This beautifully furnished, fully equipped apartment is perfect for one couple, two couples, or a family. It is in the heart of Little Venice, a unique 'upscale' residential neighborhood in central/west London minutes by tube from all the cultural and historical sights, entertainment, and other attractions you come to London for.
The nearest tube (Warwick Avenue station on the Bakerloo line) is only one block away and there are eight bus lines within five minutes walk. Piccadilly is 12 minutes away by tube. You can get anywhere from here!
Occupying the entire first floor (one level above the street) of a handsome 'listed' Victorian house, the apartment is modern, bright, and airy with 12 foot ceilings, a balcony, huge windows, generous closet space, and interesting artwork and craft items throughout. Two bedrooms and a new (2012) really comfortable sofa bed in the living room sleep a maximum of six with the convenience of an en suite bathroom in each bedroom and a hall powder room.
The larger bedroom has a queen size bed and a storage wall with two large closets and shelf space. There is an electric alarm clock, two reading lamps, and black out shades for the huge windows The en suite bathroom for this larger bedroom has a shower and a tub. The smaller bedroom has a desk, which some renters use as a dresser, and a storage wall with one closet and a bank of shelves for extra linens and household supplies. There's also some shelf space for renters. The wi fi connection is in this bedroom. The bedroom has a trundle bed--a hidden bed slides out and pops up to turn the sofa into a double bed. Or the pop up bed can be separated into twin beds. The en suite bathroom in this smaller bedroom has a shower but no tub.
The living room has a very comfortable sofa that seats three and opens to sleep two. The room also has two leather tub chairs and a giant floor to ceiling window. Outside the window is a balcony with flower boxes. The dining area is at one end of the living room The table seats four with a self storing leaf that opens to seat six. There's a convenient pass-through to the kitchen. Near the table is a book case with a collection of paper back novels--if you take one, please leave one. In the bookcase, too, is a good collection of guide books on London and on the British Isles. Use them, but please leave them for the next guests.
Amenities in this well equipped apartment include cable TV, stereo with CD player, wi fi computer connection, washer/dryer, dishwasher, four burner gas range and convection electric oven, microwave, family size refrigerator and separate freezer, garbage disposal (rare in London apartments), electric coffee and tea makers, toaster, hair dryer, a generous supply of dishes, kitchen utensils, and linens, elevator, secure entry, and free local phone calls. There is a secure, buzz-in entrance hall.
One of the best features of this apartment is its location in Little Venice, which the London Walks brochure describes as the prettiest and most romantic neighborhood in London. It is a quiet, tree filled neighborhood with flowers most of the year. One block from your doorstep is the lovely Regents Canal with its flower decked longboats (including an art gallery and a puppet theatre) and 19th century towpath. Walk the towpath or take a water taxi to the London Zoo or Camden Market.
Enjoy the charm and convenience of the local shops; a small supermarket, a bakery, 2 delis with great take-out food , organic food store, pharmacy, wine shop, hair dresser, and many boutiques, even a specialty shop for animal lovers. Bring your pet a toy from London.
Of course you can cook in and enjoy our modern kitchen. But if you'd rather eat out, you have many choices within a few blocks walk. Neighborhood pubs, cafes, and restaurants offer excellent Indian, French, Thai, Middle Eastern, Persian, Burmese, English, and American food. Need a break? Take a short walk to Lords Cricket Club, Regents Park with its boating lake and magnificent gardens, or Paddington Recreation Park, with a gym, 12 tennis courts, a rose garden, and two children's playgrounds.
This fully equipped and beautifully located apartment is perfect for the vacationer who wants to see and do everything London has to offer, while living in a real neighborhood like a Londoner--a very lucky Londoner because Little Venice is a highly desirable residential area. This unique apartment is not a commercial rental property. It is privately owned. We are the owners, it is our second home, and we look forward to telling you more about it.
We are both professors, recently retired after many years at the University at Buffalo. Bob, an MD, was professor in the School of Medicine. I (Maxine) am a historian. We live in Buffalo,New York (no jokes about snow, please) But we spend at least three months each year in London, in that very pretty and convenient apartment you see on our webside. We know the apartment is comfortable and up to American standards because it's our second home.
After spending two sabbaticals in London, 1988 and 1995, we fell in love with the city. We bought an apartment here because any time of year there's an endless choice of things to see and do. London is a perfect visitor's city. It's easy to get around by public transportation, and everyone (almost) speaks English. We enjoy the world class music, dance, art, museums, and theatre here. For a change of pace we explore parks, craft shows, street festivals, open air markets, and restaurants offering every kind of food you can imagine. The surrounding countryside is lovely for walking, and Oxford, Cambridge, Canterbury, and Stratford-on-Avon are easy day trips. As retirees, we have time to take advantage of being here. We enjoy hosting our friends and our family (three sons, two daughters in law, five grandchildren currently ages 3-22. Samuel Johnson once said, 'If you're tired of London, you're tired of life.' We agree.
Our apartment is in a unique, upscale neighbohood in central London, a few minutes from a tube stop and many busses, but it is also in a very pretty residential area. So we have the best of both worlds--trees,flowers, local shops, and the Regents canal a few minutes walk away, and just a short tube or bus ride to all the 'downtown' city activities and attractions we enjoy so much.
Our location is unique--both urban and residential--beautiful, quiet, yet close to all the action of a great city.
The apartment is unique also in being both traditional and modern. It is in a 'listed' Victorian house (Mary Poppins could be upstairs!) the outside of which can't be altered. However, an architect bought it, gutted the inside, and made it into four modern apartments. He had just started when we bought it--so we could have it just the way we wanted. Therefore, unlike many London flats, we have lots of closets, bright light, an elevator, two and a half bathrooms, a dishwasher, a big freezer, our own laundry (not shared) even a garbage disposal-- Our location is London but our comforts are U.S. This is great for us and for our renters.
Another unique benefit is our location. We are in central London, so close to transportation and so close to 'downtown' that you won't waste your time on long journeys getting to the places you want to see.
Unlike commercial properties, this is our second home. We are here twice a year for at lest 6 weeks. So our apartment is not decorated like a rental flat. It has leather chairs, a really comfortable new sofa bed, and art work and craft items that we picked out because we liked them.
Finally, unlike many other neighborhoods in inner London, which are dreary, or noisy, or both, our neighborhood is quiet, safe, and beautiful. There are flowers most of the year. Property values are rising-- as reflected in the shops and boutiques. We have our own organic food store as well as a new Sasson hair salon. At the same time, it's a diverse, interesting neighborhood where people of all kinds seem to get along fine. That is perhaps the most valuable of the many 'unique benefits' of our property--it's a great place to live, as an owner or as a guest.
Locally, go to Regents Park for playgrounds, summer theatre, a boating lake, and wonderful gardens. Walk the canal towpath to the famous London Zoo and, just beyond it, to Camden Market, a giant upscale flea market and shopping area--funky jewelry, second hand books, antique toys, leather jackets,vintage clothes, etc--and lots of ethnic food. Teens love it. So do adults. if you don't want to walk, there's a water taxi. Near Little Venice you can visit a floating art gallery and puppet theatre. You can also feed the local ducks and swans. Also local is Paddington Recreation Park, with a gym, two playgrounds, a track, 12 tennis courts, and loads of room for children to run. We go there to play with the local dogs when we miss our own. Lord's Cricket Club is also a short walk away.
We consider all of London 'our area' because public transportation is so good. London's many theatres, galleries, and museums are within easy reach. Some of our favorites are the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert (new directors--wonderful special exhibitions), the Museum of Natural History (adults as well as children) Tate Modern (go to St Paul's tube station and walk across the Millennium Bridge for great views), Tate Britain, the Jewish Museum, Somerset House, and the Theatre Museum. Don't forget the National Gallery (free) and the National Portrait Gallery, with a lot more than portraits. There's even a cartoon museum. Something for everyone.
We love London theatre. The National Theatre (south Bank) is world class. The West End is like Broadway. Also try the off-West End theatres and the unique 'fringe' theatres scattered all over London. A website 'London Theatre.com' lists what's on and what's opening and closing soon, with reviews. It's good to look at that before you come to London and get tickets ahead of time for popular shows. If you are a 'senior,' ask for 'concessions' on any tickets. (Seniors are called OAP's--Old Age Pensioners!)
If you are a music lover, as we are, London is full of music, in large places like Festival Hall, in modest local churches, and everything in-between. You'll find classical music, country, jazz, and a lot of African and Asian music that you won't find easily in the US. There's opera in the original language and in English and wonderful dance of all kinds at Sadler's Wells and other venues.
There are lots of festivals in London, no matter what time of year--film festivals, craft festivals, ethnic festivals, and, in summer, street parties and outdoor events of all kinds. We love the food, the music, and the photo ops. Many are in neighborhood parks. Get on a bus or tube and seek them out. You'll meet nice people and see different parts of London. Websites 'Time Out.com' and 'Visit London.com' list these events.
I'm not a big palace person, but the Royal Stables are fun to visit. The Tower of London is great if you are a history buff. If not, and you're rushed, it might not be worth your time. Parliament, and St Paul's are well worth your time. Take a boat down the Thames to Greenwich, with its hands- on nautical museum, the prime meridian (we're all on Greenwich time'), and street market. Don't miss the giant ferris wheel, the London Eye (try for a sunny day) on the South Bank. Like gardens? Go to Kew.
Walk London! The books in our apartment have suggestions for walks in London and nearby countryside. There are organized 2 hour tours, 'London Walks,' often led by unemployed actors, organized around themes-- a Jewish East End walk, a Dickens Walk, a Shakespeare walk, a Harry Potter walk, a Churchill War Rooms walk (our favorite). Shakespeare fan or not, go to the reconstructed Globe theatre on the South Bank. Even if you don't see a play, don't miss the tour and adjacent exhibition. You can record a part in a famous play and compare your rendition of Hamlet to that of Lawrence Olivier.
There's so much to do in London that if you have a week or less, stay in town. If you are here for longer, there are many day trips by train or bus. You can go to Oxford or Cambridge (more beautiful and less frenetic), York (great cathedral, Viking remains), Avebury (like Stone Henge only you can get closer), and Stratford-on-Avon. Our favorite outing is Churchill's summer home, Chartwell--great house, gardens, and historical documents.
If London is part of a longer trip, (2 weeks +) go further. Take a train, then rent a car at your destination. Our favorite 3-4 day trip is south and west to Devon and Cornwall (charming inns, thatched roofs, fishing villages, wild horses, beautiful cliff walks by the sea). Or go north to the Lake District for rugged hills and challenging hiking.
There are endless things to do in and around London. You probably have plans. But if you want, Bob and I will be happy to talk with you about what would be especially interesting and fun for you and your family or group.