This glorious apartment set just off Dean Street in Soho lies on the top two floors of an early Georgian Grade II*-listed townhouse, with its incredible 18th-century proportions. The apartment is wonderfully bright and airy, with double height ceilings above the kitchen, and a mezzanine which currently is home to a fantastic studio/library. From here steps lead to a private roof terrace, one of the few in Soho, with truly exceptional 360 degree views over London and its skyline. Found in a Conservation Area, on a quiet, partly pedestrianised road in the heart of Soho, Meard Street is a short walk from Piccadilly, Mayfair and Covent Garden, right in the heart of the West End.
Setting the Scene
Meard Street takes its name from John Meard, a master carpenter who worked alongside Sir Christopher Wren. The street was developed in two stages, in the 1730s and 1740s; the apartment sits in the later, eastern part of the road, in one of the larger, south-facing townhouses. Finished in stock London brick, the house is part-stuccoed with a later 19th-century shopfront on the ground floor.
Soho is an amalgamation of Georgian, Victorian and 20th-century developments. Much of the area suffered bomb damage during WWII; however, Meard Street retains its early Georgian architecture and remains largely untouched. Given a Grade II* listing in 1958 for its architectural integrity, the street is a rare survivor of its original period. For more information, see the History section.
The Grand Tour
Entry to the apartment is via a dog-leg staircase with newels and Doric balusters. The front door leads to a private set of stairs which ascends to the top floor of the building, where this apartment is located.
An elegant and bright kitchen is found at the front of the plan, with three large sash windows overlooking the pretty, pedestrianised Meard Street at the front. With space for a large dining table, the kitchen itself comprises white cabinetry set against stainless steel worktops. Every inch of space has been considered, with an emphasis on discreet but useful storage spaces. Characterful original floorboards are found underfoot. A mezzanine above provides what could be a fantastic sitting room, but over the years has been used by the current owner as a light-filled, lofty workspace, lined with bookshelves, crowned with a huge skylight and with a door onto a balcony.
At the rear of the apartment is the bedroom. Painted in a calming, neutral palette the room is complete with a roll-top bath, an original corner fireplace and a bank of fitted cupboards. A separate WC sits on a half landing, with another big sash window.
The Great Outdoors
The roof terrace rests on the top of the building, a rare space for Central London, with far-reaching views across the city’s landmarks including the London Eye, St Paul’s, and elegant church spires such as St Martin’s-in-the-Fields. It is very private and not overlooked and rare for central London, primarly since it is the only roof terrace amongst the other Grade II* listed houses on Meard Street. With checkerboard painted decking, the terrace is bordered by bespoke metal raised beds, stocked with pollinator attracting flowers and Mediterranean-style plants such as dahlias, salvias, iris heleniums, English lavender, trailing rosemary and sweet-smelling jasmine. There are also evergreen trees, which along with the various planters, are all supported by an irrigation system. There is ample space for a dining table and chairs, and the terrace, which has outdoor lighting, is a perfect perch from which to watch the city from sunrise through to sunset.
Out and About
Meard Street is wonderfully located in the epicentre of Soho, an area bursting with cafés, galleries and boutiques. Right on the doorstep are Quo Vardis Dean Street Townhouse, The Groucho Club and Soho House which offer a home for those with interests in the arts or media. A plethora of cultural hubs are within walking distance, such as The Photographers Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts and The National Portrait Gallery.
Some of London’s biggest shopping districts are within walking distance, with stores such as Selfridges, Liberty and Fortnum & Mason sitting alongside the smaller boutiques of Carnaby, Soho and nearby Mayfair. Bond Street is a short stroll away, a hub of luxury shops, fine jewellers and specialist galleries.
Located a short walk from Tottenham Court Road, nearby underground stations offer regular services on the Central, Northern, Elizabeth, Bakerloo and Victoria lines. Both Heathrow Airport and the Eurostar are also within easy reach.
Underlying Lease Length: approx. 156 years remaining
Service Charge: approx. £3,000 pa
Ground Rent: n/a
Council Tax Band: F
One of the few surviving Georgian streets in Soho, Meard Street was developed by John Meard Junior and his father of the same name. Largely regarded as the greatest period in English architecture, the Georgian period laid out the blueprint for a new classical order of architecture featuring refined proportions and classical decoration.
Owing to a prolonged recession, little was built throughout London in the early 18th century, making Meard Street (built throughout the 1720s-30s) an exceptionally rare example of its time. John Meard Junior was Master of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters in 1735 and worked with Sir Christopher Wren on St Paul’s Cathedral and architect John James on some of London’s greatest churches.
The immediate area of Soho has a fascinating early history of aristocracy, a later association with the entertainment business, and, most recently, as a creative hub of like-minded artists. Nearby Dean Street Townhouse (also built by Meard Junior) was previously home to the Gargoyle Club, with members including the Duke of Windsor, Fred Astaire, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud.
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