After scouring the West Country for their dream retirement pad, London couple Edward and Angela Kalfayan have found period perfection in the heart of Exeter – a luxury apartment redeveloped by Burrington Estates.

Their three-year property search for the ideal place to retire to has criss-crossed the South West, with the couple staying in 28 different cities, towns and villages, ending slap-bang in the centre of Exeter, and Edward and Angela Kalfayan couldn’t be happier with the outcome. They’re on the verge of moving into a luxury development by Burrington Estates of a Grade II listed building with stunning views of Exeter Cathedral.

Bristol has the headlines but is very sprawling and in our opinion lacks the heart which beats in Exeter. You may be interested to know that our fascination with your City has emerged over eight years of looking  to downsize and after 2-4 day stays in 28 different Cities, towns and villages, seven of them for more than four times.

Edward says, “We’re moving from a very fine Victorian property in Wimbledon to be closer to my wife’s family. Over the last few years, we have explored every location west of London which people have recommended to us, and we’ve found Exeter to be head and shoulders above the rest. It ticks all the boxes for our particular tastes and lifestyle – being right here, with wonderful views of the Cathedral and the Green and with all the city centre has to offer.”

Angela adds, “Edward stayed at the Royal Clarence a few years ago and loved the area. He noticed a sign saying this building was up for sale so we arranged to view it. It was a complete shell at the time, but as we walked in we could see its amazing potential. We could immediately envisage how it could be the most beautiful apartment. Edward was taken by it first and when I came in, I was doubly taken! I thought, ‘Gosh, this would just be superb for us!”

Having found the right property, the couple put complete trust in Burrington Estates to carry out a successful renovation of the landmark building. Burrington Estates and their architects had their work cut out to carry out a sensitive conversion into seven luxury apartments, which perfectly blend old and new. Edward and Angela recall it being in an atrocious state without a single right angle anywhere!

Angela says, “We went to look at Burrington Estates’ renovation of Dean Clarke House in Southernhay and could tell by the quality of the materials they’d used that they don’t cut corners on their developments. We had total confidence in them that they would do Cathedral View justice. As we committed to buy the apartment early on, we were able to choose exactly what we wanted in terms of the lay-out and fixtures and fittings, right down to the dust extraction system, which Edward – as a retired engineer – considered essential. We were impressed, above all, by the fact that Burrington Estates was driven by an ambition to achieve excellence.”

They experienced the same level of customer service from Wilkinson Grant, the agents who patiently steered them through their search for the right home in the South West. Edward says, “Like Burrington Estates, Wilkinson Grant impressed us with their integrity, placing great emphasis on us as clients and giving us satisfaction.”

Now just weeks away from moving in, Edward and Angela are excited about their new future in Devon, where they are already starting to feel at home. “Whenever we’ve stopped to talk to people or asked them a question they’ve been very open and friendly,” says Edward. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the welcome we’ve had here.”

“We feel incredibly lucky. It really is a privilege to be able to live in a building and a city like this,” adds Angela. “Buying our new home through Burrington Estates has been a fantastic experience.”

Edward has the closing word: “The fire at the Royal Clarence has had such an enormous impact on the city centre. This development is helping to give the area back its confidence and restoring people’s civic pride. Exeter is a great undiscovered haven but we don’t want to tell too many people, in case we spoil the gem that we’ve found here!”