealed. Being here you feel as though you are in the country and you are not looked over by anyone. But you are close to everything you need," says Hilary.

"It was also great when the children were growing up because they had all the space to do whatever they wanted.

"They could play safely and kick a ball around in the garden without being anywhere near the traffic."

The double-bay villa sits proudly at the end of a long pathway in park-like grounds fringed by mature trees including a cluster of pohutukawa and a majestic totara in the front garden.

The rear, east-facing side of the house opens on to an old-fashioned cottage-style garden with a sunny orchard to the north east, which you can see from the kitchen.

The property includes two self-contained cottages - one at the west-facing front of the house and a second which is tucked in behind the house, gets the morning sun and opens on to a flat lawn edged by Hilary's beloved flower gardens. "I've always done the garden myself. It's my gym membership."

The west-facing cottage includes a full kitchen, bathroom and double bedroom as well as a huge lounge which was built as an artist's studio for Hilary's mother-in-law.

From its deck, you can look across to Eden Park and get a peek of live matches from the giant TV screen there.

The footprint of the main house has not changed since Hilary moved in and it still has its original, wide central hallway. A formal dining room and formal living room open off to the left and right as you enter the house, both with working wood fireplaces. Other original features have been restored, including a pressed steel ceiling in the large farmhouse kitchen which had been covered up when this area was divided into two rooms by a previous owner.

Original wooden doors that had plywood nailed over their panels have also been restored to their former glory and a wide return verandah now wraps around the west and east sides of the house.

Inside, all four bedrooms run along the rear, east-facing side of the house, look out over the garden and soak up the morning sun.

Now that her children have grown up, Hilary plans to move somewhere smaller in Mt Eden.

The property is zoned 6A so it could be developed by future owners.

"But I would love it if another family could enjoy all the space as much as we have."