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By Emma Hooton

Working with Phil & Fiona Spencer

We loved working with Phil and Fiona on their idyllic barn in the Hampshire countryside which features in this week’s Sunday Times Property.

“Set in 10 acres, the trio of barns — the oldest dates back to 1850 — form a courtyard, with a vast sunny kitchen overlooking a paddock where sheep graze and chickens forage. (The loudest one is called Kirstie.) The gardens, planted this year, are just beginning to bed in. The swimming pool shimmers. Vegetables are growing in the greenhouse and there are fresh eggs for breakfast. Next week, three beehives are arriving.

The only thing he misses about city living is the convenience. “In London, we’d walk to dinner parties, to school, to the shops. Now we spend a lot of time in the car, but it is absolutely worth it to come back to this.”

There’s another living room through the kitchen, “the winter living room, where we have big parties”, a cinema room with a giant screen “for Sunday-night movies with popcorn” and a gym. His favourite space is the extensive boot room. It smells leathery and manly, and is full of saddles, guns and cartridges, which he isn’t keen to be drawn on. Live things? “Er, clay,” he says firmly, moving swiftly on to the stables, which have had an equally swanky makeover, and are home to three ponies, Skye, Challice and Rocket.”

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