22nd October 2019
The best London streets.
If ever a list were subjective, this is it. However, I was asked recently by the Financial Times How to Spend It magazine (https://howtospendit.ft.com/house-garden/207249-london-locations-bucking-the-trend) for my best London streets so it got me thinking. Below I give some of my suggestions in the key areas we act as buying agents (in no particular order), along with the reasons for my choices.
For me, the best part of Knightsbridge has to be Ennismore Gardens. The garden square is beautifully tucked away south of Hyde Park, off Kensington Road. Its proximity to the park and the fact it’s essentially a dead end make it somewhat of an oasis. There is ample greenery and very little traffic noise. The garden square is beautifully maintained and only accessible by those who are lucky enough to live on the square. Ennismore Gardens offers so much access to green space and is so quiet, yet slap bang where many people need to be.
Burton Court has a strong shout for my vote. The views of the Royal Hospital and the green space of Burton Court make it hugely appealing and you’re a stone’s throw from everything that Sloane Square and Duke of York Square have to offer. Cadogan’s re-development of Duke of York Square means there is so much going on (we should know, the Prime Purchase London office is situated here). This is the perfect spot for a London pied-a-terre.
Brunswick Gardens would be my choice for Kensington, with its beautiful white stucco-fronted architecture. You are moments from Kensington Gardens, High Street Kensington and Notting Hill, yet it is still wonderfully quiet. The proximity to green space and relative tranquility is winning again here, combined with classic London architecture.
Balfour Place and Balfour Mews are my current favourite locations in Mayfair. Both are so close to Mount Street and Berkeley Square, yet are incredibly quiet, with amazingly very little traffic or noise. You’re also so close to Hyde Park, which is essential if you’re living somewhere like Mayfair, and the architecture is beautiful. This is about as quiet and tucked away a location as you are likely to find in Mayfair.
• St James
Here I would pick Mason's Yard, again because it’s tucked away off the beaten track. There’s a feeling of old London when you walk into Mason’s Yard, with its cobbled streets and a sense that it hasn’t been ruined or over-developed. Look for a mews house.
If I were choosing the best bit of Belgravia I would opt for mews house away from the hustle and bustle (there’s a definite theme here). One particular mews which springs to mind is Wilton Row, tucked behind the eastern stretch of Wilton Crescent. Besides having the fabulous Grenadier pub, there is an even more discreetly located cul de sac off Wilton Row which is like something out of an architectural fairy tale. It is very special. Similarly, Kinnerton Street, on the other side of Wilton Cresent, is also oozing with charm.
• Notting Hill
A house backing onto a communal garden is where I’d want to be, such as Lansdowne Crescent. The houses aren’t too big and shiny, still have heaps of charm and epitomise what living on a communal garden should be. These are family houses, for families, not oligarchs.
A first-floor flat on Montagu Square, with huge high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and green views would be my first choice. The lucky resident would find themselves a good leg stretch from Marylebone High Street, but you are also a hop, skip and a jump from Oxford Street, and even closer the delights of New Quebec Street. Most importantly, it would not be ruined by too many people or too much noise.
• Soho and Covent Garden
Floral Street gets my vote every day of the week. A beautiful cobbled street, with aesthetically pleasing architecture, it is a breath of fresh air compared to other streets around Covent Garden and Leicester Square, which can often feel over-crowded and dirty. Step into Floral Street and you feel a million miles away from the grime of Covent Garden, but at the same time you are right in the thick of it. The Petersham, a newish restaurant on Floral Street run by the same people behind Petersham Nurseries in Richmond, gives you a flavour of what you’re in for.