A rare opportunity to own part of a quintessentially Primrose Hill Victorian villa, one of the pastel coloured houses that lead up to and about Primrose Hill park, this charming 2-bedroom apartment possesses 12ft ceilings and large sash windows, which flood the property with natural light.
Grand double doors lead into the property’s entrance hallway, with its fine staircase, intricate ceiling mouldings and columns. A stunning arched window backs on to greenery beyond.
The apartment itself offers its own spacious hallway with large glass doors leading to a bright drawing room boasting an elegant fireplace with working fire, and an exceptionally large sash window with a tranquil green outlook and space for plants. There is a fully integrated kitchen, 2 double bedrooms, bathroom and extensive storage as well as original working wooden shutters throughout.
Perfectly located in the middle of Primrose Hill village, the apartment is roughly a minute’s walk away from the green spaces of Primrose Hill park, about 2 minutes’ walk to the shops and cafes on Regent’s Park Road, and 2 minutes’ walk from the Regent’s Canal and Regent’s Park. The 64m high Primrose Hill offers panoramic views right across London and is a popular spot to walk, soak up the sun with a picnic, spot a celebrity and watch the fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Regent’s Park offers large open spaces with tree-lined pathways, formal gardens, a lake and four children’s playgrounds. It has excellent sports facilities and contains central London’s largest outdoor sports area. It is also home to London zoo and an open-air theatre. The Sunday Times newspaper recently awarded Primrose Hill the accolade of One Of The Best Places To Live In 2021, and described it as an urban village that looks like something out of a Wes Anderson film. With its thriving independent shops, weekly markets, cafes and restaurants, and strong community, some say it is the last village left in London. Perennially popular with celebrities, recent arrivals have included Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn.
Virtual tour available upon request.
Chalk Farm and Camden Town tube stations are 0.4 and 0.5 miles away.
An interview with the current owner
How long have you owned the property?
26 years – since September 1994
What attracted you to this specific house and location?
I first came to Primrose Hill in 1989 because my little sister had just started a flat share with a man neither of us knew in a place we had not been to before. I felt it my duty to check both him and the location out! That first night I completely fell in love with Primrose Hill. I remember walking to the top of the Hill to see the view and feeling as though a root was making its way through my body.
Primrose Hill park adjoins Regent’s Park and is itself a Royal Park. Once upon a time it was part of King Henry VIII’s hunting grounds. The Hill itself is a natural rise in the landscape and provides a spectacular viewpoint, which is without a doubt the best in London – you can see for miles: The South Downs, Crystal Palace, King’s Cross and St Pancras stations, Canary Wharf, the City, St Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, the Post Office Tower and, of course, London Zoo (which is located in Regent’s Park itself). It is always interesting, whatever the weather: there’s a big sky for a colourful sunset or a turbulent cloudscape. On New Year’s Eve people gather to watch the fireworks on the London Eye.
Walking is popular all year round. In summer, the Hill is full of picnickers, enjoying the sunshine and the space. The Hill is full of a surprising number and variety of trees, and if the sun gets too hot, there is always one to take shade under.
Living so close to Primrose Hill and Regent’s Parks during a year of restrictions has been an absolute dream as I have had 395 acres of land to walk around, right on my doorstep. There is so much to enjoy here: the boating lake, wetland areas, rose garden, English and Italian formal gardens, playing fields and woods. Regent’s Park contains London’s largest outdoor sports area and although I have not participated in football, cricket, volleyball or golf, in the last year alone I’ve played tennis, walked the sycamore boulevards and run on the running track. The parks are beautiful in all seasons, whatever the weather, and this year it was lovely to have the opportunity to make a snowman too!
Walking along the Regent’s Canal, beside all the pretty painted narrowboats, is another particular pleasure. You can walk west to Little Venice or east to Camden lock, the new bars and restaurants at King’s Cross, and Islington.
What would you like to tell parents about the benefits of raising children here?
Primrose Hill is first and foremost a village – I consider it to be the last remaining village in London. It tends to attract families because of the wide open green spaces, quiet streets and local shops. It has a strong sense of community and is very safe. Primrose Hill village is bordered by Primrose Hill and Regent’s Park, the Regent’s Canal and the railway, which means that there’s little traffic. Primrose Hill and Regent’s Park possess 4 children’s playgrounds and of course children also tend to enjoy the zoo. One of my own favourite daily sunset rituals has been hearing the macaws screech and the lions roar. And then Reenie’s ice cream parlour in Primrose Hill has an amazing array of delicious organic homemade ice creams and is a treat at any time of the year!
People tend to settle here for a very long time – the 31 years I have been here is not unusual. Someone once said to me that ‘Primrose Hill is not a waypoint, it’s a destination’ and I think that is so true. There is no better place to live in London.
What made you choose this property over the others that were available?
It was so pretty! I was looking for a conversion, something with style and history. This house was built c 1850 and my flat has the very high ceilings and huge sash windows typical of the period. It is flooded with light, especially in the drawing room where the window takes up almost an entire wall. I particularly love the view from this window, which looks over gardens and the church spire; there is also a wide window ledge where I keep roses, jasmine, camellias, hellebores, geraniums and other plants in season. I also grow a variety of herbs in the summer.
How convenient is it for commuting from here?
Extremely easy. Walking through Regent’s Park, it takes roughly 20 minutes to reach Harley Street or Great Portland Street. The northern line at Camden Town or Chalk Farm is roughly a 6–7-minute walk away.
What can you tell us about the history of the property and how it has been adapted by previous owners?
Originally built as a single house, the property was converted into 5 flats in 1979. Friedrich Engels spent the last year of his life here from 1894-5.
Who do you think would be the ideal next owner?
It would be ideal for a single person or a couple, or a family with young children. Being on the ground floor, it would also suit an older person too.
What changes have you made to the house (ie my flat) since you've owned it?
I have repainted it several times and added a new bathroom and kitchen
What's your favourite room and why?
My study because it is lined with bookshelves. I feel cosy and creative in here.
So many over 31 years! But I always enjoy US Presidential visits as the Presidential helicopter flies right over my roof on its way to land at the American Ambassador’s residence in Regent’s Park: it has a deep throaty growl that is unmistakeable.
What do you love about the house the most now?
It is a lovely flat in a beautiful location with a great sense of space and light.
What will you miss most?
What do you love about the local community?
It’s incredibly friendly – I have made lots of friends over the years. It is lovely to be able to walk in the parks or have a cup of coffee together, or drink at one of Primrose Hill’s many pubs or eat at one of its restaurants. The high street is very special as it consists almost entirely of independent restaurants and shops – ranging from delicatessens to wine shops, florists, boutiques, juice bars and coffee shops. There are other shops dotted around the village too, including a much-loved hardware shop and a brilliant fishmonger. Dogs are very popular in Primrose Hill and are catered for by a village pet shop and a vet. On Saturdays, our local farmer’s market sells fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, meat, cheese, jam and other produce.
The Primrose Hill Community Association regularly puts on events at the community centre – these range from charity auctions to Burns Night dinner to photography exhibitions to yoga and bridge classes. The village magazine ‘On The Hill’ contains details of everything that’s on and captures much of the spirit of the place. Also the community library puts on occasional films and events.
Villagers and others come together three times every year for the Primrose Hill fairs, which are held in spring, summer and winter. Here you will find a variety of food stalls, exquisite goods and handicrafts for sale, music, roundabouts and games for the children. The summer fair also features a coconut shy, raffle, a tombola and Punch and Judy. There is even a dog show!
At Christmas, you can find Christmas trees for sale in the garden of St Mark’s Church. Also, St Mark’s holds an adorable Christmas Crib service on Christmas Eve where tiny children dress up and perform the nativity, while the adults sing carols.
Why have you decided to move on?
I am retiring and looking to settle in the country now, somewhere near the sea.
Have you a favourite local shop and what makes it special?
Richard Dare – for top of the range, exquisite kitchen items
Primrose Hill Books – for hours of wonderful browsing through tottering piles of books
My favourite local restaurant is the iconic Lemonia, owned by Tony, a Greek Cypriot who came here decades ago. I have been eating at Lemonia since 1989 and the menu has never changed but the food is always, consistently, reliably delicious! Lemonia is a great family restaurant with a wonderful atmosphere – it is always full. It’s probably one of the things I shall miss the most.
I also love La Collina, an Italian restaurant specialising in classic and contemporary delicious dishes that are all delicious. The garden is a fine place to dine in the summer.
My favourite local pub is the Albert, where I have been drinking since 1994. I shall miss this a lot too. It’s a traditional pub, recently redecorated, with a state-of-the-art kitchen and a fabulous garden.
Are you a member of any local clubs, societies or community groups that you would recommend?
The Fitzroy Club – is a cocktail club!
The Friends of Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill supports these two royal parks and offers members interesting tours and lectures. For example, I have done a couple of great ‘bat walks’ in Regent’s Park.
JC’s wine club offers wine tastings over zoom (for now) and discounts on carefully selected French wines.
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