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Whitehall Court
London SW1 £2,250,000 Leasehold

Whitehall Court

The building was once home to the inspiration for 'M' of James Bond fame, who held a (suitably) bombproof penthouse

Metropolitan elegance meets architectural opulence in Grade II*-listed Whitehall Court, located at the centre of London’s political heartland. The building’s dramatic and grand vertical exterior is complemented by the lavish Victorian interiors within, where oak and stone moulded wall panelling is paired with black and white tiled floors. This apartment also retains period charm, with its beautiful original floorboards and cornicing. Sweeping French windows open to two limestone balconies along one aspect, offering a unique view of the River Thames, London Eye and Horse Guard’s Parade.

Setting the Scene

Evoking the ornate forms of France’s Loire Valley chateaux, Whitehall Court’s façade is exuberant. Nine storeys high, the structure is decorated with Chambord-like ornamental chimney stacks, semicircular arched loggias, stained-glass light wells, mosaic floors, and colonette windows. The fairytale roofscape is an integral contribution to the spectacular view of Whitehall from the enchanting St James’s Park. With this in mind, it is no surprise that the building has been an inspiration to many – perhaps most notably to Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond series. For more information, please see the History section.

Grand Tour

The sixth-floor, South-facing apartment is accessed via a vaulted hallway with windows on either side. Beautiful Victorian marble floors give way to original timber boards beyond a corniced archway.

At the rear of the plan is a handsome sitting room painted in inviting tones of Calamine by Farrow and Ball. Beyond the large balcony, which stretches the entire length of the room, are enviable views of the London Eye rising above London plane trees across the River Thames.

These dazzling views are shared by the airy open-plan kitchen dining room next door, where a second balcony along the same aspect is perfectly placed for morning coffees, or evening gin and tonics. Come New Year’s Eve, these balconies offer breathtaking views of London’s spectacular yearly fireworks display. On the opposite wall, windows frame expansive and stately outlooks over the Horse Guards Parade, where Trooping the Colour occurs each year.

The kitchen has been finished with strikingly sophisticated bespoke joinery. Leafy green cabinetry and cream Dekton countertops subtly conceal integrated Miele appliances. A brass Quooker tap is set within a food preparation space, while a second kitchen sink sits below windows that flood the space with natural light. A built-in mirrored drinks cabinet fuses form with function, and a central island with Bora hob (and integrate extractor fan) creates a versatile space, perfect for elegant entertaining. Beyond is plenty of space for a dining table.

A study – small but perfectly formed – is just off the kitchen. Lit by a beautiful stained glass light well, the learned space feels appropriate for a building steeped in literary history.

The primary bedroom is entered at the front of the plan, with walls painted in soothing creamy tones. Wooden floorboards and cast-iron radiators maintain the home’s period distinction, while box panelling cleverly conceals built-in storage. There is a good-sized bathroom at the end of the hallway, with sleek tiling and a shower bath.

Great Outdoors

Whitehall Court is set back from the Victoria Embankment by the idyllic Whitehall Gardens. Laid out in 1875 by George Vulliamy, and now designated as a Site of Importance for Natural Conservation for its contribution to wildlife, this enclosed oasis offers a bucolic array of shrubbery, colourful beds in spring, and stately mature London plane trees.

Out and About

Whitehall Court is an epochal monument within London’s political heartland. The building backs onto Whitehall Gardens on one side, a leafy sanctuary in the city centre with an unobstructed view of The Thames. Steeped in history, the building’s neighbours include the Royal Horseguards Hotel, and exclusive The Farmers Club.

Set in a square mile of great significance, almost every London landmark sits on the doorstep of this remarkable property. On the north bank of the Thames lies London’s political core: the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Downing Street, Trafalgar Square, and St James’s Park, all within easy walking distance.

Across either Westminster or the Golden Jubilee Bridges, taking in the expanse of The Thames, on the South Bank are the BFI, the South Bank Centre, National Theatre, Tate Modern and The Globe.

A range of great pubs and restaurants grace the area, including Lorne and The Marquis of Westminster and the Thomas Cubitt. The Little Bread Pedlar is a wonderful bakery. The beloved Regency Café is also nearby, alongside many other options approaching Westminster. Across the river is the Garden Museum and its wonderful café. Trafalgar Square, Sloane Square, and the King’s Road are also near.

Embankment and Charing Cross stations are mere minutes away, with a range of Underground and, from the latter, National Rail connections available.

Tenure: Leasehold
Lease Length: 62 years approx. (with the opportunity to extend)
Service Charge: £17,000 per annum approx.
Ground Rent: £200
Council Tax Band: G

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. Inigo has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.

History

Built in two parts in the 1880s, Whitehall Court is an important monument of late Victorian architecture. Its striking vertical emphases, and opulent ornamentation evoke the French chateaux of the Loire Valley, and the building has contributed to Whitehall’s international reputation for architectural extravagance for centuries.

Over the years, Whitehall Court has been home to a litany of important figures, including playwright George Bernard Shaw, the face of the ‘Your Country Needs You’ posters Herbert Kitchener, author H.G. Wells, Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, and Prime Minister William Gladstone.

Until the end of the First World War, the building was used as headquarters for MI6. It was home to their first principal Sir Mansfield Smith-Cumming, who held a bombproof penthouse on the seventh floor. Smith-Cumming is considered to be the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s ‘M’ from the James Bond fame.

Whitehall Court — London SW1
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