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London flat feedback wanted - yes, I'm going slightly crazy!

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Nov 19th, 2017, 07:19 AM
  #1
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London flat feedback wanted - yes, I'm going slightly crazy!

Hi all! Recently I posted about a Southwark flat and got great feedback. However, after much reflection, I've decided that I'd like a flat in a somewhat more conventional location. At the moment, I'm inclined to stick with the security of a traditional rental agency, and have scoured the usual suspects: Ivy Lettings, Coach House rentals, A Place Like Home. I've looked at One Fine Stay and Plum Guide, but they are above my budget.

When we are going: 1 week in September 2018 (9/22-9/29)

I've identified 3 different areas that have flats in my budget range that seem to meet most of my needs; I've noticed a lot of flats are below ground and, while some provide natural light, others seem to have less windows. It's not a rule-out, though. Just something to be aware of. The 3 areas that seem to have the "best bang for the buck" seem to be near Kensington/High street; Gloucester Street; and Sloane Square.

The following flats seem to meet most of my needs:
Ivy Lettings:
1) https://www.ivylettings.com/london-v...ony-apartment/
2) https://www.ivylettings.com/london-v...cation-rental/
3) https://www.ivylettings.com/london-v...ion-apartment/

Coach House Rentals:
https://www.chsrentals.com/propertie...-kensington-2/

Criteria is not hard and fast as there is no "perfect" flat; I'm looking for a balance of the criteria, as no place meets my desires 100%. The immoveables:
-Budget: under $200/night
-Easy accessibility to a tube station (looking for a walk of about 5 minutes)
The variables
-Some sense of character in the area*
-Some sense of charm or character in the flat*
*Yes, these are very subjective characteristics
-Restaurants and cafes nearby as well as other shops (we are not foodies but want some choice
-Not too far from the "center" of London

Any feedback on the flats -- especially if you've stayed in any of them. It's hard to get current "real" reviews on any of these sites. And some of the reviews (Emperors Gate, for instance) are old.

I know I'm obsessing, but am trying hard to keep it a bit in perspective!
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Nov 19th, 2017, 08:22 AM
  #2
 
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I, personally, would nix the first one on the grounds that I like to eat with my feet on the floor, not perched on a bar stool, but bar stools do seem to be popular these days. And I would nix the fourth on the grounds that UK second floor is US third floor and I would prefer fewer steps. A basement flat (which is what lower ground floor means) may or may not be dark depending on whether the ground at the back is lower.
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Nov 19th, 2017, 09:31 AM
  #3
 
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>> Gloucester Street<<

Do you mean Gloucester Street Road? Gloucester Street is in Pimlico near-ish Pimlico and Victoria Stations. Gloucester Road is is South Kens near the Gloucester Road station.

I'm surprised you are finding economical properties near Sloane Sq since it is a very upscale neighborhood.

All three (all four if you mean Gloucester Road) are good locations, Kens High Street being the farthest west and farthest from most sites. Just for transport/convenience I'd rate them in order Gloucester Rd, Sloane Sq, Gloucester Street, Kensington High Street

#1 looks nice, and is quite close to the tube station - I dislike bar stools too.

#2 in in a TERRIFIC location. Very close to South Kens tube station and the V&A/Natural History museums

I would personally LOVE the location of #3 -- very close to the tube station, the Royal Court theatre, and my favorite department store in London

#4 is VERY close to the Gloucester Rd Station.

I (personally) could not stay in #4 because I injured my knee and 3rd (2nd) floor is too much climbing just now.

I would very happily stay in either 2 or 3 . . .
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Nov 19th, 2017, 09:45 AM
  #4
 
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I haven’t looked at the individual flats so am not going to comment, but if I wanted to live in any one of the areas you’ve chosen I would go for Sloane Gardens. But all the areas you’ve listed are OK.

London has so much choice, nowhere is unsafe, the public transport
is very good. Just decide on one otherwise you will go mad trying to find a perfect match.

Even that Southwark flat was a good location as I stayed just behind the Tate Modern on the South Bank earlier this year and it was a great place to stay.

There are restaurants, pubs, things to do just about everywhere….

And if nowhere's not near the Tube take a bus.

In London cost is the primary factor, if you can afford it just do it.
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Nov 19th, 2017, 09:47 AM
  #5
 
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Oh, and beware, if it's cheap make sure it's legit.

London accommodation rarely does cheap.
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Nov 19th, 2017, 10:08 AM
  #6
 
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>>Oh, and beware, if it's cheap make sure it's legit.<<

I don't think there is any danger with these 4 flats -- both agencies are long standing and totally legit.
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Nov 19th, 2017, 10:11 AM
  #7
 
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I personally like east London, so much prefer the Southwark flat you were looking at before. These are all too far west for me, but I am a south London girl and the area around borough market is one of my favourite areas.
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Nov 19th, 2017, 11:17 AM
  #8
 
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Actually, if your cut off is 200 USD, it is not clear you can afford those flats. At today's exchange rate that is 151 GBP. Two of those flats START at more than that and the others are just over when you allow for add ons for your dates.
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Nov 19th, 2017, 02:29 PM
  #9
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thursdaysd, you’re absolutely right! I think as long as I look at the rates in pounds, I’ll be fine and I won’t worry too much about going a bit over my planned budget!

Many thanks everyone - I’m still torn but am reassured that they are all good choices. I think I’m leaning toward Sloane Gardens but am still pondering the variables. The good news is that they are all good choices. And if I go slightly over budget, we’ll I guess I’m not so hard and fast with my own rules!

janisj, 2 or 3 are my favorites! I just have to get over the idea of staying in a place that is not above grade! But they both look light enough and very comfortable.
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Nov 19th, 2017, 05:25 PM
  #10
 
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Progol - you are definitely on the road to crazy! LOL. I'm with Jamikins in this and say I thought the Southwark flat was great - standards of kitchen and bathrooms for that price were amazing, love the area and you are so close to getting into the west end from there. However, I also love the Kensington High Street area and the area around Gloucester Road having stayed in both. I wouldn't hesitate to stay in a lower ground flat - I've had two excellent lower ground flats through Farnum and Christ at the high end of the flat rental scale. Both had plenty of light - they usually have a very large front window and if they go straight through to a back garden the bedrooms at the back can also be quite light.
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Nov 19th, 2017, 05:47 PM
  #11
 
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Something else to consider with #2 - no shower curtain or glass partition.
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Nov 19th, 2017, 05:50 PM
  #12
 
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I notice that the bed in numbers 2 an 3 is a regular double.
This is quite small at 4 feet 6 inches.

Something we would not be comfortable with.
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Nov 19th, 2017, 06:13 PM
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>>I notice that the bed in numbers 2 an 3 is a regular double.
This is quite small at 4 feet 6 inches.<<

4'6" is a US queen -- and not 'quite small'.
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Nov 19th, 2017, 06:19 PM
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>> 4'6" is essentially a US queen -- and not 'quite small'.<< A US queen is 60" a UK double is 54".
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Nov 19th, 2017, 06:27 PM
  #15
 
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I actually like a bath so the lack of a shower curtain in South Kens wouldn't bother me but the shower in the Sloane Sq property looks enormous . . . 'course lots can be done w/ a wide angle lens

all in all -- location, decor, etc -- I (personally) would pick Sloane Sq. (that's assuming you don't go back to Southwark )
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Nov 19th, 2017, 06:46 PM
  #16
 
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It was just an observation as here in Oz a double is 54 inch and a queen 60 inch.
Our KS bed is 72 inch.
Doubles are not particularly common here anymore so I was commenting from my own experience and comfort level.

All the best with the flat hunting progol on!
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Nov 19th, 2017, 07:09 PM
  #17
 
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@janisj - I grew up in England taking baths. When I moved to the US I was miffed because the bath tubs weren't big enough for me to get all of me under water at the same time. So I switched to showers. Now I see baths as unhygienic. (I'm with the Japanese - get clean first!) And a proper shower, as opposed to an over the bath one, is a lot safer if you have mobility or balance issues - or even if you don't.

Six inches isn't much. Until you don't have it.
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Nov 19th, 2017, 07:44 PM
  #18
 
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I love King's Rd, Chelsea do I would go with the Dliane Sq flat.
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Nov 19th, 2017, 07:53 PM
  #19
 
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The problem bed wise -- many in the US and OZ are used to king sized. If you want/need that -- head for an international business or posh upscale hotel. Not a holiday flat.

thursdaysd: I'm a bath girl myself -- the more bath bombs, bubbles and oils the better

But thank heavens I had my master bath remodeled last year with a wonderful high tech-y shower (though still over the tub). Cuz' for about 2 months after I injured my knee I could not get down into a tub and had to convert to showers 100%. Now I'm about 50/50. Once my knee is totally heeled I'll go back to mostly baths but I have got so I do appreciate a nice shower.
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Nov 20th, 2017, 04:35 AM
  #20
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Many thanks, everyone! I'm off to work and don't have time to respond individually, but you all raise good points, and ones that I'm considering.

My sticking points:
-The lack of shower in the Queensberry Place is a concern.
-The lack of a bedside lamp on the LH side of the bed in Sloane Gardens
-The lack of a table and possible long haul upstairs in Cheniston Gardens

Locations seem to all be good

and, thursdaysd, LOL! I checked with my husband and he was fine with it, so don't tell him that:
<>

(A better excuse to cozy up!)

-----
More later. Work beckons, unfortunately.
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