Country houses for sale

Luxury Property

The trend for hassle-free apartments with concierge and carwash has spread from London to other UK cities. ‘They’re for cash-rich, time-poor people who don’t want to pick up their dry cleaning or groceries ? ‘And why not?’ asks Mark Coulter from Savills. The current upturn in fortunes in the City has created a market for luxury, ‘easyliving’ properties, in central locations with upturned price tags.

120 Dundas Street, Edinburgh

One such development on Dundas St in Edinburgh New Town has already been snapped up by lifestyle buyers. ‘120 Dundas St is a watershed for the Scottish market. 50% of the 21 units have already gone and I expect it will all be sold well before completion in autumn 2007,’ said Mr Coulter. The flats, which range from £190,000 to £625,000 benefit from a concierge between 7am and 11am, underground parking and a communal secret garden. A cold store in the reception enables groceries ordered online to keep cool after delivery and a table for 16 can be rented out for summer barbeques in the shared garden. Ipod fittings are installed in the flats which have either one, two or three bedrooms.

But Mr Coulter is keen to point out the properties are not full of boy’s toys: ‘We didn’t want gadgets,’ he says. ‘No sliding doors that take 30 seconds to open. The flats are ultimately convenient for people without time.’

44 Park Street, London

Those who don’t even have time to move their possessions will be comfortable in a new development in Mayfair, London. ‘You can turn up with your toothbrush and suitcase and move straight in,’ said Kamini Ezralow from Lifestyles Interiors who is co-ordinating the interior design of 44 Park St, for property developers Northacre (0207 349 8000), ‘Accessories, books and picture frames are already there.’

Astonishingly Lifestyles Interiors finds that about 80% of purchasers want to leave the décor of the show house exactly as it is, from the curtains and furniture to the silver box on the drawing room mantelpiece. ‘We have a clever way of creating a home without imposing our style ? true they might not like everything in it but we have created an environment which feels and looks like a home.’

The double fronted Mayfair property on Park St was a stately home before being converted to offices after World War Two. By partly merging with a neighbouring property it now boasts six flats ? an ambassadorial triplex suitable for entertaining, and three and four bedroom duplexes (starting at £4.5 million). ‘Ambassadorial splendour’ was Lifestyles’ brief, and by making use of the historic fabric of the building and adding classical modern finishes and plenty of marble, crystal chandeliers and antique mirrors, the team feel they have succeeded.

‘We’ve created a lifestyle,’ said Ms Ezralow. ‘The requirements are ease-of-living ? people are expecting audio visual and internet, things that are fairly easy but require forethought.’ But at the same time, she is convinced Park St is a home, not a hotel. ‘We have not used a bland palette,’ she maintains, ‘but have created a home. People who have little time and sometimes work from home, need a home to work for them.’ (For further information on Park St telephone Knight Frank 020-7173 4900).

Charters, Berkshire

Described as the last of the great country houses to be built in England, and used as a country bolthole by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (Edward and Mrs Simpson) in 1947, Charters now offers 39 luxury apartments. The house is set amid 25 acres of secluded parkland, and boasts the latest in style, security, luxury and technology, together with the service, security and peace-of-mind associated with bygone living: ‘For high-flying international professionals, endlessly juggling the ‘cash-rich, time-poor’ conundrum; for those sporting buffs who just cannot bear to be away from the turf; or for the savvy investor who wants a piece of the investment action now to enjoy on a more personal level at a later date; Charters just cannot be beaten,’ commented Savills director Michael Ball. Prices range between £1 and £3 million.

The Penthouse, Waterside Point, London

Perhaps one of London’s finest penthouses, 70 Waterside Point enjoys magical views up and down the Thames and 4,510 sq ft of well arranged accommodation including some of the largest and most private terraces to be found on the river. Located next to Albert Bridge within walking distance of the heart of Chelsea, the eighth/ninth floor property includes two terraces and a water garden, four double bedrooms all with ensuite bathrooms and a leisure area with sauna andlarge swimming pool. Concierge and security are in 24 hour attendance and the property also includes two underground parking spaces, a high speed lift and an electric security gated forecourt. It has a guide price of £6.5 million and is being sold through Knight Frank Riverside (Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7590 2450).