November 18, 2015

Show apartment for Barbican’s Blake Tower available to view from Thurs 19 November

202_2_Bed_Living_08The opening of the Blake Tower show apartment marks the launch of the next phase of the sale of Redrow Homes’ collection of 74 sleek new Barbican apartments. The development comprises studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments and penthouses in the Grade II listed tower designed by Barbican architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon.

The building shares the Barbican’s iconic lines and concrete finish and Conran and Partners have integrated these features into the new living spaces. The interiors celebrate and refine the building’s 217_2Bed_Kitchen_Cameoheritage while at the same time reimagining the Barbican for today’s discerning Londoner.

Residents of Blake Tower will benefit from full access to the extensive residents’ amenities of the Barbican, including dedicated daytime concierge and allocated underground parking (by separate agreement).

Features of the Blake Tower development:

  • New 150 year leases
  • A 10 year building warranty
  • Close to Farringdon Station, a key Crossrail hub when it opens in 2018.

Blake Tower is due to be completed in Q1 2017.

214_Bathroom_CameoThe show apartment and marketing suite for Barbican’s Blake Tower development by Redrow Homes opens on Thursday 19 November. 

For more information about Blake Tower or if you would like to visit the show apartment, please contact us on 020 7600 7000.

New South Bank development built around central courtyard garden

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 10:24 am


3163_Valentine_Place_CGI_A smallValentine Place, SE1 is a collection of 42 new homes nestled around a central courtyard garden on the vibrant South Bank. The development by Crest Nicholson comprises one, two and three bedroom apartments, penthouses, duplexes and mews houses from £730,000.

The contemporary warehouse style blends with the retained period façade of the Maltina bakery building that was formerly on the site. The development is in a quiet road moments from Southwark underground station.

Features of the development include:

  • Modern interiors with full height doors, hard wood flooring, Siemens appliances and luxury bathrooms
  • Most apartments served by passenger lifts
  • Concierge service
  • Cycle storage with secure access
  • Local car sharing club within 160m

3163_Valentine_Place_CGI_C smallThe South Bank is home to some of London’s most iconic landmarks, including the National Theatre, Tate Modern and the London Eye. It is also a cultural hub with an abundance of cafes and restaurants. This, and the Southbank Centre’s many festivals, makes it the most dynamic stretch of the Thames.

Valentine Place is in Zone 1 and is highly accessible for public transport:

  • Southwark Station – 320m (Jubilee line)
  • Waterloo Station – 480m (National Rail, Jubilee, Northern, Waterloo & City and Bakerloo Underground lines)
  • Blackfriars Station – 800m away (National Rail, District and Circle Underground lines).

The development is expected to complete in the summer of 2016.

If you would like to visit the sales suite at 42 Southwark Street, London SE1 please contact Frank Harris & Co.’s South Bank sales office on 020 7620 3400.

November 17, 2015

Winter Lighting Tips from the ‘London House Doctor’

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 6:33 pm

Glass_Pendants_HR3With the evenings drawing in, now is the perfect time to think about your lighting.  We asked the ‘London House Doctor’ Michele Haynes for tips on how to light up your home this winter.

Lighting should be multi-layered and you should bear in mind that that there are three main types of lighting.

Firstly, there is ambient lighting. This is the general lighting of your room and sets the background.  This could be down lights, table lamps and wall lights.

Next, is task lighting such as undermounted kitchen cupboard lights, wall mounted or bathroom cabinet lights.

Finally, there is the lighting you use to create the mood you want for different times of the day. For example, feature lighting can draw attention to a particular item in the room, such as a wall light mounted above your favourite piece of art or a niche in the wall with special artefacts.Glass_Pendants_HR1

This is where dimmers are incredibly useful. They enable you to bring the ambient lighting down low and let the feature light shine and create drama in a room.

How to plan your lighting

If you have bought a new property that needs renovating, sketch out a lighting plan before you start your works. You don’t want to damage any beautifully painted walls at a later date.

Curiousa_PearDropsThe first thing to consider is how your furniture will be laid out. Then plan your lighting using the three layers mentioned above and remember any special items you would like to highlight or become a feature.

Walls often get overlooked, so consider putting in up-lighters, wall washes and picture lights.  People tend to look at the walls not the ceilings when entering spaces, so don’t just focus just on the pendant.

TIP: If you plan to place your sofa in the middle of the room, try to put a few sockets in the floor, so that you can add a side light and avoid a trailing flex.

Current lighting trends

Wood and coloured glass is strong at the moment.  Look at Tom Raffield’s wooden lights or Curiousa & Curiousa’s fantastic hand blown lights.

For more information contact Michele Haynes at or on 07984 884408.
All the above lights by Curiousa & Curiousa.

November 16, 2015

Market your property now to catch the Christmas surge

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — Frank Harris @ 12:15 pm

houseWhat will you be doing this Boxing Day? Searching for bargains at the sales, going to a football match or perhaps lying on the sofa watching your new box set? Whatever your choice, one thing is certain. People all over the UK will be house hunting online.

Winter used to be a dead time to sell property but the ‘festive surge’ means it is now one of the busiest times of the year.

Figures released by Rightmove show that last December/January they achieved record figures, with the days from Boxing Day onwards seeing a huge surge. The total number of visitors to the site in the month to 15 January was 106m, up 27% compared to last year.

And page views, the best indicator of activity on the site, surpassed 1.5 billion for the first time. Online viewers were browsing more than 1,000 pages every second. As a result, email and telephone enquiries to agents reached 4.3m for the first time.

All of these facts and figures show that the festive period is a time when more people think about moving than at any other time of year. So, if you are serious about selling your property, don’t wait until the New Year or you risk missing the festive rush.

If you would like to discuss marketing your property before Christmas, please contact us now.


November 13, 2015

Still room for growth in London new homes market

Zoe Mercer ColourAs 2015 draws to a close, we spoke to Zoe Mercer, Frank Harris & Co. and Jackson-Stops & Staff’s Associate Director, Residential Development about the current new homes market and what to expect in 2016

Q: What trends are you noticing in the new homes market at the moment?

ZM: The biggest demand over the past couple of years has been for one bedroom flats of around 570sq.ft. This appeals to the biggest demographic for rental – singles or couples, even sharers. These have been particularly popular with overseas buyers.

In recent weeks we’ve noticed a slight change in the buyer demographic. We’ve sold a number of new homes, including penthouses, to older couples buying in London for the weekends – a kind of reverse Pied a Terre. You would think penthouses would be bought by people working in the City but it’s been couples of 60 plus, the so-called ‘grey pound’. These buyers have cash funds, or enough collateral to raise a loan and want to leave a legacy for their children.

Q:  Do you still think there is room for rental and capital growth in London?

ZM: Absolutely. Yields in London tend to be lower than outside the capital but capital growth is consistently higher. Many buyers are focusing more on long-term capital growth and the opportunities are still there. For example, in SE1 (Waterloo and the South Bank) prices are still only £1,000 per square foot compared to £1,500 plus in other parts of the capital. It’s only a 10-minute walk across Blackfriars Bridge to the City so that represents fantastic value.

Q: Which areas would you advise buyers to look out for?

ZM: Elephant & Castle is the last area in Zone 1 that is ripe for incredible capital growth. The area is undergoing a £3b regeneration in a partnership between developer Lend Lease and Southwark Council. There are plans for around 3,000 new homes, new shops, restaurants and schools, and improved transport links. It’s a great location only around a mile from Westminster and a hop over the bridge into the City so it’s got everything going for it. Prices were around £500 to £600 per square foot and are now hitting £1,000 per square foot but there’s still plenty of room for growth.


Embassy Works, SW8 is an example of a niche development with an interesting history

ZM: Definitely. Blake Tower, the new Barbican development, is a good example. The developer Redrow is using a well-known interior designer, Conran and Partners, to do the interiors. They’re giving the apartments a level of style and detail that goes far beyond what we used to see in new developments. For example, all the kitchen joinery is bespoke and has the feel of quality furniture. The kitchen has terazzo work surfaces and splashbacks and the bathroom vanity basins are hand-finished with integrated brass handles. People expect that level of quality and craftsmanship nowadays.

Q: What are your expectations for 2016?

ZM: We have a number of new developments coming through, some of them more boutique schemes rather than big towers. We find that many owner-occupiers are looking for something a bit more niche. For example, we’ve got a development coming on the market in the Strand that has amazing views over the Law Courts. Another in Kensington Garden Square is built around one of London’s beautiful squares and one in Buckingham Gate overlooks Buckingham Palace. People like to buy a property that stands out from the norm and has a story behind it. I think we’ll see more of this type of development in the New Year.

To speak to Zoe about buying a new home in London, please call her on 020 7664 6649
or email her at


September 16, 2015

Time for Tea

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — Frank Harris @ 12:13 pm

Our very own Rebecca Herd, Lettings Negotiator at our Southbank/Waterloo office, was absolutely thrilled to receive this beautiful bone china teacup and set of coasters as a thank you from a happy tenant who has just moved into a new flat this week. Please do pop into our office on Stamford Street to discuss your own letting requirements over a cup of tea, we would be delighted to see you.


September 11, 2015

Embassy Works development now – Prices from £535,000

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — Frank Harris @ 12:07 pm


Law 1

CGI of Embassy Works

There are still apartments available to buy in Embassy Works, a development of 39 loft apartments in a luxurious Victorian warehouse conversion overlooking Vauxhall Park.

The development, by leading boutique residential developer Bmor, comprises studios, one, and two bedroom apartments, including two breathtaking penthouses. Completion is due in December 2015 and the apartments are available to buy now off plan.

With exposed brickwork in each apartment, period features stylishly showcasing its heritage, and the best in contemporary interior design, Embassy Works offers a unique slice of London’s history.



Features of the development include:

  • Landscaped communal pocket gardens
  • Designed by renowned interior designers hám interiors
  • Zone 1 location, 300m from Vauxhall Station (London Underground Victoria Line, National Rail) and Vauxhall Bus Station
  • The regeneration of the Nine Elms area will bring some 18,000 new homes, 25,000 new jobs, new schools, parks, retail, markets and cultural hubs
  • The American Embassy and Dutch Embassy are both relocating to the area, with rumours of the Chinese Embassy following suit

Built in the late 1800s, it is believed Embassy Works began its life as a laundry warehouse, servicing the upmarket hotels and households of central London. Such is the quality of the materials used in its construction, the development boasts an array of period features, including decorative archways and window detailing. All of which serves as a reminder of the attention-to detail lavished on even industrial buildings built at this time.

Transforming this heritage building into a collection of luxury loft apartments has been a real process of love. Working with renowned interior designers, hám interiors, the vision was to create homes that are the antitheses of the glass towers that dominate the London skyline. Homes that offer the best of contemporary design but retain a genuine sense of individuality. Homes for people who like their luxury with distinctly more history and originality.


CGI of Embassy Works

Vauxhall’s rise to become one of London’s most exciting districts is a real case of history repeating itself. From the mid 17th to mid 19th centuries, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens were one of London’s leading entertainment venues hosting the most famous singers and musicians of the day, tightrope walkers, balloon ascents and firework displays.

Its programme of events made it a playground for Londoners and thousands flocked to visit. A rehearsal of Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks attracted an audience of 12,000 and in 1786, a fancy dress jubilee was host to some 61,000 enthusiastic partygoers.

Embassy Works, Vauxhall SW8

  • Prices from £535,000
  • From 417 sqft/38.7 sqm
  • Leasehold: 999 years

For more information and full details about Embassy Work and prices, please call us on 020 7620 3400.

September 9, 2015

Another chance to buy a new apartment in the Barbican’s Blake Tower

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 7:08 pm

Blake Tower

There is a further chance to snap up an apartment in the Barbican’s Blake Tower in October when the next phase of the redeveloped former YMCA building goes on sale.

The 17-storey building is being converted into 74 studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments by Redrow Homes London and is due to complete in Q3 2017.

The Fann Street building was designed by Barbican architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon and is a fine example of the Estate’s brutalist style. The Grade II-listed building has the Barbican’s trademark pick and bush hammered concrete exterior.

The building was completed in 1968 and immediately let rent-free by the City Corporation to the YMCA. There were eight floors for men and four for women, prudishly separated by a floor with rooms for staff.


Blake Tower

The apartments will feature stunning interiors designed by Conran and Partners. The Grade II listing means that the exterior is being left largely unchanged, including its striking external fire escape.

Features of the development include:

  • Close to Farringdon station – a key Crossrail hub when it opens in 2018
  • Full access to the extensive residents’ amenities of the Barbican
  • Dedicated daytime concierge
  • Allocated underground parking (by separate agreement)
  • New 150 year leases
  • 10 year building warranty

For news about the launch and more information about Blake Tower, email or call us on 020 7600 7000.

September 4, 2015

Important new requirement on landlords to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — Frank Harris @ 10:05 am

match-631729_1280We all know that we should have working smoke alarms in our homes. Yet even when you find out that you are four times more likely to die without a smoke alarm than with one and around 200 people die in house fires every year, it is one of those chores it is easy to keep putting off.

But soon landlords will no longer have the option to ‘overlook’ this safety necessity.  Although the legislation may not come into force on 1 October 2015, it’s enforcement is imminent and landlords will be legally required to install and check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties.

The law will apply to landlords renting residential accommodation to one or more tenants who occupy the property as their home.

The key requirements are:

  1. A smoke alarm must be fitted on every floor of the property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation.
  2. A carbon monoxide alarm must be placed in any room where solid fuel is burnt, such as wood, coal or biomass. This includes open fires but does not include gas, oil or LPG.
  3. Landlords will have to make sure the alarms work at the start of every tenancy, for example by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds.
  4. Landlords are also required to demonstrate that the alarms are working at the start of the tenancy. To prove this, we will advise landlords to get a receipt signed by the tenant confirming that the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working. Alternatively, it should be added to the inventory signed by the tenant at check-in.

A few things to note:

  1. A bathroom or toilet is classed as a room used for living accommodation.
  2. A ‘room’ includes a hall or landing, and stairways also fall within the regulations. So, if you have a flat above a shop but you enter through stairs on the ground floor, a smoke alarm will be required in the stairway.

The new rules will be enforced by local authorities who will have the right to impose a fixed penalty charge (like a parking ticket) of up to £5,000 on landlords who do not comply.

If you have any queries about the new rules or would like to find out about Frank Harris & Co.’s property management services, please call Wendy Akast on 020 700 6000 or email

September 3, 2015

Open House London – 4 not to be missed events

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 8:27 am

OHLWLogo2015Open House London, a celebration of the buildings, places and spaces we live and work in, returns on 19 and 20 September. More than 700 buildings across the capital will open their doors to the public this year and the diversity is breathtaking. As well as award-winning homes and iconic skyscrapers, you will find pumping stations and sports centres, community gardens and a dredger.

Open House also includes a host of walks, talks, tours and cycle rides. And best of all, everything is free.

To save you having to pour over the programme (although part of the fun is seeking out hidden treasures opened up for the festival), we’ve picked out an event in each of our areas for you to enjoy.

BloomsburyMcCann London Offices, 7-11 Herbrand Street, London WC1N 1EX This Grade II listed building is a rare (possibly unique) example of art deco architecture applied to the building of a multi-storey garage. Built in the 1930s as a Daimler car hire garage, it features an eye-catching steep ramped access.

The building is now used as an office by leading advertising agency McCann, who will be offering guided tours of the building.

BarbicanEXHIBIT Gallery, Golden Lane Estate, 20 Goswell Road, EC1M 7AA, London, England

The Golden Lane Estate is both literally and metaphorically overshadowed by its hulking brother, the Barbican Estate. Comparisons are relevant as both estates were designed by the same architects, Chamberlain, Powell & Bon.

The Golden Lane Estate opened in 1957, six years before its neighbour, and although less celebrated has its own virtues. The Grade II listed estate is an early example of modernist architecture but is less brutal than the Barbican and its mainly low-rise design gives it a more comforting, domestic feel.

FitzroviaBT Tower, 45 Maple Street, W1T 4BG, London, England BT_Tower copy

Once described as ‘a supermodel version of a dalek’, the BT Tower celebrates its 50th birthday this year. For many years, the Post Office Tower (as it was then called) was the tallest building in the UK and up to 4,000 people a day would visit its viewing tower. It even had a revolving restaurant and cocktail bar on the 34th floor – the high point (literally) of 60s chic.

Sadly, it has been closed to the public since 1980 but access is available by ballot during Open House. A pop up revolving restaurant will also be opening later in the year.

South Bank – Culture Crawl London – Friday 18 September 2015

Not strictly on the South Bank, Culture Crawl is a 15-mile fundraising night walk across London that gives walkers the chance to experience some of its culture, art and architecture in an unusual and an uplifting way.

The walk is in aid of Maggie’s, a charity that provides free support for people affected by cancer. As well as taking in some of the capital’s most inspirational buildings, those taking part will get the first look at Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei’s new sculpture at the Royal Academy of Arts, before it opens to the public.

Buildings visited will include The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Chelsea Physic Garden and Foster + Partners Studio.

Walkers are asked to commit to raise £200 for the charity.

Open City takes place on the weekend of 19 and 20 September 2015. All events are free.

August 5, 2015

Cloth Fair; the short residential street

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — Frank Harris @ 3:33 pm

Property for sale Cloth Fair, EC1A

Cloth Fair is a street in the City of London where, in medieval times, merchants gathered to buy and sell material during the Bartholomew Fair.

Today, it is a short residential street to the east of Smithfield in the north-western part of the City.

We have a rare FREEHOLD house available for sale on Cloth Fair!  This excellent property is tucked away in a peaceful side street, with a beautiful south facing terrace overlooking St Bartholomew the Great, London’s oldest surviving church.

Arranged over four floors the accommodation offers flexible living space which consists of a contemporary fitted kitchen, three/four bedrooms, two bathrooms, generous entertaining space, covered secure parking which can accommodate two cars.

The area has a rich history, a colourful past and proud literary tradition. It contains within its boundaries the oldest residential dwelling in London (numbers 41 and 42), a pair of properties administered by the Landmark Trust

June 24, 2015

A little square of Cambridge in EC4

Frank Harris-St Dunstans House-12Walking down Fetter Lane, you could be anywhere; towering glass facades loom above you harbouring City office workers in their great steel structures. The buildings resemble those of any big, modern city, that is until you arrive at The Maughan Library. Its fine neo-gothic fascia transports you to the backs of Cambridge, minus the river River Cam of course!

The Maughan Library is a Grade II* listed building, the main library for King’s College London and home to a dodecagonal reading room similar to the more famous Reading Room at the British Museum. Although the building we see today was originally completed in 1851, the background of the site dates back to the middle ages where amongst other uses it was a store house for scrolls and records of the Chancery. The building continued to house records until the late 1990s under its title of Public Records Office. In 2001 the building was acquired by the University and a £35million makeover was undertaken which left the edifice in the pristine condition in which it can be found today, positively gleaming as it straddles the land between Chancery Lane and Fetter Lane, EC4.Frank Harris-St Dunstans House-2

Frank Harris & Co. are proud to introduce a beautiful two bedroom, two bathroom property within the new St Dunstan’s development on Fetter Lane. The property has a wonderful West facing aspect with a wraparound balcony which sits above the green of the library grounds. The apartment is wonderfully light, the light bouncing off the golden façade of the library back into the brilliantly designed kitchen/living room; this aspect also allows for near silence and tranquillity within the property, a rare quality for a building in the centre of London. If you would like to see this property, please call the sales team at Frank Harris & Co. City Office on 020 7600 7000 or email

Frank Harris-St Dunstans House-16

June 12, 2015

Latest Findings from Frank Harris Research

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 8:31 am

Average prices in London are continuing to grow strongly. All but four boroughs experienced double digit annual price increases according to the latest Land Registry data published (up to May 2015). The lowest annual change in price growth was recorded in Kensington and Chelsea (4.4%) and Westminster (6.4%) among all London boroughs (10.9%). Higher taxes levied, interfering most with the top end property market (stamp duty, capital gains and ATED), along with concern over the election, has undoubtedly been the main reason behind prime London slowing down.


The majority Conservative government means that no mansion tax or major reform of the lettings market will be implemented. Their handling and plan for the economy is also potentially the most conducive to economic growth. There were expectations of a marked increase in demand after the election; however, this has not been the case, although an Autumn pick-up is now anticipated. The higher taxes, consistent price growth seen over the last five years, as well as more stringent lending restrictions, have all affected demand. This is a permanent trend and will likely prevent the prime boroughs returning to double digit growth for a while. These are natural economic suppressors on demand and potentially healthy in helping the market slow down to avoid unsustainable price inflation.


For the first time since the financial crisis, we are seeing outer boroughs of London outperform prime central areas as a consistent trend. Pure equity (cash funding), resilience to economic troubles and better sentiment among centrally orientated buyers, particularly from abroad, saw strong demand fuel price growth in London’s prime boroughs. However we now see that the comparative value in peripheral markets coupled with a resurgence in domestic demand has fuelled these non-central boroughs to rise disproportionally.


Looking forward, better economic performance (with consumer and business sentiment increasing, rising real earnings and low interest rates) will raise activity both among borrowers and lenders, spurring more transactions in the market. Market commentators are estimating prime central prices to rise approximately 20-25% to the end of 2019, therefore continued growth is predicted (although not as in the last few years when this would have occurred in just 12 months). Having just overcome a major degree of uncertainty among buyers and sellers, we will now see the EU membership referendum (potentially having significant implications for London) and mayoral elections influencing on demand over the next two years. However the UK and housing market’s economic fundamentals remain strong, paving the way for continued growth.


Source: Land Registry/Frank Harris Research

Source: Land Registry/Frank Harris Research

















Rental growth is being recorded by all major price indices. Supply and demand has been affected by the election, with some postponing a decision to let and some sales applicants deciding to rent for the interim. The RICS reports that in a three month period up until May, both rental demand and new instructions increased with price expectations positive going forward. Supply has been reported to have risen steadily for the last three years, potentially slowing price growth but more positively allowing for increased activity. Looking at the drivers of demand, one major aspect – employment in the service sector, in particular the finance sector, is improving. Rental yields have risen slightly, with capital growth in central London slowing.

May 15, 2015

Bridging the Gap! Floating garden

Filed under: Latest News — Frank Harris @ 10:45 am

garden bridge thames ukThe Garden Bridge will be a new 366m long footbridge stretching across the River Thames, from the top of Temple underground station on the North Bank to the South Bank. The project will provide Londoners with an enchanted green space in the middle of the busy city. Work will commence in January 2016 and will be finished in Summer 2018. The Bridge will be a world first, created by some of Britain’s leading designers and engineers and showcasing the best of British talent.

This ‘’floating garden’’ will attract approximately 3 million new visitors to this area of South Bank per year. There is currently already an estimated 25 million visiting the area between London Eye and Royal Festival Hall every year. Please visit the project’s website to follow up on latest updates.

ThamesBridge.1jpgThe location will improve transport connectivity, efficiency and resilience on both sides of the River Thames, by providing a direct connection to Temple Underground and reducing pressure on Waterloo and Embankment Stations.

The Garden Bridge will be open for everyone – it will be somewhere to admire the city and will provide a new route for commuters.  Cyclists will be asked to push their bikes across which will provide fast, direct access and ensure pedestrians can safely enjoy the Bridge.

The Garden Bridge will be free with no plans for a ticketing system.  Open to the public from 6am until midnight all year round (except New Year’s Eve) and fundraising events.  These will help towards maintenance costs.  Opening hours are similar to other London parks and gardens.


May 13, 2015

A few apartments still available…

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — Frank Harris @ 10:34 am

A few apartments still available to rent in this prestigious new 23 storey tower development on the Albert Embankment SE1.

1 beds and  2 beds luxury apartments with contemporary architecture and distinctive ambience offering breath-taking views over The River Thames, Westminster, The Houses of Parliament and towards the City. Please call our Southbank office on 020 7620 3400 for more details.


Parliament House development, Black Prince Road SE1


View from development


May 12, 2015

Percy & Founders: new Fitzrovia restaurant is worth a visit

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 12:43 pm

Main BarPercy & Founders is a new 200-seat restaurant and bar on the site of what used to be Middlesex Hospital. You may think it would be hard to miss a new eatery of that size popping up in the heart of Fitzrovia but if you have you are excused. Tucked away in a newly built square where Berners Street meets Mortimer Street, it is not somewhere you would stumble upon.

The people behind Percy & Founders describe it as “the evolution of the public house”. My first impression on stepping inside is that this is more revolution than evolution. For starters, it’s huge. Not quite aircraft hanger huge but bigger than your average, or even large, pub. This is no intimate gastro along the lines of the owner’s other venues, which include The Grazing Goat in Marylebone and Belgravia’s Thomas Cubitt.

It is also sumptuous by public house standards. That is not only due to the soft marble and pale wood interior, high ceilings and discreet lighting. I’d hazard a guess this is the only boozer in Britain whose walls are adorned by a collection of David Hockney prints. Hockney’s Rake’s Progress – 16 pictures in all, I counted – dominate the wall opposite the long bar that runs through the centre of the space.

But they are not even the star of the show. That accolade goes to the old hospital chapel that can be viewed through one of the internal windows. The chapel, built by the great Victorian architect John Loughborough Pearson, used to be hidden away along one of the hospital’s corridors. Restored at a cost of £2m as part of the redevelopment, a visit to Percy & Founders is worth it for a glimpse of the chapel’s stunning red brick, marble and mosaic interior alone.Front Bar

Is a visit worth it for the food though? I must admit I went with trepidation after reading some ‘mixed’ reviews in the newspapers. My lunch date coincided with the day of the general election result and I couldn’t help wondering if restaurant critics are as out of touch with the mood of the people as the so-called election experts.  It turns out that they are. That is, if a bustling restaurant and the opinion of my three fellow diners and I count for anything.

For starters I had one of the specials: wild asparagus with shallots, onion puree, truffle oil and chicken sauce. The asparagus was beautifully charred and went well with the chicken sauce, not a combination I’ve had before. Lovely as it was, I did have starter envy when I looked across at the tuna tartare with spring onions and lime being enjoyed by one of my companions. One for next time.

DSCN2471For my main course, I ordered the crispy lamb breast on a bed of champ and gravy. I don’t think I have ever eaten lamb breast but it was soft, tender and suitably lamby. I merrily gobbled it down. But not as merrily as the deliciously moreish side order of truffle fries with Parmesan and chives. They are not to be missed.

The ever-smiling waitress recommended the lemon and yoghurt with almond crumble and Prosecco sorbet for pudding and I’m pleased she did. It was a sort of light and zesty deconstructed lemon tart, perfect after the hearty lamb and mash.

I will definitely be returning to Percy & Founders, as I suspect many people will despite what some snooty critics have written. I should point out that other, less snooty, reviewers have heaped Percy & Founders with praise, so I’m not alone in giving it a big thumbs up.

This is an all-day venue that you can come to for breakfast or cocktails as well as lunch or dinner, so it has a broad appeal that isn’t met anywhere else locally. And the way the space is broken up into separate areas means it is a place you can keep coming back to without getting bored.

Percy & Founders is a welcome addition to Fitzrovia, well worth making the effort to find not just for the chapel and the Hockneys, but for the food too.

Percy & Founders, 1 Pearson Square, London W1. Meal for two, including drinks and service: £110. 020 3761 0200

April 29, 2015

De-clutter your home for a quicker sale

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — Frank Harris @ 8:56 am

Thinking of moving house?
Summer is traditionally the best time of year to sell your house, and Shurgard, the self-storage expert, wants to help make the process as easy as possible.

The ideal move sees you wave goodbye to your old property and walk straight into the next. The reality is that there is usually a limbo period where paperwork and legalities are waiting to be finalised.

Making the most of your home by de-cluttering before the move could mean the difference between a quick sell and months of uncertainty during an already stressful process.  A clutter free home could also result in a higher sale value.


Property for sale Star Yard, WC2A

People like to think of the house they are viewing as their home… not yours. Therefore consider moving some of your more personal items and leaving just the bare essentials. Less is more, so be as minimalist as possible.  Although photos, ornaments and trinkets may be to your taste, they might not be to potential buyers.

De-cluttering adds to the sense of space, which should make the house feel bigger, lighter and brighter.

Getting started
Tidy away all knick-knacks. From kitchen counters to bathroom surfaces everything should be clear. Don’t hide things in cupboards or in the loft; a perspective buyer may want to really nosey around and you don’t want them to stumble across a big pile after seeing such a clutter free home! Pack these bits, along with additional bulky items like extra furniture, and arrange to store them at Shurgard for the duration of the house views.


Property for sale Gordon Mansions, WC1E

Leave no room unturned
First impressions count! And the hallway is usually where the tour starts so move shoes, coats, keys and umbrellas. The same goes with paintings and family photos. An entrance hall should feel big, open and neutral to allow visitors to visualise how they would decorate the house.

As everyone knows, kitchens and bathrooms sell homes so move your shampoo and conditioner, novelty toaster and fridge magnets before booking any viewings. Think clean and minimal.

The garage is another space that is often full of old gear; bikes, sports equipment, tools and junk. It is not uncommon for new buyers to look at the garage as an opportunity to create an extra living space – a bedroom, study or utility room. Show off its potential by clearing it to really show buyers how much space they would have to work with.

How Shurgard can help
With 20 years of expertise, Shurgard offers a convenient, safe and flexible solution throughout the moving process, keeping treasured possessions, seasonal items and household goods secure. To make things easier, when putting items away label each box with the room it came from and ensure they are put into your storage unit facing out, so they can be easily retrieved when the move is complete.

Shurgard has 22 stores across London and the Thames Valley so wherever you are in the capital you’ll never be far from a store or your belongings. Just pop your postcode in online to find your nearest store location.


Property for sale Shakespeare Tower,Barbican EC2Y

Whether you need to store one box or a mansion house full of them, Shurgard offers units from 10 to 240 square feet.

Shurgard knows how important every single item in storage is. Each facility has PIN code entry into the buildings and car parks, 24hour CCTV coverage and customers have sole access to their unit.

Moving is an expensive business, and Shurgard isn’t going to charge the earth to store your items. For first time users, various promotions and discounts apply, including £1 storage for the first month.

If the move takes longer than expected, or you only need extra space for a few weeks in-between a move just let Shurgard know and they will be happy to accommodate your needs.

For advice when planning a move check out or call 0800 368 0420 or please call our Long Lane office on 0207 600 7000

April 24, 2015

Freehold house in historic Cloth Fair with terrace overlooking London’s oldest church

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 3:22 pm

202805_BAR080105Leading City estate agent Frank Harris & Co. is marketing a rare freehold house in Cloth Fair, one of London’s most historic streets. The property falls within the Smithfield conservation area and has a beautiful south-facing terrace that overlooks St Bartholomew the Great, London’s oldest church.

The church was founded as an Augustine Priory and has been in continuous use since at least 1143. Until 1910, Cloth Fair stood within the walls of the church and the gates were locked every night. These walls are given as the reason why the church and the houses in Cloth Fair were able to survive the Great Fire of London in 1666.202805_BAR080105D

Only one of those houses, 41 Cloth Fair, remains. Built between 1597 and 1614 it is the City’s oldest house and the only one to pre-date the Great Fire. The rest of the street’s houses were demolished in the 1920s.

Cloth Fair’s name dates back to medieval times; it was the place merchants gathered to buy cloth during the Bartholomew Fair. This was one of London’s pre-eminent summer fairs, taking place on 24 August every year from 1133 until 1855. As well as being a trading event, it was also a pleasure fair featuring side shows such as musicians, acrobats, freaks and wild animals.

The house is arranged over four floors and includes a modern fitted kitchen, three/four bedrooms, two bathrooms, generous entertaining space, and covered secure parking that can accommodate two cars.


The third floor reception room is currently used as a lounge but was designed with an alternative use in mind as a master bedroom with terrace and adjacent private bathroom.   The house also benefits from gas central heating, air conditioning on the top three floors, entry phone and alarm system.

The property benefits from superb transport links, with Barbican and St. Paul’s tube stations only moments away. Farringdon Station is also nearby and will benefit from Crossrail in 2018.

Says Frank Harris director, Tina Evans:

Freehold houses in the City of London are few and far between and this one is situated in a location with a fascinating history. The excellent living space and south-facing terrace overlooking the church makes this a hugely attractive family property.”

April 14, 2015

London Market Update

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — Frank Harris @ 1:32 pm

Activity in the residential property market in London has been suppressed since last summer for a variety of reasons but the most commonly quoted is the uncertainty caused by the impending General Election.

The Election is having a significant impact. Economic activity is heavily affected by political uncertainty, amplified by housing policy being high on each Party’s agenda. The main concern is over potential polices that may be introduced by a Labour government including rent controls, minimum-term tenancy agreements, a Mansion Tax along with other implications for the higher end of the market and overseas owners.

This uncertainty has affected market activity in London which has seen reduced transactions. Sales volumes were 20% lower at the end of December 2014 compared with the previous year. It is interesting to note that at the higher end, the number of properties sold at £2m+ has seen a lower than average reduction in volume with only a 10% fall in demand. However, the impact of higher Stamp Duty (in effect from 4/12/14) and extending Capital Gains Tax to non-residents (in effect from 6/4/15) are being increasingly cited by purchasers at the top end of the market and it will take time for these to be reflected in price movements before volumes increase. Therefore it is likely that prime London transactions will be significantly reduced over this year’s first two quarters.

Despite the reduction in the volume of market transactions, prices, according to the most recent information published by the Land Registry, show an average increase of 13% in London between February 2014 and February 2015.


The average increase masks varying increases across the London boroughs which have ranged from 7.8% to 18.7% over the year to February 2015 recorded by the Land Registry.


Despite the decrease in activity, buyer sentiment remains broadly positive. A vital component to continued activity and price growth is buyer expectations. The Halifax price optimism index increased to 60 in March (it was 20 in 2012) showing that expectations are sufficiently conducive to prices rising. The Bank of England has reported that there were 61,760 mortgages approves for house purchases in February, the highest level in six months. This is additional evidence to support a growing market ahead. Post-election we should see activity swiftly resume, providing clear policies are formed by the new government.

Rental values are reported to have increased slowly in central London over the last few months according to the main residential indices. Frank Harris & Co’s group’s figures for the last financial year show that the number looking to rent a property is 12% higher than the year before with those looking to let out their property increasing by 8%, suggesting a slight upward pressure on rents. Uncertainty in the sales market has prompted more to rent than buy of late as prospective purchasers hold off until after the election. However, post-election the sales market could strengthen negating this boost to rental demand. Fundamentally however, it is London’s strong and stable economic conditions which is why rental prices are increasing.

April 7, 2015

Apartment moments from Silicon Roundabout with stunning views across the historic gardens of the Honourable Artillery Company

202805_BAR150069CLeading City estate agent Frank Harris & Co. is marketing a spacious, modern apartment with a large balcony and spectacular west-facing views across the playing fields of the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC).

The apartment has the tranquil feel of being in a country village overlooking the local cricket green, yet is moments from Silicon Roundabout, one of the world’s major tech hubs.

The HAC has been on the site since 1641 and today comprises a regiment of the Territorial Army. The main building on the site is Armoury House, a historic Georgian House set in five acres of grounds known as Artillery Garden. These grounds were originally used for archery practice and cricket. Records exist of a game of cricket being played there as early as 1725. It was also the site of England’s first balloon ascent in 1784.

The grounds are now used for rugby in the winter and cricket in the summer. They are also rented out for black tie events. The beautiful Artillery Garden is ringed by a variety of trees planted in 1996 and 2000 to celebrate the new millennium.

The two-bedroom apartment occupies the entire second floor of a five-storey residential building that was renovated in 2006. As well as the spacious balcony, its features include climate controlled air conditioning/heating, two bathrooms (one en-suite), and an open plan living room/kitchen.

Situated in City Road, the property is on the doorstep of Silicon Roundabout, home to world-class tech businesses, including Candy Crush creators King, and Google Campus. Superb local amenities include numerous high quality restaurants, the Barbican Centre and Waitrose supermarket.

The property is within easy walking distance of the City, and minutes from Old Street, Moorgate, Liverpool Street and Farringdon stations. The property will benefit from Crossrail when the new service starts in 2018, giving access to Heathrow in 32 minutes and Bond Street in just four minutes.

Says Frank Harris director, Tina Evans:202805_BAR150069A

“It is rare to find an apartment with a balcony that offers such exceptional views in this part of London. The HAC is a hidden treasure that many people, even Londoners, don’t know exists. Apartments that overlook the HAC’s beautiful green space rarely come onto the market. The apartment is fabulous too, in terms of spaciousness, layout, and location. It is minutes away from the City of London and right by Tech City. On top of all that Crossrail will be in operation before we know it, giving super-fast access east to Canary Wharf and beyond, and west to the West End and Heathrow.”

Older Posts »
twitter facebook rss YouTube
Search for property to
buy or rent in central London

Covent Garden
Search for property to
buy or rent in central London


Latest News Archives: