Five To View: Mews Houses

This week, a timeless classic: the mews house.

Originally built to house horses and grooms back in the day, these properties have become hugely popular dwellings.

London boasts many, many mews houses, lots of which are set in quaint little cobbled streets with a cluster of fellow mews homes as neighbours.

They’re also usually located within trotting distance of main thoroughfares so they’re central as well as secluded.  A high pedigree, indeed.

Here are five of the Capital’s finest mews houses to admire.

(Click on pics for more images & property details)

1. Grosvenor Crescent Mews, SW1



2. Lennox Garden Mews, SW7



3. Petersham Mews, SW7



4. Montpelier Mews, SW7



5. Spear Mews, SW5



November 26, 2009 at 6:02 PM Leave a comment

Moving House – Top Ten Tips

So, you’ve just found your dream home on, what next? Chances are you’ve only a matter of weeks until you have to move your worldly belongings from A to B.

It’s a huge task and is justifiably known as one of the most stressful things you can do. But with careful planning your move doesn’t have to make you want to tear your hair out.

So, we invited expert mover Claire Hose, from MoveMinder, to give us her top tips when moving.  She oversees many moves for other people and knows how much additional organisation and hard work goes into a successful move.

Follow Claire’s top tips for a stress free move.

Tip 1 – Be organised

Create a ‘To Do’ list and keep any important information together in a file.

As soon as you know you are moving, start planning by writing down what you need to do and when. Obviously not everyone is that organised but for your own sanity try not to leave it more than 3 weeks before the big day.

Tip 2 – Choose the right removal company

There are different options here depending on your budget and the size of your move. For larger households, as a general rule, look for BAR (British Association of Removers) registered movers or recommendations from friends. Get at least three quotes and go with the one you feel is best suited to your move, rather than the cheapest. If you only have a small load and just want a man and van, ask around for recommendations to avoid the cowboys. Check on insurance and don’t be tempted to go without.

Tip 3 – Don’t leave packing to the last-minute

This is a trap that a lot of people fall into simply because they can’t face starting such a mammoth task. Breaking it down into achievable parts can make it a lot less daunting. Take each room separately and start with books and CDs (use small boxes for these), and other items you don’t use that often. Alternatively, get the movers to do it all for you – they can sweep the entire contents of a house into boxes in a matter of hours!

Tip 4 – Ikea bags are a movers best friend

Well, maybe not BEST friend, but they’re pretty good for any of the odds and sods that don’t really need to go in a box. Zipped laundry bags, also known as refugee bags, are good for moving linens, clothes, shoes and other non breakables.

Tip 5 – Don’t forget to label your boxes

It sounds obvious but so many people forget. Put the labels on more than one side so you can see what’s what when they are piled high. If you’re really organised make an inventory of what is in each box, especially if some things are going into storage.

Tip 6 – Does your furniture fit out of your old house and into your new one?

Again, sounds obvious but it can catch you out. If you got it in then you should be able to get it out but flat pack furniture you built yourself is often the biggest cause of grief. Leave yourself time to disassemble and check with the movers if you need to get a window removed, they should know someone who can help.

Tip 7 – Create a room plan for your new home

Do a rough sketch idea of where furniture will be placed in each room. You can always move it again if you want to but it saves time umming and ahhing while the movers struggle under the load.

Tip 8 – Label your electricals

If you have a hundred wires going into one device use sticky coloured labels or number each part to match one end to the other.

Tip 9 – Essentials boxes

Pack the kettle, tea, coffee and milk last, unpack first. Know where your bed-clothes and duvet are (see next tip). Keep remote controls, phones, mobile phone chargers and any other items you are likely to lose but need in the same ‘bits box’ so you know for sure where they are. Keep valuables and important papers with you.

Tip 10 – Make your bed as soon as possible

You’ll appreciate it at the end of the day when you don’t have to do that one more thing before you can relax after a long hard day.

Claire Hose is Managing Director at move management company, MoveMinder Limited,

November 25, 2009 at 11:01 AM 20 comments

Conversion Diversion 2: Wonderful Watermill

A converted watermill comes pretty close to being my ideal home – and watermills don’t come much better than this beauty in Piltdown, East Sussex.

£1,600,000, Converted Water Mill, Strutt & Parker, Lewes (Tel: 0843 2823 360)

£1,600,000, Converted Watermill, Strutt & Parker, Lewes (Tel: 0843 2823 360)

Sadly, these properties tend to have hefty price tags, so it’s unlikely I’ll be buying myself one for Christmas (or ever, to be honest).

Still, on a filthy wet Monday, this is a very pleasant bit of escapism.

£1,600,000, Converted Water Mill, Strutt & Parker, Lewes (Tel: 0843 2823 360)

£1,600,000, Converted Watermill, Strutt & Parker, Lewes (Tel: 0843 2823 360)

£1,600,000, Converted Water Mill, Strutt & Parker, Lewes (Tel: 0843 2823 360)

£1,600,000, Converted Watermill, Strutt & Parker, Lewes (Tel: 0843 2823 360)

£1,600,000, Converted Water Mill, Strutt & Parker, Lewes (Tel: 0843 2823 360)

£1,600,000, Converted Watermill, Strutt & Parker, Lewes (Tel: 0843 2823 360)

£1,600,000, Converted Water Mill, Strutt & Parker, Lewes (Tel: 0843 2823 360)

£1,600,000, Converted Watermill, Strutt & Parker, Lewes (Tel: 0843 2823 360)

£1,600,000, Converted Water Mill, Strutt & Parker, Lewes (Tel: 0843 2823 360)

£1,600,000, Converted Watermill, Strutt & Parker, Lewes (Tel: 0843 2823 360)


£1,600,000, Converted Watermill, Strutt & Parker, Lewes (Tel: 0843 2823 360)

November 23, 2009 at 1:51 PM Leave a comment

Cost of a good school: Graph Of The Week

Ok, this won’t come as a big surprise to parents: a property close to a good school will cost a whole lot more than one close to a … not so good school.

But how much more? Savills have crunched the numbers and concluded that:

  • Homes in the vicinity of the top-performing 25 per cent of secondary schools now cost 16 per cent more than their county average, up from 13 per cent in 2007.
  • At the extreme, homes in areas with a combination of good state and independent schools can be worth two or three times their county average.

The results are much more dramatic at suburb level than at town level.

House prices in first placed suburb Altringham are more than twice the average for Greater Manchester, while those in Hallam in Sheffield, Clifton in Bristol, and Solihull and Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands all outstrip their metropolitan authority average by more than 50 per cent.


(Ps: I know this is a table, not a graph. There is a graph in the Savills’ report, but it will make your head hurt.)

November 23, 2009 at 12:48 PM 1 comment

Grand Designs Water Tower: Our Listing Before It was Made “Grand”

The Property: A disused Victorian water tower plus two gatehouses.

The Place: London SE11

The Price: £995,000 for the three properties, or £395,000 for the water tower, £350,000 for gatehouse 1, and £250,000 for gatehouse 2.

The Pain: Eight floors, all of them Grade II listed, with a water tank on the top. This is a challenging project, and if you don’t manage it well, it could very quickly become an expensive one.

The Gain: It’s unique, it has amazing potential and it could be your big chance to do the whole Grand Designs thing. Nice view from the top as well!


The Agent:Daniel Cobb, Tel: 0843 2834 915

£995,000, London SE11, Daniel Cobb, Tel: 0843 2834 915

£995,000, London SE11, Daniel Cobb, Tel: 0843 2834 915


£995,000, London SE11, Daniel Cobb, Tel: 0843 2834 915


£995,000, London SE11, Daniel Cobb, Tel: 0843 2834 915

November 20, 2009 at 10:48 AM Leave a comment

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