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Location: Nevis - Mountain & Ocean Views
Vervain Mill is a romantic retreat that captures everything people love about this jewel of an island. Built in the eighteenth century, it has been lovingly restored and developed into a four storey home; the rounded walls crafted of volcanic stone seem to wrap themselves around you, offering a comforting, solid presence.
This is a home that embraces a very real history about Nevis that more recent constructions could never achieve. On the windward side of the island, reached via a well-maintained track that tumbles past smallholdings and colourful Caribbean homes, views stretch out across the Atlantic towards Redonda and Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda; the constant trade winds blow lazily throughout the mill, ever cooling and calming, and Nevis Peak rests quietly behind. The extensive – and exquisite – mature gardens ensure space and privacy, yet something of the authentic island filters through: waves crash on distant shores; roosters crow at sunrise, and on Sundays the area is all but abandoned as neighbours head off to church for lengthy services.
In the grounds, the crumbling remains of the boiling houses provide a unique backdrop for outdoor entertaining; alongside these ruins is a pool with a raised deck, and a shady gazebo is the perfect venue for morning yoga, daytime reading, and evening cocktails.
Romanticism abounds, from the sweeping wraparound verandah shaded by vast stretches of sail-shaped canvas to the French-inspired décor of the master bedroom where an antique writing desk makes the old-fashioned notion of morning letter-writing suddenly seem oddly appealing. The multiple windows looking down to the sea and up to the Peak provide a colourful and soothing backdrop, while the air is filled with fragrance when the frangipani growing alongside the mill is in bloom.
There are very few converted mills available on Nevis – or, indeed, anywhere in the world – and Vervain is unique in that although it is eminently liveable, there is room for a roaming imagination to change it into something even more wonderful. It is as easy to envisage bursts of chatter and light as a mass of guests flit from terrace to pool to garden, as it is to see a sole person in quiet solitude looking out at the ocean. Whatever it becomes, though, it will always be a romantic hideaway and safe haven, somewhere for people who truly love Nevis to experience the possibilities the little island offers.
Listed by Helene Robic
Land Area: 1.76 acres
Floor Area: 2,030 sq ft
House Size: 3,324 sq ft