Right here right now
What a spot! Caught midway between the buzzy streets of Earl’s Court and the parade of British brands that is Kensington High Street, Cromwell Road is just glorious. The proportions are dreamy - its high ceilings are tipped with delicate Victorian cornicing, and tall windows spill sunshine onto pretty fireplaces, curious objects, and stripped wood furniture. You’re so close to the museums that you can beat the queues and still have a lie in, and we insist you take a picnic to Hyde Park. Shop in Harrods and Harvey Nichols or nip down through the beautiful back streets into Chelsea – this is one of the most desirable parts of town, and it shows.
Your host is a property developer, who’s based in Zambia. When in London he’s constantly racing between engagements, and a typical weekend might consist of a trip the V&A museum, a run in Holland Park and cocktails at Kensington Roof Gardens.
Summer in the city
There’s so much light in this home that even the depths of winter feel like June. And then there’s the heat that throbs from your host’s African curios – in particular, be sure to examine the hand-carved coffee table and the collection of wicker bowls. There’s a wrought iron balcony for eating al fresco, and back inside, a pale dining table with space for eight. The kitchen’s well-equipped, with country-style units and worktops of pure marble, and the two contemporary bathrooms are similarly gleaming.
The funky guest double looks down on a handy study, while the master bedroom has a feeling of real decadence, with a French-style bed, a creamy carpet and a view out into lush green leaves.
You may be in the heart of tourist London, but you’re surrounded by peaceful garden squares and winding alleys leading to hidden pubs and cafes. The walk to the museums is a real pleasure, all tall white houses and birdsong, and from here it’s not much further to Harrods and Knightsbridge. Closer to home, Earl’s Court is packed with bistros and coffee shops, and if you want to buy organic, Kensington High Street has the biggest Whole Foods in Europe. All this, and the journey from Earl’s Court to Covent Garden takes less than fifteen minutes.