elieve it or not, there are many reasons why one might choose to move out of London. More space, less noise, and there’s no denying that you get more for your money outside the M25. What we’re trying to say is, we won’t hold it against you (much).
But moving away from the capital raises its own set of challenges. If you work in the city, commuting can be a real pain – even if it’s only a couple of times a week as per new hybrid systems. Plus, as well as most of the big banks, firms, and FTSE companies, many social and recreational events and activities are headquartered in London. If only there was some kind of compromise that could be struck. Like, I don’t know, having bases in both town and country.
This is, of course, possible – with a little thing called a pied-à-terre: a part-time bolthole for business, pleasure, or anything else that might require a temporary city stay. And if you’re going to be spending time in London, you may as well do it in style. Here are some of the best London flats and pieds-à-terre currently on the market: smaller places with convenient locations, plus that extra je ne sais quoi to make you wonder why you ever left…
101 on Cleveland, W1T
101 on Cleveland is a new boutique collection of 88 apartments in fashionable Fitzrovia. It has everything that you’d want from a pied-à-terre: a prime central location convenient for work, play, or whatever else you may need a capital bolthole for, and an interior that strikes the perfect balance between size and style. The two-bedroom show apartment, designed by No.12 Studio, incorporates fresh off-whites, rich timbers and luxurious marbles. Stand-out pieces include a bespoke triangulated coffee table and the diptych of black arch mirrors placed behind the sofa, positioned to reflect light from the private balcony.
Prices start at £1,980,000, 101oncleveland.com
The OWO, SW1A
The OWO has been hot property (see what we did there) since it was announced that Whitehall’s former Old War Office was being renovated five years ago. The building, where Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George held office, has undergone a monumental transformation and work is due to complete in late 2022, when the Grade II-listed building will welcome public guests for the first time in its 115 year history. The OWO is managed by Raffles – making it one of the most eagerly-anticipated branded residences since the trend took off – and will set a new benchmark for prime London living. The 85 apartments have access to over 30,000 sq ft of dedicated amenity spaces, including a 16-seat cinema, games room, gym with lounge and three studio spaces, treatment rooms, and seven private lounges.
Prices start at £5,800,000, theowo.london
Old Brompton Road, SW5
If you think pieds-à-terre are purely functional, allow us to provide a different perspective. This unique two-bed ticks all the boxes for a London bolthole – offering comfortable living in a superb central location – but it is so much more than that. Stretching across 2762 sq ft, the four-floor property combines sophisticated technology and design. The subterranean reception room incorporates a cinema area, centrepiece fireplace, and lime-plastered bar. The double-height kitchen and dining area are cleverly designed to maximise space, and the upper levels comprise a galleried entrance hall with glass light wells. Elsewhere, residents enjoy a vault room wine store and spa area with steam room.
Old Church Street, SW3
A boutique development in well-heeled Chelsea presents another fantastic opportunity for an additional home in the heart of the capital. The iconic King’s Road is mere minutes away, although Old Church Street is discreetly set back towards the River Thames. Standing on the site of the original Chelsea porcelain factory, and one of four lateral apartments in this covetable position, this converted second-floor flat offers 974 sq ft of well-laid-out accommodation. Behind the period façade lies an open-plan reception room and kitchen, two double bedrooms with en suites, and a guest cloakroom.
Garrett Mansions, W2
This south-west facing one-bed is small but stunning, and located in the prime neighbourhood of Bayswater – perfect pied-à-terre territory. Within walking distance of the waterways of Little Venice, Garrett Mansions boasts 543 sq ft of beautifully-appointed space, plus a 76 sq ft balcony with views over the landscaped courtyard garden. Residents enjoy access to 24-hour concierge services as well as gym and sauna facilities, a cinema, and a swimming pool – plus Marylebone, Edgware Road and Paddington stations are all within walking distance. Finish work late, nip back to your cosy London flat, enjoy some R&R courtesy of the amenities, and head home the next day. What more could you want?
Motcomb Street, SW1X
So, you’ve swapped out the city for the country – but that doesn’t mean forsaking the irreplaceable charm of London life. This two-double-bedroom maisonette is a little (and low-maintenance) slice of the best of the capital. Located in the heart of Belgravia, 1,441 sq ft of space is arranged over the first and second floors of a terraced, period building. Residents reap the benefits of an urban existence, including the world-class amenities of nearby Chelsea and Knightsbridge – you can even grab your morning coffee at Harrods if you feel so inclined. As well as providing a central London fix, the Motcomb Street property is perfect for entertaining – a large drawing room benefits from floor-to-ceiling windows, and there is a separate dining room leading onto a fully fitted kitchen/breakfast room.
Rainville Road, W6
A pied-à-terre with a view of the Thames? It's possible. This freehold townhouse is right on the river – as in, wake up, throw open the terrace doors, and enjoy southwestern views towards Barnes and the Wetland Centre. The newly-built Rainville Road property stands at 1,872 sq ft – compact enough for a part-time residence, yet large enough to host family or friends. Enjoy not one, but two, balconies and a roof terrace, plus spacious accommodation arranged over four floors. This three-bed sits within Palace Wharf, a gated development with on-site concierge, 24-hour security, and off-street parking for maximum peace of mind while you’re away.
Queen Anne’s Gate, SW1
Another one for those that crave the irrepressible spirit of central London, but want a smaller, lower-cost slice of the action: this one-bed, one-bath is a stone’s throw from St James’s, London’s luxury heartland. Set behind an original façade created by one of Britain's most celebrated building dynasties, Queen Anne's Gate is the product of a collaboration between developer Maple Springfield and master craftsman David Linley. As well as traditional-meets-modern charm, residents also have access to ‘Clubland’ – an amenity space that includes a professionally equipped gym, steam, sauna, and therapy rooms. There's also a private screening room, an expansive club lounge, and an adaptable private dining or conference room.
From £1,870,000, beauchamp.com
Albert Court, SW7
Where better to pass your time in the capital than Kensington? Especially if you consider yourself a ‘culture vulture’ – this generously-proportioned two-bedroom apartment is quite literally next door to the Royal Albert Hall. Albert Court has all of the gorgeous period features that one would expect of an SW7 pied-à-terre: the 19th-century mansion block overlooks a central courtyard and, inside, you are greeted by high ceilings and panel mouldings. Despite this, contemporary finishes ensure that this ground-floor apartment is low maintenance, as does a 24-hour concierge. Alongside the Albert Hall, Albert Court boasts convenient proximity to the luxury shops of Knightsbridge and South Kensington, as well as Hyde Park, the V&A, and Natural History Museum.