\ \ \ \

"Mayfair", Canterbury Road, Camberwell

The grand Victorian residence, Mayfair, is elegantly screened behind a gated circular driveway. It was built in 1900 and lovingly restored in 2010. After years of use as a boarding house and doctor's surgery, the property has been transformed into a gracious family home.

Mayfair is located in the Tara Estate, a six-hectare land parcel once owned by Sir John O'Shanassy, an early Premier of Victoria. The estate was named after his Italianate mansion, "Tara", once the seat of the kings of ancient Ireland. Currently Mayfair lies within the Prospect Hill Road Heritage Precinct.

The white, pebbled drive leads to an imposing oak front door, surrounded by hand-painted stained glass. An unusual zig-zag gable surmounts the front bay window and the exterior façade displays a late Victorian Italianate decorative frieze and tuck-point brickwork. The return-verandah features tessellatedtiles.

Mayfair's front rooms enjoy generous proportions and retain period features including elaborate fireplaces, chandeliers and hand-made cornicing. The Victorian Age continues along the wide double-arched hallway, before spilling through towering double doors and "like Alice" the visitor tumbles into a generous light-filled, beautifully proportioned family room and kitchen. Glass concertina doors open to a timber deck which surrounds a sparkling pool. The all-season "alfresco room" captures every shred of northern sun and frames a fragrant sculptural frangipani.

Mayfair's front garden indicates the care and attention lavished on this home. The house is bordered by Escallonia Iveyi and Correa Pulchella Pink Mist while a row of established Magnolia Exmouth, Pyrus Calleryana Capital and Escallonia Iveyi run immediately inside the front fence. Standard Mr Lincoln roses also add drama. These fragrant red roses are underplanted with showy gardenias and a hedge of Correa Pulchella Pink Mist. Myeropurum provides ground cover. The west garden features several mature Magnolia Little Gems, with a row of lemon-cream Elina roses, providing joy towards the east.