Bringing Mayfair Magic To A Mews


When it comes to fascinating property history, Jane Slade is the woman to call. Jane is the founding editor of www.retiremove.co.uk – a property and lifestyle online magazine for the discerning retiree.

She set up the website alongside her husband four years ago after spending 10 years as property editor of the Sunday Express newspaper. Retiremove has become the ‘go-to’ website for anyone looking to buy or rent a retirement property in the UK. This week she tells Abode2 readers all about Pinks Mews.

A traditional mews evokes the 17th and 18th centuries when horses and carriages would be housed down quiet, narrow cobbled streets, in stables beneath carriage houses.

Near enough to London’s urban edge yet far from the hustle and bustle, the mews has been rediscovered as one of the most coveted and desirable places to live.  And because they were built to serve the aristocracy, many are located in the very best areas.

Pinks Mews is the largest mews development in the capital offering 35 homes and has a fascinating history.

Charles Dickens even wrote about the passageway leading to it, behind Holborn’s Staples Inn, in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. “It is one of those nooks, the turning into which, out of the clashing street, imparts to the relieved pedestrian the sensation of having put cotton in his ears and velvet soles on his boots.”

The site, which has its roots in one of England’s oldest country pursuits, was originally owned by the Worshipful Company of Dyers. This textile guild dating from the reign of Henry VI produced the bright red pigment once used to dye hunting jackets, known as “pinks”.

A conservation area in its own right, the gated mews is lined on both sides by buildings and is only 9ft 8in wide.

Properties include a mix of 16 lateral apartments, duplexes and eight double-height three-bedroom penthouses, renovated and enhanced by new Mansard roofs. There are also 10 ground and lower ground ‘loft-style’ apartments with ceilings a lofty 5m high.

Some apartments have balconies and terraces and there are five lifts to service the four storeys.

Mainly a lawyers enclave Holborn has occupied that ‘midtown’ area between West End and City that has never been that fashionable. Until that is Mumbai-based Lodha bought the site of the London School of Business and finance on Carey Street for £90million to build its residential Lincoln Square Development.

The attraction of London mews developments is that they are secure, private, quiet and offer a sense of community. Pinks Mews, which is close to the London School of Economics, has its own concierge and is built around a courtyard.

Only the façades of the Victorian warehouse buildings have been retained, so one property has 15 windows. The interiors are luxurious. “It’s the same spec we would put into a £10 million Mayfair home,” explains Alex Stocker, CEO of boutique developers Sons and Co. “We wanted to bring some pizzazz. So we’ve used large-slab format marble sourced from Italy in the kitchens, bespoke oak doors with bronze inlay. Oak floors and wardrobes with leather infill panels. (Prices from £995,000 rising to £2.75 million/ 020 7240 2255).

Over the river in leafy Wandsworth Nick Herrtage CEO of Chester Row has sprinkled some Mayfair sparkle on another mews and courtyard development Charles Baker Place in Bellevue Village. “You can lean out of your balcony and look straight onto Wandsworth Common one side and Trinity Fields the other,” he says of the community of four-and-five-bed houses.

The largest property is a five-bed, five-bath house with a separate double-height studio, garden and garage priced at £2.55m.

“The materials, design, layout, lighting and finishes are as good as you will find on the other side of the river,” he says. The advantage with Clapham is that there are excellent transport links, good schools, lots of green space and tree lined roads. (charlesbakerplace.com)

Mews property specialists Lurot Brand is offering an original mews house in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for £2.3million with dual aspect looking onto the cobbled Mews as well as gardens. Another house set over four floors in Ennismore Mews is for sale for £6.5million. A four-bedroom home in Maryon Mews, NW3 is for sale for £2.85million with a patio garden (savills.co.uk) and a six-bedroom house in Hyde Park Gardens Mews offered price on asking. (russellsimpson.co.uk)


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