There are a few base-level requirements if you’re planning on a selling a London property for upwards of £10m.
Gyms are essential, as are home cinemas. If there’s a roof, it must be terraced. If there’s a basement, there must be a wine cellar.
A recent addition to the ever-lengthening list of must-haves is the home bar. Bars are, after all, where the new global elite hang out. “Waiter, bring me a double of that 60 year old Macallan,” says the oligarch as he negotiates a majority stake his latest Premier League play-thing.
“They tend to be installed adjacent to reception rooms,” says Paul Walton, head designer at Halstock cabinet makers. “These rooms often function as party rooms, hence the logic in having a bar close by.”
Home bars tend to be bespoke so trends emerge slowly, but art deco is a style that many gravitate towards, says Walton. “Our bars include wine fridges, colder beer fridges, chilled water supply with an option for carbonated water and maybe even a boiling water tap for people who want tea or coffee.”
From a technical perspective, these things aren’t hard to achieve. More difficult is meeting the high standard set by gentleman’s clubs and top hotels. These top end bars are embellished to the highest level and include fine metals and state of the art lighting to show off bottles of expensive spirits.
Paying top dollar for these things is fast turning from a luxury to an essential for investors with international property portfolios. “I wouldn’t say a bar directly improves the value,” says Walton, “but it brings the property to a level of decorative and practical order essential for properties selling for £10-£20m and above. To be in that strata you would need to have these things included.”
As you might expect from a section of the market dominated by foreign buyers, Halstock makes most of its home bars for overseas clients. “Two thirds or more are international clients building a portfolio of property across the world.”
The international client base is good for business. “If we work with a client on a job in London, they then might ask us to work on their house in, say, Monaco.”