The Times: 49 Addison Road – A rural retreat in the heart of town

  • By Adam Foster
  • 11 September 2015

Families divided by the town versus country conundrum can find the answer in a country home for sale — in Holland Park, west London. The four-storey home, built in 1856 as a city retreat, is on Addison Road. It was first laid out in 1820 on the Holland Estate in memory of the poet, essayist and politician Joseph Addison, who married the Dowager Countess of Warwick.

The area became popular among 19th-century artists, including Herbert Schmalz, who lived at the property from 1891. Today, there are many creative types in the neighbouring streets. The property is near David and Victoria Beckham’s mansion, bought for £31.5 million two years ago. Other residents include Robbie Williams and Jimmy Page, of Led Zepplin, who were at loggerheads over Williams’s proposal to build a huge basement.

Number 49 Addison Road is on the market for £16.5 million. There are seven bedrooms, six bathrooms, a reception studio room, library and private office. It was Schmalz who built the tall cathedral-style, double-height reception room as a studio. The arched dormer windows are still there. The dining room is walled by a hand-crafted library that holds more than 2,000 books. The garden has a water feature, pond and, more noticeably, a large plane tree in the corner that grew on the original Holland Estate. At the end of the garden is a 637 sq ft private office and garage.

When the owners — who plan to downsize — moved in 23 years ago, they spent three years renovating the house. Interior designer Chester Jones is responsible for much of the work, which led to the creation of the sweeping internal arches.

The floorboards in the hall and dining room were sourced from French railway carriages and the iron gates leading to the office were commissioned to echo the water feature in the garden.

There is a huge amount of space on all floors. The master-bedroom suite, with walk-in wardrobe and dressing room, occupies the majority of the first floor, which also contains a guest bedroom and separate bathroom. Three further guest bedrooms, a bathroom and storage area occupy the second floor.

Leo Russell, a director at Russell Simpson, says: “The sheer size of the home and peaceful ambience inside, you would only expect to find in the countryside, not the heart of one of the busiest cities in the world. It is the perfect home for a family that values privacy as well as a convenient city location — a rare combination.”


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