Wake to the sounds of the sea in an updated waterfront wonder

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293 Esplanade, Henley Beach. Pictures: Jonathan Kissock

As a child growing up in Henley Beach, Glenys Baldwin used to find herself wondering about life in one of the suburb’s grandest houses – never knowing that one day she would be among the few people to fully enjoy its charms.

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And now – after 24 years of soaking up the sea breezes and coastal views from “Tiverton” – she and husband Brian are preparing to say farewell to allow new owners to write the next chapter in the history of the two-storey villa, which has been an impressive presence along the Henley foreshore for more than a century.

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293 Esplanade, Henley Beach. Pictures: Jonathan Kissock

“It was built in 1915 and has only ever had three owners in that time,” Mrs Baldwin says. “The people we bought it from were here for about 58 years and before them were the original owners. It’s that sort of house – it’s just very hard to leave. It’s a beautiful house to live in. As a child, I lived at Henley Beach and went to Star of the Sea School and I used to walk past it. It was one of the biggest houses on the seafront and always seemed really special – but I could never have imagined actually living there.”

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293 Esplanade, Henley Beach. Pictures: Jonathan Kissock

Mrs Baldwin says it had been a case of love at first sight when the four-bedroom home came on the market – for her husband, at least.

“I saw it advertised and we came and had a look at it, and I can remember him saying ‘what do you think of it?’ I said: ‘It’s a huge house and there’s so much that needs doing to it’; mainly in decorating … it was a bit dated. He just said: ‘I absolutely love it and I think we should look at buying it’. So that’s what ended up doing.”

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293 Esplanade, Henley Beach. Pictures: Jonathan Kissock

She says it had turned out to be “fabulous” house to live in and raise their three children.

“When the kids were growing up, having the beach right out in front was really brilliant. It’s only a five-minute walk to Henley Square and there’s the fabulous Foodland in the square now, and the restaurants. The bus stop that goes through to town is literally at our back door, the library is across the road and Star of the Sea school is within walking distance – along with some other wonderful primary schools and St Michael’s College.

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293 Esplanade, Henley Beach. Pictures: Jonathan Kissock

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293 Esplanade, Henley Beach. Pictures: Jonathan Kissock

“So position-wise it’s brilliant. The house itself is a little bit elevated so you get that feeling of privacy but you get fabulous views – especially from the top balcony – of some of the most magnificent sunsets. And I think that’s what I’m going to miss most when we leave here – the sunsets, especially during autumn; they’re just breathtaking at times. Every day is different – the sea, the sky. You never get tired of the scene that lies before you, it’s very beautiful.”

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293 Esplanade, Henley Beach. Pictures: Jonathan Kissock

While careful to maintain the home’s original character, a major renovation with Scott Salisbury Homes 10 years ago breathed new life into the property. “We opened up the front rooms, moved the kitchen from the back of the home to the front so we got the sea views and it was better placed to be close to the dining room and living areas at the front,” Mrs Baldwin says.

Other standout features of the versatile home include its upper floor bedroom suite, a fully self-contained single bedroom flat attached to the main residence and, at the rear of the 900sqm block, garaging for three cars and a studio that could be used as an office space. There is also a lap pool and a handy cellar.

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293 Esplanade, Henley Beach. Pictures: Jonathan Kissock

Having decided to downsize, the Baldwins hope the next owners appreciate the home’s standing in what has been an ever-changing foreshore stretch. “We’ve made a point of maintaining it well,” Mrs Baldwin says.

“To us, it’s been really important to keep the house going and, really, our big hope is that it goes to a family who will love it just as much as we have. It’s a very special house and one to be cherished, hopefully by the next owners.”

293 Esplanade, Henley Beach

Contact agent for price

Agent: Booth and Booth Real Estate, Jamie Brown 0413 000 887. Land size: 900sqm.

Expressions of interest: Close Thursday, April 16 at noon.