Between twin white pillars guarding the entrance to a Victorian mansion lies a secret kingdom, a flat so chic, so large and so stylish, you’ll want to keep it all to yourself. Rich Burmese wooden floors, intricate fretwork and Italian and Asian textiles are shown to perfection in lofty white rooms. Hyde Park is at the end of the road, and you’ll see the Natural History Museum from your window. When it comes to café culture, South Kensington is exceptional, so when the sun comes out, order a pot of mint tea, or perhaps some headily strong black coffee, and dream of spires and distant minarets.
Your hostess is from Turkey. She was schooled in the UK, and after a stint at Cambridge University decided to make London home. Her husband is Australian and is in finance. They and their two young children often nip back to Bodrum, for sunshine, freedom, and grandma’s wonderful cooking.
Queen’s Gate is Grade II listed, and the sitting room ceiling is a full thirteen feet high. Watch TV from the embrace of the chocolate leather bucket chairs, or the deep sofa, then take a seat at the dining table and admire the Vietnamese painting. Sliding doors separate this room from the gleaming eat-in kitchen, and those jet black units conceal a host of useful appliances.
Nip up the stairs to find a handy utility and shower room, and then it’s on to the third and fourth floors. The children’s twin room is simply adorable, with murals, toys and an ensuite, while the spacious master bedroom is handsome in Japanese monochrome. The bed’s king-sized, and the ensuite’s as decadent as anything you’ll find in trendy Istanbul. Downstairs on the lowest floor you’ll discover another double bedroom with all sorts of books and a snowy single, alongside a bathroom in black Bisazza glass mosaic.
Beyond the gates
Explore the museums, take a boat out on the Serpentine, or catch a concert at the Albert Hall. Harrods is only a ten-minute walk away, or perhaps you’ll prefer to walk across the park to Notting Hill and Portobello Road Market. Kensington High Street has boutiques with enough treasure to fill several souks, or, if you’d rather head into town, the tube from Gloucester Road to Piccadilly Circus takes ten minutes.