Friday 26 February 2016

The Paragon, Blackheath, south east London

Michael Searles, a regency architect, designed the distinguished and distinctive Paragon, a 14-house crescent on a corner of Blackheath. Grade 1-listed, The Paragon comprises seven blocks of semi-detached houses, each linked by a single story colonnade, with a lodge house at each end.

Thursday 25 February 2016

H10 Port Vell, Pas de Sota Muralla, Barcelona, Spain

Although it occupies an elegant nineteenth century building overlooking the waterfront in Barceloneta, this brand spanking new branch of the H10 chain has a sleek, contemporary interior. You get to choose between relatively spacious bedrooms with views of the port or the cheaper and very compact double rooms overlooking the central atrium. Either way, you can use the roof terrace which has sun loungers and a plunge pool. The quiet en-suite rooms are tastefully decorated in creamy monotones, enlivened by funky lighting. They are also well-equipped with safes, flat-screen TVs, bathrobes, a myriad of toiletries and respectable WiFi. The impressive breakfast, served in an airy ground floor dining room, is a mixture of table service and a buffet. You can order omelettes, poached eggs and the like, while also helping yourself to the pastries, yoghurts, cheeses, cold meats, Nespresso machine coffee and decent fruit juices. Only the dry croissants disappoint.  The service is friendly and warm - the young staff seem genuinely interested in striking up a conversation. A short walk from Barcelona's Gothic heart and sandy beaches, H10 Port Vell is a very pleasant place to stay. 8/10

Friday 19 February 2016

Chester Row, Belgravia, central London

One of the many elegant terraced streets in the Regency estate of Belgravia, Chester Row is one of the area's more modest addresses.

Eaton Terrace, Belgravia, central London

With well-preserved flat-fronted houses rising up to six stories, Eaton Terrace is a main thoroughfare in Belgravia, which is reputed to be the largest and best preserved urban Regency estate in the UK

Carlisle Place, central London

On the corner of Carlisle Place, which has some of the oldest mansion blocks in London, is the eye-catching Manning House, which Westminster Council describes as stock-brick palazzo built in 1867. The council says the building served as the Archbishop of Westminster’s Palace from 1873 to 1901 and was reconstructed as offices in the 1960s. 

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Contemporary Sculpture on Park Lane, central London

Although it is almost always surrounded by traffic, this serene and surreal sculpture brings a touch of sophistication to Park Lane

Tuesday 16 February 2016

Crewe House, Charles Street, central London

In the heart of London's Mayfair district, the Saudi Arabian Embassy occupies Crewe House, a detached mansion designed and constructed by Edward Sheppard in 1730. It is a Grade II listed building. British Listed Buildings writes:  "Interior much altered early nineteenth century with restrained neo-classical and Grecian detail and again early twentieth century with fine neo-Adam Georgian decoration but retains some plasterwork ceilings which may well be original Shepherd."

Monday 8 February 2016

Mitre Road, central London

Part of a conservation area, Mitre Road was laid out in the early twentieth century. Lambeth Council's report notes: "It is a dignified tree-lined avenue of three storey apartment buildings of stock brick with white painted lintels ...Each property has a substantial rendered porch on tapering brackets set between two storey square bay windows. The frontages are set back from the pavement behind simple metal railings."

Thursday 4 February 2016

The former City of London School, The Embankment, central London

The home of the City of London school for about 100 years, this grand neo-classical Victorian building now houses investment bank J P Morgan.