Spotlight: Page 32 Canning Town: sunny side up

Wednesday 18 March 2015
your stripes
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Canning Town:
sunny side up
Spotlight: Page 32
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Homes & Property Online with
This week:
news: from flames
to fiasco in Peckham
SOUTHWARK council and community
groups are still arguing over how to
spend £5.07 million awarded to
Peckham by Mayor Boris Johnson
following the summer riots of 2011.
Shops in the area were torched and
cars set ablaze while gangs of
youths clashed with riot police in
some of the most shocking scenes of
the unrest that followed the police
shooting of Mark Duggan in
The Mayor selected Peckham to
receive Greater London Authority
regeneration funding and Southwark
council, working with Network Rail,
decided to create a new “gateway” to
the area at Peckham Rye railway
station, with smart new shops and a
restored square and railway arches.
Life changer low-hanging
fruit awaits at Bower Hinton
However, when the plans were
unveiled, the local community —
residents and businesses — reacted
with horror. They complained that
the planned new shops would be
too upscale and would push 60
local businesses out of the area.
£495,000: one you might find hard to resist is this Grade
II-listed, four-bedroom hamstone home in the village of
Bower Hinton, Somerset. It comes with a two-storey studio
that you could convert into a holiday cottage, plus four
further workshops. Original details include sash windows
and fireplaces, with a new kitchen/dining room extension
overlooking gardens with fruit trees. Through Palmer Snell.
London buy of the
week one for families
O Read Ruth Bloomfield’s full story at
£700,000: you get plenty of bang for your buck
in Streatham Hill at this recently renovated,
three-bedroom home with off-street parking.
Original stripped floorboards lead the way into
an impressive family space, with a reception
room, kitchen/dining room and conservatory
opening to a paved garden. Upstairs are three
bedrooms with fitted wardrobes and a decadent
marble-tiled bathroom. There is further potential
in a loft, which you could convert into a plush
master bedroom suite. Through Sell My Home.
Trophy buy of the week
mansion flat luxe so grand
£4,315,000: show-stopping style on a grand scale is
yours at this four-bedroom Belsize Park Gardens apartment
in a stucco-fronted Victorian mansion — a stroll from local
bars and restaurants. This is a 3,000sq ft space filled with
exquisite interior detailing, from polished plaster walls to
bespoke joinery and handsome open fireplaces. There’s
an über chic kitchen, of course, and a landscaped garden.
The giraffe on the living room ceiling is not included, so
you’ll have to bring your own. Through Hamptons.
The Peggy chair from £460. For reader offers
visit, pop in to our London
or Bath showroom or call us on 0345 400 2222.
By Faye Greenslade
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Homes & Property, Northcliffe
House, 2 Derry Street,
Kensington, London W8 5TT.
£1.895 million: a 4,000sq ft three-bedroom chapel conversion flat in Mill Hill, NW7
hot homes: fantastic ecclesiastic
AMBITIOUS grand designers across
the capital have painstakingly
conjured magnificent homes from
disused historic churches and
chapels. Vaulted, triple-height
ceilings in spacious reception rooms
O Visit
and galleried mezzanine floors
showcase stunning architectural
features, including original Gothicarched windows and beautiful roofs
with timber beams. Step inside one of
London’s best church conversions.
News Homes & Property with
New York flat with
the X Factor
Time to rock up in Putney
É PUTNEY’S Hotham Hall
has a colourful past which
harks back to its village
hall days when it was a
location for speeches by
Winston Churchill and
Anthony Eden in the
Thirties. It later became a
venue for legendary rock
stars, including the Rolling
Stones and The Who.
The building has been
transformed into loft-style
apartments, and a cool
split-level flat in the small
Mr Selfridge
has no time for
Malibu home
Mr Selfridge,
Jeremy Piven,
left, has been
spending so
much time in
London he has
decided to rent
out his Malibu
beach house.
The actor, who
stays in the UK
to film the ITV
Sunday night
bought the
home in 2004
for £2.3 million.
It’s a real sun
trap with ocean
views and a
private balcony
off the master
suite. There is
an office and,
of course, a
screening room.
It’s one for big
though — the
house will cost
you £33,000 a
Got some gossip? Tweet @amiranews
By Amira Hashish
É THE Bountiful
Cow in Holborn
is one of the best
places in
London to spot
Hugh Grant and
his friends. The
busy celeb
boozer is on
Fleurets’ books
with a leasehold
guide price of
£395,000. It
features a
flat and two
parking spaces.
For further
details visit
Is it time for a career change, Hugh?
Beautiful radiators for stylish interiors
Add some Zing
this Spring
Our radiators are available
in over 2000 colours
London showroom:
244 Belsize Road, London NW6 4BT
T: 020 7328 2225
É MATTHEW CHARLES is a star of
Channel 4’s latest reality series,
Taking New York, which follows a
group of young Britons attempting to make their mark in the Big
Apple. When off camera,
Charles, who hails from Wales,
works for high-end estate agent
The latest property on his
books is a £7.2 million home at
glass-fronted 1055 Park Avenue
on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
The four-bedroom apartment,
a few blocks fron Central Park,
shares the same street with Simon
Cowell and Lauren Silverman,
block is now on the market
for £1.45 million.
Listed with Chestertons,
the two-bedroom pad has
an entertaining space that
is 45-foot long as well as a
study and mezzanine level,
which overlooks the
kitchen. The private patio
garden is currently kitted
out with sofas and a hot
tub. You could host your
own gigs.
For more details visit
Homes & Property New homes with
Transformation: mixed-tenure housing and new blocks will
be introduced to the estate in Old York Road, Wandsworth
Blimey, look
what’s going
on up the
Europe’s busiest railway station
will be at the heart of a major
regeneration scheme, creating
a new district between Clapham
and Battersea. By David Spittles
HIS WEEK, plans are
unveiled for a transformed
Clapham Junction, linked
to a new Northern line
Tube station and the
proposed Crossrail 2, with a green
pedestrian and cycle route linked
with Wandsworth Common.
At least 18,000 new homes will be
built during the next decade in
Wandsworth borough, more than
anywhere else in London.
This bold initiative will include at
least 5,000 low-cost homes,
including new architecture creating
pint-sized starter homes in modern
blocks with shared social facilities.
The council is also promoting a
new private rented market. The
first of these rental homes is at a
former Christie’s Fine Art Storage
warehouse, and will offer shared
ownership by helping middle-income
young Londoners to part-buy a
property on the open market. Even
redundant council-owned plots of
land will be offered to local people to
use to build their own homes.
It is the biggest housing push since
the Eighties, when Wandsworth
council turned Tory, embraced the
Right to Buy programme and
changed the area’s demographics
by ushering in the Nappy Valley
A newly created 57-acre housing
zone covering the area from Clapham
Junction to the Battersea waterfront
is the main focus. Plans include
Jubilee Bridge, a new pedestrian and
cycle crossing to Fulham.
St John’s Way is the first of the
new crop of developments — 540
homes, a mix of private and
shared-ownership flats and houses
launching on March 28. Prices will be
revealed later this spring. Call
Hamptons on 020 7346 5804.
Clapham Junction has a distinct
identity, allying itself with Battersea
rather than Clapham. Now it is
getting a much-needed facelift.
Always dominated by its vast
railway station, the interchange
remains Europe’s busiest, with up
to 2,000 trains a day stopping or
passing through.
The resulting hurly-burly has set the
tone of what has been a stubbornly
ungentrified local centre.
Arding & Hobbs department store,
now part of the Debenhams chain,
operates from a splendid listed
Edwardian Baroque-style building,
but the shopping centre is generally
far from glamorous. Wandsworth
council is lobbying for the Northern
line extension from Kennington to
Nine Elms to continue to Clapham
Junction. The area’s status as a
priority housing zone has
strengthened the council’s hand.
Transport for London has already
earmarked the station as a Crossrail 2
Regeneration proposals include a
new pedestrian plaza and shopping
hub on Grant Road, which will boost
a gritty patch that has always been
considered the wrong side of the
tracks. A new library, leisure centre
and park are coming, and the goal is
to stitch together neighbourhoods
On track for
change: the
creation of a new
at Battersea
Power Station
has sparked
from Battersea
Park, above, to
scruffy Clapham
From far left:
Battersea Reach,
where flats start
at £105,625 for a
quarter share;
the regeneration
of Christie’s
Fine Art Storage
the planned
of Clapham
Junction railway
station is under
way; and Ram
Quarter, the
remodelling of
an eight-acre
brewery site in
the heart of
town centre
between Clapham Junction and the
river and Wandsworth town centre.
The Winstanley and Old York Road
council estates are to get a revamp,
with new blocks built and mixedtenure housing introduced — private
flats and shared ownership as well as
social rent homes.
All this serves as a counterbalance
to the awesome construction along
neighbouring Nine Elms along the
Thames, dominated by born-again
Battersea Power Station, where many
of the new homes have been snapped
up by investors and wealthy
international buyers.
Bordering the power station
New homes Homes & Property
Osiers Place, set back from the river
by Wandsworth Park. Call Paragon
on 0300 123 2221.
quarter is a far less enticing area
where Battersea Exchange, a
scheme by Taylor Wimpey, is set to
transform derelict railway arches
and create 290 homes plus a new
primary school. To register, call DTZ
on 020 3296 2222.
The redevelopment of the Christie’s
warehouse is bringing 510 homes,
including 114 flats for private rent.
The latter “will be reserved for local
people and offered on tenancies of
up to five years to give more security
than is normally found on the open
market,” says Sarah McDermott,
planning committee head.
A new cultural space is also being
created at the site.
Peabody is offering sharedownership flats at three
developments: Elmwood Court,
Chancery Building and Carters
Yard in Wandsworth High Street. To
register, call 020 7021 4842.
And at Battersea Reach, a swish
riverside scheme, one-bedroom flats
cost from £105,625 for a 25 per cent
share (full price, £422,500). Call
Notting Hill Housing Association on
020 8357 4444. Shared-ownership
flats will be available soon at
The first of the new breed of small
and affordable starter homes are
likely to be built at Mapleton
Crescent in Wandsworth town
centre, where Pocket Living, a
private developer, has submitted a
planning application for 63 flats.
Pocket has carved a niche by selling
discounted flats to middle-income
Londoners “salaried out” of social
housing and priced out of the
mainstream property market.
Flats typically cost from £250,000,
which Pocket Living claims is a
20 per cent discount on local market
prices. How does it achieve this?
First, by targeting smaller infill plots
of land avoided by developers scared
off by the customary planning
requirement to provide on-site social
housing. Because of its “do-gooder”
brand, Pocket Living is allowed to
build higher-density schemes of
entirely private flats.
Second, the flats it sells are
“perpetually” below market value.
A restrictive covenant in the lease
means owners have to pass on the
20 per cent discount when they sell.
And new buyers must be within the
eligible income bracket — less than
£66,000. Typically, buyers are
singles or couples with a combined
income of about £40,000. Only firsttime buyers are eligible, and owners
are not allowed to sub-let flats.
Third, factory design and spacesaving ideas mean smaller, but
functional flats of about 400sq ft can
be built cheaper. Call 020 7291 3683.
In stark contrast to the Pocket
Living scheme in Wandsworth town
centre is the Ram Quarter, a
redevelopment of Young’s eight-acre
brewery, which for generations has
been enclosed by high walls, cut off
to the public and corralled in by a
car-clogged one-way system hostile
to pedestrians.
ORE THAN 600 homes
are being built
alongside restored
heritage buildings that
will incorporate a
museum with original machinery
and a micro brewery, while a new
boulevard with shops, bars and
restaurants is being cut through the
site alongside River Wandle.
About half the area will be open
public space, with neat courtyard
gardens and a market square. Prices
from £435,000. Call 0800 0886 777.
Homes & Property Renting
My problem is I genuinely
live in constant fear of
getting the eviction notice.
It’s emotionally and
financially draining
Maybe sharers should club
together and rather than pay
rent, find somewhere to buy
with their increased buying
Please don’t lump all
landlords together. I’d like
long-term tenants but most
don’t want to commit
High rents issue doesn’t often
come up in Parliament. Maybe
because lots of our MPs are
I would be happy with a
long-term tenant. Not all
landlords are greedy. Just
want somebody who will
respect the property
Our previous landlord
would not agree to a
long-term contract because
they wanted to hike our
rent every six months
This is all so true. The
situation is tedious. Renting
shouldn’t have to be another
word for unstable.
Miranda Bryant: “I mistakenly thought that paying
£1,300 a month in rent would be enough for a decent flat”
OR the pleasure of taking
part in London’s skewed
rental market for the past
seven years, in an array of
properties in Zones 2 and 3,
I have spent £44,000 so far... and
In the days of work experience
stints combined with low-paid jobs,
ensuring that I had enough money
for rent regularly involved stressful
tears at the cash machine. A few
years into my career, I am able to pay
more in rent. However, rents are
higher and rising, so the standard of
accommodation isn’t any better.
I mistakenly thought that paying
£1,300 a month would be enough for
a decent flat, but you have to fork out
quite a bit more for a noticeably
better property.
For many, the negatives of London
living are starting to outweigh the
positives. Recent House of Commons
figures reveal that rents in the
capital, at an average £300 a week or
nearly half the average weekly wage,
are the highest ever.
That’s before you add in council
tax, bills and the extra charges every
time you have to move on. Deposits,
“check-in” and agency fees can easily
amount to thousands.
How on earth are tenants supposed
to save? Home ownership has
become such a distant concept to
me. I don’t see it as a God-given
right, but if renting wasn’t so
expensive, at least I could save and
one day make it an option.
£44,000 in
rent — and
Miranda Bryant is feeling very
poor. Could rental caps ease
the burden for young renters?
An inner
friend says
rent uses up
40 per cent
of her salary
An exceptional new collection of 1 & 2 bedroom
apartments woven into the heart of Islington
Register your interest
Among my renting friends who
mostly live in outer Zone 2, either in
flats or house shares with pals or
partners, it is normal for rent to eat
up well over a third of income.
An inner London teacher friend
says rent uses up 40 per cent of her
salary, so she is short of cash every
month. Another friend tells me that
in four years he has handed over an
incredible £60,000 to the landlord of
the one-bedroom flat he shares with
his girlfriend in Putney.
Critics say Seventies-style rental caps
could make the problem worse,
leading to a shortage of private rental
homes, including posing a threat to
buy-to-let. My recent trips to San
Francisco and Stockholm — both
cities where rent controls have been
linked to housing shortages —
highlighted the potential drawbacks.
But what if there was a modified,
modern version? Campbell Robb,
chief executive of the Shelter housing
charity, says “sky-high rents” must
end, and that there is a need for
longer-term tenancies where rents
can’t rise faster than inflation.
In Germany, where nearly half the
population are tenants, rent rises
are limited to no more than 10 per
cent above the local average in areas
with rental property shortages.
Back home, the National Housing
Federation says a long-term plan is
needed to end the housing crisis
rather than “short-term, sticking
plaster policies”.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has
pledged to cap rent increases,
introduce three-year tenancy
agreements and ban letting agents’
fees if his party wins power in May —
changes that could make a real
difference to many Londoners.
However, campaign group
Generation Rent says these plans do
not go far enough. It wants flexible
rent caps set locally, with rents
charged above the cap taxed to fund
new social housing. The Green
Party’s proposals include capping
annual rent increases, longer
tenancies and scrapping fees.
What everyone seems to agree on,
including the Tories and Lib-Dems, is
the need to build more homes.
As for my generation, by the time
the solution comes we will all have
been forced out of the city we want
to live in.
New Herne Hill
flats offer young
Londoners light,
bright, Danish charm
and super-fast
train links, says
Ruth Bloomfield
Good sport: upgraded Herne Hill
Velodrome, a venue for the 1948
Olympics, is a valued local facility
N OUTPOST of Scandinavian cool is coming to
south London and firsttime home owners will be
able to buy into it from less
than £114,000, enjoying not only superlative design, but also a super-fast
CF Møller, the Danish architects
responsible for the Darwin Centre at the
Natural History Museum and the basement gallery at the National Gallery,
have created a pared-down, low-rise
block with 34 homes aimed specifically
at young buyers priced off London’s
increasingly steep housing ladder.
Milkwood Terrace in Herne Hill is
an elegant brick-and-white render
building with a roof terrace for the
exclusive use of its new occupants, who
will be able to move in this month.
Prices start at £113,750 for a 35 per
cent share of a one-bedroom flat with
a full market price of £325,000.
Buyers need to factor in monthly rent
of £440 and a service charge of £94,
and housing association Peabody has
set a minimum annu al income
criteria of £44,000. This, however, is
based on buyers raising a 10 per cent
deposit of £11,375. Those who can raise
a little more will be considered, even
if they earn less.
Two-bedroom flats start at £123,000
for a 30 per cent share. Rent on these
larger properties comes in at £598 a
month and £108 service charge. Applicants must have a minimum annual
household income of £52,000.
There are also three-bedroom homes
priced at £135,000 for a 25 per cent
share. Rent on these properties has
been set at £844 a month and service
charge at £119, with minimum house-
From £113,750: 35 per cent of a one-bedroom flat at Milkwood Terrace, Herne Hill
hold income at £64,000. All homes have
a private outdoor space, white gloss
kitchens and a modern, airy feel.
“The ethos is simplicity and unpretentiousness,” says Martin Fillery, head
of affordable homes at selling agent
Currell. He rates Milkwood Terrace for
its location, moments from Herne Hill
station, and its “fantastic” commuter
links. There are train services to Blackfriars in 11 minutes and Victoria in nine
minutes. An annual season ticket costs
£1,284. The downside of the development’s proximity to the station is that
some of the homes overlook the
Fillery admits he was surprised when
he visited Herne Hill. “It is actually very
village-y with a nice parade of shops
and cafés,” he says. “You are also very
close to Brockwell Park.”
O Visit
Foodie appeal: Herne Hill Sunday market is good for cheeses and vegetable gyoza
First-time buyers Homes & Property
O Past: in the 1780s streets of fine
houses were built in Herne Hill by
wealthy merchants and bankers,
earning it the nickname “the
Belgravia of south London”.
O Future: better services and
smarter trains when the Thameslink
project completes by 2018.
O Claim to fame: Wolf Hall actor
Mark Rylance lives in Herne Hill.
O What it costs: the average
property price is £740,085, up 8.53
per cent in the past year, with flats
costing an average £427,382. Renting
a flat costs an average £1,599 a
month, says Zoopla property website.
O First-time buy: convenient for the
cafés and restaurants of Railton Road
right on the Herne Hill/Brixton
border, an immaculate one-bedroom
flat is on the market for £150,000
with Foxtons. Visit
O Landmarks: used in the 1948
Olympics, upgraded Herne Hill
Velodrome is a popular local facility.
O Eat: indulge in a Prosecco
breakfast at the Lido Café in
Brockwell Park. When you are safely
sober, swim it off in the outdoor pool.
O Drink: The Prince Regent pub, so
posh there’s foie gras on the menu,
also offers life-drawing classes.
O Buy: get something to read on the
train at excellent Herne Hill Books.
O Walk: the 125 acres of Brockwell
Park, half a mile away, provide
superlative south London green
space. For a combination of walking
and shopping, Brixton is nearby.
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Registered Society 30441R Exempt charity. Details correct at time
of going to print 03/15. Image represents typical Shared Ownership
purchasers. Your home is at risk if you fail to keep up repayments
on a mortgage, rent or other loan secured on it. Please make sure
you can afford the repayments before you take out a mortgage. FOR
Homes & Property Interiors with
This is a very good year for wine cellars
Andrew Neather
solved his wine storage
problem but, if you
haven’t got a cellar,
there are solutions
above ground
Show it off: this
wine “pod” by
Cellar Maison
allows the owner
of a flat in east
London to show
off his wine
collection in
a climatecontrolled
creating a talking
point for guests
‘Cellars show
T WAS a wine lover’s dilemma:
when we extended our kitchen last
year, three cupboards that I used
to store my wine were all going to
get demolished. I needed to
find new space. At the same time,
having half the house turned into a
building site seemed the right moment
to take the plunge with my dream: a
proper cellar.
Some houses in my Edwardian street
in Herne Hill were built with halfcellars; some, like mine, weren’t.
Storing wine around a house is all
right provided it is in a dark place without temperature fluctuations. Racks in
cupboards or wardrobes are fine,
though not ideal: the standard wine
cellar temperature is 11 to 15 degrees
(wine producers’ own cellars are at the
lower end of that range).
But as soon as you’ve got more than
a few dozen bottles — like me, as I’m
the Standard’s wine critic — and anything serious enough to need ageing,
you need proper storage.
Wine fridges are good, if quite pricey
when you include running costs: EuroCave’s best-selling V-Pure-L costs
£3,600 to accommodate up to 180
bottles. But they’re bulky, especially
in older London homes — I didn’t have
room in my house for even one more
large fridge, let alone several.
And while you can pay for your special bottles to be stored in temperature-controlled conditions (the Wine
Society’s good-value warehouse costs
£7.92 per dozen per year), where’s the
fun in that? Let’s be honest: most wine
aficionados want to be able to admire
and dream about their best bottles
Cheers: the
wine critic,
Andrew Neather,
in his spiral
cellar at home,
Shared: a
communal cellar
with tasting area
at St George’s
Fulham Reach
from time to time. Okay, quite often.
So I went for the most cost-effective,
space-saving cellar: a spiral cellar, in
which the bottles are stored in the
walls of a two-metre-deep spiral staircase beneath the floor of your home.
CAMILLA Dell, buying agent and
managing partner of Black Brick,
says: “Most buyers of new top-end,
prime London properties expect a
wine cellar, especially in a house.”
A popular trend is a wine wall, with
climate-controlled glass cases, in
preference to artworks or mirrors.
They cost from £15,000, while
creating a large wine cellar can cost
as much as £500,000.
Meanwhile, property developers
are getting in on the act with
communal wine rooms.
At Fulham Reach in Hammersmith,
developer St George has included
temperature-controlled cellars with
an industrial feel. Prices at the
waterside development start at
£809,950 for a one-bedroom flat
A wine room holds plenty of
appeal, and not just for storing your
best vintages, says Howard Elston,
associate director of Aylesford
“It signifies that you are a
sophisticated vendor who likes the
finer things in life,” he adds.
In Totteridge, north London, a new
Italianate-style mansion comes with
an elegant wine cellar. The property
is on the market for £16 million with
Knight Frank (
Ruth Bloomfield
Spiral Cellars says it can install the
compact cellars in any existing
ground-floor household space big
enough for the 2.3-metre deep and
wide hole that will accommodate the
My builders dug the hole, then the
company’s work crew came in and
installed the whole cellar in two days.
First, they poured in a concrete base,
then installed a series of liners. The
modular hollow wall blocks and stairs
sit inside that, all held in place with
several tonnes of reinforced concrete.
The cellar is cooled passively by air
tubes leading to the house’s exterior
wall cavity: cool air flows in, warmer
air rises out. Lastly, a trapdoor over
the top blends in with the rest of the
room: mine has wood flooring over it,
though the flashier options have a
motorised, sliding glass trapdoor.
After six weeks’ wait while the
cellar’s temperature and humidity
stabilised, it was time to move my
wine to its new home. At this time of
year, my cellar holds a steady temperature of 12 degrees (slightly more
in summer, though the fluctuation is
very gradual). The relative humidity
is about 65 per cent — it needs to be a
minimum of 50 per cent to avoid the
risk of corks drying out.
My only regret is that I cannot see
how I’m ever going to be able to afford
to come even close to filling its 1,000bottle capacity. So still some wine
dreams to come true, then.
O Twitter @hernehillandy
##%#(!# &
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## #
$##*# #&
Above top:
Bohemia Boston
Decanters, from
£40 each,;
and, above, a
Le Creuset G10
lever corkscrew,
which works on
natural and
synthetic corks
and comes with a
foil cutter. It also
looks suitably
James Bondish.
Available for
£127 from
Interiors Homes & Property
Top: Anton
Studio Designs’
set of four Fizz
tumblers, £28
from notjustjugs.
com; and, above,
the Navy 100630 bar stool, with
an indentation
rumoured to
have been based
on Betty Grable’s
posterior, is a
classic that will
never leave you
in want of a
story. By Emeco
in hand-brushed
aluminium; £734
from Aram Store
Homes & Property Homes abroad with
Adopt the Languedoc
lifestyle for just £151,000
Vineyards, pine forests, markets and Mediterranean
blue skies — here is your chance to discover Provence’s
lesser-known neighbour, says Cathy Hawker
HE South of France conjures
thoughts of the bright lights
and sky-high prices of the
Côte d’Azur, but follow the
gorgeous Mediterranean
coastline westwards and you’ll find the
Languedoc, a peaceful and less pricey
The Languedoc stretches from
Provence to the Spanish border, taking
in Carcassonne and Montpelier, and
includes bustling market towns and
quiet, stone villages bookended by
sprawling vineyards.
There are pine forests, rugged
mountains and the tree-shaded meanderings of the Canal du Midi, all under
Mediterranean skies.
“Seaside ports in Languedoc are like
St Tropez used to be before Brigitte
Bardot arrived,” says Miguel Espada of
Propriétés & Co with only a hint of
exaggeration. “Look at Marseillan with
its small marina and seafood restaurants. You can easily find untouched
places, even on the coast.”
Several upmarket hotel chains agree.
Banyan Tree and Six Senses are among
five-star brands said to be eyeing up
locations in the Languedoc. Access is
easy, too. There are five airports within
an hour — Béziers, Carcassonne, Nîmes,
Perpignan and Montpellier — and three
more, at Toulouse, Girona and
Marseille, within two hours’ drive.
Espada lives in the Languedoc and
has an enviable lifestyle. His family
owns Seigneurie de Peyrat, a 200-hectare vineyard estate close to Pézenas,
a top scorer for visitors on TripAdvisor,
where Espada’s wife, Cécile, runs the
winery. Most weekends he takes their
two teenage sons sailing and fishing,
stopping off to sample the seafood from
the Étang de Thau, a vast saltwater lake
that produces 90 per cent of France’s
oysters and has some of the cleanest,
most protected waters in Europe.
"$# " For the past 11 years Espada has been
developing homes in historic buildings
across southern France. He takes
derelict monasteries, old distilleries
and crumbling châteaux and produces
apartments, houses and boutique
hotels, with anything from 13 to 160
homes. Now on his 10th project, he
owns units in all his completed
projects and works to keep service
charges low, about £725 a year at most
“Our policy is to integrate into the
village by using building materials such
as Languedoc’s pale stone and traditional ironwork,” he says. “Our buyers
come from France, the UK and other
parts of Europe and want their home
to look authentically French outside,
but with light, airy interiors, en suite
bathrooms and modern kitchens.”
Propriétés & Co has homes for sale
at three completed projects with
prices from £151,580. Château des
Roche Fleuries has 15 homes in and
around a delightful 19th-century turreted château, just a five-minute drive
from medieval Pézenas, a charming
market town with a population of
10,000. The two- and three-bedroom
From £156,560: homes at Château de la Redorte vineyard
estate on the Canal du Midi, which also runs as a spa hotel
Good life: Seigneurie de Peyrat vineyard estate, where Cécile
Espada runs a winery, is near the medieval town of Pézenas
homes, spread between the château
and new-builds in the grounds, range
from 807sq ft to 1,518sq ft, some with
low-maintenance Mediterranean gardens. Prices for the final six start from
Homes abroad Homes & Property with
Hidden gem:
Collioure is one
of the coastal
villages that look
like St Tropez
did “before
Bardot arrived”
From £151,580:
flats with
pool, golf and
tennis at
Domaine de la
estate, near the
pretty port of
Marseillan on
the Languedoc
Authenticity: Miguel Espada, with wife Cécile, has developed
historic homes across southern France for the past 11 years
£188,500, which local rental company
Go Languedoc predicts could generate
rental profits of £7,760 over a realistic
16-week rental period. Among the
oyster beds and pink flamingos on the
Étang de Thau close to the pretty little
seaside town of Marseillan, Domaine
de la Mandoune has views over the
neighbouring vineyards and across
the water. The 45-hectare vineyard
estate has 30 homes divided between
four buildings with a tennis court,
pool and pitch and putt course in the
The final units for sale start from
£151,580 for a one-bedroom property.
These homes let well and anyone renting for a minimum of six months each
year can reclaim the 20 per cent VAT
on their purchase.
Château de la Redorte, a vineyard
estate on the Canal du Midi between
Narbonne and Carcassonne, has eight
of the total 30 units still for sale priced
from £156,560 for one- to three-bedroom properties of 420sq ft to 796sq ft.
Communal facilities include a pool, spa
and restaurant — the château operates
as a hotel — and owners will be able to
get fully immersed in the two hectares
of vines currently being replanted by
a master winemaker.
“Restoring historic homes and getting
planning permission is never easy,”
concludes Espada. “But it is much
easier to create style, character and
authenticity if you are already part of
the community rather than from
scratch. That is what we try to do.”
O Propriétés & Co:
(00 334 6711 8715)
O Seigneurie de Peyrat:
O Go Languedoc:
'*6.52' 5.
Homes & Property Ideal Home Show with
FULL-SIZE, low-cost, fivestar, eco-friendly family
home that can be built in
six days from a Scandinavian kit and costing
£350,000 — without the land — is the
focal point of this year’s Ideal Home
Show in Olympia, opening on Friday
and running until April 6.
The tongue-twisting Swedish-built
Trivselhus — which, roughly translated,
means “house of wellbeing” can be
seen under the Victorian vaulted glass
roof of the halls in West Kensington,
where the exhibition has been moved
to this year.
The detached four-bedroom house
has sleek, modernist good looks with
large windows, but the key to the structure’s eco-status is its white façade, or
“climate shield”. Essentially, the house
is contained in an envelope of insulation built into its walls.
In the Swedish factory, a hefty
240mm of mineral wool insulation is
built into the panels of the house,
which are made and coded so that they
bolt together on site with no gaps.
Doors and triple-glazed argon-filled
windows are pre-fitted, so there are no
draughts. Also fitted in the factory are
the service conduits for electricity and
plumbing, so no holes are made in
walls or floors on site.
The house shell can be built by two
strong people with a crane in just a few
days. Finishing it off takes longer, but
it still takes a lot less time than a conventional build, which reduces its
Sleek: the Swedish-built home uses
recycled materials for the décor
By Barbara Chandler
the future-proof house
The home at Olympia is dubbed The
Future-Proof House, meaning it
exceeds current regulations for insulation, water and energy-saving/carbon
emissions. The UK Green Building
Council reports that about two-thirds
of harmful emissions in our atmosphere come from our homes. Given
that the UK is committed to reducing
emissions by half by 2025 and by
80 per cent by 2050, home design is
going to be crucial.
Assessing any home’s eco-credentials
can be tricky, however. After its recent
housing standards review, the Government is getting rid of its Code for Sustainable Homes, which rated properties
one to six on a range of nine green criteria. Minimum standards for energy
and water saving are absorbed into new
building regulations, but several other
requirements — for example those
relating to materials and ecology — have
been abandoned. Requirements for
carbon-cutting technology to be
installed in new homes have been
trimmed back.
A mandatory energy performance
certificate is still needed for the sale of
most homes. This shows the energy
efficiency of a home on an A to G rating
scale, similar to the ones on refrigerators and other appliances.
The Trivselhus-designed house comes
in at 96, the very top of the A rating for
both energy efficiency and environ-
mental impact, or CO2 emissions. The
house is timber-framed with four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a sauna
— totalling nearly 2,700sq ft, including
a large first-floor balcony.
On top of its superior insulation,
there is a solar thermal system that cuts
water heating costs by 50 to 60 per
cent. Additional energy comes from
photovoltaic solar panels and an air
source heat pump. Electricity costs for
a family of four are estimated at about
£200 a year.
“We exceed current building regulations in all respects,” claims John
Harris, Trivselhus UK Self Build
director. “Housing standards in Sweden are significantly higher than in the
UK. Our parent company there plants
three trees for every one they use.” The
house has a state-of-the-art German
kitchen with energy-saving appliances
and exterior decking made from recycled timber and plastic bags. “We are
building homes for life,” adds Harris.
The Trivselhus building system is
highly flexible, with many styles and
energy options. Generally, a Trivselhus
house costs about £140 a square foot.
The system is ideal for self-build developments.
Trivselhus, which has constructed
commercial buildings in the UK for
more than 20 years, has built more
than 50 UK homes in the past five years.
A development of five houses was
Innovative: the Trivselhus house is
cocooned by 240mm of mineral wool
insulation, and can be built by two
strong people with a crane in days
recently completed in Kent. The house
at the show was built in partnership
with Trivselhus by Esh, a developer of
homes across the north of England.
Two Trivselhus self-build homes are
nearing completion in Cornwall and 12
more are coming at Lakeside Water
Park in the Cotswolds, with a show
home opening this summer.
O Visit;
O Twitter: @ideal_home_show
Ideal Home Show Homes & Property with
Reducing bills:
the Duffy
family say they
love their
Trivselhus home
in Meopham
HERE are six of our favourite
discoveries at this year’s Ideal Home
Show at Olympia until April 6.
THE new Dyson V6 Absolute
cleaner, pictured, has a patented
motor spinning 110,000 rpm.
It cost £250 million to develop.
“It’s powerful, but lightweight
and very nimble,” says Sir
James Dyson. It’s £449.99 at See it in the
Smart Home at the show.
‘Home is a breath of fresh air’
DEAN and Susan Duffy,
with son Harvey, 13, and
daughter Grace, 15, live in a
four-bedroom, 160sq m
detached house in a new
development of five
Trivselhus homes by Cedar
Rydal in Meopham, Kent.
They have been there six
months, and are enjoying
the energy-saving benefits
that come with Trivselhus
homes. Heating and hot
water come from a highefficiency gas condensing
boiler, with a hot water
storage cylinder and
radiators. The whole house
has mechanical ventilation,
with heat recovery for
good air quality without
wasting warmth. The
estimated energy cost is
£572 a year.
In theory, bills could be
reduced by £284 a year by
fitting solar water heating,
but that could cost about
£20,000 to install. Dean
says: “We love the fact that
the air is always fresh and
there’s no condensation or
smells, even with our
open-plan kitchen, and we
have an even temperature
throughout the house.”
Arriving this spring from America
is Valspar Paint, which offers
2.2 million shades. You can find
the right colour by scanning
anything you choose, from a dress
to a snap of the sky. “In the US,
93 per cent of paint sales are
custom-tinted, but in the UK it’s
only seven per cent,” says the
firm’s Claire Cullen. Some 2.5 litres
of emulsion are £26.83. See the
scanner in the House Beautiful
show home. Find the system in
every B&Q.
A steam oven is the healthy way
to cook moist and tender food.
The new combination
model from Miele adds
nine conventional oven
settings to the steam options.
Combining steam and dry heat is
great for browning and caramelising,
and for cooking crisp loaves and
moist cakes. But this oven is not
cheap — it starts at £2,249. See it at
Cooks & Company, stand H268
The Elgato Avea light bulb screws
into any lamp that takes an E27
bulb. Then download a free app and
change the colour of your lighting,
choosing from seven options, using
your phone. A “rise and shine”
function wakes you up by simulating
the sunrise. It costs £39.95 from See it in the
Virgin Media Smart Home.
Plug any appliance into the wifiplug
and you can control and monitor it
from a smartphone. Now you can see
if you’ve left the iron on — £35 each
at and at stand T880.
The Portable LED Work Light is a
sturdy, rechargeable outdoor lamp
with a powerful beam equivalent
to a 100W LED floodlight. A threehour charge gives four hours of
light — £24.99 at electricals and
See it at stand T772.
■Twitter: @sunnyholt
Homes & Property Outdoors with
It’s spring again
and your garden
wants to party
Tulips, fruit trees and a handful of seeds are
all nature needs to hold a garden mardi gras
OR A gorgeous garden that
celebrates spring, you don’t
need obscure planting or
novel colour combinations.
“Plant plenty of tulip bulbs
the previous autumn, have a fruit tree
or two to provide blossom, scatter the
seeds of forget-me-nots and let nature
do the rest,” says garden designer
Claire Mee, who proves her point with
a plot in Barnes, Richmond, that looks
particularly ravishing in springtime,
and was only planted the year before
these pictures were taken.
Mee was called in because the
owner — a property developer who
shares the garden with his wife, their
two teenage children and a pair of
black Labradors — originally made
merry with a mass of porcelain paving
Primavera planting: tulips, narcissi, the first alliums and
wallflowers provide a mass of springtime colour
stones, running them right around the
lawn, imprisoning the narrow borders
and planting outsize box cubes in the
raised beds. His wife pronounced the
garden “soulless”, and Mee was given
the heartfelt plea to make the space
look beautiful, and fill it with flowers.
“All the paving around the edges of the
lawn had cracked, so I matched the
porcelain tiles on the terrace floor with
pale sawn sandstone that is more hard-
Leafy retreat:
the back of the
garden, often a
wasted space, is
made into a
seating area
wearing,” explains Mee. There were
two steep steps leading into the garden
and she changed these for four shallow
ones. “The entrance to the garden is
important: you need to be invited in,
and to enjoy the whole space, which is
why I made another seating area at the
far end, with a simple, light-reflecting
floor of Cotswold pea shingle. I do this
a lot in London gardens where space
is at a premium, because so often the
back of the garden is wasted.”
Frames for
flowers: trellis
screens around
the garden make
the space more
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Outdoors Homes & Property with
mauve walls of hanging blooms. “Staggering the screens so one is farther up
the garden than the other makes the
space more interesting, and is less obvious than putting them on the same
plane,” she says.
Behind the right-hand screen, which
is farther up the garden, Mee created
an all-white planting patch to lighten the
dark area and make it an enticing spot
for the evening.
“White rose White Flower Carpet has
no scent, but is smothered with blooms
for months. There are also white foxgloves, the white tulip Maureen, a white
hydrangea and Geranium phaeum
Album, which produces its white
flowers, even in shade,” adds Mee.
White blossom is supplied by a Malus
Red Sentinel, which has masses of rich
scarlet fruits in autumn.
Instead of discarding the overbearing
large box cubes, Mee divided them into
small squares, which she planted randomly around the borders, to give
structure all through the year. She also
planted a group of box balls in one far
corner for an effective green sculpture.
The boundaries of wire fencing were
already in place, and are camouflaged
with the dainty green leaves of evergreen climber Trachelospermum
jasminoides, so that in summer the
white starry flowers obscure the foliage
and infuse the entire garden with their
heady fragrance. Like many London
gardens, the plot is a plain rectangle,
so Mee broke up the space by installing
two screens of hardwood iroko, plant-
Perfect pairing: Angelique tulips
partner Erysimum Bowles Mauve
ing climbing roses and spring-flowering
Clematis alpina as well as wisteria, so
that in future years there will be two
The fresh new foliage of herbs looks
wonderful in spring, so Mee used several in the border: golden oregano,
purple sage, pink-flowered chives and
the fluffy fronds of green fennel that
will later form a seductive veil around
summer roses. Nearly 500 tulip bulbs
went into the borders, mostly Spring
Green, peony-flowered pink Angelique,
dark wine Queen of the Night and lilyflowered White Triumphator. “Just this
quartet will flower at different times,
providing a succession of flowers for
weeks, so are ideal planted together in
tubs as well as beds,” says Mee. These
follow the petite white Narcissus Thalia
— Mee finds big daffodils are too untidy
for London gardens — and are succeeded with the showy blooms of several peonies, including creamy-white
Duchesse de Nemours and ruffled,
powder-pink Sarah Bernhardt.
Ceanothus Concha forms a large pool
of intense blue, while perennial wallflower Erysimum Bowles Mauve is
compulsory because it throws out
flower sprays from March through
to November. Stepover apples,
espaliered along both main borders,
add an extra layer of spring blossom at
a lower level.
Finally, Mee brought in four Versailles
tubs in dove grey, two of which she
planted with white wisteria, to grow
against the back of the house; in the
other two she housed standard vines,
underplanted with herbs that, the family report, yield delicious grapes.
“They’re a wonderful addition to the
London garden, and look great even in
winter,” says Mee. “In late summer,
you can sit surrounded by your own
grapevines; what could be nicer?”
O To commission Claire Mee, visit
For outdoor events this month, visit
O Gardening queries? Email our RHS
expert at: expertgardeningadvice
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Homes & Property Our home
Closer to the sun: so much natural light
reaches the kitchen-diner, it often feels
like being in an Australian beach house
More space: cleaned-up Victorian bricks in the wide hallway
look beautiful and are a reminder of the building’s history
Reflected glory: a red swathed mirror
outside the walk-in dressing room
Converted: once-neglected warehouses
make great homes for creative Londoners
Up on the roof
Craving light and space for entertainment,
two Australians had an ambitious plan for
a warehouse, says Philippa Stockley
Relaxed: Matt and Luke with their puggles, Tara and Tziki
Exposed: bare bricks and metro tiles in an en suite bathroom
AKE the Overground from
Shoreditch and Hoxton and
what do you see? Penthouses.
Lots of them. London has
magic behind its parapets. In
this part of town, the classic London
skyline of higgledy-piggledy slate roofs
is mingled with flat-topped warehouses
constructed of concrete and brick, which
makes them ideal to build on.
Two Adelaide-born Australians, Matt
Brown, 37, and Luke Fredberg, 38,
moved here in their mid-twenties, and
fell in love with east London.
Six months after arriving, they bought
a little worker’s cottage in Bethnal Green,
E2, when it was still edgy — “our British
friends thought we were crazy,” they
explain. Next was a small Georgian
house on the same street. But those
houses are dark, and the couple were on
the prowl for that elusive thing: masses
of light and enough space to entertain
all their friends, as well as their visiting
families who come in summer.
“What a Mary Poppins skyline,” Matt says
fondly, gazing towards the distant City
skyscrapers from the terrace of the
Shoreditch duplex he and Luke now live
in. In this once-industrial swathe of east
London, abandoned warehouses bordering canals, railways and roads became
ideal candidates for an extra floor, making
new living space out of thin air.
It was just such a Victorian brick warehouse that the couple spotted online in
late summer 2013, and decided to check
it out. A shell with no roof and almost no
floors, the derelict wreck was being developed by David Button of Chapman
Button, with Chris Dyson as architect.
Having just finished renovating a farmhouse in Norfolk, Matt and Luke liked the
sound of directing and allowing other
people to do the work for a change.
So they went for a recce with their
young puggles, Tara and Tziki (short for
Taramasalata and Tzatziki). They loved
Shoreditch, which is changing all the
time, with exciting new shops and bars
springing up every month, yet it’s very
near the City, where they both work;
Matt as a lawyer, and husband, Luke, is
in communications.
Luke says astutely: “The area has
energy and a mix of all sorts of people,
and you see fashions here first.”
What they also saw, apart from an unnervingly clear view of the sky through the
scaffolding and floor joists, were fine old
red bricks, solid proportions, and Crittall
windows being lovingly replicated.
And they both felt an instant rapport.
For, despite being a brick doily,
the neglected building still had tons of
They also liked the fact that the developer was only making three flats, rather
than shoehorning in as many as
possible; and that the designer was
Australian. So they looked round all
three still-skeletal homes, gingerly
moving from joist to joist, and decided
to go for what would — in time — be the
two-storey penthouse.
Quite an act of faith and trust, but Matt
and Luke, as three-time renovators, had
the ideal mindset for this project. Not
everyone would be happy with the risk
of the unknown to such a degree.
“With renovations,” Matt explains,
“you have to accept that things can go
wrong. But normally you can fix them;
and sometimes when things go wrong
they end up even better.”
The pair studied the plans and decided
to change nothing except the idea of
lining the raw-brick hallway with
bookshelves, which they rejected.
They moved in last summer. The lower
floor has three large bedrooms, all with
clean-lined en suite bathrooms in a
hi-spec palette of pale grey metro tiles,
grey slate floors and walk-in rainwater
showers. These rooms can accommodate both sets of parents, which
Our home Homes & Property with
Get this
David Butler
O Developer and interior designer
David Button at
O Architect Chris Dyson at chrisdyson.
O Sliding triple-glazed doors from
O Light grey metro tiles in bathrooms
O Burlington grey slate tiles in
bathroom from
O Grillage chair in living space by
Ligne Roset at
O Plume sofas in living space from
B&B Italia at
O Mustard leather Rift chair in master
suite by Moroso at
O Confluence grey interlocking chaise
in master suite by Ligne Roset, as before
O Grey curtains from House of
Hackney at
O Old bench in gym from Retrouvius
Reclamation at
O Heavy Pendant concrete lamps in
kitchen from
O Towels from
O Stuffed bird from Spitalfields
antiques market, Spitalfields Market E1
O Other antiques from TW Gaze
Auctions in Diss, Norfolk at
O Puggles: a pug-beagle cross, there
are several breeders online
Step out: the most important room in
the penthouse is the one outside, left,
offering a “Mary Poppins” view of the
ever-changing city, from a large terrace
obviously gives the couple great pleasure
— and there’s even an extra bathroom
off the hall.
On the other side of the apartment, the
master bedroom has a masculine colour
scheme of mid-grey carpets and curtains, highlighted with strong mustard
yellow. But the apartment’s whole look
is softened by quirks, such as a boxed
taxidermy kestrel in the master
bedroom’s fireplace and, outside in the
hall, an enormous Victorian mirror with
a frame swathed in plush crimson velvet,
next to a chaise longue upholstered in
the same lush fabric. And the towels are
John Lewis.
“We shop in John Lewis just as much
as a Parisian flea-market,” Luke says.
These touches add a balance of style and
comfort to the smartness of the rest.
This floor’s final room is a gym, which
the couple call their ‘folly’. It’s full of
serious kit, softened by a wooden
Victorian gym bench, with pigeonholes
for plimsolls, from a time when you left
your watch in your shoes and it was still
there when you got back.
But it’s the top floor that amazes. As you
go up the warehouse’s original concrete
stairs, nothing prepares you for the
dazzling light. As well as views north and
south through huge triple-glazed sliding
windows — leading out to two balconies
edged with herbs, trees and bamboo —
a big skylight over the kitchen area pours
even more light into this great entertaining space. Time was taken with crucial
details such as door handles, which
make all the difference.
They were also fastidious about the
exact placement of the kitchen island,
so their friends could gather round it.
The kitchen units are bespoke, all the
appliances are from Miele, and with the
room’s doors open on two sides, both
sun and air stream through, turning
Shoreditch into a Sydney beach.
This fantastic living space is a magazine
shoot, but it’s also very much for
real people to enjoy and entertain in —
and for Tara and Tziki to loll in a sunsplashed daze of pleasure, far from the
madding crowd.
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Homes & Property Interiors
1 House of Hackney’s new with
Kennington Stripe wallpaper, shown
here, comes in three colours at £98 a
roll. Team it with a flashy print, such
as Pampas (£128 a roll), with its
tropical melange of banana leaves
and ferns (
2 This classic teacup in a ritzy
platinum finish reflects the lines on
the saucer. Called Patternity Warp, it
is £110, with other pieces from £40,
at Fortnum & Mason and Richard
Brendon (
3 The Viola low back bench,
handmade in London, costs £499
and measures 118cm wide by
57cm deep by 78cm high. A
companion chair costs from £699
4 Weaver Margo Selby develops
designs on a handloom then
produces them in specialist mills.
Suki is a 56sq cm cushion that comes
in a cotton/polyester/acrylic mix. It is
available for £84 (
5 The Arai cushion is just £10
from Tesco. Featuring a weave
design embroidered on a cotton
cloth, the 43sq cm cushion is
washable (
By Barbara Chandler
gn trend
6 Dutch graphic designer Karel
Martens offers slimline tiles in a
huge number of colours ready to
combine. From £150sq m
7 Like a flattering bodycon dress,
stripes follow the shape of this
fancy hand-painted Arabelle
chest of drawers, which can be
custom-coloured to order. It costs
£995 (
8 A rose bouquet sits against a
bold dark striped background in
this Cecile Rose fabric. It features a
union of linen, cotton and glazed
nylon. Priced at £56 a metre
9 Fashion maestro Christian Lacroix
has themed his new Belles Rives
edition around celebrity homes on
the French Riviera. This dashing
stripe is Beach Club Pink. It costs
£61 a roll (
■Twitter: @sunnyholt
(% %)
Homes & Property Exhibition with
In the Renaissance, the royal garden
had formal patterns and geometric
layouts, decorated with obelisks, knot
patterns and topiary. English royalty
used gardens to enhance prestige,
recording them in detailed paintings
as propaganda. Henry VIII was particularly good at this.
Having taken Whitehall with its Great
Garden from Cardinal Wolsey (as well
as Hampton Court), a fine 1545 painting
of the king with his family, including
Queen Jane Seymour, shows arches to
either side through which we glimpse
the gardens, with the king’s green and
white colours prominently displayed.
There are raised beds with decorative
brick edges, possibly planted with
sweet-smelling herbs. Most noticeable
S SPRING beckons and
thoughts turn to the
garden, on Friday a major
exhibition opens at the
Queen’s Gallery. It traces
the history of garden design, from
formal early royal gardens to relaxed,
romantic styles.
About 150 paintings and objects range
from Persian miniatures to plant
sketches by Leonardo da Vinci, watercolours of 19th century cottage gardens
to botanical ceramics, and an exquisite
gold and enamel orange blossom
parure given to Queen Victoria by
Prince Albert.
Who but royalty would collect
Fabergé-enamelled flowers on gold
stems set in rock crystal glasses? Or use
priceless Sèvres vases (or, even rarer,
a towering 17th century tulip vase
designed to show off the flowers whose
bulbs, at the height of tulip mania
in 1637, cost 10 times the average
Dutch wage).
A love affair with botanical porcelain
means there’s a delightful collection of
18th century botanical tureens from
Chelsea Porcelain Manufactory, including a cauliflower, an apple with an
arched caterpillar handle, and a pair
of tied asparagus bundles.
Later, from 1880, there’s a Meissen
tête-à-tête — a tea-service bobbled with
realistic forget-me-nots on a matching
porcelain tray. Imagine breakfast in
bed with that. The Queen Mother
collected Chelsea Porcelain botanical
china and, even today, you can buy
exclusive examples in the gallery shop,
such as a salad plate for £29.
are four of the many “kynges beastes”;
decorative carved wooden heraldic
devices held aloft on painted
stanchions (poles) that were scattered
at both Whitehall and Hampton Court.
The knot garden, when its complex
patterns were filled with herbs such as
rosemary and lavender, was considered especially English, and Isaac
Oliver’s 1595 miniature of an unknown
man shows a good example, along with
an ultra-fashionable green-roofed
arbour, perhaps covered with vines.
During the 16th and 17th centuries,
hundreds of new plants were discovered and imported, giving rise to
botanical gardens such as Oxford,
along with florilegiums, or flower
books. The Royal Collection has 13
botanical drawings by Da Vinci, of
which two are on show. In 1597, John
Gerard published his famous Herball,
The history of garden design and botanical
art is explored in a new exhibition at the
Queen’s Gallery. By Philippa Stockley
Delightful: Chelsea Porcelain salad
plate, £29, Queen’s Gallery shop
recording many of the 1,000 plants in
his garden near Holborn, which
included novelties such as potatoes.
Baroque garden design reached bold
new heights of man-made engineering
that included dramatic water features,
long canals and great tree-lined vistas
and gallops.
At Hampton Court, laid out in this
style, Queen Mary also had 1,000
orange trees in planters, and many
Delftware vases for cut flowers. From
1690 to 1696, William and Mary
designed spectacular gardens for
Kensington, with radiating axes,
parterres and 3,500 shrubs. The
dramatic cascade of the Water Gardens
at Bushy Park, created in 1710 by Lord
Halifax, was an absolute wonder. The
18th century favoured more naturallooking gardens, famously designed by
Lancelot Capability Brown and later
by Humphry Repton.
Now, as well as private royal gardens,
there were some public ones such as
Charming scene: the cascade of the
Water Gardens at Bushy Park, left,
created by Lord Halifax, was an
18th century wonder; unnamed tulip
by Alexander Marshall c1650, above
Ranelagh and Vauxhall. Though you
had to pay to stroll in those raffish
places, similarly wild St James’s Park
could be enjoyed for free.
URING the 19th century, as
prints of watercolours
helped circulate ideas, the
cottage garden took hold of
the public imagination.
Victorians loved beds of vivid massed
flowers, while new prefabricated
cast-iron greenhouses made growing
them easier.
A charming painting of Queen
Victoria and Prince Albert at Windsor,
started by Sir Edwin Landseer in 1840
just months after their marriage and
completed in 1845, shows a domestic
Prince Albert’s determination to
teach their children gardening brought
the royal couple closer to ordinary
people than ever before, while opening
Buckingham Palace’s garden to the
public for parties from 1887 set a seal
on this trend.
O Painted Paradise: the Art of the
Garden is at the Queen’s Gallery
from March 20 to October 11. Go to for details
Homes & Property Property searching with
£1.095 MILLION
A two-bedroom penthouse with a
terrace, on the 17th and 18th floors
of a tower at Western Gateway, E16,
with 1,420sq ft of space and
magnificent views (Hamptons).
At Alaska Apartments, Western
Gateway, Royal Docks, this threebedroom duplex flat is set across
twin floors, with 1, 959sq ft, and
has a contemporary-designed
interior (Landmark Estates).
HE gleaming new towers
of Canning Town in east
London look down on a
working-class suburb of
small terrace houses interspersed with post-war estates and the
high-rise blocks that replaced streets
wiped out in the Blitz.
Plans by the local council to regenerate Canning Town and nearby Custom
House will cost £3.7 billion and deliver
10,000 new homes, two improved
town centres and two new streets, to
bring coherence to an area currently
bisected by noisy arterial roads and
ugly flyovers.
The bright red residential Vermilion
Tower has become a landmark. Below
it, long-standing Rathbone Market is
re-establishing itself in a new public
square. On the other side of the A13, a
town centre is being created at
Hallsville Quarter with the first phase
of 179 flats and a new Morrisons supermarket opening later this year.
At Custom House next to the Docklands Light Railway station, a giant
gantry is evidence of the construction
of the new Crossrail station, at the point
where trains will plunge below ground
on their way to Paddington.
Canning Town is named after the
Victorian governor-general of India,
Lord Canning, who in the four years
following the opening of the area’s
Royal Victoria Dock in 1855, managed
to suppress the Indian Mutiny and
nationalise the assets of the East India
Located seven miles from central
London, the area is only two Underground stops from Canary Wharf and
three DLR stops from London City
airport. This former Docklands community sits with Poplar and Canary
Wharf to the west, West Ham and
Plaistow to the north, Beckton to the
east and Royal Victoria Dock and the
Thames to the south.
A stylish, one-bedroom, east-facing
third-floor flat at Hallsville Quarter,
Sherrington Court, Canning Town,
E16, just a few minutes from
Canning Town Tube station
(London Residences).
Canning Town has a wide mix of
homes, ranging from right-to-buy flats
on council estates to £1 million apartments in new developments. Also
Cable car: the scenic way to commute across the Thames
by cable car
or Crossrail
A £3.7bn project will bring 10,000
new homes and a revamped town
centre to this emerging riverside
district, says Anthea Masey
featuring prominently are terrace
houses from every era from late Victorian onwards. Britannia Village, a
development on the south side of Royal
Victoria Dock, goes back to the early
days of Docklands development in the
The area attracts: the flats around
Royal Victoria Dock appeal to workers
from Canary Wharf and buy-to-let
investors but, according to estate agent
George Singh from Hunters, the old
Canning Town of small two-, three- and
four-bedroom houses is also attracting
investors, mainly from Asia, although
there are also first-time buyers.
Staying power: as the old workingclass Canning Town disappears, so
the neighbourhood becomes more
transient in nature.
Best locations: these include the flats
overlooking Royal Victoria Dock and
the apartments and houses in Britannia
Village. In old Canning Town, Bethell
Avenue is an attractive terrace of
Victorian houses overlooking Hermit
Road Recreation Ground.
Up and coming: Canning Town’s
small terrace houses are not the most
beautiful, but starting at about
£320,000 they are among the most
affordable in Zone 3.
Canning Town Recreation Ground in
Prince Regent Lane has a cycle speedway and an Outdoors in the City facility
with a climbing wall, abseiling, archery
and bushcraft. There is a small adjoining wood, Ashburton Wood, created
following the demolition of a school
in 1984.
The Canning Town Caravanserai, an
outdoor community space in Silvertown Way, is the scene of markets and
community events, and has a foodgrowing space.
In summer there is a beach at the
western end of Royal Victoria Dock
To find a home in Canning Town, visit
For more about Canning Town, visit
Property searching Homes & Property with
Nathan Jacobi
took over from
his father, Brian,
at BJ’s Pie &
Mash shop, left,
in Barking Road
(Average prices)
One-bedroom flat £363,000
Two-bedroom flat £457,000
Two-bedroom house £388,000
Three-bedroom house £406,000
Four-bedroom house £695,000
New boy: chef
Thomas Lovett
heads up
Fatboy’s Diner
at Trinity Buoy
Wharf, right
Source: Zoopla
(Average rates)
One-bedroom flat £1,184 a month
Two-bedroom flat £1,604 a month
Two-bedroom house £1,249 a month
Three-bedroom house £1,694 a month
Four-bedroom house £1,921 a month
Source: Zoopla
River appeal:
Royal Victoria
Dock, right,
with views of
the O2 and
Canary Wharf
O The best schools in and around
Canning Town
O The best shops and restaurants
O The lowdown on the local
rental scene
O A round-up of all the latest local
housing developments
O How this area compares with the
rest of the UK on house prices
Canning Town
Daniel Lynch
overlooking WakeUp Docklands, a
wakeboarding centre next to The Oiler
Bar. The bar, open on Friday and
Saturday evenings, is housed in a
former Royal Navy refuelling barge.
Thames Barrier Park in Silvertown is
an award-winning park overlooking
the Thames Barrier. It is famed for its
green dock, which features undulating
hedges echoing the waves on the
Open space: popular Canning Town Recreation Ground offers a “cycle speedway”
NEXT WEEK: Richmond. Do
you live there? Tell us what
you think @HomesProperty
The Crystal at Royal Victoria Dock is a
visitor attraction run by Siemens that
demonstrates sustainability. The
nearest cinema is the 11-screen
Cineworld multiplex at the O2 on the
Greenwich Peninsula, reached via
cable car. The two local council-owned
swimming pools, both with 25-metre
and teaching pools, are at Newham
Leisure Centre in Prince Regent Lane
a n d B a l a a m L e i su re C e n t re i n
Balaam Street.
Travel: Canning Town is served by the
Jubilee line with Tube trains to Canary
Wharf and the West End, and the DLR
with trains to the City. There are also
DLR stations at Royal Victoria and Custom House. Emirates Air Line, London’s
only cable car service, runs across the
Thames from Royal Victoria Dock to the
Greenwich Peninsula and has become
a major tourist attraction.
The arrival of Crossrail at Custom
House will cut the journey time to
Canary Wharf to three minutes and to
Bond Street to 17 minutes. All stations
are in Zone 3 and an annual travelcard
to Zone 1 costs £1,508.
Council: Newham council is Labour
controlled and Band D council tax for
the new financial year is £1,240.63.
Who told Mick Jagger to stop
dancing? Find the answer at
Homes & Property Inside story
I’m looking forward to seeing the
response to Saturday’s open day for a
tiny one-bed, top-floor flat up a steep,
long flight of stairs. It doesn’t sound
like much, but it attracted a dozen or
more people jostling to look around
and has had four offers, some more
than the £425-a-week asking price.
One-bed flats are always hotly fought
over around here, but this one is particularly popular as it’s just 200 metres
from Angel Tube station. I call the
owner in Andorra and, surprisingly, he
doesn’t go with the couple who were
the highest bidders. He chooses a single
chap who works for a hedge fund. “Less
wear and tear,” he tells me.
I stroll down Camden Passage, past all
the thriving small boutiques, to see a
two-bed maisonette on prime Devonia
Road that I last viewed when it was
The owner, who is on the Sunday
Times Rich List, bought the property
for his son and gave him free rein — and
a blank cheque — to renovate it.
A near-£400,000 refurbishment
later, the result is jaw-dropping. Real
style with an intelligent integrated
Sonos sound system and self-learning
Nest heating. But it’s a first for Islington. Let’s see what price it goes for.
Talking of high prices, we find a taker
for a two-bed flat in St Pancras Chambers on the market for £850 a week.
She’s an overseas student — with
£45,000 a year to spend on rent. In fact,
all three flats we’ve let out in that devel- with
we’re also a sitting target. A smartly
dressed but blind drunk man, presumably straight out of a local pub, staggers
in and starts shouting loudly: “It’s a
I make a joke about our asking
prices, but then he starts to look
intimidating. It takes four police officers to drag him out.
Another battle arises when I realise
a rival agency, with whom we’re jointly
marketing a flat, has stolen our professional photos and floor plans rather
than paying for their own.
I get on my high horse and email a
long, powerful, professional letter
about digital theft, breach of copyright,
legal action etc. I get a quick reply from
the agency’s manager with just one
word — boring. After today’s tension,
it’s what I need to make me laugh. He
takes the photos down, too.
fail to
Diary of
an estate
opment have been to wealthy students
from Singapore, Bangladesh and Russia,
plus another one-bed flat to the confidante of a Saudi princess who resided
in the adjoining flat, with a separate
one-bed flat for her confidante.
Unfortunately, a competitor let
the flat to the prince’s daughter (does
that make her a princess?). They rented
three flats in a row — one for the
( $&
principal, one for the confidante and
the other for security.
I’m called to meet a client of ours who
has just converted an office on Mortimer Road in Dalston De Beauvoir into
a one-bed flat. The property sits next
door to The Talbot, a busy gastro pub,
with the bedroom next to the beer
cellar. What’s more, the builders
have allegedly been putting their
rubbish in the pub’s bins and the
landlord isn’t happy. I call round. This
is going to be tricky.
Our office feels like a goldfish bowl at
times, which is great for watching
Islington’s very diverse passers-by, but
Two results. A bidding war for the
Devonia Road property sees a couple,
who are relocating from the US,
clinch it for £975 a week — the highest
figure I’ve come across for a property
of this type.
And the flat next to the pub finds a
happy tenant — a sociable single lady
who is up at least as late as the pub is
open, so she won’t be lying in bed
listening to the clanking of beer kegs.
She successfully negotiates the price
down a bit, so everyone is happy.
O Christopher Morris is associate
lettings manager at Cluttons in
Islington (020 7354 6666)
Letting on Homes & Property with
Bricks and mortar is so yesterday
LTHOUGH it took longer
than I expected, I have
re-let my one-bedroom flat
and I’m thrilled that I
found new tenants for just
£60 by marketing the property using
an online letting agent, rather than
relying on a high street letting agent to
find tenants for me.
A little more than two years ago, I
paid an old-fashioned bricks-andmortar agent more than £2,000 to let
the flat , so by finding tenants
myself, this time I’ve saved £1,940,
assuming all goes well and they pass
the credit checks, which are still
ongoing as I write.
Admittedly, the offer I received is a
little less than the current tenants are
paying, but I’d previously invited several high street agents to value the flat
with a view to hiring their services and
none of them seemed to think they’d
get more than £5 or £10 a week extra.
A high street agent might have found
me tenants faster, but the couple I found
want to move just two weeks after the
current tenants leave, so I’ll only have
a short void. I’ll use the time to carry out
some essential electrical repairs and
repaint a couple of the rooms, which
should brighten up the flat and make it
easier to re-let next time.
The £1,940 I’ve saved in agency fees
will cover the cost of the work and the
Victoria Whitlock saves herself a fortune
in fees by hiring an online letting agent
to ensure she stands out from the crowd
mortgage while the flat is empty. I
advertised it via easyProperty, one of
the newest online letting agents. As
with all these self-service agents, of
which there are many, you create your
own advert for them to place online
and they pass all enquiries on to you
so you can show people around.
EasyProperty’s Economy Plus package, for which I paid £59.99, includes
three months’ advertising on all the
major property sites, including, of
course, Zoopla, and a To Let board.
It also includes a tenancy agreement
and, if you take a deposit from the
tenant, easyProperty will protect it for
you, which can remove much of the
administrative burden. Once you’ve
found tenants, easyProperty will carry
out credit checks and referencing, for
which the tenants are charged £50
each. Other services are available, such
as professional photographs and floor
plans, and even hosted viewings, but
these cost extra.
One of the reasons I chose to advertise with easyProperty, rather than one
of the other online agents, was for the
bright orange, some might say garish,
To Let board, which I hoped would
attract viewers as my flat is on a busy
main road with lots of passing traffic.
One or two residents in my block of
flats mentioned they were worried the
To Let sign in the garden would attract
burglars who might think the property
was empty, but they were fine about it
when I explained that as it was such a
difficult time of year to re-let a property
I needed to use every tool available.
And I’m glad I stuck to my guns
because it was that To Let sign that got
Find many more homes to rent at
£725 a week: at gated Bazalgette Court, W6, John D Wood has this two-bedroom
penthouse available to rent. Visit bazal
me the offer. A young couple spotted
the board when they were wandering
around the area, having been to view
another flat nearby, and immediately
called easyProperty.
I arranged to show them the flat the
next day and they made me an offer
less than an hour later. I was relieved
because I’d only had three other viewings, even though I’d been advertising
the flat for nearly two months. However, this proves that you don’t necessarily need to show hundreds of people
around a property to get an offer, you
just need to attract the right ones.
Victoria Whitlock lets three properties
in south London. To contact
Victoria with your ideas and views,
tweet @vicwhitlock
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Homes & Property New homes
Make docks the next port
of call for top-notch flats
THE former Surrey Docks
area of south-east London
has fresh wind in its sails
with a second wave of
Much of the area was
demolished and infilled
when the docks closed in
1970. Uninspiring new
housing was built in the
subsequent three decades
before development came
to a halt several years ago,
but builders are back,
snapping up the remaining
industrial estates and car
breakers’ yards occupying
a gritty tract where the
district fades into
Marine Wharf, a 529home development by
Berkeley Homes, raises
the bar in terms of design
and picks up on the area’s
industrial heritage.
Interlinking apartment
blocks with central
courtyards are clad in
warm brick and rusty steel
panels. Flats at Endeavour
House, the latest phase,
cost from £377,500.
Call 020 8694 3100.
Anchor Point, pictured,
is another new scheme
of 69 apartments and
townhouses priced from
£370,000. Call Fairview
on 0808 301 7411. Nearby
South Dock Marina,
London’s largest with 200
berths and a watersports
centre, is a hidden gem. with
By David Spittles
art m
homes are
off to a tee
ONDON IS ringed with golf
courses offering calm,
green acres, but few
courses can boast such an
impressive architectural
legacy as Sundridge Park in the
Bromley suburbs.
Here you will find a splendid listed
John Nash mansion amid grounds
laid out by Humphry Repton, the
eminent 19th century landscape
designer. Edward VII and Napoleon
III attended shooting parties at the
estate before a private golf course
was cut out of the valley. The
mansion later became a successful
hotel and conference centre, while a
crescent-shaped stable block has
been converted into homes.
Now, a Sixties-built lecture hall
New homes Homes & Property with
Read more: visit
our new online
luxury section
It’s the very model of a modern village
and accommodation block tucked
away on the site has been bulldozed
to make way for 24 apartments,
14 townhouses and a pair of mansions,
all Georgian-style architecture, set in
meticulously landscaped gardens.
The homes are reached through
the main golf course entrance, with
its guarded lodge house, and via a
half-mile-long road running beside
the course. Prices start at £695,000
and rise to more than £3 million.
Call Savills on 01689 869630.
Sundridge Park, the place, is less
impressive, but the local railway
station provides 30-minute trains
to the City and central London,
10 miles away, while Canary Wharf
is a convenient hop in the car for
early-rising bankers.
the infrastructure needs to be good.
This is improving territory for househunting commuters. Bicester sits
close to the M40 and, by 2016, the
upgraded 55-minute train service to
Marylebone station will be reduced
by 15 minutes. At Kingsmere,
pictured, parcels of land are being
sold to developers. Saxon Fields is
the latest launch, a collection of
terrace, semi- and detached family
houses with gardens.
Prices from £319,995 to £559,995.
Call Bellway on 01869 250957. The
wider Cherwell district is a
government-designated growth area,
and more green fields are likely to be
taken. Bicester itself has been
earmarked as the location for a new
13,000-home “garden city”.
fashion outlet on the edge of the
Oxfordshire market town, set a
precedent for the building of a faux
village on green fields — in its case, a
collection of New England-style
clapperboard properties arranged
along a neat high street.
Nearby Kingsmere, a new housing
scheme being built on former
farmland, uses similar design
principles, with traditional
architecture inspired by the region’s
mellow brick country cottages.
This planned modern village
aspires to be a proper community,
with facilities such as a sports park
and children’s play area set against
rolling farmland. Eventually there
will be 2,450 homes at Kingsmere, so
Homes & Property Ask the expert with
Will moving abroad affect my mortgage?
I AM LOOKING to buy a
family home this year
with a mortgage from
the bank. Within the next
few years I also see myself being
seconded to an overseas office for
two or three years. If I buy a house,
and later have to move abroad
for a while, I obviously would like
to let the house. Is this likely to
cause a problem with my mortgage
and is it going to be difficult if
I am not living in the property?
The intention is that when I move
back to the UK I will live in the
same house.
IF YOU are going to let a
house, then generally a buyto-let mortgage is necessary.
Often the interest rate for
buy-to-let mortgages is higher.
You really need a residential
mortgage now to enable you to buy
your family home, and then when
you move overseas and let out your
property, the bank is likely to wish to
convert that mortgage to a buy-to-let.
It is most important that you advise
your bank of your plans. It will be
necessary for you to satisfy the
bank’s lending criteria.
When you let the property, the
bank will wish to ensure that this is
done in a formal manner and that
there is an Assured Shorthold
Tenancy in place to protect the
interests of the bank. Remember
that even though you will be living
overseas, the rental income from
your property in the UK will be taxed
at your personal tax rate and, unless
you register with the Non-resident
Landlords Scheme, you will not
receive the gross rent as your tenant
or letting agent will have to withhold
basic rate tax and pay it to HMRC.
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 legal
director in the
real estate
group of Foot
Anstey LLP
More legal
Visit: homesand
I WANT to buy my neighbour’s garage that
backs on to my garden. I am going to make
her an offer, which I expect she will accept
as she doesn’t use it. But, once she has said
yes, what do I do next?
INSTRUCT a solicitor to undertake the
conveyancing work for you, and your neighbour
should do the same thing. A Land Registry
compliant plan showing the garage will be
necessary, and your neighbour’s solicitor should
provide a draft contract, transfer and title documents,
which your solicitor will check.
Your solicitor should also ensure that there are no
restrictive covenants affecting your neighbour’s
property, which preclude the garage being sold
separately, and if your neighbour has a mortgage
that her lender is prepared to release its charge over
the garage.
Make sure you are granted any necessary access rights
to enable you to enter your neighbour’s property so you
can repair or maintain the garage, and also consider
boundaries and their ownership.
Think about how you will gain access from your
property to the garage and, indeed, from the public
highway to the garage.
If you intend to drop the kerb on the public highway/
pavement for easier access, you will need permission
from your local authority to do so.
Your solicitor will register your title to the garage at the
Land Registry after you complete the purchase.
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.
Rent a 1 - 4 bed home in the former Athletes’ Village
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