I was going to put up a post called ‘The Great London Flat Hunt’, but I don’t need to, because today – the first day of the Hunt – I found one! I viewed four different flats today, and this was the first. The agent I had met before – we were introduced by a friend of mine last year. I have put in an application to rent the place, which will hopefully be OK’d soon. But enough of the chit chat – what about the apartment??
It is in a development called St Pancras Chambers, a revival of an amazing old Victorian masterpiece which was originally offices. Some of the outside work is still underway, including a luxury hotel and the approaches from Euston Road, and occupancy of the complex is at about 60%. The fitout is quite beautiful and full of character, with none of the apartments being the same as another. The address is Euston Road, on the edge of Bloomsbury and King’s Cross. Here’s some history: http://www.urban75.org/london/st_pancras1.html
Basically, it is a train station! When I arrived home tonight to tell Kyle all about it, he said ‘so it’s right near the station?’ ‘No – it is IN the station!’ The apartments overlook the refurbished St Pancras Station, which has the largest single span glass roof in Europe, and is the terminus for the Eurostar train to Paris – yep, I can pop downstairs and go to Paris. J The station also has a Carluccio’s (my new favourite breakfast haunt), and – wait for it – the world’s longest champagne bar. That has to be a sign, right? http://www.stpancras.com/stpancras/champagnebar/ Hmmm..it seems they have a ‘Veuve Masterclass’ coming up...
The apartment itself is on the second floor and has arched windows letting in lots of light. There is no real view, unless you count looking into the glass arch of the station through some picturesque girders and beams. It is not huge, but has a good sized main room (living/sitting/eating) with a galley kitchen, and two bedrooms, plus a bathroom and small entrance hall. The big old windows open up. All mod cons are included, such as fridge, freezer, dishwasher, washer/dryer; and since I will (hopefully) be its first occupant everything is brand new. The main room has wooden floors (great for my rugs) and the bedrooms have carpet. The ceilings are enormously high.
It seems to be a tenants’ market in London – lucky me – because the price kept dropping, and the agent offered to put some furniture in it for no cost to me. It is available right away, once we do the paperwork (and I hand over a packet of money, of course).
The building has very beautiful public areas, and a 24-hour concierge. The security aspect is reassuring. I timed the walk from Birkbeck – a leisurely 20 minutes along Tavistock Gardens. There’s an excellent local shopping centre in Bloomsbury called The Brunswick, and it is probably about a 15 minute walk to Regent’s Park - unless I find one of those great cycle ‘docks’, which would be even quicker. And of course it is very handily located for the station! King’s Cross Station is next door.
I hope my next news will be that I’ve been accepted as a tenant. Wish me luck!