India Knight's Pink Palace

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                                                                   Wednesday 16 November 2011

What better

Christmas gift
than craft?
Where to shop
Page 10


   India Knight’s
   Pink Palace
  At home with the author: Page 22

                                                                                                             SIMON MAXWELL

 London’s best property search website:
2                                                                                                                                                                                      WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property News                                                                                                                                                            

London’s best property search website                                                                                                                                        PROPERTY SEARCH                                                                                                                                                         BUY
                                                                                                                                                                             of the week

    PLUS                                                                                                                   Get smart with                                  BETTER IN BATTERSEA
                                                                                                                           your smartphone                                 BEAT the buyers seeking a slice of Battersea’s regeneration
                                                                                                                                                                           by snapping up this smart, chain-free Victorian home close
                                                                                                                           THOUSANDS of gadget-lovers have                 to vibrant Battersea Square. You can party in style in the 25ft
                                                                                                                           flocked to buy the latest iPhone 4OS,           reception room and the sleek kitchen/dining room opens to a
news:                                                                                                                      but costing at least £499 to buy                landscaped garden. With four bedrooms and two bathrooms,
3,000 new homes                                                                                                            outright, and even more over the                KFH seeks £769,950.

                                                                                                          JAMES BRITTAIN
                                                                                                                           duration of a contract, it’s crucial to            Visit
on 25 acres in                                                                                                             consider your cover if an expensive
                                                                                                                           smartphone breaks. Or, just as likely,
central London                                                                                                             falls down the loo.

TWO big buying opportunities will         New look: the         news:
                                                                                                                             The iPhone, BlackBerry and most
                                                                                                                           of their competitors come with a one-
                                                                                                                                                                             of the week
open up for Londoners following a         remodelling of a                                                                 year warranty. After that, anyone
decision by Royal Mail to sell 25 acres   tired home in         Highgate home                                              with a longer contract (most now last
of its central London landbank for
3,000 new homes.
                                          Highgate showed
                                          what can be
                                                                wins Manser Medal                                          18 months or even two years) needs
                                                                                                                           to approach their network if a phone
  Twelve acres will become available      achieved when a       THIS year’s prestigious £10,000                            breaks and it’s not the user’s fault.
with the sale of the huge Mount           house is “recycled”   Manser Medal, awarded by the Royal                           Which? consumer advisers say                  BROADLEY COMMON, ESSEX
Pleasant sorting office in                rather than           Institute of British Architects for the                    shoppers should first approach                  THE only way is Essex for glamour and character at £750,000
Clerkenwell, with a further 13 acres      bulldozed and         best home design has been won by                           retailers. “Describe the fault and ask          Willow Dene in Broadley Common. A gated driveway, half an
being released at Nine Elms, the new      replaced.             the only London entry — the                                them to supply a replacement.”                  acre of gardens and a backdrop of open farmland provide a
home of the American Embassy.                Read Philippa      fabulously remodelled Hampstead                                                                            glorious rural feel, while inside has wood-panelled walls and
                                          Stockley’s report     Lane House, in Highgate.                                     Read Lucy Tobin’s guide to getting            and a big open fireplace. Four bedrooms plus a sky-lit loft
  Read Ruth Bloomfield’s full story at    at homesand             It beat off a strong shortlist of six                    smartphone cover at homesand                    room complete the package. Through Hetheringtons.                  dream homes from around Britain.                                                Visit

property insider: Shepherd’s Bush, W12                                                                                                                                       LIFE-
WESTFIELD London is the retail            Shepherd’s Bush also discover a                                                                                                  CHANGER
icing on the cake for Shepherd’s          vibrant music and fringe-theatre                                                                                                   of the week
Bush. The giant shopping centre has       scene, which gives the area a
joined established organic cafés,         distinctive cultural edge.
smart gastropubs and independent            Our local expert is Simon Waller, of
boutiques, all of which have beaten a     estate agent Winkworth, who takes
pathway to W12 to provide services        us on a tour of W12, pointing out the                                                                                            CANTERBURY, KENT
for the growing population of young       most sought-after addresses and                                                                                                  ENJOY the Tudor treats at this B&B
professionals and families.               some of the hidden property gems in                                                                                              a few minutes walk from Canterbury
  These families are happy to swap        what is a rapidly changing suburb.                                                                                               Cathedral. The 16th-century townhouse has seven guest
their cramped maisonettes in Notting                                                                                                                                       bedrooms, a private sitting room and bedroom, beams and
Hill for one of W12’s spacious                                                                                                                                             an inglenook. At the end of the garden runs the River Stour.
Victorian townhouses, which work            Our expert reveals Shepherd’s                                                                                                  All yours for £770,000 through Geering & Colyer.

out at the same price. But, apart from    Bush’s property secrets at                                                                                                          Visit
good-value homes, newcomers to                                                                                                                                                             Faye Greenslade

                                                                                                                           Win a pair of twisted bay trees
                                                                  Janice Morley                                            Or buy them at the Homes & Property Shop and save £10
                                                                                                                           THESE classic bay trees come with a             pair, these twisted bay trees will          TO ENTER
                                                                                                                           twist: their hand-worked corkscrew              look fantastic on either side of your       WE HAVE two
                                                                  VISIT for                         stems have been created over several            front door, on a patio or in a              pairs of twisted
                                                                  details of our usual promotion rules.                    years to produce a                                                conservatory.             bay trees to give
                                                                  When you respond to promotions,                          stunning twisted                                                     They would             away.
                                                                  offers or competitions, the London                       effect, which                                                         also make a             For your chance
                                                                  Evening Standard and its sister                          combines with                                                         very special          to win one pair,
                                                                  companies may contact you with                           evergreen                                                             gift (or gifts)       visit homesand
                                                                  relevant offers and services that                        foliage to look                                                       this Christmas.
                                                                  may be of interest. Please give your                     good all year and                                                                           offers before the
                                                                  mobile number and/or email                               make a welcome                                                      A VERY                  end of November
                                                                  address if you would like to receive                     addition to any garden.                                           SPECIAL OFFER             27.
                                                                  such offers by text or email.                              Twisted bay trees are                                          You can buy a pair of
                                                                                                                           fully winter hardy,                                               these lovely trees
                                                                                                                           remaining attractive all                                          (RRP £38.98) today
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Terms and conditions:
                                                                  Advertisement manager:                                   year with leaves that                                               for only £29.99 (so     winners will be
                                                                  Mark Wood                                                produce a constant                                                  you save £10),          contacted by phone on
                                                                                                                           fragrance — and which,                                             plus delivery.           November 28. When
                                                                  Editorial: 020 7938 7245                                 of course, can be used                                              These distinctive       you respond, Evening
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Standard Ltd may use
                                                                                                                           to add flavour to all manner of                 trees will arrive with you already          your information to
                                                                  Advertising: 020 7938 7247                               dishes.                                         having grown to about 3ft (about            contact you with
                                                                  Homes & Property, Northcliffe                              No wonder bay trees have become               one metre) tall and will be fully           offers/services of
                                                                  House, 2 Derry Street, Kensington,                       such a kitchen-garden favourite. As a           established in 18cm pots.                   interest by SMS or
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       email. Usual promotion
                                                                  London W8 5TT.                                                                                                                                       rules apply, see
                                                                                                                           BUY TWO FOR £29.99 AND SAVE £10 AT: homesand                  
     EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011                                                                                                                                                               3

            Follow us on Twitter
            @HomesProperty                                                                                                                         News Homes & Property
         Desperate Housewives gardener Jesse is ready to make a move
            HOLLYWOOD heart-throb                                  role as the resident hunky                   a two-bedroom Sunset Drive
         Jesse Metcalfe is selling his                             gardener in Desperate Housewives             house he sold to That 70s Show
         Beverly Hills home for                                    — and the outside area at his home           actor Topher Grace (aka Eric).
         £1.37 million. The actor, 32,                             doesn’t disappoint. Perfect for                Jesse will be back on our
         bought the three-bedroom,                                 sunny days and warm evenings, it             screens early next year with one
         three-bathroom Mediterranean-                             has a hot tub, waterfall, koi pond           of the lead roles in the much-
         style house for the same price in                         and built-in barbecue.                       anticipated new series of Dallas                                          In my own words:
         2008 but he is so keen to sell that                            Jesse had a five-bedroom house          on Channel 5.                                                             Lumley and tags she
         he is not even looking to                                      in Beachwood Canyon, LA from              Could a Southfork-style                                                 wrote, attached to
         make a profit.                                                  2004 to 2008 which he sold for         Texas ranch be next on his                                                her chair, below
           He is best known for his                                       just under £1 million, as well as     investment list?
                                                                                                                                                    Joanna’s East Sussex seat
                                                                                                                                                        IF YOUR home is lacking    chair from her days at

     Hom gossip
     Homes gossip
      ome o ossi
     Homes goss p
                                                                                                                                                    a little stardust, an                      St Mary’s
                                                                                                                                                    online celebrity                           Convent School
                                                                                                                                                    auction may be the                       (1957-1963) in
                                                                                                                                                    answer. A host of high-                  St Leonards-on-
                                                                                                                                                    profile names have                      Sea, East Sussex, is
     B Amira Hashish
     By A i H hi h                                                                                                                                  donated personal items                 my favourite. It
                                                                                                                                                    to Sellebrity                          comes with two
                                                                                                                                                    (                      little tags with hand-
                                                                                                                                                    uk) in aid of                        written messages
                                                                                                                                                    charity, and                         from the actress.
                                                                                                                                                    there are some                         All money raised
                                                                                                                                                    great pieces up                     goes to the Prince’s
                                                                                                                                                    for grabs.                          Trust. Hurry, bidding
                                                                                                                                                      Joanna Lumley’s               ends on next Monday.

                                                                                                                                                    Less West End and more
                                                                                                                                                    Wales for Beatles’ favourite
                                                                                                                                                       VICTOR SPINETTI, who        West End and Broadway
                                                                                                                                                    was The Beatles’ favourite     hits and worked with stage
                                                                                                                                                    actor, is letting his London   royalty, from Orson Welles

                                                                                                                                                    home. Spinetti, who            to Peter Sellers.
                                                                                                                                                    starred in all three of the      At 78, he is still busy
     Plenty of room: Katie has five en-suite bedrooms as well as her own glamorous boudoir                                                           band’s films at George         working but the Tony
                                                                                                                                                    Harrison’s request, has           Award winner wants to
     What Katie did for her bosom buddy                                                                                                             put his one-
                                                                                                                                                                                            spend more time
                                                                                                                                                                                               with his family in
        BEST friends don’t come much more           be disturbed in her glamorous                                                                   one-bathroom                                Wales.
     generous than former glamour model             en-suite master bedroom as each of                                                              central London                                 The West End
     Katie Price. The recently single gal has       the five smaller bedrooms comes                                                                 flat on the                                   pad is a
     opened her home to her pal, pregnant           with an adjoining bathroom.                                                                     rental market                                 stone’s throw
     singer Michelle Heaton and her husband           It is little wonder that former                                                               with Andrew                                  from Leicester
     Hugh Hanley. “They’re waiting to move          Liberty X singer Michelle is keen to                                                            Roberts for                                 Square station
     into their new house so it’s great,” says      spend time in the bells-and-whistles                                                            £400 a week.                               — great for
     the reality TV show star, now a mum of         kitchen — it looks out over the                                                                 (020 7395 0595;                          theatreland.
     three. And there are perks: “They’re           landscaped gardens and sprawling                                                                        And if only walls
     always cooking for me.”                        meadows.                                                                                          As well as major film        could talk — because
       There is plenty of space for the guests in     The house has such good security                                                              roles, Spinetti has had a      superstars Richard Burton
     the £2 million country pile in West Sussex.    and so many CCTV cameras, Katie                                                                 successful theatre career.     and Elizabeth Taylor were
     The mansion, set in 53 acres, has a            calls it Inspector                                                                  A Royal Shakespeare            friends of Welsh-born
     drawing room, dining room, family room,          She has just launched her 45th                                                                Company stalwart, he has       Spinetti’s and both regular

     cloakroom and triple garage. Katie won’t       book — Santa Baby.                                                                              also appeared in a string of   visitors at his flat.
          4                                                                                                                    WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011 EVENING STANDARD

          Homes & Property New homes                                                                                      

                                                       MANHATTAN- style “crea-                        Fighting
                                                       tive village” of loft apart-                   chance:
                                                       ments, designer offices,                       commercial
                                                       destination restaurants,                       space at
                                                       art galleries, an organic                      Metropolitan
                                          food market and a members club —                            Wharf will be
                                          that’s the impressive plan being                            aimed at
                                          unveiled this week to put Wapping                           creative
                                          back to the top of the pile as Docklands’                   companies
                                          most fashionable quarter.                                   who might
                                            Historic Metropolitan Wharf is one                        otherwise
                                          of Wapping’s finest — with a listed eight-                  choose Soho
                                          storey former tea warehouse that had                        or Shoreditch
                                          missed out on previous regeneration
                                          and was left empty and decaying for
                                          decades. The building was audaciously
                                          snapped up during the depths of the
                                          banking crisis three years ago by niche
                                          developer Nick Capstick-Dale, who
                                          spotted an opportunity to establish a
                                          new venue to snatch creatives back
                                          from Soho and Shoreditch.
                                            The warehouse’s magnificent,
                                          stripped-back fabric of exposed brick,
                                          cast-iron columns (dozens and dozens
                                          of them) and pine flooring is a genuine
                                          classic, worthy of a Kate Moss fashion
                                          shoot. The ground-floor entrance space
               Old-school                 is crowned by a bespoke, capsule-like
               developer:                 copper reception desk (which alone
               Nick Capstick-             cost £60,000) designed by Tom Dixon,
               Dale has built             and leads through a wall of glass to a
               a £230 million             vast private riverside terrace, big
               property portfolio         enough to land a helicopter on.

               without huge                 Until 1830, the site was Execution
               bank borrowings            Dock, where the Admiralty used to
                                          hang pirates and brigands.

                               Wapping’s magnificent past is the
               From £375,000:
               at Baltimore
                                          PAST AND PRESENT
                                          ARE MIXING WELL
                                                                                                 Wapping is going for gold. Plans unveiled
               Wharf, duplex
               penthouses are
                                          With its handsome wharves and ware-
                                          houses, cobbled lanes and famous inns,
                                                                                                 this week will make it Docklands’ most
               part of a new              nowhere do you get a better sense of the               fashionable quarter, says David Spittles
               release of                 old London docks than here. Capstick-
               apartments                 Dale’s project coincides with the arrival              industrial space and cultural venue.    this (remarkably, for a brief period in
               with dramatic              of Baltimore Wharf, left, Wapping’s big-               Though charming and authentic, Wap-     its early years, the tunnel, with its 64
               double-height              gest new-build development for 20 years                ping is a somewhat cut-off neighbour-   very fine stone arches, served as an
               spaces offering            — 382 homes, half of which will be in a                hood, coralled by the Thames and The    underground shopping arcade).
               spectacular                20-storey tower with curving ends                      Highway, a busy main road. The rea-       Lofts at the top of Metropolitan
               views of the               reflecting the hull of a boat.                         son for this dates back to when the     Wharf have up to 4,000sq ft of space,
               Thames and the               During the Eighties, when the Dock-                  docks were built in the 19th century:   30ft ceiling heights, rafters and a roof
               glittering                 lands property boom took off, Wapping                  Wapping was enclosed by a high wall     terrace. When finished early next year,
               Canary Wharf               was the premier place for riverside and                to stop the theft of cargo. Brunel’s    some will even retain original machin-
               skyline. The               warehouse living; actress Helen Mirren                 Rotherhithe Tunnel and then the East    ery such as hoists and pulley wheels.
               capital’s largest          stills owns a listed Georgian house,                   London line station helped remedy         Fashion and media sector companies
               gym and spa                having discovered the area while film-
               will open there            ing the 1979 British crime classic The
               next year. Call            Long Good Friday.                                                                                                   Until 1830,
               020 7517 8800                But as time moved on the neighbour-                                                                               the site was
                                          hood was left behind. The promised
                                          restaurant and retail scene never hap-                                                                              Execution
                                          pened and developers focused on                                                                                     Dock —
                                          nearby Limehouse and Canar y
                                                                                                                                                              where the
                                            Today the area is cheaper than many                                                                               Admiralty
                                          people imagine. Prices start at about                                                                               used to hang
                                          £350,000 for one-bedroom flats with-
                                          out river views. The best waterfront                                                                                pirates and
                                          apartments cost more than £2 million.                                                                               brigands
                                          Oliver’s Wharf on Wapping High
                                          Street has among the most coveted
                                          flats in Docklands. The listed Victorian
                                          warehouse was bought in 1973 by a
                                          group of architects and artists, spark-
                                          ing the whole conversion fever along
                                          this stretch of the Thames. A spec-
                                          tacular three-bedroom 2,188sq ft
                                          refurbished penthouse is on the mar-
                                          ket for £2.5 million. Call Cluttons on                                                                              Welcome: the
                                          020 7488 4858.                                                                                                      spectacular
                                            Wapping starts in the shadow of                                                                                   lobby at
                                          Tower Bridge and is an exciting stretch                                                                             Metropolitan
                                          of the river that runs east to Shadwell                                                                             Wharf features
                                                                                       MATT WRITTLE

                                          Basin where a Victorian pumping sta-                                                                                a stunning
                                          tion has been turned into an art gallery                                                                            £60,000 copper
                                          and restaurant — an amazing post-                                                                                   reception desk
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011                                                                                                                                                                                   5

      Follow us on Twitter
      @HomesProperty                                                                                                                    New homes Homes & Property

                                                                                                                                         Left: Wapping
                                                                                                                                         stretches from
                                                                                                                                         the shadow of
                                                                                                                                         Tower Bridge to
                                                                                                                                         Shadwell and,
                                                                                                                                         with narrow
                                                                                                                                         cobbled streets,
                                                                                                                                         retains much of
                                                                                                                                         the character of
                                                                                                                                         the old docks

                                                                                                                                         (right) at Pan
                                                                                                                                         Peninsula’s two
                                                                                                                                         towers in
                                                                                                                                         Wapping have
                                                                                                                                         been released on
                                                                                                                                         floors 34 to 47
                                                                                                                                         at a relatively
                                                                                                                                         cheap £800 a
                                                                                                                                         square foot. This
                                                                                                                                         is currently the
                                                                                                                                         largest scheme
                                                                                                                                         in the area. Call
                                                                                                                                         020 7001 9650

secret to its exciting future
are moving in — among them Brand             involved”, taking all the gains — or all      THE STEADY COMEBACK                                               at Risk register. Its Kuwaiti owner is
National, Lazarides Gallery and Norton       the losses — rather than gambling with        Ballymore’s 21 Wapping Lane is the                                working up fresh proposals for shops       ‘The
& Sons — and Capstick-Dale is in discus-     other people’s money.                         area’s big new development. It com-                               and luxury flats.                          buildings
sions with Michelin-star chefs for the         Another current project is Lighthouse       prises five buildings with “staggered                               Ballymore has also unveiled new
restaurant and bar space.                    Island, a V-shaped site on Pentonville        elevations” like the rigging and masts                            apartments at Canary Wharf, where          remind
  “It’s a village in a building,” he says.   Road that is reminiscent of the famous        of tall ships. Prices start at £275,000                           the property market has been quietly       me of the
“We’re declining offers from compa-          Flat Iron Building in his beloved New         for a studio, and from £895,000 for                               convalescing since the dark days of the
nies who don’t fit our ethos or the          York — he splits his time between the two     three-bedroom apartments. To arrange                              collapse in 2008. Ironically, the latest   Meatpacking
spirit of the place and offering good        cities. Capstick-Dale was an early fan of     a visit, call 0800 096 7777 or email                              financial crisis — in the eurozone — has   District in
deals to those that do.”                     King’s Cross, first buying there 10 years                                          brought a fresh wave of foreign buyers
  Capstick-Dale, 48, is an old-school        ago when it was still a red light district.     Retail and commercial space is part of                          looking for a property safe haven in a
                                                                                                                                                                                                        New York
property developer who has built up          “The buildings remind me of the Meat-         the mix, and will go some way to filling                          district they like. “Buyers from Asia      and are
a £230 million portfolio without mas-        packing District in New York and are          the gap left by the closure of Tobacco                            and the Far East in particular like the    hard
sive bank borrowing, which frees him         hard to find in London.”                      Dock in 1990. It had been trumpeted as                            waterfront setting, the glamorous new
up to cherry-pick the buildings he             For residential and commercial              the “Covent Garden of the East End”.                              skyscrapers, shopping malls and the        to find in
loves. He likes to have an affinity with     enquiries, contact Pilcher Hershman           But it is now a desolate space, boarded                           secure, clean environment,” says           London’
his schemes, to be “emotionally              on 020 7399 8600.                             up and on English Heritage’s Buildings                            James Barnes, sales director.

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                                                                   and environmental standards                                 traditional London garden square             • Buy in from £265,000
                                                                                                                             • Investment in new schools,
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                                                                   Call now for early purchase opportunities

    Space to live. Room to grow.                                                                  DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION                                 0845 337 5759
6                                                                                                                                                            WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Commuter watch                                                                                                                         

             HERE is nowhere in                                                                                                                                           want to get away from it all, a
             England quite like Romney                                                                                                                                    farmhouse plus smallholding costs
             Marsh. It is as flat as the                                                                                                                                  £900,000 to £950,000.
             Fens, but somehow more                                                                                                                                         Ashford International is about nine
             intimate, thanks to its                                                                                                                                      miles away and children go to New
hedgerows and trees.                                                                                                                                                      Romney, or Ashford’s grammars.
  Its tiny villages are pretty, but not                                                                                                                                     Brookland has shops, an annual
chocolate-boxy; it is bleak and                                                                                                                                           festival, a pub and one of the oldest
beautiful and its huge skies stretch                                                                                                                                      churches with a wooden steeple —
over 100 square miles of salt marsh                                                                                                                                       built at ground level as the marshy
on the Kent/East Sussex border                                                                                                                                            ground could not be trusted to take
where smugglers transported illicitly                                                                                                                                     its weight. House prices are similar to
obtained cargoes by moonlight.                                                                                                                                            Newchurch and there are trains from
  This is life on the edge of the home                                                                                                                                    Appledore, five miles away. The
counties. And now, with the high-                                                                                                                                         journey to London is an hour and 10
speed Ashford International to                                                                                                                                            minutes.
London train link, it is commutable.                                                                                                                                        New Romney, listed in the
  Alex Davies, of estate agents Hobbs                                                                                                                                     Domesday Book, was a port until its
Parker, says: “If you drive 20 minutes                                                                                                                                    harbour silted up in the 13th century.
to Ashford, London is less than                                                                                                                                           Londoners love its period housing,
40 minutes. In the past it took an                                                                                                                                        with 18th-century cottages for
hour and a half to two hours.”                                                                                                                                            £250,000 or a four- to five-bedroom
  Romney Marsh is famous for its                                                                                                                                          Georgian pile for a maximum
network of tiny, isolated villages,                                                                                                                                       £650,000. Davies recommends 17th-
each decorated with a medieval                                                                                                                                            century houses in Cannon Street or
church. Davies recommends                                                                                                                                                 Church Road conservation areas but
Ivychurch, which as well as St                                                                                                                                            there are more cottages than
George’s Church has a decent 16th-                                                                                                                                        anything else. The Cinque Ports
century pub, The Bell, but no shop.                                                                                                                                       Arms is very pretty and the eccentric

  A 17th- or 18th-century three-                                                                                                                                          Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch light
bedroom cottage in the village costs                                                                                                                                      railway, 13½ miles long, is said to be
£300,000, or a four-bedroom house          The sky’s the limit: the beautiful 18th-century St Thomas à Becket Church at Fairfield is one of many on Romney Marsh           the world’s smallest public railway.
with a few acres is about £750,000.                                                                                                                                         It is a couple of miles to the sandy
  Lifestyle on the Romney Marsh is all
about the great outdoors — perfect
for walking and cycling. The RSPB
has a fine bird reserve at nearby
                                           Travel flat out to big-sky                                                                                                     beaches of Littlestone, for sailing and
                                                                                                                                                                          sea fishing. For brighter lights head
                                                                                                                                                                          south-east to Hythe.
                                                                                                                                                                            “This area is also posh,” said Mark
                                                                                                                                                                          Backhurst, at Ward & Partners, based
  Ivychurch is a 12-mile drive to
Ashford International station along
the A2070. London is 40 minutes
away and an annual season ticket is
£5,192. Children go to Ashford’s
                                           country in just 40 mins                                                                                                        in Hythe. “You can buy a three- or
                                                                                                                                                                          four-bedroom Victorian or Thirties
                                                                                                                                                                          detached house for between
                                                                                                                                                                          £350,000 and £450,000. Earlsfield
                                                                                                                                                                          Road is smart, and lovely Victorian
grammar schools, or The Marsh              Bleak and beautiful Romney Marsh is now on the commuter map                                                                    semis cost £350,000 to £370,000.
Academy in New Romney, rated                                                                                                                                                “Hythe is traditional, friendly and
“satisfactory” by Ofsted, but              — a speedy train journey from London, says Ruth Bloomfield                                                                     thriving, with a Waitrose. It is
improving.                                                                                                                                                                15 minutes’ walk to the beach and
  Nearby Newchurch is quiet, has a                                                                                                                                        close to the Royal Military Canal,
small restaurant and a church with a                                                                                                                                      which winds through the marshes
dramatically listing spire. Steve                                                                                                                                         and has a wonderful towpath.”
Hutchens, at Ward & Partners estate                                                                                                                                         Folkestone has two grammar
agents, suggests a barn conversion in                                                                                                                                     schools. The commute from Sandling,
the village for about £500,000 to                                                                                                                                         two or three miles from Hythe, takes
£550,000, or a late-Victorian cottage                                                                                                                                     about an hour to St Pancras. An annual
from about £150,000. Or if you really                                                                                                                                     season ticket costs from £4,328.

£550,000                                                                                                                                                                  £725,000
Ivychurch, Romney Marsh. Cottage                                                                                                                                          Huggitt Cottage in Stone, Kent, is a
with heated swimming pool, detached                                                                                                                                       Grade II-listed five-bedroom detached
garage and equestrian facilities. Call                                                                                                                                    property with equestrian facilities.
Hobbs Parker on 01233 506223                                                                                                                                              Call Hobbs Parker (01233 506223)
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011                                                                                                              7

      Follow us on Twitter
      @HomesProperty                                                                                                Affordable homes Homes & Property
Boris Johnson has                                                                                                                   £405,950
                                                                                                                                    Pippbrook Mews,
called for more new                                                                                                                 Dorking (left), a
family homes for                                                                                                                    traditional-style
                                                                                                                                    house with two
first-time buyers. Now                                                                                                              bathrooms. Call
                                                                                                                                    Jackson-Stops &
builders are rising to                                                                                                              Staff on 020
                                                                                                                                    7664 6649
the challenge, says
David Spittles

               OT so very long ago, a
               modest family house in
               London, with a garden,                                                                                               £131,250
               was an affordable choice                                                                                             For a 35 per cent
               for young professional                                                                                               share of a
couples moving out of flats and seeking                                                                                             refurbished
family space.                                                                                                                       three-bedroom
  Most were at least able to settle into                                                                                            Victorian terrace
a cheaper Victorian terrace alongside                                                                                               house (right) in
like-minded neighbours before trading                                                                                               Poplar. Through
up to a bigger property where they                                                                                                  Family Mosaic
could see their children through their                                                                                              (020 7089 1315)
school years.
  Spiralling property prices and a short-
age of lower-value new-build houses
sabotaged this route up the ladder.
However, the plight of families trapped
                                             We’d like a nice little
in cramped conditions has prompted
Mayor Boris Johnson to call for bigger
and more affordable family homes.
  Housing associations and private
                                             house with a garden
developers are responding by building        building new family homes, the asso-       BIG FLATS FOR FAMILIES                      £355,000
larger flats (some with four bedrooms)       ciation is refurbishing older houses and   While many mainstream private devel-        Family-friendly
and fair-priced houses with family-          selling them on a shared-ownership         opers refuse to build flats of more than    four-bedroom
friendly amenities such as allotments        basis. The first of these is at Swaton     three bedrooms (saying there is no          duplex flats with
or children’s play areas.                    Road, Poplar, where a modernised           demand), housing associations are           outside space at
  Family Mosaic housing association,         three-bedroom Victorian terrace house      stepping in to fill what they contend is    Silk Gardens. Call
as its name suggests, focuses on this        with garden costs £131,250 (for a 35 per   a big gap in the market.                    Family Mosaic
sector. Creating an environment for          cent share) and even comes with              Woodberry Park, in Finsbury Park,         (as before)
families in a gritty, inner-city neigh-      curtains and blinds. As well as the        N4, will eventually have 4,600 new
bourhood requires fresh architectural        mortgage costs, buyers will be asked       homes — a mix of open-market and
thinking.                                    to pay a monthly rent of £558.59. Call     affordable properties. Berkeley Homes
  Silk Gardens in Bethnal Green has a        020 7089 1315.                             is building the first phase of 306 apart-
mix of flats, duplexes and townhouses,         A former dairy in Gilbert Street,        ments in a new 27-storey tower (prices
from 891sq ft to 1,508sq ft, with sepa-      Enfield, has made way for a scheme of      from £232,500, call 020 8985 9918),
rate access to internal courtyards,          62 homes, a mix of flats and houses,       while the first shared-ownership flats
secure playgrounds and sky gardens.          for outright sale and shared ownership,    have been launched by Genesis hous-         £234,950
Sixty-five per cent of the site is outdoor   through Origin housing association.        ing association.                            For a house at
space and residents can rent rooftop         Called The Mews, houses cost from            Three-bedroom apartments cost             The Mews,
allotments.                                  £234,950. Call 020 8370 3999.              from £270,000 (£75,000 for the              Enfield, where a
  Family Mosaic is bringing the same           In Hayes, one of the cheaper outer       minimum 25 per cent share) and four-        mix of 62 houses
design principles to Central Park, a         London areas, new three-bedroom            bedroom flats from £340,000 (or             and flats are
big regeneration scheme on the Black-        townhouses cost from £299,000 at           £85,000). Crisply designed apartment        for outright sale
heath/Deptford border, where homes           Barratt’s Arena development, which         blocks will be linked by a series of        or shared
will be released for sale next spring. To    has the bonus of being close to where      “linear parks” converging on a new          ownership. Call
register, visit      a new Crossrail station will open in       town square. For more information,          Origin on 020
or call 020 7089 3917. In addition to        2016. Call 0844 5566166.                   call 0800 954 0078.                         8370 3999
8                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Homes abroad                                                                                                                                                                                                

Prices have tumbled on the Algarve, making this the time
to bag a beautiful coastal bargain, says Cathy Hawker

Portugal                                                                                                                            W
                                                                                                                                                      HEN summer is over
                                                                                                                                                      and young families
                                                                                                                                                      have returned home,
                                                                                                                                                      Portugal’s Algarve
                                                                                                                                                      becomes the

holds its                                                                                                                           go-to destination for golfers. The
                                                                                                                                    39 golf courses along the 150-mile
                                                                                                                                    coastline give life to hotels and
                                                                                                                                    restaurants long after the summer

appeal with
                                                                                                                                      Golf is the main deal but sun and a
                                                                                                                                    warm winter make conditions ideal
                                                                                                                                    for sailing from Lagos marina or kite
                                                                                                                                    surfing on Faro Island.

above-par                                                                                                                             Local culture can be hard to find
                                                                                                                                    but artistic Lisbon is two hours north
                                                                                                                                    and Seville and Andalucía are 90
                                                                                                                                    minutes to the east.

deals for                                                                                                                             Property prices have plunged along
                                                                                                                                    the coast. In the western beach resort
                                                                                                                                    of Carvoeiro near Lagos, Carleton
                                                                                                                                    Properties has a three-bedroom villa     QUINTA DO LAGO                             £1.19MILLION

                                                                                                                                    reduced from £459,725 to £309,350        This is one of the most exclusive golf     A four-bedroom
                                                                                                                                    and a five-bedroom sea-view villa        resorts in Europe, just 15 minutes         villa (above) with
                                                                                                                                    down from £1 million to £395,270.        from Faro airport. Captains of             communal pool, an
                                                                                                                                    Director Mike Clarke says these cuts     industry and sporting celebrities own      easy walk from
                                                                                                                                    are not unusual.                         homes here, wooed by wide Atlantic         Quinta do Lago
                                                                                                                                                                             beaches and a level of security and        beach (Quinta
                                                                                                                                                                             privacy that’s increasingly hard to        Properties)
                                                                                                                                                                             find. Families love it for its spa,
                                                                                                                                                                             sports and sunshine, while golfers
                                 EVERYTHING YOU’LL NEED                                                                                                                      love its four pristine courses.            £687,440
                                                                                                                                                                               Savills says that even in the darkest    a newly built
                                 FOR AN IDEAL CHRISTMAS!                                                                                                                     days of recession, Quinta do Lago          two-bedroom
       JOIN US                                                                                                                                                               saw steady and consistent sales,           apartment (right)
        FOR A                                                                                                                                                                outperforming any other market. But        beside Vale do
      FESTIVE                                                                                                                                                                sales levels are now 30 per cent lower     Lobo’s Royal Golf
      DAY OUT                                                                                                                                        ALL                     than five years ago, says Alison           Course (Quinta
                                                                                                                                             UNDER ONE                       Buechner of Savills associates Quinta      Properties)
                                                                                                                                               ROOF!                         Properties. “Owners at Quinta are
                                                                                                                                                                             generally still wealthy and will wait to
                                                                                                                                                                             get the price they want. But those who                          VALE DO LOBO
                                                                                                                                                                             can’t are taking price drops.”                                  Four miles away and with easier
                                                                                                                                                                               That means you can find identical                             beach access, family-orientated Vale
                                                                                                                                                                             properties next door to each other         CONTACTS             do Lobo has excellent facilities for
                                                                                                                                                                             with a substantial price difference.          Quinta            children and teenagers. A circuit bus
                                                                                                                                                                               In Saõ Lourenço, home to some of         Properties           tours the resort stopping at the tennis
                                                                                                                                                                             the most expensive properties on the       (020 7016 3740;      centre, golf clubhouse, gym and spa
                                                                                                                                                                             estate, a refurbished two-bedroom         and the central hub of restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                             apartment facing the golf course is           Vale do Lobo      and bars above the beach.
                                                                                                                                                    SHOW                     £326,500 while next door a three-          (00 351 289 353        This is the area’s oldest resort,
                                                                                                                                                   NOW ON                    bedroom apartment, 300sq ft larger,        434; valedolobo.     celebrating its 50th birthday next
                                                                                                                                                                             is £845,000. A four-bedroom                com)                 year. Property is more densely built
                                                                                                                                                                             2,900sq ft townhouse in a cluster of                            than at Quinta and more visible from
                                                                                                                                                                             12 around a communal pool is                                    the roads but prices start at £171,860
                                                                                                                                                                             £1.19 million, while the one next door                          for one-bedroom resale apartments.
                                                                                                                                                                             costs £352,300 more. All property is                            Savills has a well-renovated three-
                                                                                                                                                                             through Savills.                                                bedroom townhouse with roof
                                                                                                                                                                               “Our market is not as badly affected                          terrace an easy walk from the beach
                                                                                                                                                                             by what is going on in Portugal,” says                          for £472,615 while the resort is selling
                                                                                                                                                                             Buechner. “Our buyers are business                              a three-bedroom 250sq m apartment
                                                                                                                                                                             people who aspire to live here for its                          opposite the tennis club for £597,200.
                                                                                                                                                                             well-kept facilities, good build quality                        Large land plots on the golf course or
                                                                                                                                                                             and strict planning rules.”                                     seafront cost from £988,190.

     Interiors                      Food                      Gadgets                         Home                                    Gifts                Fashion                                                                           ‘Simplicity of life
                                   & Drink                                                 Improvement                                                     & Beauty
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             suits all our family’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ERIKA and Joe Mountain left Harrow to
    SAVE £5 ON THE DOOR                                                                                                                                                                                                                      live in the Algarve in 2008. After selling
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             their companies they took their three
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             daughters — Gemma 12, Lara 11 and
    Simply fill out this voucher, bring it along to the show and redeem it at the Box Office.                                                                                                                                                  Maia 7 — to live near Vale do Lobo.
    Name: ........................................................... Telephone: .....................................................................
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               “We live in the sunshine for 10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             months of the year,” says Erika, 44.
    Email: ......................................................................................................................................................                                                                            “We work hard but also have time to sit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             at beach restaurants and eat lobster                                                                                                       REF:EVENING STANDARD                                                                              casserole watching the sunset.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Erika runs SandyBlue, a villa rental
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             business, while Joe has swapped four
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             hours a day commuting for a home
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             office. “We love the simplicity of life
    *Voucher needs to be filled in and presented at the Box Office on the day of your visit. Photocopies will not be accepted. One voucher per                                                                                                 here.”
    person, valid from 16th–20th November 2011 for On the Door ticket rates only (£16 weekday, £18 weekend). By giving us your details
    you are opting-in to our e-newsletter service. We promise to only send you information via the e-newsletter and will not pass your details
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       (00 351 289 392 236)
    on to any third parties. Children aged 15 and under go free when accompanied by a paying adult.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Christmas sun: the Mountain family
10                                                                                                    WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Shopping                                                                          

                                                        A PIECE of craftwork makes a                                  6pm. Items from £20 to £200.
                                                        wonderful Christmas present. There                            LIMITED-EDITION wax-signed
                                                        is a wealth of craft makers and                               merlot damask prints by artist Gavin
                                                        designers in London, many of whom                             Turk, ceramic candle holders and
                                                        show their work at open studios or at                         cake stands by Makiko Nakamura,
                                                        craft events. The venues are often                            Koji Shiraya melting white boxes and
                                                        intriguing, too. Here is our first                            Catherine Grey’s Fornasetti-like face
                                                        selection of the top locations and                            vases (pictured) — and much more.
                                                        what they are best known for.
 1                          2                                                                                         4 Made in Clerkenwell, Craft
                                                        1 The Workshop Sale, Push Studios,                            Central, 21 Clerkenwell Green and
                                                        17-21 Blackwater Street, East                                 at 33-35 St John’s Square, EC1.
                                                        Dulwich. December 3, 10am to                                  November 25, noon to 8pm;
                                                        5pm (                                  November 26 and 27, noon to 6pm.
                                                        AT A new location round the corner                            Entry £2.50, under-16s free (020
                                                        from its previous site in Lordship Lane.                      7251 0276;
                                                        Very good on textiles. Cushions by                            SPREAD over two buildings, Craft
                                                        Trisha Needham, throws by Muskett &                           Central is the traditional home of
                                                        Muzzullo, and these 6cm Linda Miller                          jewellery and silversmithing, but
                                                        machine embroidery mats, £38.                                 there are great textile artists, such as
                                                                                                                               Michelle Mason and
                                                                                                                                Charlene Mullen, who both
                                                                                                                                  produce London-themed
                                                                                                                                   home textiles, and what
                                                       3                                                                           about Esther Coombs’s
                                                                                                                                   delightful cake stands
                                                                                                                                   (pictured)? Other
                                                                                                                                   appealing textile pieces
                                                                                                                                  are by Lucy Pritchard and

What better Christmas
                                                                                                                                 Kate Rawlinson, and there
                                                       2 MADE11, Corn Exchange,                                                 are tree, bird and London-
                                                       Church Street, Brighton (made11.                                       scene ceramics by Helen
                                             , from November 19 to 21,                                Beard, as well as colourful graphic

gift than craft?                                       open daily. Entry £6, under-14s
                                                       MORE than 100 makers/designers
                                                       from Brighton and the South East.
                                                                                                                      bookends by Susan Bradley.

                                                                                                                      5 London Glass Works, Unit 15,
                                                                                                                      Forest Trading Estate, Priestly
By Corinne Julius                                      From glassware to textiles, ceramics                           Way, E17; December 4 (10am to
                                                       to jewellery. Work priced from £20 to                          5pm) and December 5 (11am to
                                                       £1,500. These dotted-stripe 12cm                               6pm). Call 020 8531 0088.
                                                       cream jugs are by Katrin Moye.                                 COLOURFUL vessels, candlesticks,
                                                                                                                      bowls, vases, jugs and other work by
                                                       3 Designers & Makers, Somerset                                 leading glassblowers, including
                                                       House East Wing, WC1. November                                 Stewart Hearn, winner of a Balvenie
                                                       22 to January 8. Daily from 10am to                            Masters of Craft Award. His
                                                                                                                      Westmorland lamp with wine shade
                                                                                                                      (pictured) is £900.

                                                                                                                      6 401½ at 401½ Wandsworth Road,
                                                                                                                      SW8 ( November
                                                                                                                      19 and 20, 11am to 4pm
                                                                                                                      THE studio is celebrating its 40th
                                                                                                                      birthday. Buy beautiful glass from
                                                                                                                      three new artists, Liam Reeves,
                                                                                                                      Sarah Wiberley and Louise Thompson
                                                                                                                      (who makes these stunning jars),
                4               5      6                                                                              rising stars who graduated from
                                                                                                                      the RCA this year. Plus ceramics
                                                                                                                      and cutting-edge contemporary
                                                                                                                      silver by Heather O’Connor and
                                                                                                                      Peter Musson.

                                    Capture the spirit of the times… With its elevated design,
                                    the new Adulis living room collection creates an airy yet
                                    sophisticated atmosphere for a highly personalised look.
                                    Featuring a wide range of possible configurations and
                                    available in three different finishes, Adulis can be adapted to
                                    suit all tastes and requirements.


                                                                                                                                                      I NT ERI O R
                                                                                                                                                        DES I GN
                                                                                                                                                       S ERVI CE

                                    37-41 Westbourne Grove, LONDON W2 4UA Tel. 020 7221 2393
                                             Opening hours - Monday to Saturday : 10.00 - 19.00 - Thursday : 10.00 - 20.00 - Sunday : 12.00 - 17.00
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011                                                                                                                                              11

      Follow us on Twitter
      @HomesProperty                                                                                          Shopping Homes & Property
                                          On the street                                                   3                                      4

                                          Pimlico Road SW1


By Barbara Chandler
                                                                                               for eclectic,       Love: candle snuffer, £12.75, and stag
PIMLICO Road is upfront, personal                                                                       offbeat accessories and furniture.      check cushion, £56.
and posh and its independent shop
owners offer expertise, commissions,                                                                    4 Linley at 60 Pimlico Road (020 7730   7 Pimlico Farmers’ Market (
and gossip. Buildings bristle with                                                                      7300; has been         uk) is Saturdays, 9am to 1pm, for
Blue Plaques and a bronze of a boy                                                                      revamped but it’s still the same        organic fresh fruit and veg, cheeses,
Mozart plays his violin under the                                                                       paradise of perfect woodwork.           bread, pies, jams, pheasants, oysters,
plane trees. Little Wolfgang Amadeus                                                                    Love: walnut pencil gift box, £15;      Christmas cakes and Xmas puddings.
wrote his first two symphonies in                                                                       photo frames in leather, wood,          Love: Lardy Da’s home-made free-
Ebury Street.                                                                                           shagreen and                                           range pork pies, second
                                                                                                        marquetry.                                              Thursday of the month
1 Nicholas Haslam at 12-14 Holbein                                                                                                                              (; and
Place (020 7730 8623) for antiques,                                                                     5 Soane at 50-52                                        “stollen” home-made
and 202 Ebury Street (020 7730 0445)                                                                    Pimlico Road                                            German cakes at Pamela
for décor for cool abodes                                                                               (020 7730 6400;                                         Abraham’s Out of the
(                                                                          is the                                     Box.
Love: sea shells dipped in silver, £80-                                                                 acme of British
£400; humorous hounds in white                                                                          bespoke furniture,                                       8 Daylesford at
plaster/ceramic, about 40cm high.                                                                       lighting and                                               44B Pimlico Road
                                                                                                        accessories, in                                             (020 7881 8060;
2 “Belgravia Christmas Sunday”                                                                          magical materials                                           daylesfordorganic.
(grosvenorlondon.                                                                                       from timber, stone                                        com) has elevated
com) is on December          6                                                                               le
                                                                                                        and leather to resins                                    organic into a chic
4, noon to 5pm, with                                                                                      and Perspex.                                          lifestyle. Downstairs
the Three Wise Men on                                                                                       Lo goatskin
                                                                                                            Love:                                               there’s food from its own
camels. Find food,                                                                                            O
                                                                                                              Ottoman scribe                                     farm, including home-
crafts, choirs, bands,                                                                                        cushion, £200.                                     made meals to go and a
and, of course,                                                                   7                                                                              deli. Upstairs, take in
wonderfully decorated                                                                                        6 Joanna                                            the café, homeware and
shops.                                                                                                       Wood at                                             Christmas decorations.
Love: Gingerbread                             3 Antiques shops                   e
                                                                 specialists, more                          4 Pimlico
                                                                                                            48a                                                  Six types of Christmas
House, £6.99, from                            (thepimlicoroad.   Antiques Road                            Ro (020 7730
                                                                                                          Road                           8                       cake, from £14.99. Fill-
Peggy Porschen Cakes                          com) abound, and                    t!
                                                                 Show than Flog It!                     5064 joannawood.
                                                                                                        5064;                                                    your-own gift boxes.
at 30 Elizabeth Street                         dealers are                        oy
                                                                 But the real McCoy does                com) is Christmas unchained, and         Wrapping/delivery service.
(020 7730 1316;                                 legion — about   not come cheap. Love: Talisman at      very reasonably priced with gifts/      Love: the Complete Christmas Dinner
peggyporchen).                                   20 high-end     190-192 Ebury Street (020 7730 7800;   decs galore. Faux fur is de rigueur.    for Six, in a box, £100.
14                                                                                                                                                                      WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Reader promotion                                                                                                                                 

      Super-size tiles                                                                                                               A Yorkshire scene
      that are ultra-thin                                                                                                            with your cuppa
      TILE in style with FEET’s range of                                                                                             ART Room mugs from Couch Design
      Bobo Porcel-Thin tiles available in a                                                                                          feature landscapes from the Yorkshire
      wide range of designs. Each 1200mm                                                                                             countryside screen-printed on bone
      x 600mm tile is just 4.5mm thick,                                                                                              china. In purple, pink or dark blue, and
      making them easy to fix and handle.                                                                                            designed by Jacky Al-Samarraie, the
      Homes & Property readers get 10 per                                                                                            mugs are normally £14 each but Homes
      cent off, too. To claim, call 020 7394                                                                                         & Property readers can buy them with
      9468, or visit                                                                                          15 per cent off, reducing them to only
      uk and quote ALISON10 before                                                                                                   £11.90. Visit, or call
      December 16. You can also visit                                                                                                0117 329 8436, and quote
      FEET’s 5,000 sq ft showroom at 214                                                                                             CouchArtMugs before November 30.
      Rotherhithe New Road, SE16 3EH, to                                                                                                                                          Miles of curtain
      view its huge range of baths,
      showers and kitchen worktops.                                                                                                                                               fabric all priced
                                                                                                                                                                                  at £6.99 a metre
                                                                                                                                                                                  BUY designer curtains and upholstery
                                                                                                                                                                                  for a snip of the usual price at Curtain
                                                                                                                                                                                  Factory Outlet.
                                                                                                                                                                                    This trade and export wholesale firm
                                                                                                                                                                                  offers more than 500,000 metres of
                                                                                                                                                                                  stock for £6.99 a metre, plus VAT,
                                                                                                                                                                                  regardless of the original price.
                                                                                                                                                                                    From silks to linens, Curtain Factory
                                                                                                                                                                                  Outlet has it all. There is a full making,
                                                                                                                                                                                  measuring and fitting service, plus a
                                                                                                                                                                                  shop with ready-mades. Blinds,
                                                                                                                                                                                  shutters, tracks and poles are also
                                                                                                                                     Alison                                         Find Curtain Factory Outlet at 269

Bargain new
  rga news
   g     e
Bargain news                                                                                                                         Cork
                                                                                                                                                                                  Ballards Lane, North Finchley, N12
                                                                                                                                                                                  8NR, from Monday to Saturday, 9am
                                                                                                                                                                                  to 6pm, and Sunday 10am to 4pm. Email
                                                                                                                                                                                  or visit

Five days of shopping at the                                                                                                         Sweet discount with these wooden
Christmas Ideal Home Show                                                                                                            knobs from Chocolate Creative
THE Ideal Home Show at Christmas is opening its doors for                                                                            THESE quirky 5cm-diameter knobs are
five days of shopping at Earls Court (November 16-20).                                                                               from Chocolate Creative. Available in
Order your turkey, choose your tree, find the perfect gifts                                                                          three flower patterns, a landscape
and buy the means to finish any last-minute DIY at this                                                                              pattern and in plain red, yellow and
Christmas one-stop shop. You can also get festive tips from                                                                          pink (pictured), they are handmade
celebrity experts including Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Gino                                                                            from plywood in the company’s London
D’Acampo and Suzi Perry.                                                                                                             studio. Normally £9, Homes & Property
  As a bonus, get £5 off the adult door ticket rate (£16                                                                             readers get a 10 per cent discount
weekday, £18 weekend), when you show this page at the box                                                                            when buying two or more.
office (maximum two people). Children 15 and under go free                                                                             Visit and
when accompanied by a paying adult.                                                                                                  enter 10KNOBSHOOKS at the checkout
  Visit for more details.                                                                               before November 30.

  The companies listed here are wholly independent of the Evening Standard. Care is taken to establish that they are bona fide but we recommend that you carry out your own checks prior to purchases and use a credit card
where possible. To offer feedback on any of these companies, email with “Bargain News” in the subject line. For more bargains, visit or
22                                                                                                                                                           WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property My home                                                                                                                                                                     homesandpr

Bright new day: India Knight has been painting kitchens for 20 years, always the same colour — John Oliver’s Kinky Pink, now sadly discontinued

India Knight’s
The tragedy for novelist India Knight is that Kinky Pink paint is out of production. ‘It
cheers a dull day and flatters the complexion.’ Katie Law visits her Chalk Farm home

                                                                             UTHOR India Knight lives in    Knight’s mother, Sabiha Rumana Malik,
                                                                             a pink palace. She has         separated from her father, Michel Aert-
                                                                             devoted much time, energy      sens, when Knight was only two years old
                                                                             and money to making the        and went on to marry Andrew Knight —
                                                                             Regency terrace house in       from whom India took her surname —
                                                               Chalk Farm that she shares with her three    before being briefly married to architect
                                                               children, as comfortable as possible and     Norman Foster.
                                                               loves it with a passion — “Nearly as much      “I’m not comfortable with content
                                                               as I love my family,” she says.              being hidden behind lots of white doors.
                                                                 The 45-year-old novelist, who has also     I’d rather there was mess. I feel much
                                                               written two shopping guides, has trans-      more comfortable with that. I like
                                                               formed what was a bog-standard, white-       ethnic and the ‘I’ve been to Marrakech
                                                               and-magnolia-walled interior into a          several times look’, while being aware
                                                               twinkling pink fairyland. Even the exte-     that it’s also slightly comical.
                                                               rior of the stuccoed house has been            “Another big influence comes from hav-
                                                               painted saccharine pink.                     ing spent so much time when I was little
                                                                 Inside there are glittering chandeliers    with my mother in India and Pakistan —
                                                               in every room; prints and paintings on       all those bright colours, low seating and
                                                               every wall, objects displayed on every       warm yellow lighting. I love flowers: real
                                                               surface, cushions for every sofa and piles   flowers, plastic flowers and the gaudiness
                                                               of books on every shelf. There are no bare   of it all. I like things that are pretty but a
                                                               white spaces but a profusion of comfort-     bit too bright because, to my mind, it’s
                                                               able clutter that teeters on the edge of     the right level of brightness,” continues
                                                               chaos.                                       Knight, who is as effusive in speech as she
                                                                 “I’m very house-proud and attached to      is as a home decorator.
                                                               the concept of home,” she says. “Building      Knight’s three children are two teen-
                                                               a giant nest is incredibly important as I    age sons, Oscar and Archie, from her
                                                               spend a lot of time here. I don’t under-     marriage to Jeremy Langmead — and a
                                                               stand people who aren’t interested in the    daughter, Nell, who is now seven, from
                                                               way their home looks. I’m also very          her relationship with author Andrew
                                                               attached to stuff. But I think that has      O’Hagan. Langmead, formerly editor
                                                               something to do with having had a            of Esquire magazine and now editor-in-
                                                               mouvemente childhood. I lived in Brussels    chief of men’s fashion website Mr Por-
                                                               with my mother who decorated our apart-      ter, lives two doors down, while
                                                               ment there in minimalist décor. Later we     O’Hagan — a novelist and former film
Relaxed: Knight is more comfortable with mess than minimal     lived in a lot of other houses like that.”   critic of the London Evening Standard,
     EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011                                                                                                                  23                                                                   My home Homes & Property
                                                   ‘I don’t
                                                   who aren’t
                                                   in the way
                                                   their home

                                                   Right: the pink
                                                   décor adored
                                                   by Knight’s
                                                   daughter Nell.
                                                   The author’s two
                                                   teenage sons
                                                   have known
                                                   nothing else

                                                   Right: dazzling
                                                   chandeliers star
                                                   in every room
                                                   but in Knight’s
                                                   bedroom, the
                                                   pink Chesterfield
                                                   steals the show

                                                                      lives in nearby Belsize Park. She says                that I find at weekends away or in parts
                                                                      they all get along well and spend many                of London I don’t know.
                                                                      Sunday lunches and every Christmas                      “It’s all such a sharp contrast to
                                                                      round the kitchen table chez Knight.                  myself, say, 15 years ago when I would
                                                                        Her latest novel, Comfort And Joy, out              have bought something brand-new and
                                                                      in paperback this month, offers a fic-                beautiful from Selfridges. I take very
                                                                      tional and highly comic portrayal of the              little pleasure in that anymore. It’s just
                                                                      extended family in all its dysfunctional              stopped being glamorous, that degree
                                                                      glory, spending Christmas together.                   of luxe and ostentation.”
                                                                        While daughter Nell obviously adores                  Knight, who is an avid tweeter, has
                                                                      the intensely feminine décor her mother               also discovered that Twitter can be a
                                                                      has created, the boys seem comfortable                useful source for tracking things down.
                                                                      living with it, too. “Oh yes, the boys are            Last Christmas she was desperate to
                                                                      very happy, they’ve always had a pink                 find a particular toy for her daughter
                                                                      kitchen,” says Knight. “I’ve painted my               that had sold out everywhere, but she
                                                                      kitchens for 20 years in the same John                finally found one after tweeting about
                                                                      Oliver Kinky Pink. It would never occur               it. “Twitter is also great for pop-up res-
                                                                      to me that I’d get an adverse reaction from           taurants in London, supper clubs and
                                                                      my sons or male partners.                             things of the moment that are more
                                                                        “I’m attracted to warm colours. When                interesting than going anywhere super-
                                                                      it’s a really grotty day and getting dark by          posh.”
                                                                      half-past three and raining, and the lights             Knight is also a domestic goddess in
                                                                      are on, I like the glow pink gives and I like         the kitchen, as is clear from all her
                                                   Photographs::      it to get up to in the morning. People look           smart appliances and stacks of well-
                                                   SIMON MAXWELL      good in its light, it’s flattering.”                  thumbed cookery books. She has just
                                                                        Now the house is filled to bursting,                begun writing a new novel, Mutton, due
                                                                      Knight shops less than she used to. “I’ve             out next October, about women ageing
                                                   Left: never        gone off department stores — there’s                  and has herself had Botox several times,
                                                   knowingly          too much choice and when I go to West-                though she insists she feels “very
                                                   understated,       field, I’m briefly in a state of ecstasy,             chipper” about growing older.
                                                   Knight has “gone   then a state of panic.                                  Her main sadness appears to be that
                                                   off” department      “ I p re f e r t h o s e l i t t l e sh o p s i n   John Oliver, maker of Kinky Pink paint,
                                                   stores now that    Shoreditch run by individuals that sell               is no longer in business.
                                                   every table and    stuff I know I’m going to like. I like fer-
                                                   shelf is crammed   reting things out at places like Kempton               Comfort And Joy, by India Knight,
                                                   with objects       market and I’m devoted to junk shops                  Penguin, £7.99.
24                                                                                                                 WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Shopping                                                                                    

  1                                          2                                                             3


Desig tre
 esign tre
  sign tren
Design tren
By Corinne Julius

chandelier chic
CHANDELIERS are supposed to be                            2 Madeleine Boulesteix mixes                                                       made of delicate long
spectacular. Originally produced                          “kitchenalia”, from cutlery to cups, jelly       6                                 fringes of glass, like
to light large spaces, from                               moulds to jam jars, with crystals and                                             Twenties flappers’
churches to palaces, they have                            pearls. Medium or large one-off pieces                                         dresses (07775 616868;
traditionally been made of brass,                         from £550; six-cup chandeliers from                               
then crystal. Modern chandeliers                          £735 (020 7737 8171; madeleine
are something else: several makers                                                              5 Stuart Haygarth makes dazzling
are experimenting with fibre                                                                                                chandeliers from unwanted objects.
optics, creating delicate forms like                      3 James Lethbridge’s botanically                                  Spectacle is made from thousands of
melting lattices of ice. LED lights                       inspired glass chandeliers include                                pairs of discarded prescription glasses,
make them lightweight and easy to                         Starfire (pictured); Physalia, based on a                         while Drop (pictured) is made from old
combine with other materials for                          jellyfish, and Serpentine, which draws                            bottles reclaimed from the Thames
different effects.                                        on snakes and pollen balls. His prices                            (020 7503 4142;
                                                          include installation (07867521375;
1 Margaret O’Rorke’s forms look like the                                                6 Georgia Scott’s designs, like gently
curls of a wave or feathers blowing in the                                                                                  waving fronds of clear seaweed, are
wind. Made to commission in porcelain,                    4 Aline Johnson is inspired by the leaf                           made to order to any size. The LEDs
which is anti-static, they can be washed                  canopies of Hampstead Heath and by                                give a gentle light, use little power and
and blown dry with a hairdryer (01865                     what she finds on Dorset beaches. She                             are long lasting. From £1,200
771653;                                 has a range of very art deco-feel lights                          (07709 624244;

      A fitted kitchen that fits
      perfectly with your lifestyle.
      By taking an architectural approach to the use of
      space and light, and working with you to gain a deeper
      understanding of your lifestyle, we help you create a
      kitchen that becomes a living environment.

      A Modus kitchen is designed to be the centre of the
      home; a place for recreation as well as a place where you
      can create. Our commitment to craftsmanship is evident
      in the tiniest detail. By combining the uncompromising                             OFFICIAL DEALER

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      at Kensal Rise, or visit us online at                              F +44 (0)20 8969 6125                                        E
                        EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011                                                                                                                                                                          25

                               Follow us on Twitter
                               @HomesProperty                                                                                                                Outdoors Homes & Property

                        Wrap up your
                        garden before
                        frosts sweep in
                                                               As midwinter
                                                               approaches, straw,
                                                               an old sack or even
                                                               a fleecy blanket will
                                                               help plants survive

                                                                             URING the past two win-
                                                                             ters, even the most shel-
                                                                             tered London gardens
                                                                             suffered losses from the
                                                                             prolonged spells of severe
                                                              weather. Plants considered borderline

                                                              hardy, that usually made it through,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              GAP PHOTOS/FLORA PRESS
                                                              were hit hard and even supposedly
                                                              frostproof pots cracked or shattered.
                                                                This year, be prepared by protecting
                                                              vulnerable plants and pots now from
                                                              whatever the elements care to throw
                                                              at them. Make an at-risk register of
                        Eye-catching: keep the patio cheery   plants, considering not just the plant,      Frost report: keep pots raised off the ground so that sodden compost does not freeze and damage the roots of plants
                        with winterproof containers           but its size — small, less-established
                                                              plants are more likely to suffer — and                                                   your tree is too large to wrap, insulating   freezing and cracking, and will also
                                                              whether it is in the ground or in a con-
                                                              tainer, which makes it more susceptible
                                                                                                           Pattie                                      the trunk with several layers of fleece
                                                                                                                                                       will offer some protection.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    insulate the roots of the plant within
                                                                                                                                                                                                    the pot. Keeping pots off the ground
                                                              to frost damage.
                                                                Bracken and hessian sacks are the
                                                                                                           Barron                                        Cutting back the outsize, propeller-
                                                                                                                                                       like leaves of a hardy banana won’t
                                                                                                                                                                                                    will help drainage — so roots don’t sit
                                                                                                                                                                                                    in sodden, icy compost — and grouping
                                                              traditional insulators to keep plants                                                    harm the plant but will make it easier       pots close to the house wall will afford
                                                              cosy, but handier for townies are straw                                                  to fleece. Carmine-foliaged tender           them a little protection.
                                                              from the pet store and snowy-white                                                       banana Ensete should be fleeced and            However deft your handiwork, fleece
                                                              horticultural fleece from the garden         lawn or draped in trees. With exotic        moved to a frost-free place over winter      is never a great look, so offset the
                                                              centre. Plant protection jackets, in         plants that have foliage in fans —          such as a greenhouse; take off the chill     ghostly landscape by providing a cheer-
                                                              sizes from small to absolutely huge, are     cordylines, phormiums, palms — it is        and minimise draughts by bubblewrap-         ing view from the house windows of
                                                              easiest to use: they’re fleece bags with     the central growing point that is vulner-   ping the windows.                            several containers filled with winter-
                                                              toggle ties that you just pull on over the   able: if that turns to mush, the whole        Sempervivums are hardy so can stay         flowering pansies. Just make sure
                                                              plant and draw up at the base, and are       plant is lost, so protect that point by     outside but succulents, some of which        they’re frostproof.
                                                              especially useful to throw on tender         gathering up the leaves vertically and      look similar, are not, and need to be

                                                              plants at the last minute, when frost        tying them together before adding a         brought indoors to a sunny windowsill.       DON’T MISS
                                                              is forecast. They’re also easy to pack       fleece wrap. Keeping the foliage tied in    Large agaves often sail through winter       follow Pattie Barron’s gardening blog
                                                              with wads of straw to give extra             a bundle will also keep a heavy snowfall    in sheltered London gardens but if in        at
                                                              protection.                                  from damaging or breaking off the           doubt, keep them under wraps until
                                                                Wrap fleece around plants on a still       sword-like leaves. Tree ferns should        spring, or bring them indoors. Smaller
                                                              day, or it is likely to wrap itself around   have straw tucked into their funnels or     specimens are more at risk, especially
                                                              you instead. Hospital corners are not        fleece wrapped around the top of the        from prolonged winter wet.
                                                              required. Use a stapler to secure so you     trunk. Many olive trees, like mine, lost      Bubblewrap or foam on the roll,            Gardening problems?
                   Under wraps: protect your vulnerable       don’t wake up one windy morning and          their leaves last winter, though            wrapped around pots and secured with         Email our RHS expert at gardenproblems
                   plants with horticultural fleece            find twisted veils of gauze all over the     regained them much later this year; if      string or staples, will stop pots from

                                                                                           buy it
                                                              See it: creativity at Christmas Buy it: bare-rooted roses
                                                                                     TAKE tips from the expert on making         THIS is the month to order bare-rooted
                                                                                     your home look gorgeous this                roses for planting when they are
                                                                                     Christmas. Creative gardener Sarah          dormant. Toby Buckland, gardening
                                                                                     Raven is holding a series of courses at     guru, is reviving the traditional bare-
                                                                                     her Sussex home, Perch Hill, over this      root way of planting, not just for roses
                                                                                     month and next. There are two all-day       but shrubs, perennials and grasses too,
                                                                                     courses: Autumn and Christmas               by raising plants in open ground at his
                                                                                     Flowers, on November 25, costs £175,        new nursery and selling them online.
                                                                                     and Christmas Flowers on December             The selection is small but includes a
                                                                                     13, when you can make your own door         stunning collection of roses, including
                                                                                     wreath and table centre to take home,       the fabulous Rosa Alissar, Princess of
                                                                                     costs £210. Or book a place on a            Phoenicia, which Buckland says has
                                                              Festive flora:          morning-only course for £50:                unrivalled drought and heat tolerance,      Phoenician

                                                              learn to make a        Christmas Decorations on November           making it a winner for London gardens.      beauty: find
                                                              glamorous table        22 and Decorating Your Tree and Table       His secret weapon for healthy plants?       outstanding rose
                                                              centrepiece on         on December 8. All courses include          Toby’s Planting Powder, a shaker of         Alissar at Toby
                                                              a Sarah Raven          lunch. For more info and to book, see       mycorrhizal fungi and bacteria. For         Buckland’s new
                                                              course        or call 0845 092 0283.       details, see               nursery
28                                                                                                                                                                        WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Property searching                                                                                                                                

                                                                                           on Clerkenwell

                                                                                           In Oliver Twist
£1.1 million: a three-bedroom split-level apartment near Old Street with two
roof terraces and a double-aspect living area. Call Foxtons (020 7871 9800)                territory,
                                                                                           has ended up
                                                                                           with more
                                                                                           Don’t you wish you’d bought here? From
                                                                                           Dickensian slum to world-leading media
£1.85 million: in Britton Street, EC1, this renovated, two double-bedroom duplex
                                                                                           hub, Anthea Masey discovers one helluva
flat covers 2,500sq ft with patio and balcony. Call Winkworth on 020 7405 1288              success story on the fringe of the City

                                                                                                         LERKENWELL, on the west-       sought-after apartments and loft con-      the edge of the City the Golden Lane
                                                                                                         ern edge of the City, has      versions. This is a fashionable City       Estate on Goswell Road, designed by
                                                                                                         become the largest media       neighbourhood to live in, with its bars    Chamberlin, Powell and Bon who went
                                                                                                         hub in Europe with, argua-     and youthful creativity spilling out on    on to design the Barbican. Florin Court
                                                                                                         bly, the greatest concentra-   to the streets — especially in the early   is a famous art deco block in Charter-
                                                                                           tion of architects’ and designers’ offices   hours of Sunday morning when the           house Square, which was home to
                                                                                           in the world. How did this happen?           late-night clubbers tumble bleary-eyed     Hercule Poirot in the TV series starring
                                                                                             It was an industrial wasteland in the      out of Fabric on Charterhouse Street.      David Suchet.
                                                                                           mid-Sixties and its transformation has                                                    Clerkenwell is also the place where
                                                                                           been a very slow burn. But what this         WHAT IS THERE TO BUY?                      working out house prices on the basis
                                                                                           area has always been is fascinating.         Clerkenwell is where loft living was       of price per square foot first took off.
                                                                                           Famous once for its watchmakers and          born. In 1992, Harry Handlesmann of        Buyers reckon on paying between
                                                                                           printers, Clerkenwell has a colourful        the Manhattan Loft Corporation sold        £800 and £900 a square foot in Clerk-
                                                                                           history of asserting its individuality to    the first shell spaces in a converted      enwell, which is more expensive than
                                                                                           the point of dissent and lawlessness.        warehouse in Summers Street for            Shoreditch but cheaper than
                                                                                             Clerkenwell Green is from where            between £150,000 and £500,000,             Bloomsbury.
                                                                                           Lenin published issues of his magazine       which pioneering buyers bought and         The area attracts: the heart of Clerk-
                                                                                           Iskra, and where he is reputed to have       then fitted out themselves. It was a       enwell is not really a family area; most
                                                                                           supped ale with Stalin in a local hos-       revolutionary concept that captured        of the flats and lofts sell to a combina-
                                                                                           telry. It is also where, in Oliver Twist,    the public’s imagination. Clerkenwell      tion of investors, young City profes-
                                                                                           Dickens describes Fagin and the Artful       merges with Finsbury to the north,         sionals and well-established people in
                                                                                           Dodger instructing Oliver in the art of      where there are Georgian streets and       the design world, younger designers
                                                                                           picking pockets. Its history is apparent     squares. But there are also council        being unable to afford Clerkenwell
                                                                                           in St John’s Gate, built by the Knights      estates of architectural merit where       prices. The Georgian houses in Fins-
                                                                                           Hospitallers of St John in the early 16th    “right to buy” flats can be bought . The   bury do attract young families, though

                                                                                           century, and the Charterhouse, a             best examples of these are the Spa         they often move out to leafier suburbs
Full of character: the famous art deco Florin Court in Charterhouse Square was             former Carthusian monastery. And its         Green Estate designed by Berthold          once their children reach school age.
home to detective Hercule Poirot in the TV series starring David Suchet                    future is apparent in its stylish, highly    Lubetkin on Rosebery Avenue, and on        Postcodes: Clerkenwell is in the EC1

Find many more homes at

£610,000                                              £625 A WEEK                                                £1.69 MILLION                                          £790,000
A one-bedroom en-suite apartment on the third         In Carthusian Street, EC1, a modern, two-bedroom           This handsome five-storey Georgian townhouse           A two-bedroom apartment on the first floor of a
floor of a popular loft development in the heart of   apartment, just on the edge of the City, is for rent       comes with four bedrooms and overlooks                 stylish, modern development in Brewhouse Yard,
Clerkenwell in Goswell Road. Through Stirling         rent through Dwell Residential. Call 020 7324              Northampton Square in Clerkenwell. Through             EC1, with spacious living area and a large, private
Ackroyd (020 7549 0606)                               6140.                                                      Spencer Thomas (020 7490 1333).                        balcony. Through Foxtons (020 7871 9800).
   Visit            Visit             Visit              Visit
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011                                                                                                                                                                                     29

      Follow us on Twitter
      @HomesProperty                                                                                                     Property searching Homes & Property
                                                                                                                       Left: hot food
                                                                                                                       is served at
                                                                                                                       Market on
                                                                                                                       Street on
                                                                                                                       Thursdays and

                                                                                                                       Right: St James’s
                                                                                                                       Church off
                                                                                                                       Green offers
                                                                                                                       tranquil spots of
                                                                                                                       open space to
                                                                                                                       the rear


postcode, which is the largest inner       from £750,000 to £2.2 million. One          and The Charterhouse Square School                                                                  Aussignac’s Club Gascon and Comptoir
London postcode and also covers Hat-       Housing Group is also selling the afford-   are two small, non-selective, co-educa-
                                                                                                                                           THE AGENTS                                      Gascon, his deli and bistro. In Exmouth
ton Garden, Smithfield, Finsbury and       able flats here.                            tional private schools for pupils aged              Carter Reeves 020 7278 9444                     Market, find Sam and Sam Clark’s take
St Luke’ s, the area which straddles Old   Up and coming: John McDavid of Wink-        three to 11. The Italia Conti Academy of            Dwell Residential 020 7324 6140                 on the cuisine of Spain and North Africa
Street, on the edge of the City.           worth says the pocket around Central        theatre arts is in Goswell Road. Central            Felicity J Lord 020 7998 1770                   at Moro and Morito. There is street food
Best roads: the squares, such as Wilm-     Square is undervalued. Locals call the      Foundation (boys aged 11 to 18) is a                                                                on offer in Exmouth Market and on
                                                                                                                                           Foxtons 020 7871 9800
ington Square, Myddelton Square and        area St Luke’s after the church with its    comprehensive that is judged “good”                                                                 Thursday and Friday on Whitecross
Granville Square, command the high-        landmark Nicholas Hawksmoor-                by Ofsted — it is in a sixth-form consor-           London Apartment Solutions 020 3355 2730        Street. The Jerusalem Tavern is a quaint
est prices.                                designed obelisk-shaped spire, which        tium with three other Islington schools             Spencer Thomas 020 7490 1333                    pub on Britton Street.
What’s new: Central Square (Savills        is now home to the London Symphony          and this provision is judged to be                  Stirling Ackroyd 020 7549 0606                    Art galleries and designer furniture
0845 7711711) is a development of 274      Orchestra. There is a mix of council        “outstanding”. There are two private                                                                shops flourish in Clerkenwell. Pick of
(104 affordable) studio, one-, two- and    estates, old warehouses and new flats.      schools in the City: the City of London             BUYING IN CLERKENWELL                           the crop is the showroom of Swiss
three-bedroom flats situated between                                                   School (boys ages 10 to 18) and the City            Average prices                                  furniture maker Vitra, which has
Central Street, Pear Tree Street and       GOING TO SCHOOL                             of London School for Girls (ages seven              One-bedroom flat £381,000                       recently relaunched a range of
Seward Street north of Old Street — a      St Peter and St Paul RC in Compton          to 18).                                             Two-bedroom flat £562,000                       furniture by French designer Jean
joint venture between developer            Street and Christopher Hatton in Lay-       Shops and restaurants: residents and                Two-bedroom house rarely available              Prouvé.
Mount Anvil and housing association,       stall Street are the two local state pri-   workers are spoilt for choice when it                                                               Open space: Clerkenwell is a close-
                                                                                                                                           Three-bedroom house about £900,000
the One Housing Group. Prices range        mary schools which the Government’s         comes to restaurants. Fergus Hender-                                                                grained former industrial area and
between £400,000 and £1 million. The       education watchdog judges to be “out-       son’s St John specialises in nose-to-tail           Four-bedroom house about £1.2 million           there are only small pockets of open
                                                                                                                                                                      Source: Hometrack
first phase completed last month and       standing”. The Golden Lane Campus           eating on the street of the same name;                                                              space. The most notable — with a fine
the whole development will be ready        on Whitecross Street brings together a      Mark Hix has his Oyster & Chop House                RENTING IN CLERKENWELL                          new adventure playground — is Spa
next summer. Bezier (Knight Frank          children’s centre with a nursery, the       on Greenhill Rents; Bistrot Bruno Lou-              Average rates                                   Fields, close to Exmouth Market. There
020 7861 5499 and Currell 020 7253         Prior Weston Primary School and the         bet in the Zetter Hotel sits across St              One-bedroom flat £315 to £600 a week            are tranquil spots to sit and eat lunch
2533) is a development by Tudorvale        primary department of the Richard           John’s Square from Anna Hansen’s Mod-               Two-bedroom flat £450 to £775 a week            behind St James’s Church off Clerken-
of 127 (45 affordable) studios, one- and   Cloudesley special school in a stunning     ern Pantry. Overlooking Smithfield                  Two-bedroom house £500 to £850 a week           well Green, in the Smithfield Rotunda,
two-bedroom flats and penthouses in        new building, but at the last Ofsted        market, the choice is between John                                                                  in the garden squares and in other little
                                                                                                                                           Three-bedroom house £650 to £1,200 a week
two newly built, curvy buildings on the    inspection Prior Weston was only            Torode’s multi-storey mega restaurant,                                                              pocket parks dotted around the area.
Old Street roundabout. Prices range        judged “satisfactory”. Dallington School    Smiths of Smithfield and Pascal                     Four-bedroom house £750 to £1,500 a week        Leisure and the arts: the two council-
                                                                                                                                                                       Source: Winkworth
                                                                                                                                                                                           owned swimming pools, Ironmonger
                                                                                                                       Surf and turf:                                                      Row and Golden Lane, are both closed
                                                                                                                       Mark Hix at his                                                     for refurbishment. There is a swim-
                                                                                                                       Hix Oyster &                                                        ming pool at Virgin Active on Goswell
                                                                                                                       Chop House,                                                         Street. Sadler’s Wells Theatre on Rose-
                                                                                                                       Greenhill Rents,                                                    bery Avenue is the country’s leading
                                                                                                                       Cowcross Street                                                     dance venue.
                                                                                                                                                                                           Travel: Clerkenwell is so central that
                                                                                                                                                                                           many residents walk or cycle to work.
                                                                                                                                                                                           It has Tube stations at Farringdon,
                                                                                                                                                                                           Barbican and Old Street. Farringdon is
                                                                                                                                                                                           also on the overground Thameslink
                                                                                                                                                                                           service. All stations are in Zone 1 and
                                                                                                                                                                                           an annual travelcard costs £1,104.
                                                                                                                                                                                           Councils: most of Clerkenwell is in
                                                                                                                                                                                           Islington (Labour controlled) where
                                                                                                                                           In the picture: the entrance to St              Band D council tax for 2011/12 is
                                                                                                                                           Bartholomew Church, which features              £1,271.69. The area around Hatton Gar-
                                                                                                                                           in Four Weddings and a Funeral                  den is in Camden (Labour controlled)
                                                                                                                                                                                           where Band D tax is £1,331.35, and
                                                                                                         DANNY ELWES

                                                                                                                                           To buy in Clerkenwell visit:                    around Smithfield is City of London
                                                                                                                                                           (councillors and aldermen sit as inde-
                                                                                                                                                                                           pendents) and Band D tax is £939.18.
30                                                                                                                                                                                                              WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Ask the expert                                                                                                                                                                             

Does this deal do what it says on the tin?
                                                                                                                                                                      WHAT’S                              I AM selling my house and have had two offers:
                                                                                                                                                                      YOUR                                one from a first-time buyer who has arranged
McNulty                                                                                                                                                               PROBLEM?
                                                                                                                                                                      IF YOU have a
                                                                                                                                                                                                          a mortgage “in principle”, the other from a
                                                                                                                                                                                                          chain-free cash buyer, who wants to pay
OUR LAWYER ANSWERS                                                                                                                                                    question for               £10,000 less. My estate agent is keen to accept the
                                                                                                                                                                      Fiona McNulty,             cash offer but would I be doing the right thing? Or will

                                                                                                                                                                      please email               I be missing out on £10,000?

          WE ARE buying a                                                                                                                                             legalsolutions@
          new-build house and the                                                                                                                           ,                     YOUR agent will be looking for some certainty
          developer says that                                                                                                                                         or write to Legal                   both for you and for them and will carry out due
          though we are paying                                                                                                                                        Solutions, Homes                    diligence on both sets of buyers to establish their
£575,000 for it, he will give us                                                                                                                                      & Property,                         ability to proceed. Though the cash offer is lower,
£25,000 cash back to help pay for                                                                                                                                     London Evening             that buyer is more likely to be able to proceed, especially
all the new furnishings.                                                                                                                                              Standard, 2 Derry          as he has no chain.
 It all sounds great but are there                                                                                                                                    Street, W8 5EE.              Your agent will ask him for written evidence of his
any concerns we should have?                                                                                                                                          We regret that             ability to buy your house without a mortgage or other

                                                                                                                                                                      questions cannot           borrowing. This could be in the form of the cash buyer’s
         THE cash back from the                                                                                                                                       be answered                bank statements or his solicitor may be prepared to
         developer is an incentive for                                                                                                                                individually but           confirm his client’s ability to pay without borrowing.
         you to buy the house. As                                                                                                                                     we will try to               Turning to the first-time buyers, they have a mortgage
         such, it does need to be dealt                                                                                                                               feature them               arranged in principle but the lender will still require a
with properly by your solicitors who                                                                                                                                  here. Fiona is a           valuation and if this is lower than the offer made by the
are under a duty not to be party to                                                                                                                                   partner in the             first-time buyers, that may affect the amount that the
any mis-statement of the sale price.                                                                                                                                  residential real           first-time buyers can borrow.
  The contract is likely to state that                                                                                                                                estate team at               Your agent will also check on how the first-time buyers
the price of the property is £575,000                                                                                                                                 Thrings LLP                intend to raise the deposit needed on exchange of
but the terms of the contract will                    form, which will detail the cash-back                 solicitors are in receipt of the                          (             contracts.
disclose the cash-back arrangement.                   deal and any other discounts.                         disclosure of incentives form.                                                         Uncertainty in the global economy means that being
Your solicitors must ensure that the                    When getting everything ready for                     It is very important that you keep                                                 granted a mortgage is not a given, and the first-time
transfer document shows the net                       completion of your purchase, your                     your solicitors informed of all                                                      buyers are likely to have to face more obstacles, which
price you will pay for the property,                  solicitors need to submit a certificate               incentives and discounts which the                                                   may result in delays. Hence your agent’s advice.
ie £550,000.                                          of title to your lender.                              developers offer you at the outset
  If you need a mortgage, your                          This is the document in which your                  and throughout the transaction.                           More legal                    These answers can only be a very brief commentary on
solicitors will obtain from the                       solicitors request that the mortgage                    Provided you do this, there is                          Q&As                       the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice.
developers a Council of Mortgage                      funds are released to them, and                       nothing to worry about and you can                        Visit: homesand            No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar
Lenders disclosure of incentives                      cannot be submitted until your                        enjoy spending the cash you get back.                                                issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

     113 commercial investments
     for sale by auction                                   to include (unless previously sold or withdrawn)

      Lot 11                                             Lot 13                                              Lot 27                                                  Lot 60                                           344 Kingston Road SW20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lot 101: Shop let to William Hill until 2014 plus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      flat on AST. Total rent £18,600 pa.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      97 North Street, Romford
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lot 106: Shop plus two flats let
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      on ASTs whole let at £25,960 pa.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      44 Bruce Road NW10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lot 112: Accountant’s office let at £10,800 pa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      27-35 Bevenden Street N1
      129/129A High Street North E6                      Westgate House, Westgate Square, Harlow             Unit G-H Catteshall Mill, Catteshall Road, Godalming   Loch Fyne, 5-6 High Street, Egham                 Lot 68: Office building let at £125,000 pa.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Challenge House, Sherwood Drive,
                                                        129/129A High Street North E6                       48 High Street North, Dunstable                         157/159                                           Bletchley, Milton Keynes
     12A Worplesdon Road,                               Lot 11: Paddy Power and AST flat                    Lot 26: Town centre shop and offices                    Wandsworth High Street SW18                       Lot 81: Multi-tenanted office building let
                                                        let at £82,000 pa Shop lease expires 2026.          let at £39,825 pa. High yielding.                       Lot 70: Let to Lloyds Bank at £45,000 pa          at a total rent of £238,368 pa. Vacant
     Woodbridge Hill, Guildford                                                                                                                                     plus 3 flats.                                     possession of some 34,080 sq ft.
     Lot 1: Entirely let to Barclays Bank plc           52 High Street, Bromley                             Unit F Catteshall Mill,
     at £23,600 pa. Lease expires 2027.                 Lot 12: Newly refurbished shop let at £65,000 pa.   Catteshall Road, Godalming                              170 High Street, Guildford
                                                        Westgate House,                                     Lot 28: Let at £17,000 pa (sub-let to Lloyds            By Order of Guildford Borough Council
     266 & 268 Coulsdon Road,                                                                               Pharmacy) plus vacant office.                           Lot 72: Attractive Listed commercial building     Unit G-H Catteshall Mill,
     and 1A 1B & 1C The Parade,                         Westgate Square, Harlow                                                                                     (4,624 sq ft) Vacant possession.                  Catteshall Road, Godalming
                                                        Lot 13: Five shops with 4,188.7 sq m                142 Seven Sisters Road N7
     Old Coulsdon                                                                                           Lot 38: Multi-let shop and office investment,           69-71 Plumstead High Street SE18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lot 27: Doctor’s surgery let at £232,000 pa
                                                        (45,087 sq ft) (GIA) of vacant offices above.                                                                                                                 until 2033.
     Lot 4: Four shops and four flats. Total let at                                                         part vacant. Known rent £42,240 pa.
                                                        Total rents £120,250 pa.                                                                                    Lot 84: Two shops let at £48,000 pa.
     £54,770 pa. Plus one vacant shop.
                                                        2 White Horse Road, Windsor                         470/472 Kingsland Road,                                 75-79 Plumstead High Street,
     37-39 Honor Oak Park SE23                                                                              Hackney E8                                                                                                The Bell, 18 High Street, Bedmond
     Lot 5: Double shop unit let until 2021
                                                        Lot 14: Let to Coral Racing Ltd until 2027,                                                                 Plumstead SE18
                                                        minimum increases at each review.                   Lot 39: Two shops and residential ground                Lot 85: Two shops, office                         Lot 34: Attractive pub let at £36,771 pa
     at £23,800 pa.                                     Let at £10,500 pa.                                  rents. Total rents £18,660 pa.                                                                            rising to £41,602 pa in 2014.
                                                                                                                                                                    and two flats let at £74,760 pa.
     345 Fulham Palace Road SW6                         557/559 Hertford Road, Enfield                      159 Wadham Road E17                                                                                       Loch Fyne, 5-6 High Street, Egham
     Lot 6: Let to Ask Restaurants Ltd, lease
                                                                                                                                                                    445 Green Lanes N4
                                                        Lot 16: Let to W J Meade LLP and three ASTs         Lot 50: Shop and flat let at £17,800 pa.                Lot 90: Shop with residential uppers,             Lot 60: Let to Loch Fyne Restaurants Ltd
     expires 2020, £36,005 pa.                          above whole let at £43,800 pa.                      Plus vacant workshop to rear.                                                                             until 2029 (no breaks) at £90,512 pa.
                                                                                                                                                                    total known rent £48,080 pa.
     204 Fulham Palace Road W6                                                                                                                                                                                        Rising to £102,406 pa in July 2014.
                                                        73/75 High Street E17                               15 Bell Street, Reigate                                 42-44 Randlesdown Road SE6
     Lot 8: Café let at £15,000 pa.                     Lot 19: Instant cash loans and AST                  Lot 59: Shop and self-contained offices.                Lot 91: Londis store let at £20,000 pa.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      16 Parliament Square, Hertford
     351 Ripple Road, Barking                           at £47,900 pa. Shop lease expires 2021.             Total let at £28,600 pa.                                                                                  Lot 74: Town centre bar/restaurant with
                                                                                                            103 High Street, Eltham                                 338 Kingston Road SW20                            3 upper floors let at £50,000 pa.
     Lot 9: Let to Coral Racing Ltd until 2027,         549 High Road N17                                                                                           Lot 98: Café and two bed flat total rent
     minimum increases at each review.                  Lot 20: Bank let to Barclays Bank plc until         Lot 64: Well located shop let to
     Let at £10,800 pa.                                                                                                                                             £13,800 pa.
                                                        2026 plus offices with residential consent.         Holland & Barrett at £60,000 pa. Expires 2019
                                                        Total rents £48,000 pa.                                                                                     340 Kingston Road SW20                            428 Kings Road SW10
     752 & 752A High Road,                                                                                  81-83 South Road,                                                                                         Lot 73: First time on market since 1910. Club
                                                                                                                                                                    Lot 99: Restaurant let at £6,000 pa until 2035.
     Finchley N12                                       36 High Street, Walton On Thames                    Haywards Heath, West Sussex                                                                               premises of approx 6,460 sq ft, possibly suitable
     Lot 10: Shop and maisonette.                       Lot 25: Attractive shop let to Clinton Cards plc    Lot 67: Well located shop let to Robert Dyas            342 Kingston Road SW20                            for alternative uses subject to consents being
     Let at £46,000 pa expiring 2021.                   plus two flats. Total rents £68,000 pa.             at £90,000 pa.                                          Lot 100: Shop and flat total rent £13,600 pa.     obtained. Vacant Possession upon Completion.

     Tuesday 6th December 2011                                                                                                                                                                                 Full property details are available online:
     The Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London W1J 7BX                                                                                                                                                 
32                                                                                                                                                                         WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Inside story                                                                                                                                        

The solution for                                                                                                                                                                     who are hopefully people who will care
                                                                                                                                                                                     for the property as much as the owner.
                                                                                                                                                                                     It reminds me how stressful letting out

a smart but badly                                                                                                                                                                    your property must be.
                                                                                                                                                                                       The day ends with tenants moving
                                                                                                                                                                                     into a six-bedroom house. I pop round
                                                                                                                                                                                     with some fizz and a card, along with

lit flat came in a                                                                                                                                                                   goodies for the children, to welcome
                                                                                                                                                                                     them. Our client is the landlord but we
                                                                                                                                                                                     spend time with the tenants, who are

light bulb moment                                                                                                                                                                    excited to be moving in after three
                                                                                                                                                                                     months of searching.

                                                                                                                                                                                     Frantic Friday. Any offers not tied up
Christmas decorations are in the shops
and some say the lettings market is
                                             Diary of                                                                                                                                during the week generally get finalised
                                                                                                                                                                                     by the end of the day, so that contracts
                                                                                                                                                                                     can go out to be read over the weekend.
quietening down. However, my morn-
ing starts with a flurry of phone calls      an estate                                                                                                                               We agree an offer on a super flat that
                                                                                                                                                                                     came to the market on Tuesday.
putting forward offers from a very busy
Saturday full of viewings. People work
such long hours that being open all day
                                             agent                                                                                                                                     The tenants could only view at 7.30
                                                                                                                                                                                     in the evening but fortunately in this
                                                                                                                                                                                     case, it was worth it. Our client is
on Saturday really does give us the          for short lets over the Olympics. They                                                                                                  thrilled: he is new to the lettings proc-
edge.                                        have been there for 27 years and spend                                                                                                  ess and expected it to take longer.
  We have a smart, one-bedroom flat          summers in Scotland. The idea of two         WEDNESDAY                                       it a perfect London bolt-hole in a five-     At lunchtime I get a call from the
that has stuck on the market for several     months prime rental when the place is        A call from a prospective client at a           star location. Even the fifth-floor walk   client of Wednesday’s viewing — we
months due to a slightly overambitious       normally empty is very appealing.            large house on one of Chelsea’s prime           up saves on gym membership, though         are instructed … whoopee. Out comes
pricing by the landlord. It also looks a       The flat is like an Aladdin’s Cave, with   streets gets the morning going.                 the prospect of trips up and down          the little black book of contacts and in
bit dark, so after a trip to the DIY shop    a set of antlers on the wall and a palm        The family house market at this time          those stairs for every viewing fills me    goes our property manager to meet
we are soon balancing on the furniture       tree in the hallway. After much interior     of year can be notoriously touch-and-           with dread.                                him and discuss taking over when he
changing his light bulbs… definitely not     decoration advice and several cups of        go. However, for a “best in class” prop-                                                   moves abroad. A photographer goes
in the job description.                      tea, we have quotes booked for remov-        erty such as this one we will always            THURSDAY                                   round that afternoon and we have the
  As the end of the day nears, we have       als, redecoration and new furniture          have people lining up, keen to be the           Things are definitely not slowing down     first viewing through the door. It’s
happy clients with three deals tied up       that meets stringent fire regulations.       first through the door.                         — another competitive bidding situa-       great to be able to get a property
and a sealed bid deadline for 9am              The question has to be asked… is all         Back to the office and straight out           tion on a great flat just off the Fulham   online within 12 hours of winning the
tomorrow.                                    of this really worth it for a few months     again to another lovely property, this          Road. The two-bedroom market at the        instruction.
                                             rent? The answer is given with a laugh       time at the other end of the scale: a           moment is so busy, anything presented
TUESDAY                                      — it turns out they have been wanting        fifth-floor studio flat. It is in a converted   well is being snapped up.                    Harriet Hustler is head of lettings at
I start with a market appraisal for an       to sort out their flat for some time so      loft overlooking a garden square. Very            A real draw of this job is matching      Strutt & Parker’s West Chelsea office
elderly couple wishing to offer their flat   this is a perfect excuse.                    clever design and use of space makes            applicants up with the perfect home,       (020 7244 1275).
34                                                                                                                                                                WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Letting on                                                                                                                                

Victoria Whitlock calls in the council exterminators to rid a flat of vermin — but ends up being rescued by vegans

            HECK out the dictionary
            definition of the word
            “complacency” and you’ll
            find that it means self-
                                           Those cooing                                                                                                                                         £1,400
                                                                                                                                                                                                A MONTH
                                                                                                                                                                                                In Chalsey Road,
                                                                                                                                                                                                Brockley, SE4, a

                                           pigeons on my
            satisfaction “especially                                                                                                                                                            maisonette close
when accompanied by unawareness                                                                                                                                                                 to Hilly Fields
of actual dangers or deficiencies”.                                                                                                                                                             Park and Crofton
  Landlords, take note of that last bit                                                                                                                                                         Park station, with
and if you fall into the trap of                                                                                                                                                                three bedrooms
thinking everything’s fine, remember
that something has almost definitely
gone wrong — but you just don’t
know about it yet.
                                           balcony are now                                                                                                                                      and a private
                                                                                                                                                                                                garden, is for rent
                                                                                                                                                                                                through KFH.
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Visit homes
  For two months I heard nothing
from my new tenants so I let myself
believe that everything was okay. It
wasn’t. When I popped round to let
the gas engineer in for the annual
                                           on death row                                                                                                                                         and property.

boiler check I was horrified — and I                                                as they were vegans, they wouldn’t          pigeons, even little fluffy ones, are a    was more concerned that the council
mean horrified — to see a baby
pigeon in a nest on the balcony.
                                           The                                      be happy for pest control to actually
                                                                                    kill this bird. Why not? I wasn’t
                                                                                                                                health hazard. Some believe that they
                                                                                                                                spread respiratory infections to
                                                                                                                                                                           failed to live up to its promise and
                                                                                                                                                                           repair the netting. Every day I called,
  You might not think one little bird is
that big a deal but spend an entire day    accidental                               suggesting they ate the damn thing.
                                                                                      The tenants’ spokeswoman said
                                                                                                                                humans (including vegans) and even
                                                                                                                                if they don’t, they are noisy, dirty and
                                                                                                                                                                           every day they said someone would
                                                                                                                                                                           pop round, but no one ever came. I
scrubbing pigeon poo off your
balcony, then tell me it’s not a
                                           landlord                                 they wanted to leave it until it was
                                                                                    old enough to fly away. But the
                                                                                    problem with pigeons is that they
                                                                                                                                they smell, so this one had to go.
                                                                                                                                  One of the tenants promised to
                                                                                                                                remove the chick herself and, true to
                                                                                                                                                                           should have known, as I had to nag
                                                                                                                                                                           them for months to put up the
                                                                                                                                                                           netting in the first place.
  Good grief, I’d tried everything to      of the property, which I thought had     don’t go away, or rather they are           her word, she dealt with it that night.      Look up the dictionary definition of
keep those ruddy birds away yet            done the trick. Obviously it hadn’t.     programmed to keep coming back.             She didn’t say how and I suspect she       “council” and you’ll see it means “a
they’d broken through every line of        The pigeons had pushed their way           I admit the baby was cute, but it         released it into the wild where            body of people elected or appointed
defence. A set of spikes didn’t work —     through and on my balcony was a          would grow, in time, to become a big,       doubtless it slowly starved to death       to waste taxpayers’ money”.
they gave them somewhere nice to           chick snuggling into a scrappy nest in   ugly pooing bird with an incessant coo      unless it was eaten by a fox, but she
perch, thanks very much — and I            the corner.                              that would keep everyone awake              seemed happy and I didn’t care. No           Mother-of-two Victoria Whitlock lets
even grew tomato plants on the               I called the council to ask them to    through the early hours. If allowed to      hate mail, please, pigeon lovers. I        three properties in south London.
balcony when I read that they hate         send pest control round to repair the    live, it would lay eggs of its own on the
the smell but that didn’t put them off,    netting and the chap in the estates      balcony, which would mean more
either. Finally the council, which is      office promised they would dispose       pigeons strutting all over the place.       Find many more homes to rent at
the estate’s landlord, came and            of the chick. I emailed the tenants to     As a landlord, I have to ensure my
erected netting right across the back      let them know but one replied that,      property is free from vermin, and 
36                                                                     WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Personal finance                                 

                                      We thought
Back in town:
after a difficult
search for a
London property,
Andrew and
Fetterman have
moved back from
with their
                                      we’d never be
Noa, two, and
baby Tali                             able to afford a
                    MARTIN PITCHLEY

                                      London home
                                                                                  Lucy Tobin says

                                               OARING rail fares are finally
                                               stemming the exodus of
                                               Londoners who plump to quit
                                               the city and commute in from
                                                                                  rocketing rail costs
                                               the countryside, according to
                                      research by Country Homesearch.
                                                                                  and job worries are
                                        Another reason Londoners are              prompting many
                                      staying — or even returning — is because
                                      job cuts are hitting the regions harder     ‘exiled’ Londoners to
                                      than the capital. And return is exactly
                                      what youth worker Rebecca Fetterman,        return to the capital
                                      32, and her husband, Andrew, 33, an
                                      engineer, have just done.                   housing association. Asylum seekers
                                        “We moved to Wooburn, Bucking-            were living there and they had to put
                                      hamshire, because of our work seven         up with huge holes in the kitchen lino
                                      years ago and ever since then we have       and the carpets, and with electrical
                                      been looking towards coming back to         sockets hanging off the walls.”
                                      London,” Rebecca explains. “However,          A survey revealed no major structural
                                      once you’re out of the London housing       problems, however, and their offer at
                                      market, it’s very difficult to come back.   £375,000 was accepted. “We were
                                      Though we made a really good return         really excited, but then hit a big prob-
                                      on our house in Wooburn, it didn’t          lem,” says Rebecca. The tenants, put
                                      compare with how we would have done         there by the council, couldn’t move out
                                      in the capital.”                            “wilfully” as that would be seen as
                                        The Fettermans, who have two              deliberately making themselves home-
                                      daughters — Noa, two, and baby Tali         less and would stop them qualifying
                                                                                  for new housing.
                                                                                    “So the tenants had to stay until they
                                      ‘The house we wanted to                     were evicted, and the case had to go to
                                      buy was in the most horrific                court. And because so many landlords
                                                                                  were chucking out their tenants at the
                                      state — which was the only                  same time, there was a huge
                                      reason we could afford it’                  backlog.”
                                                                                    The case took eight months to reach
                                      — spent 18 months searching north-          court, eventually heard in September.
                                      west London for a three-bedroom             In the meantime, hoping for the best,
                                      home. “Our absolute maximum budget          the Fettermans organised a mortgage.
                                      was £410,000, and as we needed some-        “We were really surprised that rates
                                      where near a good primary school,           had increased so much,” Rebecca says.
                                      there was very little around in our price   “All our friends were on variable rates
                                      range. So we moved in with my mum           paying almost no interest, but we had to
                                      and dad,” says Rebecca.                     pay 3.87 per cent on a three-year fix from
                                        It was meant to be a temporary meas-      Abbey. We used a broker to organise it
                                      ure, and when the Fettermans found a        — we were so stressed about the transac-
                                      house in Finchley Central for £375,000,     tion that sorting out a mortgage as well
                                      they thought they would very soon be        would have been one step too far.”
                                      moving out of Rebecca’s parental home         Once the tenants were evicted, the
                                      in Mill Hill.                               Fettermans completed on the Finchley
                                        “The house we wanted to buy was in        house the next day, and after eight
                                      the most horrific state, which was the      weeks’ building work, they moved in
                                      only reason we could afford it,”            on Monday. “It has been a long road,
                                      Rebecca adds. “The landlord was in          but we’re finally back in London,” says
                                      Manchester and wasn’t looking after it      Rebecca, “and we love our new
                                      and it was being rented out through a       house.”

                                      In Churchfield
                                      Avenue, Finchley,
                                      a two-bedroom
                                      flat on the first
                                      floor of a period
                                      conversion is for
                                      sale through
                                         Visit homesand

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