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City escapes: 6 perfect pieds-à-terre

Looking to split your time between city and country? These urban boltholes make it easy, says Claire Reynolds

Claire Reynolds
Co-Head of Prime Central London Residential

“Lockdown has changed what buyers want from a property and, for many, that’s been a move to the country. Yet despite this shift, a lot of buyers don’t want to give up their city lifestyle. The pandemic may have paused London life, but people have faith that it will bounce back. Enter the pied-à-terre: the perfect way to embrace the countryside while keeping a foothold in the city.

The features that make a pied-à-terre perfect depend on what you’re using it for. Is it a place to base yourself during the week while you work, or to enjoy the city lifestyle? Generally, people want something they can lock up and leave; something that’s secure – that might be a flat on a higher floor, perhaps with added security from a concierge. They may also want something that’s easily maintained, so new builds or recently refurbished properties are popular.

One trend we’ve noticed post-lockdown is the desire for outside space, even with a pied-à-terre. That could be in the form of a rooftop terrace, large balcony, or proximity to green space. A perfect example is Bennet House – just steps from Green Park, St James’s Park and Hyde Park – which kicks off our list.

Of course, London isn’t the only city where having a pied-à-terre is desirable, so our Collection features homes across major cities in Europe, whether it’s a bolthole in Paris or a beachfront escape in Palma.” Claire Reynolds

Bennet House in St James’s, London

Bennet House, St James’s, London

Set on the second floor of a redeveloped period corner building in St James’s, this beautiful apartment puts the best of London on your doorstep. Local landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, The Ritz Hotel, Fortnum & Mason and three Royal Parks are all within easy reach.

The location is best appreciated from the spacious dual-aspect living room, which makes the most of the building’s corner position. Large windows and high ceilings allow natural light to flood in and provide inspiring views along Jermyn Street, known for its luxury menswear shops and once home to the likes of the 1st Duke of Marlborough and Isaac Newton.

The apartment features mood lighting, comfort cooling, and wiring for an integrated audio-visual system. There is also a lift and porter.

Details and contact
Bedrooms  3
Bathrooms  3
Price  £5,275,000
Contact  Claire Reynolds
See property details


Apartment in Eixample Left, Barcelona

Eixample Left, Barcelona

With its high ceilings, glass-panelled French doors and white walls, this bright and airy apartment is a cheerful escape from the busy streets of Barcelona. The 110 sq m apartment was fully renovated in 2015 with care taken to retain its stately character – natural oak wood flooring and elegant mouldings blend seamlessly with modern conveniences such as air conditioning and double glazing.

Many of the mouldings that dress the old walls hide cleverly designed storage. A large living room, dining room and open kitchen provide ample living space, while a 10 sq m terrace is the perfect spot to enjoy a sangria at sundown. Eixample Left is one of Barcelona’s trendiest neighbourhoods, home to excellent bars and restaurants and beautiful Modernist architecture.

Details and contact
Bedrooms  2
Bathrooms  2
Price  €730,000
Contact  Annabel Smith
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Eaton Mews South, Belgravia, London

Eaton Mews South, Belgravia, London

Tucked away in a charming mews, this immaculate home is a peaceful escape in central London. This rare double-width property is bright and airy and has a cinema room, a study with en suite shower room that could be used as an additional bedroom, a garage with discreet access to the home and a lift providing access to all floors. Three first-floor Juliet balconies bring the outside in, while a roof terrace is the perfect place to lounge in the sun or entertain guests.

Belgravia is incredibly well-connected, with Victoria station on your doorstep. Iconic London landmarks such as Green Park, Westminster and the shops and restaurants of Knightsbridge and Chelsea are all within easy reach.

Details and contact
Bedrooms  3
Bathrooms  4
Price  £7,950 per week
Contact  Hannah Norton
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Beachfront apartment in Palma, Mallorca

Palma, Mallorca

Just minutes from the centre of Palma and metres from the sands of Cala Major, this seafront apartment in the Mallorcan capital offers an enviable lifestyle that combines the best of beach and city.

The apartment has been recently renovated to the highest standards and is completely turnkey – modern conveniences such as underfloor heating, air conditioning and lift access make day-to-day living superbly comfortable, while oak wood flooring, an Italian designer kitchen and a foldable glass wall leading from the living space to the balcony create a bright and stylish escape.

A private southwest-facing terrace with views out over Cala Major Bay is the perfect place to relax and watch the sunset.

Details and contact
Bedrooms  2
Bathrooms  3
Price  €1,950,000
Contact  Alice Storrie
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Mandarin Oriental

The Residences at Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, London

Owners of these exclusive residences can enjoy the best of both worlds: the comforts of a private home and access to the full suite of Mandarin Oriental Hotel services. The residences sit directly above the hotel, located on Hanover Square, the oldest square in Mayfair.

Services and amenities include round-the-clock dining, housekeeping and concierge services; a 25m swimming pool and an opulent spa; valet parking, and a roof terrace bar overlooking Mayfair. The building has been designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners as a modern expression of Mayfair’s Georgian history, while lavish interiors by Danish designer Thomas Juul-Hansen complement the architecture.

Details and contact
Bedrooms  1-4
Bathrooms  1-4
Price  From £2,950,000
Contact  Sarah Peck
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Apartment in Quartier de la Monnaie, Paris

Quartier de la Monnaie, Paris

Located in the 6th arrondissement by the banks of the Seine, this charming apartment is the perfect Parisian bolthole. The 52 sq m flat is on the second floor of a beautiful 17th-century building. Large windows and towering 3.8m-high ceilings allow the light to flood into the star-shaped layout.

The bourgeois area of Quartier de la Monnaie puts you in the heart of the French capital. The Luxembourg Gardens and Notre-Dame Cathedral are both a short walk away, while the Louvre is just across the river. The 6th arrondissement is also home to bustling cafes and bistros, trendy boutiques and artistic and cultural institutions.

Details and contact
Bedrooms  1
Bathrooms  1
Price  €893,000
Contact  Alice Storrie
See property details