Homes Property & ‘It made me

Wednesday 5 November 2014
Snuggle up
Faux fur: the hot
interiors trend
Page 17
‘It made me
love living in
the city again’
Barbican: Page 26
London’s best property search website:
Homes & Property Online with
This week:
HSBC is offering
a two-year
mortgage of only
0.99 per cent,
but there are
more than
12,000 other
deals on offer
A MORTGAGE war is driving down home loan rates to a
record low of less than one per cent as lenders compete for
new business. The Bank of England has signalled base rates
are unlikely to rise before the general election next May,
meaning the era of ultra-low interest rates shows little sign
of ending. There are more than 12,000 mortage products
on the market — four times as many as five years ago.
HSBC has raised the temperature by offering a two-year
discount mortgage of 0.99 per cent, while Nationwide
has cut its two-year fixed-rate mortgage to 1.84 per cent.
Lenders are also dangling cheap long-term fixed rates
for borrowers who want protection against sudden
interest rate hikes.
Trophy buy of the week
throw a very posh pool party
£8.95 million: a new 12,000sq ft detached house on the
exclusive 32-acre gated Coombe Park estate in Kingston
upon Thames will appeal to trophy hunters — but it’s the
indoor pool that will make your friends jealous. Visitors can
also try the gym below the pool, or the media and games
rooms, while you enjoy the master bedroom suite with its
own sitting room and balcony. Staff quarters and garage
space galore complete the deal. Through John D Wood.
O Visit
London buy of the week high-spec
home in tempting shades of grey
£1.29 million: a popular tree-lined
road in Acton is the location for this
four-bedroom house refurbished by
Lofty Creations. A pale grey façade and
smart tiled path give it the edge among
its red-brick neighbours, while inside
is high-spec and move-in ready. Each
space is beautifully finished, from oak
floors in the reception room to marble
O Read Ruth Bloomfield’s full story at
Visit our new online
luxury section
£1.35 million: do you dream of running tea rooms? This
17th-century beauty with wood panelling, exposed stone
walls, beams, carved lintels and window shutters, is in the
High Street in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, home of Blenheim
Palace, so there would be plenty of passing trade. There’s a
lovely patio garden, with four bedrooms, three bathrooms
and a drawing room upstairs. Through Savills.
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O Visit
Life changer tea for many
more than two near Oxford
O Visit
floor tiles in the sky-lit kitchen, with
bi-fold doors to an über-smart garden.
The top floor is dedicated to the master
bedroom, en suite bathroom and
dressing area, under roof lights.
Through Orchards of London.
£7 DO
5, WN
news: mortgage war brings
deals of less than 1 per cent
Bag that Christmas discount
50 days
left to
a deal
WITH just 50 days left until Christmas,
now’s the time to bag yourself a
bargain before the sales even start. We
uncover the top property discounts on
offer across the capital as sellers seek
to seal a deal before the festive season
gets under way. Visit homesand
Down £200,000 to £5,495,000: a
handsome three-bedroom house
(above left) near King’s Road, SW3
Down by £75,000 to £375,000: a two
double-bedroom flat (above) with a
patio, near the river at Hammersmith,
W6 (
News Homes & Property with
By Amira Hashish
Got some gossip?
Tweet @amiranews
For halcyon days
É THE Halcyon in Holland Park was,
until just a few years ago, a boutique
hotel frequented by stars including
Mick Jagger, Liam Gallagher, Patsy
Kensit, Liza Minnelli, Robert De Niro,
John Cleese, Yoko Ono, Naomi
Campbell and Geri Halliwell, below.
The Italianate villa now houses 12
apartments including the swanky
penthouse, above, with four en suite
bedrooms, which is listed with
Crayson for £9.25 million. One for
luxe lovers, it has its own direct lift
access and a full-time porter.
The 3,700sq ft apartment includes
a very generously sized living and
dining room — the ideal space for a
starry party.
Music legend
on the move
GRAMMY award-winning
musician John Legend and his
model wife Chrissy Teigen,
right, are selling their Los
Angeles home, above, for
£1.23 million.
The Sixties-built house in
the Hollywood Hills has
three bedrooms, one of
which the singer uses as a
studio. It is where he wrote and
recorded several of the tracks on
his latest album, Love in the Future.
There’s a hot tub in the pretty,
private garden but Legend wants
more space. “We’re ready to expand
a bit, and would love the twice-as-big
version of this place,” he says. “We
love the feel of this home.”
The Asian-influenced property,
which featured on Oprah Winfrey’s
TV show Oprah Prime, is on the
market with Sotheby’s International
Realty. For more details, visit
É THE price of the Sussex waterside
retreat where movie megastar Vivien
Leigh lived after her divorce from Sir
Laurence Olivier has been slashed.
Tickerage Mill in Sussex was
originally put up for sale in April at
£3.5 million but despite its glittering
Hollywood heritage, there were no
takers. It is now going back on the
market for £2.15 million.
The acclaimed British stage and
screen actress, who died in 1967,
will be forever remembered as
Scarlett O’Hara to Clark Gable’s
Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind,
right, the 1939 romantic screen epic.
When Leigh and Olivier wed, they
became one of Britain’s most
glamorous couples. She bought the
17th-century Grade II-listed hideaway
for £20,000 in 1961, a year after their
marriage ended. Winston Churchill,
O See
Convert to Angel’s quirky church
and stained-glass windows, are
juxtaposed with eccentric
detail including a car and
motorbike hanging off the
living room wall.
A console table, made from
one half of the original pulpit,
adorns a false wall that hides a
storage space. For sale with
Chewton Rose, this is a rare
find. Price on application.
É A CONVERTED church, far right,
which doubles up as a TV and film set
is for sale in Uxbridge.
The unusual property has provided
a backdrop to programmes such as
Lewis, currently airing on ITV on
Fridays, starring Laurence Fox, right,
and Kevin Whately.
Owner Angel Guerra bought the
building in 1999 and has spent years
turning it into an eclectic, fourbedroom detached house.
Original features, such as the pews
Scarlett’s Sussex retreat falls to £2.15m. . .
and frankly my dear, we DO give a damn
Princess Margaret and John Gielgud
were regular guests at her fivebedroom home. The current owners
moved in and modernised the
property in 2005.
O See
Homes & Property New homes with
20,000 new homes
with style
The trailblazers this week move into the
first homes to be finished in the 500-acre
Nine Elms district, reports David Spittles
From £449,000:
homes at Nine
Elms Point, a
Barratt scheme
launching next
week. Near
Vauxhall Cross, it
will be close to a
new Tube station
Sought after:
within Battersea
Power Station
itself fetch a
premium. Newphase studios
start at £495,000
From £495,000:
starchitect Frank
Gehry’s series of
dramatic blocks
by the power
station, with
studios, bigger
apartments and
ITH characteristic
bravura, Mayor Boris
Johnson has called the
renewal under way at
Nine Elms in Battersea
“the greatest transformational story in
the world’s greatest city”.
Certainly the pace of change at this
former industrial wasteland bounded
by the Thames has been faster than
anyone dared imagine three years ago
when the first diggers rolled into action
at Riverlight, the first of the “new-era”
apartment schemes to be launched —
and now the first to be completed.
Next week, buyers who reserved flats
off-plan in 2011 take possession of their
homes. It was a bold decision for them
to invest in a raw, Tube-starved district.
The US State Department had already
made the extraordinary decision to
move to Nine Elms from Mayfair, but
Battersea Power Station was derelict,
and Malaysian tycoons had not even
come near. Yet the power station was
key to regenerating the area.
Those early buyers are in for a feast of
change, both in domestic architecture
and cultural collaborations. A new arts
venue, StudioRCA, is set to become the
main cultural hub for the rapidly maturing Nine Elms district. A partnership
between the Royal College of Art and
developer St James, it precedes the
arrival of Damien Hirst’s Newport Street
Gallery in nearby Vauxhall.
Designed by One Hyde Park architects
Rogers Stirk Harbour, Riverlight has six
waterfront pavilions with 813 homes,
reached via glass-walled lifts on the
building’s exterior. Only a few flats
remain for sale, priced from £800,000.
Call 020 7870 9620.
If you want to buy in Nine Elms today
you have far more choice than the 2011
pioneers — but don’t get carried away
by the dazzling off-plan brochures.
Buyers should scrutinise the floor plans
and walk the site. It’s not all about price
— it’s about exactly what you get for
your money, and with so much choice
you can compare deals.
Look at the design quality, materials
and the spec. The relative size of flats
may be important but consider the
views, the service charges, likely longterm value and easily accessible community extras, such as bookable
cinema suites, on-site gyms, parking,
security and landscaped space.
This development of 437 flats and a fivestar hotel includes 56-storey City Tower.
It is the latest launch and one of 12
projects either under way or imminent.
The future shape and character of this
neighbourhood is much more defined,
though critics say the masterplan lacks
architectural cohesion, with individualistic buildings competing with each
other rather than working together.
By designating Nine Elms an “opportunity area”, the Mayor fast-tracked the
planning system. Land swallowed up
by factory sheds and gas holders has
been reclassified to residential and
commercial use, boosting its value and
handing developers a Lottery win.
O What to expect: 20,000 new homes
are coming to a Zone 1 area bigger
than Hyde Park and spanning a mile
and a half of riverbank. There will be
two new Tube stations and a new
pedestrian and cycle bridge across
the Thames to Pimlico.
This is almost a surreal relocation to
place the European HQ for the world’s
greatest superpower. Yet other diplomatic missions have been swift to follow
suit. The Dutch Embassy is coming to
Nine Elms and the Chinese government
has shortlisted the area. Blue chip corporations are likely to follow, which is
boosting local investment appeal.
Battersea property values have risen
with astonishing speed and in some
areas have more than doubled. However, it is feared an oversupply of homes
could cause prices to stagnate.
Kieran Chalker was one of the first to
move across the river with his property
company Garton Jones, based in Chelsea and Westminster. They opened a
branch on Albert Embankment.
“Already there was a flow of buyers
crossing the Thames to live in new
developments on the south bank, so it
seemed a no-brainer,” he says.
“Nowhere else in London is there a
project of such scale and ambition. It
is bringing a new world for residents.
“Nine Elms is going to be a giant commercial district too, far bigger than
Canary Wharf, with theatres, libraries,
hotels, private members clubs and
leisure facilities.”
The power station, positioned at the
area’s commercial heart or “town
centre”, is capturing the imagination of
home buyers who have grown up with
this sensational urban landmark.
Its £8 billion transformation will provide 3,500,000sq ft of shops, offices and
restaurants as well as 4,000 homes, the
first of which will be ready in 2016. Two
phases of apartments sold instantly and
the third phase of homes, a series of
dramatic, titanium-clad blocks by LAbased starchitect Frank Gehry, has just
been unveiled, with prices starting at
£495,000 for a studio and £3.2 million
for a four-bedroom townhouse. Call 020
7501 0678. Flats in the iconic power
station have sold for premium prices
— £800,000 for a studio.
“We could have opted for an entirely
residential scheme and made three
times as much money,” says Rob Tincknell, chief executive of Battersea Power
Station Development Company. “But
we chose to make it a place with a mix
of uses because we believe it should be
place-making — a diverse community
with authenticity and character.”
Nine Elms is not an overnight transformation. Those buying off-plan homes
will have to wait, with 15 years to completion. It lies between Vauxhall and
Chelsea Bridges, and between the
Thames and Wandsworth Road. A railway line cuts through it, giving rise to
development on the “wrong side of the
tracks”. It takes the best part of 30 minutes to walk along Nine Elms Lane from
Vauxhall Cross, currently a chaotic,
traffic-clogged swirl, past the power
station and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
to the western end of the regeneration
area, next to Battersea Park.
Some people want to be in the power
station and nowhere else, while others
New homes Homes & Property with
Latest launch:
One Nine Elms,
with 437 flats,
will include a
56-storey tower
and is one of a
dozen local
projects either
under way or
Prime position: green roofs and spectacular views at
Embassy Gardens, which will contain the new US Embassy
Ariel view: how the completed Nine Elms Zone is set to look
From £800,000: only a few Riverlight apartments remain
prefer a smaller site, or a home nearer
the Tube. Nine Elms will be a collection
of high-rise and low-rise neighbourhoods, and they won’t suit everyone.
“Flipping” sales are already appearing, and developers are raising prices
with each new phase. Since 2011, the
average value of a home here has
jumped from about £800 to £1,400 per
square foot, or more than £2,000 a
square foot for river-facing penthouses.
A new linear park linking the river and
various developments including the US
Embassy will be the pedestrian spine of
the new district. Many buyers are likely
to be swayed by proximity to one of the
two new Northern line stations, one of
which will be within the power station
complex. Nine Elms Point, a Barratt
development of 737 homes launching
next week, is being built alongside the
other Tube station, a stone’s throw from
Vauxhall Cross. Prices start at £449,000,
reflecting the grittier location, though
the surroundings are set to change here,
too. Call CBRE on 020 7182 2477.
O Next week: Anatomy of Nine Elms.
Where to buy? The lowdown on all the
Homes & Property Commuting
HE average price of a home
in the Tottenham Court
Road area 10 years ago was
£ 3 1 1 ,0 0 0. To d ay i t i s
£1,365,326. This staggering
439 per cent price increase, among the
highest in London over the decade, is
in no small way due to the new Crossrail station coming to the area.
Six new stations being built in central
London are all causing property ripples
ahead of the line opening in 2018. Unlike
more far-flung areas along the route,
where the main benefit is reduced
journey times to the centre, in central
London it is all about the changes and
improvements to neighbourhoods close
to the stations — and the shorter travelling time to Heathrow airport and
Canary Wharf.
Crossrail is the first transport project
in the UK that sets out to comprehensively dovetail with other developments above and alongside stations.
Showpiece stations at Paddington,
Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road,
Farringdon, Liverpool Street and
Whitechapel will be at the heart of
much bigger commercial zones. There
is also enormous investment going into
the public realm — pedestrianisation,
bike docks, better streetscaping, the
creation of squares, gardens and parks
— within more than half a mile of the
new stations, helping to knit them into
old areas, to the benefit of both.
Property analyst GVA estimates Crossrail will help trigger about 57,000 new
homes and 40 million square feet of
commercial space along the route. In
central London, veteran property companies such as Grosvenor are among
those using their “place-making” expertise to give neighbourhoods a facelift.
The showpiece Bond Street Crossrail
station is part of a 1.3-acre project
bringing flats, offices and shops above
new ticket halls in Hanover Square and
Davies Street. Grosvenor’s North Mayfair focus has already turned the Victorian electricity substation at Brown
Hart Gardens into a stunning 50-seat
pavilion-style café, with monthly food
markets on site. A new glazed lift makes
the gardens visible and accessible.
Opposite the substation, the new Art
Deco-style Beaumont Hotel has been
developed by Grosvenor in partnership
with top London restaurateurs Corbin with
New central London showpiece stations will
create hotspots for home buyers seeking a
good property investment, says David Spittles
Court Road, becoming more coveted
places to live. Rathbone Square is a
new address on the site of a former
Royal Mail depot moments from the
Crossrail st ation. Designed by
renowned architect Ken Shuttleworth,
it creates a new garden square for
Fitzrovia, with 142 high-quality homes
plus offices. Cheaper flats have already
sold. Two-bedroom apartments start
at £2,975,000. Call 020 7580 1100.
Other projects include 81 Dean
Street — 18 apartments, two with lavish
rooftop terraces, plus concierge services provided by Soho Hotel. Call CBRE
on 020 7420 3050.
Soho is in danger of becoming posh
but is unlikely to lose its distinctive
character as a 24-hour district that never
closes. Yet there are quiet corners, too,
and Soho is a genuine “village”, with a
network of small shopkeepers, traders
and entrepreneurs. Flats dominate.
About £500,000 is the entry price,
perhaps less for ex-local authority
homes, always in demand.
There are only a few freehold houses
— check out the early 18th-century gems
on Meard Street. A period townhouse
in Dean Street is up for sale, price
£5 million. Call estate agent GLP on 020
7734 4062. Gardens are scarce, meaning
roof terraces add greatly to value.
Integrated: Bond Street Crossrail station, at the heart of a wider commercial zone
& King. In adjacent Duke Street, a listed
terrace has been refurbished to create
16 rental flats, fashion boutiques and
eateries. Call 020 7312 6449.
The £1 billion station upgrade is the
biggest transport investment in the
West End for decades. The number of
passengers using the station on a daily
basis will jump from 150,000 to
200,000, while the immediate vicinity
will be transformed by a public plaza
linking the station to Centre Point, the
iconic Sixties office tower that is being
converted into 82 luxury flats. Another
scheme above a new ticket hall in Dean
Street will have 92 flats. This eastern end
of Oxford Street has been the poor relation, with discount fashion and electronics stores setting the tone, but the
patch is smartening up fast, with Soho,
Fitzrovia and Bloomsbury, the three
neighbourhoods ringing Tottenham
Crossrail cements Farringdon’s rise to
fashionability. Located between the
West End and City, it is currently one of
London’s quieter mainline stations. But
by 2018 it will be Britain’s busiest, with
a sevenfold increase in commuters and
140 trains per hour passing through.
Farringdon will be the single London
terminus with integrated north-south
(of the river) and east-west routes; the
only one allowing passengers to
board Crossrail, Thameslink and
Tube trains. It will provide direct
links to Gatwick, Heathrow,
Luton and London City airports as well as Eurostar serv-
23 to 17
Tottenham CourtRoad
20 to 12
Bond Street
16 to 13
Liverpool Street
19 to 6
24 to 8
Source: Hamptons
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Commuting Homes & Property with
65 Duke Street in
Mayfair, a listed
terrace, has been
refurbished by
the Grosvenor
Estate to create
16 rental flats,
boutiques and
eateries. Call
020 7312 6449
Bond Street: project brings offices,
flats and shops above new ticket halls
Tottenham Court Road: investment of
£1 billion, West End’s biggest in years
Farringdon: passenger boom will
turn it into Britain’s busiest rail hub
ices at St Pancras and Brighton on the
south coast.
Clerkenwell is seen as a media village
but being so close to the City it also
attracts bachelor bankers and lawyers.
The coming transport bonus has triggered corporate relocations, Merrill
Lynch among them, and spurred redevelopment of ancient Bart’s Hospital
into Barts Square, a new quarter that
keeps the medieval street plan intact,
with 235 homes priced from £770,000.
Call 020 7726 8995.
‘This is the first transport
project in the UK to set out
to dovetail with other
developments above and
alongside stations’
The station is on the eastern edge of the
City, a solidly commercial district where
homes are thin on the ground. However,
sleek new skyscrapers are rising among
the office towers. Principal Tower is
the first residential skyscraper to be
totally designed, inside and out, by
Foster + Partners. It has 243 flats and a
big emphasis on high-quality communal
space, including a spectacular entrance
lobby. There are 24-hour concierge
services, private cinema, a club and
lounge for business meetings or entertaining, a lap pool, fitness centre and
underground parking. Prices from
£778,000. Call 020 3130 5101.
Liverpool Street: Crossrail station is
sparking residential development
Paddington’s new Crossrail station
will allow bankers and lawyers to live
in west London while enjoying a
painless 17-minute commute to
Canary Wharf. Once undesirable, the
Paddington area has turned the
corner in terms of residential status.
Bustling Praed Street, the main
commercial drag, is improving, while
seedy B&Bs and backpacker hotels
are becoming boutique flats.
Many travellers who pass through
the station are unaware of revitalised
Paddington canal basin, once a
closed-off industrial zone but now a
convivial “urban quarter” of homes,
shops, offices and waterfront bars
and brasseries. Some say it lacks the
vitality of neighbouring Bayswater or
the charm of Little Venice, but it has
plenty of devotees. The area is on the
periphery of core central London,
the boundary of the congestion
charge zone, but within comfortable
walking distance of Marylebone,
Marble Arch and Hyde Park.
Paddington Exchange, butting up
against busy Harrow Road, is part of
the 80-acre canalside district and
offers 123 flats in elegant, high-rise
blocks with communal roof terraces.
Prices from £965,000. Call 020 3376
6409. Resales start at £400,000.
Locally, two-bedroom flats are in
the £800,000 to £2 million range,
and houses typically cost between
£2.5 million and £6 million.
“There’s been a price correction
following an overzealous spring
market,” says Tom Folland of estate
agents Hamptons International.
View homes for sale at every station along the Crossrail route. Visit
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Computer generated image
Homes & Property Area watch
Jazzing up Mayfair
Spurred by the new Bond
Bond Street
Streeet Crossrail stat
tion landlord
Grosvenor is investing £785 million, reports Liz Hoggard
Take a break: Fernandez & Wells is the trendy
in-store café at The Duke Street Emporium
Visit our
and about 500 rented properties across the estate.
However, homes to buy under £1 million are rare,
and a new apartment block being built at the
Audley Square car park site is a few years away
from completion.
Savills calculates the price per square foot of
residential property in Mayfair at £2,320, while
in Knightsbridge and Belgravia it is £2,490 and
£2,370 respectively. The point of Grosvenor’s
plan, however, is not necessarily to shoehorn
homes in, but to restore the neighbourhood’s
OUTURE milliner Laura Apsit Livens,
25, is astonished. “I never thought I
would be so busy,” she says of her
Mayfair shop, a surreal, tiny half-staircase in Duke Street, North Mayfair. It’s
a riot of colour, original shapes, bowlers, feather
creations, panamas and helmets.
Her clients include singers Paloma Faith, Rita
Ora and Jessie J, along with the Duchess of Westminster. London College of Fashion graduate
Livens is one of the new-look retailers jazzing up
North Mayfair, as major local landlord, Grosvenor,
shakes up what was once a dull, anonymous part
of its estate with a £785 million regeneration
programme. The move has been prompted by
Crossrail, which is building a new Bond Street
station nearby.
Founded in 1677, Grosvenor controls about 30
per cent of the wider Mayfair area. When the new
station opens in 2018, trimming 13 minutes off the
journey to Canary Wharf, the estate hopes to have
established a strong identity for North Mayfair.
Up to 220,000 passengers a day are expected
to use the station, and there will be 24 trains an
hour at peak times in each direction. A total
300,000sq ft of retail, commercial and residential
space has been approved above the eastern ticket
hall in Hanover Street, while Craig McWilliam,
executive director of Grosvenor’s London estate,
says it is creating more rental flats because “we
want people to live and work in the area”. There
are 28 flats at 65 Duke Street and 62 Green Street with
Dazzling: The Beaumont Hotel, opened recently
by renowned restaurateurs Corbin & King, with
its Antony Gormley “habitable sculpture”
vitality. It likes to say that out of 700 shops across
the estate, only 17 per cent are chain stores. Now
Duke Street, on the other side of Oxford Street
from Selfridges, wants to be part
of the campaign to steal the
crown from Knightsbridge
and turn North Mayfair
into the highest-performing enclave of prime
central London.
The transformation
has begun. Restaurateurs Chris Corbin
and Jeremy King, the
duo behind The
Wolseley, The Delaunay and Brasserie
Zédel, recently
opened the wowfactor Art Deco-style
Beaumont Hotel, with
75 rooms created from
a converted garage.
The eye-catching
Antony Gormley habitable sculpture sitting
atop the entrance houses
the £2,500-a-night
master suite.
New-style independent
brands are very much encouraged. The Duke
Street Emporium, a two-storey concept store by
Jigsaw and The Shop at Bluebird, offers international womenswear, menswear, beauty and lifestyle brands, plus an in-store Fernandez & Wells
café. Down the street is bespoke menswear brand,
Rake, soon to be joined by a new Private White VC
menswear shop — the original is on arty Lamb’s
Conduit Street. And Goodman Restaurants, which
launched the successful Burger & Lobster chain,
has opened Lobster Roll, a two-storey deli-cafe
Opposite Duke Street is Brown Hart Gardens,
where you can bring sandwiches or buy your lunch
at The Garden Café. The gardens were originally
opened above the old Duke Street electricity substation in 1906, with a 10,000sq ft roof, a domed
gazebo and steps at either end. Grosvenor transformed the site into a public rooftop garden, adding an Andrew Ewing water feature last year.
There’s also a monthly food market.
The first stage of Grosvenor’s investment focused
around Mount Street, restoring the heritage and
élan of old Mayfair with a contemporary twist.
The project saw £4 million spent on roads, pavements and public spaces, as well as a wider range
of shops, while keeping treasures including
The Mount Street Deli and Allens of Mayfair, the
butchers’ shop established for 120 years.
Grosvenor Hill is turning into an arts quarter, with
the new Gagosian Gallery opening at number 20,
while bronze sculptures in the street, by Neal
French, depict the late Terence Donovan,
whose studio was nearby, photographing Sixties fashion model
However, Grosvenor isn’t a
lone moderniser. Howard de
Walden Est ates sexed up
Marylebone’s Chiltern Street,
The Crown Estate worked wonders in Regent Street, and the
Portman Estate is behind the
£12 million regeneration of
Portman Village on the other
side of Oxford Street. Could
all this galvanise Kensington’s
council into action? It’s no
small irony that the borough
with Europe’s wealthiest
residents has a dreary High
Street full of empty stores
and mobile phone shops.
Three Lauras: milliner Laura
Apsit Livens, centre, with
models Laura McLoughlin,
left, and Laura Jones
Homes & Property Affordable homes with
Setting out
the stall
for shared
Flats start at £106,000 at Rathbone
Market in a once-grim East End
patch only two miles from Canary
Wharf, says Ruth Bloomfield
NE of the country’s largest
courier companies reportedly refused to deliver to
Canning Town not so very
long ago — blaming specifically its grim postwar housing
estates and their obligatory loitering
gangs and mumbling junkies.
However, Canning Town’s climb out
of its deprivation ditch has been
speedy, mainly due to its hot location
less than two miles from Canary Wharf,
with enough empty land to build new
homes on an impressivescale.
Its transformation into a shiny new
regeneration zone has seen developers
lining up to fling £3.7 billion at a series
of housing projects that will create
10,000 new homes and rebrand this
area as a new suburb of trendy east
London. The latest convert to the
delights of Canning Town is Mayor
Boris Johnson. In September he committed to building 1,000 rental homes
there for young Londoners.
The average price of a property in
Canning Town is £342,435, well below
the £500,000 London average but still
Start with part:
40 per cent
shares are
available in flats
at Rathbone
Market, above
and cafés and at its heart is an open
square which will provide a new home
for the area’s eponymous market. It
will also have a community centre and
a library on the site, which is on the
busy Barking Road but is also close to
several small parks including East Ham
Nature Reserve and the tennis courts
at Hermit Road Recreation Ground.
Whole new
shops, cafés and
a library are
planned around
an open square,
a new home for
the market stalls
more than seven times the city’s average annual household income of just
over £45,000. A third-way option
between renting and buying is shared
ownership, and Notting Hill Home
Ownership has 42 such properties
available at its Rathbone Market
development. Prices start at £106,000,
which will buy a 40 per cent share of a
one-bedroom flat with a full market
value of £265,000. Two-bedroom flats
start at £136,000 for a 40 per cent
share. “We are alreadywitnessing great
changes in this part of town,” says Katie
Bond, director of Notting Hill Home
Ownership. “Being so close to Canary
Wharf, Rathbone Market offers great
starter homes for young professionals
looking to start a new career in the
business market but priced out of the
financial district.”
The Rathbone Market project is big,
and, when complete, will include
about 650 homes. The area has good
transport links but has suffered from a
dearth of facilities. However, Rathbone
Market will have 35,000sq ft of shops
Canning Town is a long-term work in
progress but its Zone 2 station, on the
Jubilee line for the Tube, and on the
Docklands Light Railway, provides fast
links to Canary Wharf and Stratford.
Some diehard locals fear that with the
changes, their original East End
Rathbone Market will become a mini
Spitalfields/Borough Market. Early indications are that stalls selling “cultural
cuisine, retro goods, vintage clothing
and ladies’ fashion” are in, while knockoff designer handbags and second-hand
tat are out.
O Visit
# ! #"
Events Homes & Property with
to do
in November
By Barbara Chandler
November 23 at Dulwich College, SE21
Cecil Beaton at Home: Town & Country,
November 18 to December 5 at Sibyl
Colefax & John Fowler, Brook Street, W1
DOMESTIC design fiends love this
regular shopping spree which
combines authentic “midcentury”
furniture, ceramics, lights and more
from 65 dealers with modern stuff
from 25 contemporary designers. Star
buys this time include a desk and
chair by Pierre Jeanneret, rare Arne
Jacobsen Grand Prix chairs, and a
metal table and chair by Ringo Starr.
Also browse Danish treasures such as
the monkey, above, by Kay Bojesen,
US collectables, Dutch design, Finnish
ceramics, restored clocks, limitededition posters, and vintage fabrics.
Go “industrial” with lockers, metal
desks, lights and cabinets from ships,
shops and hospitals. Entry for trade/
serious collectors at 9am costs £15
and from 10am it’s £9. Buy tickets
online for £8.
Winter Fine Art & Antiques Fair, from
today until Sunday at National Hall,
Hammersmith Road, Olympia, W14
(0114 223 9811;
THIS is a cracker, glamorous and on
trend, with 120 exhibitors, 22,000
visitors, and an estimated 30,000
objects for sale. Gawp at Agatha
Christie’s silver and Humphrey
Bogart’s drinking glasses, along with
works by Cartier. At exhibiting art
galleries, works by Andy Warhol
(above) and Banksy jostle with
Picassos. Buy fine furniture, or bag
an unusual Christmas present from
around £75. All items are vetted by
industry experts. Join a free daily
tour, and/or talks. Interiors expert
Alidad will share design secrets, and
gilders and woodcarvers are showing
off their craft skills. Take a break in
Mosimann’s Winter Brasserie.
Tickets are £15 — show this paper
and get two for the price of one
on the door.
SEE cameos from the three homes of
the celebrated photographer, theatre
and costume designer, recreated by
Andrew Ginger, curator of an
acclaimed show on Beaton at
Salisbury Museum. Star turn is a new
version of Beaton’s Circus bed,
pictured, which was designed by Rex
Whistler in 1931, handmade by
specialist bed makers Beaudesert
( Admission free.
Lecture evenings, on November 19
& 26 and December 2 & 4, are £25.
Until Sunday at Olympia, Hammersmith
Road, W14 (0871 230 1089; spiritof
AT THIS annual fair, 700 specialists
are selling fashion, beauty,
homewares, food and drink, plus
goodies for children — and even for
pets. Experts from Jo Malone, The
Biscuiteers, The Dorchester, and
more will host free workshops. Enjoy
a seasonal menu at Mosimann’s popup restaurant overlooking the fair.
Adults from £18.50; 13 to 16-yearolds, £11; under-12s free.
November 11 to January 11, Somerset
House, The Strand, WC2 (020 7836
ALONGSIDE the famous ice rink,
Fortnum & Mason will fill 15 rooms in
Somerset House with its Christmas
goodies, from hampers — the one
pictured is £50 — to chocs, tea
caddies and other speciality foods in
gorgeous packaging, to decorations,
candles, games, fashion accessories,
and stocking fillers. “Meet the
makers” evenings, with carols from
celebrated choirs, are on Tuesdays.
Skating sessions start at £7.50.
Homes & Property Homes abroad
HE small central Swiss town
of Andermatt, 90 minutes
from Zurich, aims to join the
elite Alpine ski resorts club
this winter and has St Moritz,
Verbier and Zermatt in its sights.
Andermatt Swiss Alps, the single
largest residential building project ever
undertaken in the Alps, is also Switzerland’s most ambitious new ski project.
Unusually, the Swiss government will
let anyone buy a home there, bypassing
the usual strict permit system.
Andermatt has form as a holiday
favourite. German poet Goethe
described it in 1779 as “the most interesting and beautiful place” and Queen
Victoria visited several times. However,
its role as a military base for the Swiss
army from the Fifties meant tourism
took a back seat. Hard-core skiers still
liked its devilishly difficult, cold slopes
but the town relied — successfully — on
the 80,000 troops stationed there.
Andermatt, new
Swiss big cheese
A tiny Alpine backwater is about to join
skiing’s super league, says Cathy Hawker
#& $-&&%&
+1(*,&.&(4&(+& *3,44&(1&.&413&
By 2000, with the military base sharply
reduced, affluent Andermatt needed
a new focus. It has come in the shape
of £1.3 billion investment in Andermatt
Swiss Alps. The ambitious plan includes
building seven hotels, an 18-hole golf
course designed by Gary Player, and
500 apartments in 42 buildings with
easy access to the central lift station.
There will be large indoor sports and
swimming centres, a revamped train
station and 17 new lifts, with a new
family-friendly ski area on the sunnier,
south-facing slopes. If all goes to plan,
Andermatt in 15 years will look very
different to today’s sleepy town.
It took four years before the plans
were passed but now the golf course is
complete and early flat owners have
moved in. The first hotel, the magnificent five-star Chedi Andermatt, opened
last December, immediately winning
a place on Condé Nast Traveller’s best
new hotels list.
(+5(3&,/,,(1& *0,5,
Apartments are all freehold, and are
either linked to the Chedi Andermatt
or in separate buildings nearby. Abercrombie & Kent International Estates
is selling 495 newly built one- to fivebedroom flats in 42 contemporary,
chalet-style buildings priced from
£323,270. The first apartments are
Little treasure with a big future: sleepy Andermatt town in central Switzerland
complete and occupied, some with
wooden walls and cosy fireplaces, and
all with contemporary bathrooms and
kitchens. The “modern Alpine” architecture is attractive, with pale wooden
The Chedi Residences, with full
access to the hotel’s completed facilities — such as the slick spa complex
with a swimming pool and gym —
include one- and two-bedroom apartments from £1.15 million through
Savills Alpine Homes. The apartments
£2.69 million:
Chedi Andermatt
penthouses, with
wide terraces,
fabulous views
and full use of
five-star Chedi
hotel facilities
including spa
start from 1,022sq ft and are fully furnished with all the style of the hotel.
Chedi Andermatt penthouses with up
to 6,630sq ft of living space and wide
terraces start from £2.69 million
through Abercrombie & Kent International Estates. These have high ceilings, good views and can be finished
as buyers choose. Four of the 13 penthouses and half of the apartments
have been sold so far to buyers from
Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Three of 25 bespoke chalets have also
“Andermatt Swiss Alps is a wonderful
year-round alternative to the popular
but expensive resorts of Verbier and St
Moritz,” says Robert Green of Abercrombie & Kent International Estates.
“But those looking to invest need to
share the vision of what Andermatt will
become in five or six years’ time as the
project grows and more facilities
become available.”
From £335,000:
flats at the
Gemse building,
part of the
Swiss Alps
O Savills Alpine Homes: alpine (020 7016 3740).
O Abercrombie & Kent International
(020 3667 7016).
O The Chedi Andermatt: (0041 43 344 6252).
O Chedi Residences apartments can be
put in an optional rental pool which is
managed by the hotel.
O Annual service charges start from
Visit our new online luxury section
Design Homes & Property with
A soft,
pop of
HELEN MOORE, who has been
making fashion and furnishings for
three decades, says fake fur has
improved greatly in recent years.
Her business in Devon employs 50
people, and she and her husband
are both Goldsmiths College art
graduates, as is daughter Hester.
“We’ve moved on from those first
harsh acrylics to a fibre called
modacrylic,” Moore explains, “The
fur is now so much more luxurious
and feels amazing. Everybody wants
to stroke it, just like they want to
stroke a cat.”
And what makes a good throw? “It
is all about the look and feel.
Examine the seams and edges.
Check the lining is good quality and
well stitched — you don’t want a
synthetic-looking backing. We use
suede-like or velvet fabrics.’’
Liberty, Selfridges and Fortnum &
Mason stock the Helen Moore
brand, and it is available online at
Top: Helen Moore British-made
magenta throw, £275 for 140cm x
180cm, with king size at £675.
Magenta hot water bottle, £58
(; 01884 860900)
ign trend
By B
Ch dl
AUX FUR is everywhere.
Top fashion brands are
producing jackets, scarves,
bags and slippers, while all
the home shops are
flaunting faux. Crucially,
“modacrylics” have replaced the
older fake fibres, which makes new
furs softer, finer and silkier, with
authentic-looking fakes available of
Arctic fox, brown bear, wolf, lynx,
and, nearer to home, rabbit and
mole. For the more adventurous,
bright pops of colour now include
furs in cerise, flame, and turquoise.
On a cold night a voluptuous throw
with a soft suede or brushed cotton
back makes you feel cosseted.
NEW for autumn is a huge range of
faux fur throws at Oka. Shown
here on the chair is a faux rabbit fur
and velvet throw, £169, then from left
faux fur
to right, faux mink and velvet throw,
£159; faux desert fox, £149; faux
ermine and velvet throw, £169; faux
leopard print and fleece, £149; faux
lynx, £156; faux mole, £156; faux
Arctic fox, £149, and faux desert fox
throw, small, £125. The stag head coat
hooks are £35 each. Oka’s flagship
store is in Fulham Road, SW3
(020 7581 2574). Branches in
Lancaster Road, W11 (020 7792
1425), New King’s Rd, SW6 (020
7751 9874), and Sunningdale,
Berkshire. Enquiries to (0844 815
“WE HAVE a new UK supplier
for luxury faux fur and the trend
has really taken off,” says Sherry
Roberts, of online lifestyle brand “Most
importantly for our customers, faux
fur avoids animal cruelty.” Shown
here is a UK-made faux fox throw with
faux suede back. Medium size (140cm
x 180cm) is £129; large (140cm x
240cm) is £179. Visit thelongeststay.
com (020 7349 9057).
“FAKE fur will add
texture, depth and luxury
to your interiors,” says
Georgia Metcalfe,
founder of The
Bedroom Company. White, soft, cool
and silky, the Ice Queen throw,
pictured (145cm x 180cm), costs £99.
Visit frenchbedroomcompany. (01444 415430).
BREEZING in just in time for
Christmas at The White
Company are a big, luxurious faux fur
beanbag, £285, and white faux fur
Ralph Polar Bears with embroidered
eyes. “Giant” Ralph is 45cm high x
70cm x 80cm and costs £140. The
medium size (20cm high x 22cm x
24cm) is £20, and the little bear is £9
(11cm x 11cm x 11cm). There are 13
stores within the M25, including
Brent Cross, Canary Wharf,
Covent Garden, Marylebone High
Street, Kingston, St Pancras
station and Westfield, or buy
online at thewhite company.
com (020 3758 9222).
Homes & Property My home
“This is a really
nice way to live”:
Charles Holland
says his Barbican
flat is “so well
designed — and
you couldn’t be
any more in
at the far end of the balcony
of architect Charles Holland’s
33rd-floor Barbican flat
some mornings and calmly
eats its breakfast, contemplating the vast
sweep of the capital. Up here, where rare
gale-force winds can make the wooden
doors and windows creak eerily as the
brutalist concrete tower shifts to and fro,
all London is laid out like a glittering
carpet, taking in the Shard in one
direction and the Eye in the other: as
magnificent and breathtaking a sight as
you are ever likely to see.
The Barbican estate is rightly recognised today as one of Britain’s most
exciting and ambitious housing projects,
which is why the entire place was listed
Grade II in 2001.
This area, just outside the city wall, is
steeped in history. The word Barbecana,
meaning guarded gatehouse, is Latin.
The area was flattened during the Blitz,
leaving Cripplegate with only 48 residents. In 1957, the Corporation of London commissioned modernist architects
Chamberlin, Powell and Bon to design
a new part of town on the 40-acre plot,
“with everything people need”, says
In a Utopian vision, the pedestrian site
was set far above the traffic. As well as
housing blocks, there would be three
towers, eight acres of gardens, and the
largest arts complex in Europe. Built
between 1965 and 1976, Barbican has
2,014 flats and about 4,000 residents. At
first only to rent through the corporation, in the Eighties many flats were sold
under right-to-buy, and are now
privately owned.
Holland, 45, who designed interiors
with artist Grayson Perry for A House for
Essex, a holiday rental property built as
part of philosopher Alain de Botton’s
Living Architecture project, is currently
working on several housing projects in
and around London. He and his writer
wife, Jenny, moved to Barbican two years
ago with their children, Baxter, five, and
three-year-old Nancy. But they hadn’t
planned to live in what was once the tallest residential tower in Europe.
“We were in a flat in Stoke Newington
and looking for a three-bedroom house
to buy,” says Holland, who has a 12-yearold daughter from a previous relationship. “But there were none we could
“I had a friend living in this flat and
when he said he was leaving, my wife
wrestled him to the floor and removed
the keys from his pocket.”
HE three-bedroom flat, which
has a balcony running round
two sides, was one of the few
still let by the Corporation,
and the Hollands were able to
lease it. Like the majority of Barbican
flats, most of the interior, including door
handles and the two plain white bathrooms, is original. The galley kitchen,
however, once all white melamine, was
redone in stained timber, probably as a
Architect Charles Holland says his
33rd-floor Barbican flat is a great place to
raise his young family. They love the space
— and the view, he tells Philippa Stockley
DIY job in the late Seventies, and there
are “three too many doors”, Holland
says. These are the only things he wants
to change, including putting a bright
yellow rubber floor in the kitchen —
although, he explains, most things
removed from Barbican flats have to go
into storage, under English Heritage’s
keen eye. The Hollands’ interior design
concentrates on an eclectic mix of
bright, modern collectables, from a giant
French yellow floor lamp to an amazing
mirror, to the “PY” half of a lit-up sign
that once graced Faversham’s Wimpy
bar, and a retro-looking bookcase with
yellow Perspex door slides, made by a
joiner friend.
The Seventies classic wallpaper in the
hall, printed in bright orange, is a perfect
foil for framed posters of the same
epoch. The flat is colourful, cheery, and
full of ever-changing light. “It’s nice
being somewhere so well designed.
We’ve all lived in poorly converted Victorian houses, where everything is as
cheap as chips and then you spend your
life running up and down stairs. Very
few flats compare with this in terms of
quality — it is refreshing.
“It’s incredibly well made, and we never
hear anything from next door. It is a lot
more difficult to annoy your neighbours
here than anywhere else I have lived. You
My home Homes & Property with
Fries with that?: one half of a Wimpey bar sign is a sitting room conversation piece
Be bold: strong colours and a gilded modern-retro mirror, enhanced by natural light
Galley kitchen: one of the flat’s few non-original areas, probably a Seventies DIY job
couldn’t be any more in London. It has
made me love being in the city again. It’s
easy to walk everywhere. In places like
Stoke Newington, when it takes three
hours to get anywhere, it becomes your
bit of London. But from here we can stroll
to St Paul’s or Smithfield, or wherever.
The City is a lovely place to walk around
at weekends, it is empty, and has really
good architecture. John Soane, Rem Koolhaas, Edwin Lutyens, James Stirling —
they’re all just a few metres away, and
there is a nice park.
“The Barbican should be revisited. In
the UK we have become unambitious
and incredibly conservative about what
a house actually is. The Barbican is an
amazing place to bring up a family,
there’s lots of freedom and space — this
is a really nice way to live.”
Photographs: David Butler
Get the look
O CHARLES HOLLAND is partner, with
Elly Ward, at
O The strong blue paint used in the flat,
Rock-a-Billy Blue from the Crown Vintage
range, is discontinued. Check for an alternative
O Yellow Signal floor lamp by Jieldé in
breakfast room: from
uk or
O Tulip Eero Saarinen chairs, and table
in breakfast room: from conranshop. — or try eBay
O Cast aluminium head, a maquette
for A House for Essex: cast by
O Gilded MDF fractured mirror: from
the Decora range at deknudtmirrors.
O Table, sprayed pink: bought on eBay
O Shelving unit: made by joiner/builder
Paul Rigo (07980 235239)
O Anni Albers “De Stijl” reissue carpet:
O Lavaliers (1975) wallpaper in hall: by
O Any “WIM” sign enquiries to Charles
Holland, as before
Homes & Property Design
Left: head chef Kamil Oseka at
The Pig near Bath. Inset, the
gorgeous Grade II-listed Georgian
hotel, cut from mellow Bath stone
Steal the style
Pig chic
trained wife, who, in her fifties,
retains the youthful enthusiasm of a
student. The Hutsons’ CV includes
spells at Soho House and Chewton
Glen in Hampshire. Robin created
and sold the Hotel du Vin chain, and
now focuses on “The Pigs” and on
Lime Wood, the couple’s five-star
hotel in the New Forest. “We like to
use textures in our furnishings,” says
Judy. “We are more likely to do rusty
than shiny. Yes, it’s shabby chic but
we think of it as more old and new
mixed, eclectic and homely.”
The Hutsons’ personal touch is
everywhere in the Bath hotel, from
the sage and buttercream panelling
to the French script wallpaper. Two
plump, cast-iron pigs guard the
entrance. A decadent private dining
room, seating 24 and inspired by the
artwork for the Rolling Stones’
Beggars Banquet album, is one of
Judy’s favourite rooms. “It is the
antithesis of every private dining
room in the country, with stone
floors that we added, walls decorated
to look like decaying plaster and a
huge, bare-topped table with
mismatched gothic dining chairs.”
Hotel director Tom Ross describes
The Pig as essentially a restaurant
with rooms, and the kitchen garden
is central. Food is grown on site or
sourced from within a 25-mile radius.
There’s an apple orchard, a neat herb
and vegetable garden, chickens and
three miniature pigs.
The Pig near Bath is Londoners’
cosy country house retreat,
the latest in a litter of four
with the feel-good formula,
says Cathy Hawker
HE Pig is a rare breed, a
group of four intimate,
restaurant-hotels scattered
across southern England
that have been a runaway success
among London foodies and
weekenders. Quirky and eclectic
with a truly individual shabby-chic
signature, The Pig near Bath opened
this year in the Mendip Hills — joining
The Pig on the Beach in Dorset and
Southampton’s Pig in the Wall — and
has quickly become as popular as the
original Pig in the New Forest.
Redefining the country house hotel
experience, there is no room for
floral chintz, ankle-thick carpets or
stuffy formality at Bath. Instead,
expect light-touch décor with hints of
old-world charm. Nostalgia starts at
the brass front door knocker and
continues past the boot rack to the
giant fire irons in the log-filled grate
next to the leather club chairs.
The Pig is in a Grade II-listed
Georgian mansion cut from mellow
Bath stone. In the Seventies and
Eighties this was Hunstrete House,
one of Britain’s top five-star hotels,
but neglect in the intervening years
had taken its toll. Judy and Robin
Hutson stroked the tatty old pile into
a 29-room hotel of understated
luxury. There are claret velvet sofas,
stripped wooden floors and a
mirrored display of artfully
mismatched glasses — a modern take
on the traditional country house look
carefully curated by master hotelier
Robin, and Judy, his art school- with
Judy’s address book includes, in
Chelsea, George Smith for sofas and
Core One for statement one-off pieces
of furniture, with The Old Cinema in
Chiswick and Lassco in Southwark for
decorative artefacts. Wells
Reclamation in Somerset and
Victoria Antiques in Cornwall are
also productive hunting grounds.
“I use paint from Paint Library and
Little Greene. Hungerford Arcade
provides bric-a-brac and antiques and
I like young British fabric designers
such as Sarah Hardaker, Rachael Mitas
and Emily Bond.”
Shade, top: from £100 at lampshades. Above, glass tumblers, from £5
each at
O The Pig near Bath:
(0845 077 9494). Rooms from £139
a night
O Hungerford Arcade: hungerford
O Emily Bond:
O Sarah Hardaker:
O Rachael Mitas:
O Victoria Antiques:
For more pictures,
visit our new online
luxury section
,,*#'#0&#&5'*44!# $+#*&(/#%#
'0(3#"0-#&(3#5(/&0!# +
Glow: log fires complete the cosy picture
Outdoors Homes & Property with
HAT better reason to
get outdoors in cold
weather than to enjoy
the fragrance of
winter flowers? The
roses might be over until next summer,
but there are shrubs that will deliver
winter perfume better than any
scented candle to enhance your outdoor room. Bees will benefit, too, from
the rare food source.
Give yourself a good reason to be led
up the garden path by planting a fragrant winter-flowering shrub at the far
end of your plot. The spicy scents of
exotic witch hazels are worth the trek,
and the showy blooms on bare twigs
resemble chenille spiders. Two of the
finest are coral-flowered Jelena and
deep red Diane. Viburnum bodnantense Dawn is a can’t-kill shrub that
makes another great winter choice. The
large pink flowers smell of honey and
almonds, and keep on coming from
late autumn until spring.
Perfumed beauty: Daphne bholua Jacqueline Postill
Mahonia is the perfect shrub to plant
by the front door, or as a focal point in
ground or container. It thrives in shady
London gardens. Large cartwheels of
evergreen leaf sprays give mahonias a
handsome architectural presence all
year round, and from early winter, they
produce extravagant, rich yellow
flower sprays that smell just like lily of
the valley. As a bonus, the flowers are
followed by bunches of navy blue berries that birds adore. Winter Sun is the
compact variety for small spaces.
Honeysuckle’s reputation for wonderful scent is upheld with the winter
version, shrubby honeysuckle Lonicera
purpusii. Winter Beauty is the gardenfriendly variety to look for, and will give
you the sweetest scent from clusters of
creamy flowers on the bare branches
which can be clipped to give you jugfuls
of scented garden flower stems. With
just green leaves in summer, it needs
to be planted as part of a crowd scene
in the border.
Park something deliciously fragrant
right by the patio or terrace. Christmas
Box is a great choice for a small garden.
It forms a compact evergreen dome
Aroma therapy: give the garden a dash of spice with a witch hazel such as Hamamelis Feuerzauber
Lemon air freshener: Chimonanthus praecox Luteus
Make perfect scents all winter
Fill your winter garden with fragrant shrubs that will flower right through to spring
that from late winter is covered with
sprays of tufted white flowers. You
don’t need to bend down to smell the
luscious honey scent because it is
carried on the air. Just a few twigs of
wintersweet, Chimonanthus praecox,
will scent a whole room with spicy
lemon perfume, so it can be forgiven
for being slow to bloom after planting,
and being a little ungainly. The gorgeous waxy, butter-yellow flowers stud
the bare branches from January.
See it buy it
See it: try this snappy app
Buy it: garden style
DOWNLOAD a free new app that
identifies garden plants, tells you how
to grow them and where to buy them.
PlantSnapp is the idea of botanist
George Williams, who says many of us
know the common names of garden
plants, but not the Latin names needed
to locate them. “I wanted to do away
with clunky manuals and make it as
easy and cheap as possible,” he says.
To use PlantSnapp, take a picture of
the plant, upload it, and within 24
hours one of 10 on-tap horticultural
experts provides an identification and
cultivation details. You can order the
plant through the app and have it sent
to you. You get three free IDs and then
it’s 33p a time. Visit
DO YOU favour a Zen-style garden, all
serenity, cobblestones and
contemplative pool, or do you prefer a
clean-edged minimal feel, with white
plaster walls and colourblock planting?
Whether you fancy enchanted
Bohemian, urban upcycling or grassy
prairie on your patch, landscape
designer Rochelle Greayer, in her richly
illustrated book Cultivating Garden
Style, helps define your individual look,
suggesting plants, furniture and
accessory ideas.
Cultivating Garden Style (Timber
Press) costs £25, but Homes & Property
readers can buy the book for £23
including p&p by calling 01872 562327
and quoting code HP11.
Follow your nose to the garden centre
for Daphne odora Aureomarginata, the
popular evergreen shrub with pointed,
bright green leaves that are finely
edged in lemon, and rounded soft pink
or white winter blooms that have an
exceptionally full-bodied, fruity perfume. Just right for a pot on the patio
or terrace table, compact Daphne A
favours moist soil or compost, a spot
in the sun or light shade, and merits
the extra attention.
The most desirable daphne however,
is the fabulous and costly Jacqueline
Postill, which is an investment shrub
for a sheltered, sunny spot or frontdoor porch, where you can revel in
highly fragrant, deep pink flowers from
late December.
IVEN a blast of winter sunshine, the volatile oils of
lavender and rosemary
foliage are just as potent as
in high summer. Large pots
on the patio of culinary Mediterranean
herbs that also include sage and thyme
— try lemon thyme for a sharp citrus
punch — are lovely for a soothing aromatherapy hit when stroked, and make
great container evergreens that
can withstand prolonged weather
Prostrate rosemary looks especially
good if you leave it to tumble down the
sides of a tall container or window box,
and in a sunny spot it will produce a
profusion of blue blossom that will
keep going until spring.
Homes & Property Property searching
For the family: Jurassic Encounter Adventure Golf at the
World of Golf, which also has an academy and driving range
New Malden High Street: long-established local shops,
offices, a branch of Waitrose, and those Korean restaurants
NESCO recently awarded
the status of an “Intangible
C u l t u r a l H e r i t a ge o f
Humanity” to Kimjang, the
communal act of making
Kimchi, Korea’s sour and spicy national
dish. Perhaps the best place in Britain
to taste this fermented vegetable meal,
traditionally made using napa cabbage,
is in one of the Korean restaurants that
line New Malden High Street.
About 20,000 Koreans live in New
Malden — the largest Korean community in Europe. However, no one seems
to know for certain how this south-west
London suburb became “Little Korea”.
Was it because the South Korean
ambassador’s residence was once in
Lord Chancellor Walk? Perhaps it’s
because Korean electronics giant Samsung had its European headquarters
here until nine years ago. Or does the
story trace back to the Fifties, when
locally based aerospace company Racal
Avionics had a joint venture with a
Korean conglomerate?
Of course, New Malden, forever in the
shadow of better-known neighbours
Wimbledon and Kingston, has a range
of relatively affordable family houses,
good schools and an easy commute
into central London, which could have
attracted the community. Or perhaps
Koreans love their golf — there are three
local courses — and cricket? Malden
Wanderers in Cambridge Avenue, a
cricket club with tennis and badminton
courts, was voted one of the 12 most
beautiful grounds in England by The
Wisden Cricketer magazine, now
known simply as The Cricketer.
New Malden is cut in half by the busy
A3 road. Ten miles south-west of central London, it sits south of affluent
Coombe, west of Raynes Park, north
of Worcester Park and east of Tolworth.
Two Thames tributaries run close by
— Beverley Brook to the east and the
Hogsmill to the west.
Landmark: Burlington Road, where the tower of B&Q Extra
has the largest building-mounted wind turbine in Britain
After the arrival of the railway in 1846,
New Malden started to develop and
there are Victorian semi-detached and
terrace houses in the roads off the High
Street. They are found in particular in
The Groves conservation area which
features Lime Grove, Poplar Grove,
Chestnut Grove and Sycamore Grove.
Elsewhere, New Malden has mainly
Twenties and Thirties detached, semidetached and terrace houses.
It is a good place to look for family
homes and there are nearly five times
more houses for sale than flats. The
most expensive house currently for sale with
Perfect for
Kimchi —
and keep-fit
Three golf courses, tennis, cricket,
badminton — and a wide range of
well-priced homes — keep kids of all
ages happy. By Anthea Masey
It’s a good
place to look
for family
great schools
— and the
to central
is easy
is in Traps Lane in the Coombeside area,
a six-bedroom detached property with
an outdoor pool and an asking price of
£2.65 million (see homesandproperty. In Lynton Road, another
street of detached homes, halfway
between New Malden and Berrylands
stations, a five-bedroom double-fronted
Twenties house is on the market for
£1.15 million (homesandproperty.
There are large detached and semidetached Victorian houses in Presburg
Road, also a conservation area, where
the last detached house sold for
£882,500 in April 2008, and the last
semi went for £955,000 in November
A renovated five-bedroom detached
Victorian house in Elm Road in The
Groves conservation area is for sale for
£1.15 million (see homesandproperty. The Christchurch conservation area, east of Coombe Road and
East Asian flavours: at Yami Korean
restaurant in New Malden High Street,
John Deng, three, is in good company
close to Malden Golf Club is another
popular area within easy reach of the
station. A four-bedroom semi-detached
house here, in Cambridge Avenue, is
on the market for £975,000 (visit
The so-called painters’ roads, south
of the A3, are close to Malden Manor
station and are named after artists
including Romney, Turner, Gainsborough, Lawrence, Reynolds and Van
Dyck. An extensively refurbished fivebedroom house in Van Dyck Avenue is
for sale, priced £659,950 (
Two-bedroom garden flats currently
on the market range from £260,000
for one in Beresford Road (homesandproper t beresford) to
£389,950 for one in West Barnes Road
To find a home in New Malden, visit:
THIS six-bedroom house in Orchard Avenue in
the Christchurch area of New Malden has a
substantial rear garden. Through Curchods.
O Visit
A WELL-EQUIPPED, two double-bedroom
maisonette in Errol Gardens, New Malden, with a
large private garden. Through Barnard Marcus.
O Visit
A FLEXIBLE, four-bedroom, semi-detached family
house in Glebe Gardens, Worcester Park, with a
superb garden for entertaining. Through Haart.
O Visit
REFURBISHED to a “designer finish” this period
house in Beresford Road, New Malden, has two
bedrooms and original features (Hawes & Co).
O Visit
Property searching Homes & Property
shop since 1919. There are also Korean
restaurants and supermarkets, but
cheap clothing brands and charity
shops do not indicate a high street in
the rudest of health. However, locals
are pinning their hopes on the arrival
of chain restaurants Nando’s and Pizza
Express to add to local offerings
The Glasshouse, Chicco Caffè and Al
In Burlington Road there is a B&Q
Extra with the largest buildingmounted wind turbine in the UK, while
in Beverley Way there is a branch of
Tesco Extra.
Beverley Park in Park View has a playground, tennis courts, and football and
cricket pitches. There is a small local
park in Blagdon Road, while there are
waterside walks along the Hogsmill
River and Beverley Brook, and Wimbledon Common and the vast green
acres of Richmond Park are close by.
Staying power: according to estate
agent Daniel Miller from Curchods, a
strong sense of community keeps
people in the area.
New Malden High Street runs south
from the station to the Fountain roundabout and is dominated by two
16-storey office tower blocks — major
local employer BAE Systems has a base
here. There is a branch of Waitrose,
along with the Tudor Williams department store, which has been in the area
since 1913, plus a branch of local chain
Johnsons Shoes, and charming little
Pengilly’s, a luggage and shoe repair
Imposing: detached trophy homes are found in Traps Lane and surrounding roads
More sporty than arty, New Malden
boasts three golf clubs. The Malden
Golf Club is in Traps Lane, with
Coombe Hill Golf Club off Coombe
Lane West and Coombe Wood Golf
Club in George Road.
The New Malden Bowls Club in Lime
Grove has been going since 1904, and
the Graham Spicer Table Tennis Club
in Dukes Avenue is a top indoor venue
for the sport. The nearest councilowned swimming pool is at the Malden
Centre in Blagdon Road, and there’s
cricket, tennis and badminton at
Malden Wanderers Cricket Club in
Cambridge Avenue.
Kingston and Wimbledon have both
theatres and cinemas.
Travel: trains from New Malden station take 22 minutes to Waterloo with
the possibility of changing at Clapham
Junction or Vauxhall. Other stations
serving local residents are Berrylands,
Motspur Park, Malden Manor and Norbiton, with journeys that take a few
minutes longer. New Malden, Motspur
Park and Malden Manor are in Zone 4
and an annual travelcard to Zone 1 costs
£1,800. Berrylands and Norbiton are
in Zone 5 and an annual travel card
costs £2,136.
Council: Kingston council is Conservative controlled and Band D council tax
is £1,678.03
(Average prices)
One-bedroom flat £258,000
Two-bedroom flat £317,000
Two-bedroom house £404,000
Three-bedroom house £546,000
Four-bedroom house £765,000
Source: Zoopla
(Average rates)
One-bedroom flat £988 a month
Two-bedroom flat £1,253 a month
Two-bedroom house £1,421 a month
Three-bedroom house £1,880 a month
Four-bedroom house £3,182 a month
Source: Zoopla
O The best schools in and around
New Malden
O The best streets, and the up-andcoming spots to watch
O The latest housing developments
O The lowdown on the rental scene
O How New Malden compares with
the rest of the UK on house prices
For all this and more, visit
NEXT WEEK: Barnet. Do you
live there? Tell us what you
think @HomesProperty
Where in New Malden did this young
chap discover greasepaint? Find the
answer at
Homes & Property Ask the expert with
She left a load of junk — can we give it away?
OUR recent house
purchase went through in
13 weeks from our offer
being accepted to
completion. The previous owner
left an attic and shed full of things,
plus other items throughout the
house. Unfortunately, we were
stuck in a chain and the seller’s
daughter, who acted on her
mother’s behalf, feels we delayed
the sale. As a result she is refusing
to accept responsibility for her
mother’s items. What is our legal
standing if we give all these things
to a local charity?
THIRTEEN weeks from your
offer being accepted to
completion was not an
unduly long period of time
when a chain of buyers and sellers
was involved. Even if you were
responsible for any delay, that would
not give the seller or her daughter
grounds to act unreasonably.
When you bought the property the
seller should have completed a
property information form. This
includes a section asking the seller to
confirm they will remove rubbish
from the property and specifically
mentions the loft, garden,
outbuildings, garages and sheds.
Contact the solicitor who acted for
you to see how the seller dealt with
this point in the form, or look at your
own copy of the form, if you have it.
Assuming that the seller answered
saying that she would remove all
contents, by leaving items in the
house, shed and attic she has failed to
do what she agreed. Ask your
solicitor to inform her solicitor of
their client’s failure to empty the
property of all contents. You can ask
your solicitor to give notice that if the
removal of the items is not arranged
by a given date, you will arrange their
removal yourselves, but you will be
looking to the seller to meet your
costs. Such an approach will often
have the desired result.
IF YOU have a
question for
Fiona McNulty,
please email
[email protected]
or write to Legal
Solutions, Homes
& Property,
London Evening
Standard, 2 Derry
Street, W8 5EE.
We regret that
questions cannot
be answered
individually but
we will try to
feature them
here. Fiona
McNulty is a
partner in the
property, farms
and estates team
at Withy King LLP
More legal
Visit: homesand
WE ARE first-time buyers in London who
have found our dream house, a refurbished
Victorian property. The survey has revealed a
crack in the outside load-bearing wall which
the current owners say they know nothing about. It is
clear from the brickwork that there has been a poor
attempt at repair at some stage. We also know the
sellers removed a large tree from the garden, and their
insurance premium is really high but they haven’t
given a reason why. Should we walk away or continue
with the purchase? Our conveyancer says there could
be a problem insuring the property.
YOU must find out as much as possible about the
cracking and its cause, and what the sellers or
their predecessors have done about it. As part of
the conveyancing process the sellers should
complete a property information form, giving full details
regarding high premiums, excesses and claims.
There is section which also asks if there are warranties
or guarantees for underpinning which may be relevant if
the cracking is due to the property suffering subsidence.
Your solicitor should be raising specific enquires of the
sellers’ solicitors to find out about the cause of the
cracking and why the sellers’ insurance is expensive.
The cracking may have been due to the roots of the tree
that was removed, or to something else, but if you are
aware of the issues you can decide whether to take them
on. It would be wise to have a structural engineer’s report,
which could help with regard to buildings insurance. Do
make sure that you can get insurance on normal terms.
O These answers can only be a very brief commentary on
the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice.
No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar
issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.
Letting on Homes & Property with
FEW DAYS after a tenant
moved in she emailed to
complain that her
bedroom was too small
and there wasn’t enough
storage. She even attached a photo of
stuff piled on her bed, as proof that
she didn’t have enough space.
What did she want me to do, build
her an extension?
What she wanted was a rent
reduction, of course. She suggested I
called her “to discuss a rate that
more accurately reflects the size of
the room, so we can come to a
mutually satisfactory agreement”.
I did ring her, to suggest she put up
some shelves, at her own expense.
Yes, her bedroom was small, but it
hadn’t shrunk since she viewed it and
we agreed the rent. I hadn’t removed
or added any furniture, everything
was exactly the same, so no way was I
going to drop the price because she
had too many clothes.
I am always straight with tenants
when I advertise a property. I make
sure they are aware of any
shortcomings to avoid them moaning
when they move in, but still I get the
odd complaint from those who
expect to find perfection.
A couple of Canadian girls who
rented rooms in a cheap flat
complained the morning after they
moved in that there was no tumble
dryer which, they said, was a “basic
amenity” in North America. I could
tell they were marathon whingers so
I offered to release them from the
contract they had signed if they
Flat to let —
serial whingers
need not apply
Victoria Whitlock says landlords must fix
genuine property problems quickly, but has
to admit some tenants are never satisfied
wanted to move out. I decided I
would rather have a few days without
rent than put up with a steady stream
of complaints.
One of my first tenants was
impossible to please, she complained
about everything and I bent over
backwards to accommodate her, but
she was never satisfied. I learned
then that it’s better not to give in to
every unreasonable demand, or
tenants will walk all over you. If a
tenant complains that something is
not to their liking after they have
moved in, then tough. They can’t
expect you to make changes after
they have agreed and signed the
contract. That said, if something is
broken, I think landlords or their
agents should carry out repairs as
soon as possible. However, even
when I do, some tenants still whine.
Over the summer an old boiler in a
rental flat broke down on a Sunday
morning. I managed to get hold of my
regular heating engineer but the
boiler was beyond repair. He agreed
to rearrange his diary, bless him, so
he could install a new boiler four
£750 a week: in North Eyot Gardens, Chiswick, John D Wood has this spectacular
three-bedroom apartment available to rent (
days later, which I thought was pretty
darned good.
The tenant disagreed. He yelled
that four days was far too long to be
left without hot water and he wanted
a new boiler within 24 hours. When I
told him that with the best will in the
world I couldn’t get a boiler installed
the next day he swore a bit, then he
swore a bit more. I was tempted to
tell him to take a cold shower to calm
Look, I know it’s unpleasant to be
left without hot water for a few days,
even in summer, but bad things
sometimes happen and even a great
landlord — that’s me, by the way —
can’t prevent the odd mishap.
In the end I told this guy that if he
couldn’t cope without hot water for
four days he could move out and I
would refund his rent. He stayed and
stopped moaning. Tenants usually
do, as long as the landlord remains
fair but firm.
O Victoria Whitlock lets three
properties in south London.
To contact Victoria with your ideas
and views, tweet @vicwhitlock.
Find many more homes to rent at
!! (!(!!!
Homes & Property Inside story with
Diary of
an estate
A distressed tenant telephones to tell
me her lavatory is blocked. Fortunately,
our very own resident Superwoman —
Hannah, our property manager — gets
on the case immediately and arranges
an emergency drain team to attend the
I rush out of the office to show an
apartment to a politician. As I arrive
there, he jumps out of a taxi, telling me
he has only a few minutes to see the
place. We view it in record time, just
four minutes.
I am always up early on a Monday. I fuel
up with a good breakfast and arrive at
the office to prepare for our meeting.
We review last week’s performance
and share information about new
places that have opened up in the area
so we can update our customers — and
often uncover another choice of somewhere to go for lunch.
I take the opportunity to mention
Señor Ceviche in Kingly Court, Soho,
a new restaurant that serves Peruvian
specialities .
We’re plunging in to help a tenant
My first appointment is in Soho. I check
out the building ready for the viewing
and meet a lovely young lady looking
to rent a one-bedroom flat. She has just
landed her first job in London, working
for a media company around the
corner, and is looking to live in a
convenient and buzzing area. Like me,
she is from France, so I tell her about
all the French bakeries in the area to
make her feel at home.
London has been called “France’s
sixth-biggest city” and increasingly I
am looking after French clients, who
feel more comfortable and reassured
to be able to speak their own language
when moving here.
One of my aims for the day is to organise a tour of suitable flats tomorrow for
a South American couple coming to
London who need to secure something
by the weekend. I was recommended
to them by one of their friends, who
was one of my previous clients.
I have a clear idea of what they are
looking for and I am confident of finding them something.
Sophie, the French lady I met on Monday, contacts me with an offer for the
Soho flat. Having worked with the landlord of that particular flat for nearly six
years now, I know exactly what he is
looking for and the kind of questions
he will ask. All goes well on the call and
the offer is accepted — a happy landlord
and an excited tenant.
My Chilean couple arrive, and they are
really keen about starting their new life
in London. However, the first flat visit
doesn’t go well. It’s on the fifth floor and
the lift is broken today. I take them to
another mansion block where the lift is
stuck on the third floor and the apartment is on the fourth floor. This is not
my day. Things get better after a few
more inspections and I think I have
found them the perfect home. We discuss local amenities and head back to
the office to prepare an offer.
My last viewing is a lovely, refurbished
two-bedroom flat above a casino but
again, it is on the fourth floor — and
there’s no lift. My legs will know tomorrow about all the stairs I’ve climbed.
A coffee from Lantana in Charlotte
Place helps me prepare for a busy day.
I arrive in the office for a quick meeting
with my commercial colleague. He has
received some interest in a building in
Old Compton Street and needs some
likely rental yields should the property
be turned into flats. I love these brainstorming sessions.
Friday is usually when most people
make a decision on a flat, or move into
their new home, so efficiency and
speed are crucial.
I manage to get everything agreed for
my South American couple for a movein tomorrow. They are happy, so we
are happy at the end of a busy week.
I stop off at Vagabond wine shop opposite for a nice bottle of Bordeaux to take
O Sandrine Locatelli is a senior
lettings negotiator at Hudsons in the
West End (020 7631 8705).
Homes & Property New homes with
By David Spittles
Victoria’s secret
penthouse gardens
flats in
a chic,
city just
an hour
THE ancient Hampshire
cathedral city of
Winchester falls within the
crucial 60-minute
commuting time of
London, so Connaught
Square, above, could
appeal. Trains to Waterloo
take just under an hour,
plus — for weekend
yachties — there is quick
access to the south coast
and Channel ports.
Close proximity to good
schools and a quick dash
to the station are also
must-haves for most
commuters, and this rare
new-build development
ticks those boxes. It lies on
the western edge of the
city next to historic Royal
Winchester Golf Club, yet
is only a few minutes away
from the centre, with its
cobbled streets and chic
At first sight, the scheme
appears to be a collection
of Georgian-style villas but
in fact comprises 14 large
lateral apartments, each
with two bedrooms, a
terrace, a couple of
parking spaces and storage
lockers. The homes may
also appeal to weekenders
from London who want
country walks in the New
Forest and the South
Downs National Park.
Prices from £775,000.
Call Jackson-Stops & Staff
on 01962 844299.
Read more: visit
our new online
luxury section
ARGE, luxurious
penthouses with roof
terraces are a novelty in
Victoria, which is only just
getting into its stride as a
fashionable address after years of
being “Civil Service land”, with a
dreary, windswept high street lined
by grey-slab office blocks. Now the
area is being reborn with humanscale developments, better shops
and lots more flats.
Victoria’s secret is its location at the
dead centre of London. Kings Gate
is the latest new apartment block,
halfway between the train station
and Parliament Square.
Triplex penthouses have been
unveiled. They are among the most
expensive flats to arrive on the
market in this revitalised SW1
neighbourhood. Each has four
bedrooms and up to 3,337sq ft of
space. Interiors are sleek and
modern with floor-to-ceiling
windows, and there are views of
Buckingham Palace and St James’s
Park from the 920sq ft roof terrace.
New homes Homes & Property with
Big future beckons
for Beckenham
Handsome, red-brick Edwardian
mansion blocks alongside
Westminster Cathedral — the equal of
anything in Kensington or Chelsea —
are a reminder that Victoria was once
a top address. Though values are
Stunning vista:
Kings Gate roof
terrace views
take in the
Palace and St
James’s Park
rising with the new wave of
development, the area is still at least
a third cheaper than neighbouring
Belgravia. Remaining Kings Gate
apartments start at £3.4 million. Call
Strutt & Parker on 020 7225 3866.
ALDGATE on the City fringe
might be described as an
address where location is
more important than
lifestyle. However, a new
“quarter” is injecting life
at seven-acre Goodman’s
Fields, where 920 homes
are being built alongside
hotels, shops and
A public park is also being
created, along with squares
and landscaped courtyard
gardens. A new art space is
being added to the mix,
with developer Berkeley
forging a partnership with
Whitechapel Gallery, which
is credited with launching
the careers of renowned
artists from David Hockney
to Gilbert & George.
This piece of “cultural
place-making” is intended
to entice prospective
buyers to apartments at
Kingswood Gardens,
above, the latest phase,
where home owners will
be able to hang limitededition prints offered
through the gallery.
Prices for the homes
start at £687,500. Call 020
3217 1000.
A MOVE to extend the Bakerloo line
to the south London suburbs is
boosting Beckenham, already wellserved by trains from London Bridge
and Victoria. Beckenham Junction
could one day be part of the Tube
network, and there is also talk of a
spur to Bromley town centre, which
will open up the area to young firsttime buyers who work in London.
For now though, Beckenham’s a
family favourite, with independent
schools, playing fields, riding stables,
golf courses and quick escape routes
to the Kent countryside. Century
Gate, below, is a Linden Homes
scheme of detached, traditional-style
family houses with spacious interiors,
next to Kent County Cricket Club and
moments from the town centre.
Prices from £719,995 to £1.2 million
Call KFH on 020 7740 2640.
FROM £220,000*
- Generous living space
- On-site Estate Manager
- Contemporary specification - Shops on your doorstep
- Private outside space
- Secure allocated parking
- Direct trains to London Victoria
in less than 25 minutes**
0845 6000 787
[email protected]
Image of show apartment
*Prices and details correct at time of going to press. **Travel times cannot be guaranteed.