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Property News


Property News

Is this the best view in Kensington?


Words by Jake Russell

We visit a penthouse apartment with one of the most spectacular roof terraces in London

A garden in the sky

Campden Hill rises up near the centre of Kensington. The gates of Kensington Gardens mark its eastern border, while the walls of Holland Park mark the western edge. To the north is Holland Park Avenue, to the south Kensington High Street, and somewhere in the middle stands Campden House.

This is a red-brick mansion block on Sheffield Terrace. Take a lift to the building’s top floor and you will find one of highest points in the neighbourhood. Then, if you step out onto the terrace, you will encounter one of London’s most spectacular views.

Back in the 1960s, this flat was owned by a couple. At one point, the wife wanted to sell the property and buy a house with a garden instead. So, her husband promised that, if they remained at Campden House, he would build her ‘a garden in the sky.’ The result was one of the largest private roof terraces in West London, measuring 1464 square feet.

A Mediterranean villa

Originally, the garden was paved with York stone and its flowerbeds were planted with roses and lavender. However, the current owners have updated the terrace for contemporary requirements. The flowerbeds were replaced with wooden decking, while planted pots were laid out over the stone paving. Glass sheets have been used to glaze the railings, giving added protection, while the walls were painted pale cream and topped with terracotta tiles, creating the feel of a Mediterranean villa.

The terrace overlooks the building’s communal garden, which residents have the right to access. Beyond are the rooftops of Hornton Street, with its handsome terraces of listed buildings from the late Victorian and early Edwardian era. From here, Campden Hill slopes down towards South Kensington, meaning the spires of St Mary Abbot’s Church, the Queen’s Tower of Imperial College, and the museum district are all visible from the terrace, as well as the four chimneys of Battersea Power Station rising up on the far side of the Thames.

Beyond, much south and south-west London can be seen, as far as the wooded hills on the edges of the city. Furthermore, a window on the eastern side of the terrace offers views towards the BT Tower and the shining glass spires of the City of London. However, no roads can be seen, no cars can be heard, and none of the surrounding properties have a view over the terrace. This gives the space a rare sense of seclusion.

The unique location

This floor also features a spacious penthouse living area. With its floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding French doors, it shares the terrace’s exceptional views. On warm days these doors can be opened to create a generous entertaining space, while in the evening they can be closed to offer more shelter. Furthermore, this floor offers a dining space with overhead skylights and its own kitchen for added convenience.

The rest of the flat has been carefully designed to take full advantage of the unique location. Its principle rooms are arranged along the south side of the property, making for brightly illuminated spaces with rooftop views. This includes the open-plan kitchen with breakfast bar and seating area, the principal bedroom with its own balcony, and the home office that could easily be used as an additional bedroom. Tasteful chevron flooring, a muted pastel colour scheme and a bespoke curving staircase add to the sense of space and calm.

The summit of Kensington

All of these rooms were decorated to the highest standard. Perhaps the best example is the bathrooms with marble tiling for the floors and walls. In each of these rooms, the alcoves and niches have been carefully framed, with additional marble cut to edge the borders and create a neat, high-quality finish

At the same time, the beautiful design is combined with modern comforts. The main rooms have air conditioning and the bathrooms underfloor heating. The flat is also an ideal family home, with plentiful storage and a flexible layout that can accommodate children, guests and staff.

However, the remarkable penthouse is the highlight of this property. At this level, the sunsets are magical, as well as the enchanting sight of the city at night. Standing on the terrace after dark, with all the windows of London glittering at your feet, it feels like reaching the summit of Kensington.


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