For a narrow street, with relatively little traffic, St Martin’s Lane in Covent Garden packs in some of the West End’s best known attractions. Home to the English National Opera at the Coliseum Theatre, as well as the Duke of York’s Theatre and the Noël Coward Theatre, it’s a showbiz haven with a large number of cafes and music shops.
Cecil Court, an alleyway that divides the street, is also a paradise for book lovers. Nicknamed ‘Bookseller’s Row’, this hidden gem was thought to inspire Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, and is lined with twenty-odd book shops and antique stores filled with treasures ready to be discovered.
Now, the oldest building on St Martin’s Lane has just hit the market. An imposing building with stone dressings and carved plaques, the ground floor premises was formerly used as a bank. Today, the property has been entirely refurbished with modern finishes that blend seamlessly with the home’s period features.
Arranged over three storeys, the house benefits from a private entrance on St. Martin’s Lane. A flight of stairs takes you to the reception room that has original panelled walls and arched recesses. If you look up, the ceiling contains painted representations of the four seasons centred around an octagon with a sun at its centre. This mural is edged with intricate period plasterwork that is embellished with flowers and interwoven designs.
Down the hall, the kitchen has a more contemporary style, with a glass breakfast bar and integrated Gaggenau appliances. This opens onto an atrium with a large skylight that provides spectacular views of the Coliseum and a wide staircase which takes you to the second floor. Here you’ll find another reception room with an original fireplace that has blue and white tiles on either side of it depicting Aesop’s Fables.
This storey also features the largest bedroom, which has its own en suite bathroom. The top floor offers two further bedrooms, a bathroom with a bathtub and shower, as well as study for those working flexibly.
James Staite, Director of Dexters Fitzrovia says, ‘this property is unique because it has an abundance of period features which have been meticulously maintained. First occupied in 1636, it’s a truly historic home with world-class cultural attractions within walking distance.’