This handsome Victorian stucco-fronted townhouse is positioned on Pembridge Villas, a wide tree-lined road in Notting Hill, close to the ever-desirable Westbourne Grove and Portobello Road. Built in 1850, within the Pembridge Conservation Area, the four-bedroom house is set out over five storeys with internal accommodation extending to almost 2,000 sq ft. The interior has a beautifully simple design, focusing on honest materials; chalky white walls and pale grey-painted pitch pine floorboards enhance excellent levels of natural light throughout the house. The home also benefits from a private and spacious west-facing roof terrace.
Setting the Scene
After the successful development of Paddington in the early 19th century, Kensington was expanded and Pembridge Villas was built. Formerly agricultural land with several prior Roman settlements nearby, the road formed part of some 28 acres of land owned by James Weller Ladbroke, who gave his name to several prominent neighbouring thoroughfares. This area formed a small part of his greater land west of Portobello Lane.
Set behind white entrance piers and cast-iron spearhead railings, this house is in the middle of a terrace of five-storey houses. Lying on the eastern side of Pembridge Villas, the houses have basement rooms and top dormer floors. Built in a mildly Italianate style, fenestration comprises tall six/six box sash windows with upper apertures framed by fine plaster mouldings. Entablatures are supported by decorative corbels on the piano nobile. The entrance porch is set within two Doric pilasters; an elegant cornice with an egg-and-dart motif rests above this and the adjacent canted bay window. For more information, please see the History section below.
The Grand Tour
Entrance is to a vestibule opening to the spacious living room. Light floods the entire ground floor through both east and west aspects, and a full-height canted bay window is set to the front of the room. Rear steps open to a sunroom with an expansive glass mono-pitch roof, and bookcases line the back wall. This space makes a particularly lovely morning room and is currently utilised as a quiet place for reading.
The staircase descends from the living room to the lower-ground floor and the capacious kitchen, dining and snug area. Extending to some 40 ft long, it has an excellent ceiling height and slate tiles running underfoot. The room is wonderfully versatile, accommodating the kitchen at the front, a generous dining area in the middle and a cosy snug to the rear.
The kitchen is mostly set beneath the front garden; glass bricks in the ceiling allow soft natural light to illuminate the space. Steel has been used as a primary material for thick-cut worktops, an 11 ft open shelf, and to clad the walls; white flush cupboards are set underneath and cleverly conceal integrated appliances. A discreet jib door is also encased in steel and leads to a large and useful separate vault.
The principal bedroom suite is positioned on the first floor. A dressing room with plentiful wardrobes lies between the sleeping quarters and the en suite, where there is limestone underfoot and on the vanity unit. There is also a bath with a shower beside the large window; a mirrored glass wall reflects further light into the room. At the rear of this floor is the study, which could be used as further storage space.
The second floor has two further bedrooms. The larger of the two features an original painted Victorian chimneypiece and cast-iron grate; a bathroom encased in bevelled white Edwardian tiles serves both rooms. A smaller room above the study makes for an excellent additional walk-in wardrobe or linen room.
At the apex of the house is a wonderful room, which is currently used as a studio and home office but would make a great bedroom. Quintipartite folding glass doors open to the private west-facing roof terrace, which acts as an outdoor room of sorts in warmer months, providing an incredible vista to the open western skies year-round, perfect for watching sunsets.
Out and About
Pembridge Villas runs north and northeast from Notting Hill Gate towards Westbourne Grove, one of West London’s most desirable destinations. The area is celebrated for its restaurants, cafes and boutiques. On the doorstep are Franklin’s Wine, Sally Clarke Bakery, Provenance Butcher and The Notting Hill Fish and Meat Shop. The immediate area has many excellent restaurants, such as the two Michelin-starred The Ledbury, three Michelin-starred Core by Clare Smyth and a branch of Ottolenghi. Further, bars, restaurants and pubs can be found throughout Notting Hill, including The Electric Cinema and the popular Notting Hill Arts Club.
There are several public parks near Pembridge Villas; the green open spaces of Avondale Park and Holland Park are close, while Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are a 10-minute walk away.
Local day schools, from nursery through to 18, are excellent and include Wetherby and Pembridge Hall, Chepstow House and Mynors Nursery.
Notting Hill Gate (Central Line) and Ladbroke Grove (Circle and Hammersmith & City lines) are nearby. The Westway provides an easy route out of the city by road for swift access to Heathrow Airport and the southwest.
Council Tax Band: H
In 1844, when prompted no doubt by the tremendous building boom then in progress in Paddington, James Weller Ladbroke signed an agreement with William Henry Jenkins to develop his twenty-eight acres. William Henry Jenkins was a building speculator and civil engineer responsible for 43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
Ladbroke granted leases to Jenkins on the understanding he would develop a residential estate with all the necessary amenities and utilities. Works were overseen by Ladbroke’s surveyor, Thomas Allason, who also designed plans for many buildings.
The houses on Pembridge Villas were built in a variety of styles, but all designed in a mildly Italianate style, most fashionable in mid-19th century London. The road was laid out in 1844, forming a wide tree-lined crescent linking Pembridge Road and Notting Hill Gate to Westbourne Grove, with this house being completed by 1850.
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