I have been travelling much of the last month. Last summer I barely went out of town at all (which gave me the time to start a blog), but this summer has been the complete opposite. I am out of town much of the rest of the month and most of August, so please forgive the sporadic posts!
One of my favorite cities in the world is London. Perhaps this is because I go there so often that I do not feel like a tourist in the city. On my recent visit, I did not go to a single museum or tourist destination; instead, armed with my book of walks in London, I explored the beautiful area of Kensington and Chelsea. This borough of London is west and south of Hyde Park, and is identified as 'the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea'. It is the most affluent borough in Britain, and is home to Kensington Palace (former home of Diana, Princess of Wales), the Victoria and Albert Museum, Notting Hill, Holland Park, and Harrods (to name a few). Even though Britain is also experiencing a severe housing slump, prices in Kensington and Chelsea prices are still going up, reflecting the desirability and demand for this area of London.
In 2004, Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal purchased this home in Kensington for a record breaking $128 million, the most expensive residential home purchase at the time (it was recently eclipsed by the purchase of a home on the French Riviera by a Russian billionaire for $500 million). The home is on Kensington Palace Gardens , which has the nickname 'billionaire's row'. The home has almost 50,000 square feet, and is the largest private residence in central London after Buckingham Palace. It boasts garage space for 20 cars as well as a ballroom. This year Mittal bought two more properties on Kensington Palace Gardens: one of them cost $234 million dollars, and the second one was purchased for his 32 year old son for $140 million. The home purchased for his son was the former embassy for the Phillippines, and is in need of extensive remodelling. It is a mere 16,500 square feet, but boasts views of Kensington Palace.
From Gaetan Lee's flickr photos
This Chelsea townhouse caught my eye because of the attractive way in which the owner matched the flowers to the bold vermilion door.
A unique gate of a home on the Chelsea embankment
Some lovely flower boxes in Kensington and Chelsea. There are so many beautiful flower boxes in London, I suppose because they are like the 'front yards'.
For those lucky enough to have front steps, there are lots of beautiful potted arrangements too.
Here is a different style - more Victorian, and represents the time when living in flats (apartments) became more in fashion.
This is a rare thing in central London: a stand alone house. It was recently purchased by a billionaire and completely refurbished. Note the Rolls Royce in the drive way. This house probably cost tens of millions of dollars, knowing how expensive London real estate is. The interiors were recently featured in a British magazine.
As I was strolling around Holland Park, I came across a tucked away street with beautiful Georgian homes and townhomes. Each one had something unique about it that caught my eye. I love the greenery on the facade of this home.
The door captured my attention on this home.
I liked the neat front landscaping and window boxes of this home.
The door with its fanlight, and the welcoming front landscaping appealed to me in this home.
The beautiful door and manicured hedges stood out on this home.
Although this home appears to be standalone, it is actually attached to the home next to it. This is a very large home by London standards, and ideally situated next to the side entrance of Holland Park.
A beautiful standalone home on this street. Very rare!
Most of the doors on the street are black, so this taupe door caught my eye
Another house with greenery on the front. How I would love to see the inside of one of these homes!