Hidden behind a tall row of hedges at 216 Hillspoint Road in Westport is "a true secret," according to the real estate agent who represents the antique colonial at that address.

People drive by and don't know what a hidden gem is masked by the mature bushes, said Helen Cusa, of Halstead Property. The house and its serene grounds are worth taking a peek behind the manicured vegetation to see the putty-colored house with white trim.

The Cable Sherwood Tide-Mill House was built in 1795 as a pre-colonial style house in the Compo Beach section of town. In 2009, the current owners updated the house to add a wing that houses the family room on the first floor and the master bedroom suite above it.

The construction seamlessly blended old and new providing an ease for today's lifestyle while maintaining the old world charm and integrity of the period center-chimney, post-and-beam structure. The original house was constructed from hand-hewn beams of native chestnut, oak, maple and pine trees. Updates of the house preserved its five original fireplaces, and most of the original doors, windows, and trim.

Some of the period windows have beveled panes. All the fireplaces are wood-burning and they have been restored to working order. In the dining room, the large stone fireplace includes a cooking oven. Virtually every room has exposed beams.

More Information

ABOUT THIS HOUSE TYPE OF HOUSE: Antique Colonial ADDRESS: 216 Hillspoint Road, Westport PRICE: $2,795,000 NUMBER OF ROOMS: 12 AMENITIES: water community, beach rights, walk to Mill Beach, ocean views, convenient to shops, train station and restaurants, new addition in 2009, gourmet kitchen, five fireplaces, zoned central air conditioning, large native stone patio, exterior lighting, storm windows and doors, security system, terraced perennial gardens, wide-planked wood floors, wood roof, built-in bookshelves, stone walls, front and rear staircases OTHER INFORMATION: five bedrooms, four full and one half baths, attached under house two-car garage, full unfinished basement, zoned radiant oil heating system, laundry rooms, walk-up attic, sewer system, city water SCHOOL: Greens Farms Elementary, Bedford Middle, Staples High ASSESSMENT: $1,213,400 TAX RATE: 14.850 mills TAXES: $18,917

Although this house was built in the 18th century, it has high ceilings and light-filled rooms. With the new addition, the house has 5,006 square feet of living space.

Despite its proximity to Long Island Sound -- the house has water views and is an easy walking distance to Mill Beach, the size of the property -- just under a half an acre, and the neighborhood in which houses are comparatively close together, this house enjoys "uncommonly private grounds." It has areas with level lawn and a section of terraced perennial gardens, all of which are surrounded by tall trees that create the feel of a sanctuary.

"A wall of privacy in the heart of the beach area," Cusa said.

In addition to the figurative wall there are several stone walls on the property, including those that line the paved driveway. Belgian block lines the stone path to the formal front entrance and one of two side entrances. Half circle Belgian block borders in the driveway frame several small flower beds.

The house and grounds are the perfect setting for formal or casual entertaining.

This house has a gourmet kitchen featuring black granite counters, a center island, custom-built cherry cabinets, three stainless sinks, eat-in area, a paneled Sub-Zero refrigerator and a Viking Professional range. And if the next owners are not inclined to use that kitchen on a given night, they can walk to Positano's Ristaurante about a half a block away.

On the second floor there are five bedrooms and wide-planked pine floors. The new addition created a large, yet intimate, master bedroom and spa-like master bath. The bath features marble floors and counters. There is a separate dressing room and walk-in closet with organizers.

The third floor is cavernous and is flexible in its function. It could serve as an office, walk-up attic and storage space, a play room, media room or, because it has its own full bath, it could be used as a guest or au pair suite. This third floor space has water views of Mill Beach.

For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house call Helen Cusa of Halstead Property at 203-451-7731 or email her at hcusa@halstead.com.