Twelve years ago Fournier Street was derelict. Now, it's a stunning home, authentically restored to Georgian glory. Dim and deliciously atmospheric, this is a home that will entrance you by day, and imbue your dreams with wonder. Whether you’re seated at the harpsichord, admiring the original panelling or warming your fingers before the embers of an open fire, you’re surrounded, enrobed and cosseted by the past.
But don’t assume that you’ll be without modern comforts. The sofas are soft, the lighting low, the bathrooms, truly decadent. And the cobbled streets of Spitalfields are within sight of the City, right in zone one.
A seasoned journalist and broadcaster, your Scottish host has a deep-seated passion for architecture and design. His Brazilian partner is an academic with a special interest in Eastern Europe.
Cast a spell
Dodge past your famous neighbours, the artists Gilbert and George and writer Jeanette Winterson, and turn your key in the lock. With ten rooms, an ancient, creaky staircase and two insouciant cats, any description of Fournier Street will, by necessity, omit as much as it encompasses, but let this taster tantalise…
The basement holds a large, open plan kitchen and dining room. From here you can lift a Victorian latch and enter the garden, a storybook dream with its mature plants, wrought iron furniture and air of concealment. Upstairs you’ll find a sophisticated sitting room, with a mix of modern and antique furniture, an open fire and, next door, a music room containing an elderly harpsichord. The cloakroom is filled with intricate watercolours, the study, an infinity of books.
The master bedroom holds a silvered superking sized bed and a panelled en suite. Climb further to reach a four poster guest double in the slanting loft, and next door an indulgent bathroom, its skylight looking out over the grade one listed spires of the church across the way.
Spitalfields is a hidden community right in the heart of central London. Listen, and you may hear the ghostly tread of Roman soliders, the laughter of the maiden Queen Victoria being fitted for her wedding gown, the low growl of Jack the Ripper. Now, you’ve the buzz of innumerable cafes, pubs and restaurants. Spitalfields Market is a creative hotspot, boasting hundreds of young designers and their wares, while nearby Brick Lane is the epicentre of London’s international cuisine. Amble over to Liverpool Street and watch the suits buying and selling, or hop on the tube and head into town. You can be at Oxford Circus in around fifteen minutes.