Undoubtedly London's intellectual hotspot, Hampstead draws the capital's great thinkers, and keeps them occupied with its cobbled streets, cosy pubs, and some of the city's best and most original shops. And, midway between the hallowed meadows of Hampstead Heath and Regent's Park, is Belsize Lane, a Victorian home of great distinction and class. Inside, the look is boho-modern, a fifties filing cabinet sits alongside a contemporary fireplace, while the handwoven rug carries echoes of both Mondrian and Rothko. Browse the shelves of Daunt Books for something to read over brunch in one of Belsize Park's snazzy cafes, and when your bloody Mary's gone, head to nearby Hampstead Village for designer boutiques, coffee and cake. And be sure to strike up a conversation with the next table if you can - in this part of town, everyone has a story.
After a prosperous career in real estate, urban regeneration and placemaking your hostess now leads a life of retirement between Belsize Lane and her country residence. A community-minded sort, she holds a number of public positions, and enjoys singing, cooking, and the Arts.
The open-plan living space is just the spot for some quiet contemplation, so stretch out on that scarlet leather couch above the oak floor and let the fire's flickering flames calm your whirring thoughts. Eight can be seated upon the dining table's riotously mismatched chairs, and, as you'd expect from such a keen chef, the kitchen's smart and well-equipped. And there's a peaceful atmosphere to the three bedrooms, where pale walls, rustic furniture and floral fabrics work in harmony to give you a deep and delicious night's sleep.