A TOTALLY TROPICAL GARDEN IN ISLINGTON
This Georgian period home on Islington’s historic Colebrooke Row is not only filled with glorious Victoriana indoors, it also takes inspiration from the Victorians’ love of plant collecting with a magical tropical garden
Words: Madeleine Howell
Colebrooke Row has been one of Islington’s most sought after streets since the 18th century, and with good reason. Back then, this stunning Georgian property would have been surrounded by open land and you could walk down a footpath alongside the New River to City Road. Today, it’s just steps from the buzzing restaurants of Upper Street and the wonderful boutiques of Camden Passage.
‘Everything is on your doorstep,’ explains the current owner, George Berg. ‘Although when you’re in the house, you feel like you’re in the country, which is unusual in London.’
The verdant courtyard is another unique feature that further enhances the sense of retreat and tranquillity that the house affords so lavishly. ‘The gardens have matured since we moved in 12 years ago,’ he tells me. ‘It’s got two tiers. The mezzanine floor is accessed from a spiral staircase, it’s a beautiful space for alfresco dining among the palm trees, bamboo and magnolias. Most of the trees are evergreen and there is a watering system, along with stone slabs so it doesn’t require too much maintenance.’
Secluded, with lush foliage and the therapeutic presence of water features, it’s relaxing as well as being ideal for entertaining. I can’t think of a better spot in which to enjoy breakfast, and I’m envious of the lucky inhabitant of one particular bedroom, the tranquil fourth bedroom, with double doors leading out onto a leafy, wooden-decked patio area with views over Islington and the added bonus of an en-suite shower room.
When it comes to the interiors, the owner has opted for Farrow & Ball’s heritage colours in luxurious greens, which complement the original panelled walls and contribute to a warm ambience. The muted hues of the bathroom, combined with a sumptuous roll top bath and spacious shower room, are very appealing, and then there’s the vast array of art, sculpture and accessories that the Bergs have used to dress each room.
‘The pieces we have in the house are an eclectic mix that we’ve picked up on our travels, from India for example. It might not be to everyone’s taste,’ Berg says. ‘Georgian houses often tend to be quite minimal, but we’ve embellished it with Victoriana, which we love – as you can see in the pictures! For us, it’s got the wow factor.’
With four bedrooms, a newly refurbished family bathroom and reception rooms including the panelled drawing room, sitting room and separate dining room, a kitchen replete with wooden beams and, of course, a wine cellar, we couldn’t agree more.
The property on Colebrooke Row N1 is on the market for £3,600,000 through Knight Frank Islington. Call 020 3797 4530 or see knightfrank.co.uk