THE idea of owning a luxurious home in central London is the sort of thing lots of upwardly-mobile urbanites aspired to. But given the chance, where and what do you go for? One of central London’s primary characteristics is the sheer range of localities, architectures and atmospheres all crammed into it. Grand apartment in Knightsbridge? Chelsea townhouse? Mayfair mews house?
Marylebone is perhaps a little less heralded than the above areas – it doesn’t quite share the jet-set glamour of those locales, but for many people that will be an attraction in itself. An area of grand Georgian avenues, winding side streets, the odd majestic square and a high street that’s all groovy boutiques, food shops and cafes, it mixes quietness and “urban village” charm with direct proximity to the West End.
Before the Conran shops, art galleries, smart restaurants and fashionably expensive independent food shops (plus Waitrose) which now give it its identity, Marylebone had a reputation for arch traditionalism. “It used to be late middle aged people retiring into the mansion blocks, it was all very proper,” says Clare Moll of West End property specialist LDG. She says that today younger people are attracted to the same properties, updating the interiors and kitting out the homes to the highest modern specifications.
What’s unusual in an area like Marylebone, however, is an entirely new townhouse. However, two are launched onto the market today, built on the quiet cul de sac Duke’s Mews, which runs adjacent to Wigmore Street. Designed to the trendiest white-walled, wooden-floored, mood-lit standards, and wired for every kind of interior gadget system a deep-pocketed person could need, they’re a pretty good representation of Marylebone’s leap from fusty to cool without sacrificing its character.
THE BEST OF MARYLEBONE
Orrery: Elegant dining in a converted stable block www.orrery-restaurant.co.uk
The King’s Head: a tiny, traditional place loved by locals. 13 Westmoreland ST, W1G 8PJ
Conran Shop: An emporium of interior design cool. www.conranshop.co.uk
La Fromagerie: One of the country’s finest cheese shops. www.lafromagerie.co.uk
ALSO AVAILABLE IN MARYLEBONE
NO 3 & NO 5 DUKES MEWS
Price: £3.5m and £4.6m
Two newly-built, five floor townhouses, one with three bedrooms and the other with four. State-of-the-art and then some.
Contact: call LDG on 020 7580 1010 or visit www.dukesmews.co.uk
A two bedroom house with bold, funky interiors over three floors on a cobbled mews street.
Contact: call Foxtons on 020 7973 2000 or visit www.foxtons.co.uk
An elegant three bedroom flat with the benefit of direct access to Montagu Square’s Georgian gardens.
Contact: call Knight Frank on 020 7483 8349 or visit www.knightfrank.com