Quinntessential at The Tryall Club, Hanover

Where are you waking up the morning after Reggae Sumfest? SO reveals yet another exclusive destination

Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Once upon a time and many centuries ago, before there were roads and any inkling of flying machines, Arawak and Taino Indians lived happily and peacefully within the dense forested hills of Hanover cultivating crops and setting forth to sea in pursuit of fish. In the spring of 1494, this gentle way of life was shaken by the arrival of Spanish explorers who, believing that gold must surely be found within the mountains, claimed the island for the Spanish Crown and established a colony. Over the years, persecution and disease brought by the Spanish rapidly saw the decline of the Indians and as European powers fought for supremacy in the Caribbean conflict was ever-present. So it was in 1655 that a fleet sent under the orders of Oliver Cromwell seized Jamaica from the Spanish and flew the English flag. Thus began centuries of extraordinary history and the generation of extreme wealth that established Jamaica as one of the most strategically important trading posts in the western hemisphere.

In 1670, Henry Fairchild purchased some 260 acres of land in the west of St James, now Hanover and named the land Tryall. An enterprising farmer, Fairchild rapidly increased his landholding to several thousand acres thereby establishing an important pen in the parish and the installation of a mighty waterwheel which still works today. Over the ensuing three centuries, Tryall expanded and contracted, always in the process of change and yet remained an important commodity on the north coast of Jamaica. The aftermath of two wars saw life change across the world as old established ways of life became fragmented and the process of rebuilding began. Tryall was no exception and in 1957, a group of American investors led by Winthrop Rockefeller purchased the Tryall estate from William DeLisser with the intention of dividing and selling lots of land for the construction of villas and the creation of a private club.

The legacy established by Henry Fairchild began a new life. The very first villa was finished in 1959 and named Little Hill having been built for Arthur Little. Over the years, more villas followed and as the 20th century advanced, remarkable examples of Jamaican architecture and vibrant Jamaican interior design burst forth delighting all fortunate enough to stay within their walls. True to its founding spirit of evolution, there are now 90 villas at Tryall with more under construction.

When Oliver Cromwell ordered the construction of a series of forts — Fort Lucea, Fort Tryall, Fort Montego — he established a trend, that being a construction with a lookout across and over the ocean. Standing majestically on the crest of Barnes Hill and surrounded by a white and green garden inspired by the work of Vita Sackville-West yet with a Jamaican interpretation is Quinntessential. A “lookout” in every sense of the word, the house commands a 60-mile ocean panorama from Montego Bay in the east to Lucea in the west and of course, to the north a vast expanse of ocean as it flows towards the island of Cuba.

This is a remarkable villa for the architecture adheres to 18th-century principles of symmetry. Such perfect alignment is rarely found but here it has been accomplished with aplomb. As the imposing panelled front door is swung open, the line of vision is straight through the house with the swimming pool directly aligned with the front door and the sea giving the impression of flowing into the pool.

Feet step onto polished Jamaican hardwood floors, there is an aura of tranquility set by the grey-painted walls of the perfectly square entrance hall that beckons one down into the drawing room and verandah and pool terrace beyond. Blue and white prevails with a sophisticated marriage of traditional and modern. Finely worked console tables from the studio of Prince Palmer stand alongside modern seating. Calm is the order of the day; there is no distracting clutter to disturb the natural beauty of the ocean and the garden. Music floats on the air from the Sonos system, the smell of lunch being prepared in the sleek kitchen gently mingles with jasmine in the garden and in the glass-fronted cabinetry of the pantry, the head butler carefully selects tableware for the meal.

With such fine ocean views it is only logical that all five bedrooms face the ocean — which they do. The master suite wraps its occupants in privacy with a private sitting room that leads to the bedroom and private pool beyond. Bathrooms throughout are fitted by Waterworks and all are air-conditioned. Spot the Farrow and Ball paint shades as you meander from bedroom to bedroom — cornflower blue, soft fawn, off-whites all off-set with handsome drapery and bespoke cabinetry from Prince Palmer.

Naturally, it is the wide pool terrace that commandeers attention with its white furniture and navy and white cushion covers. The colour of the pool mirrors the sea and thoughtful seating within the pool allows soakers to gaze out to the horizon or sit back and admire the house. But don't tally too long for every good house should offer a surprise. Tread down the coral stone stairs to the left of the terrace and you will find a putting green. Open the glazed door to the right and step into an Irish pub — ocean-facing of course, with wine cellar, bar, backgammon and chess table plus a fine early map of Ireland.

Built and designed as a thoroughbred, Quinntessential will always stand the test of time. Thoroughbreds, like true classics, never go out of style and Quinntessential stands as a fine representation of the art of Jamaican architecture, craftsmanship and design.

Once upon a time and many centuries ago, before there were roads and any inkling of flying machines, Arawak and Taino Indians lived happily and peacefully within the dense forested hills of Hanover cultivating crops and setting forth to sea in pursuit of fish. In the spring of 1494, this gentle way of life was shaken by the arrival of Spanish explorers who, believing that gold must surely be found within the mountains, claimed the island for the Spanish Crown and established a colony. Over the years, persecution and disease brought by the Spanish rapidly saw the decline of the Indians and as European powers fought for supremacy in the Caribbean conflict was ever-present. So it was in 1655 that a fleet sent under the orders of Oliver Cromwell seized Jamaica from the Spanish and flew the English flag. Thus began centuries of extraordinary history and the generation of extreme wealth that established Jamaica as one of the most strategically important trading posts in the western hemisphere.

In 1670, Henry Fairchild purchased some 260 acres of land in the west of St James, now Hanover and named the land Tryall. An enterprising farmer, Fairchild rapidly increased his landholding to several thousand acres thereby establishing an important pen in the parish and the installation of a mighty waterwheel which still works today. Over the ensuing three centuries, Tryall expanded and contracted, always in the process of change and yet remained an important commodity on the north coast of Jamaica. The aftermath of two wars saw life change across the world as old established ways of life became fragmented and the process of rebuilding began. Tryall was no exception and in 1957, a group of American investors led by Winthrop Rockefeller purchased the Tryall estate from William DeLisser with the intention of dividing and selling lots of land for the construction of villas and the creation of a private club.

The legacy established by Henry Fairchild began a new life. The very first villa was finished in 1959 and named Little Hill having been built for Arthur Little. Over the years, more villas followed and as the 20th century advanced, remarkable examples of Jamaican architecture and vibrant Jamaican interior design burst forth delighting all fortunate enough to stay within their walls. True to its founding spirit of evolution, there are now 90


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