Close your eyes and picture the countryside. The spreading skies, the mossy lanes, the low meadowy hills pocketed with tiny villages. Well, at Drayton Gardens III you can keep both eyes wide open. This home is all leafy freshness, a gentle glade in the forest of the city. Newly refurbished, its walls are peppered with pastoral artwork, its floorboards with dreamy daylight and, in the sitting room, take tea with the treetops. But don't be deceived by South Ken rustling sleepily outside. Step a little further and you'll see the bright, buzzy lights of Chelsea before you.
In his city days, this was your host's bachelor pad. Now married, he lives with his family in rural Stansted. Their son is a keen cricketer, their daughter an event rider who is studying to be a vet.
This red brick mansion block is all the more fetching for the green leaves that flutter before it. And the same can certainly be said of the sitting room. A collage of boughs, branches and leaves peep through the windows, pointing to the squishy sofa. Sip a morning coffee and be further soothed by the white walls, honeyed wood floor and original artwork, painted by a friend of your hosts. The kitchen is brand new and high spec, and the round, elegant table seats six.
There's a summery, beachy feel to the master bedroom, with its artwork and walls as bright white as tropical sands. As for the double, it is classical English decor, from the period armchair to the twin bedside lamps and dainty furnishings. There's a master ensuite as well as a bright, inviting bathroom both full of our fluffy white towels.
South Ken's famous museums are within a saunter, and you'll pass some tasty cafes and eateries along the way. Turn the other way for Chelsea and its parade of shops, galleries and bars, or keep things leafy with a trip to the Physic Garden. There are the watering holes of Fulham, the world-class shopping of Kensington and, of course, the West End. The tube from South Kensington to Oxford Circus takes a little over ten minutes.