Everyone knows that a new Waitrose can boost local property prices, but it’s not just supermarkets that add value.
“Leading restaurants, bars and department stores all add to the value of nearby properties. Combined, they can contribute to the marriage value of an area, improving both the atmosphere and the overall image,” explains Paul Sulkin, Sales Director at Kay & Co.
Paul has more than 25 years’ experience in the prime Marylebone market. Here he looks at how much restaurants, bars as well as designer shops add to property prices.
1. Leading London restaurants
A top London restaurant can transform an area. It might be Orrery, Trishna or The Ivy Cafe. But one of the most famous restaurants in the area is the Chiltern Firehouse. The destination restaurant and hotel on Chiltern Street has helped to put the area on the map. Originally, a Gothic-style fire station, it was converted by US hotelier, André Balazs. Star-studded from the start, it soon became London’s hottest celebrity hangout. And it still is. The food is fabulous, and the open-kitchen dining room is relaxed and stylish.
2. Fashionable bars
Fashionable bars can put an area on the map. Think 108 Marylebone Lane, Jerusalem or Purl. A popular destination in the area is the Artesian, which is an elegant cocktail bar located within the sophisticated surroundings of the Langham Hotel. Decorated in a refined oriental style, the bar is at the forefront of London’s fashionable social scene. And it’s won prizes to prove it. These include the ‘World’s Best Bar’ accolade, which it was awarded four years running, courtesy of Drinks International. Artesian now has a new Head Bartender, Remy Savage, who is an award winner in his own right. Remy was voted the ‘World’s Most Imaginative Bartender’ while at the Little Red Door in Paris.
3. Designer shops
Designer stores can come in all shapes and sizes from Skandium to Designer’s Guild. Sir Terence Conran was one of the first to spot the potential of the previously neglected Marylebone High Street – now one of the most desirable shopping streets in London. At the time, Conran was already the first and last name in contemporary design, and he chose a former stable block here to be his central London base. Today, the shop offers an eclectic mix of elegant furnishings, accessories, books, homeware, gifts and cards, plus one of the capital’s most relaxing coffee shops.
Exhibitions are a magnet for both residents and tourists. The Wallace Collection is an acclaimed museum in an historic townhouse on Manchester Square. Divided into 25 bite-sized galleries, the Collection provides unsurpassed displays of 18th -century French painting, furniture and porcelain, with magnificent old masters. As well as the exhibits, the Collection offers events and activities for all, plus the gift shop. The premises are also home to a French-style brasserie, in a quiet courtyard setting. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, dinner is also available on Friday and Saturday evenings.
• The Wallace Collection adds between 7 and 10 percent to the value of local properties.
• For more information on The Wallace Collection, Marylebone, London W1, visit their website here or on Twitter: @WallaceMuseum.
5. Local bookshops
To misquote Mark Twain, the death of the book has been greatly exaggerated. Not only are people reading as many books as ever, but shoppers are said to be enjoying bookshops more than ever. And who doesn’t like a good bookshop? Especially if it’s Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street! Said to be one of the first custom-built bookshops in the world, this charming branch of the popular chain was originally designed for an antiquarian book dealer in 1912. The shop was bought and rebranded in 1990.
6. Department stores
They are some of the leading names on the high street: John Lewis, House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer. Yet the local convenience store for many Marylebone residents is Selfridges. As convenience stores go, Selfridges is substantial. After all, it is reputedly one of the world’s best department stores. It has won countless awards, and spawned a TV series. It sells almost anything, and many things you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Exclusivity, along with luxury and sophistication, is its definable features. And the level of choice can be mind-boggling. The shoe galleries seem bigger than the Tate’s Turbine Hall! So, why wouldn’t anyone want a home with Selfridges on the doorstep?
There are numerous cinemas in Leicester Square or a short stroll away is the Everyman Cinema on Baker Street. Part of a fast-growing independent network of boutique cinemas, Everyman Baker Street displays a definite passion for quality, from its service of food and drink to the seating and choice of films on offer. You can also hire one of the screens for a private party, which would be worth it for the cocktail bar alone.
• Everyman Cinema adds around 3-5 percent to the value of local properties.
• For more information on the Everyman Cinema, Marylebone, London W1, visit their website here or on Twitter: @Everymancinema.
8. Concert Halls
Wigmore Hall is one of the world’s best concert halls. The intimate space lends itself perfectly to chamber and instrumental music, early music and song. Its repertoire extends to 250 years either side of Beethoven’s birth (1770), from the Renaissance to contemporary jazz, as well as commissions from some of today’s most exciting composers. The venue presents more than 460 concerts each year, including daytime performances, educational and family events. Appealing to a broad range of audiences, Wigmore Hall also offers a subsidised ticket scheme for some younger concert-goers.
• Paul Sulkin, Sales Director at Kay & Co, has worked in both corporate and independent estate agencies. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the prime Marylebone market. Contact Kay & Co estate agents for details of properties for sale or to rent in Marylebone, Bayswater, Paddington, Notting Hill, Mayfair, Fitzrovia, Regents Park, The West End and Paddington (020 7262 2030; Kay & Co).