Prestige property: Two-storey delight at regal address
The grand terrace of Georgian townhouses, designed to be homes for wealthy residents, has had many incarnations since, with most serving time as offices and hotels in the years when city centre living fell out of favour.
Formerly The Howard Hotel, numbers 32 to 36 Great King Street were returned to residential accommodation in 2019 by redevelopment company Square and Crescent. It created nine apartments in the terrace, ranging from one-bedroom lower-ground-floor flats to double-uppers spanning the top two floors.
The upper-duplex apartment at number 34 is now for sale. With a grand triple-windowed drawing room at first-floor level and four bedrooms, it is a property that is attracting a lot of attention from potential buyers, according to its selling agent, Ricardo Volpi of Knight Frank.
He says: “The whole project is a particularly good example of how to separate a larger house into apartments, keeping so much of its character and many of its period features.”
The apartment has a grand entrance with a beautiful cupola over the stair and a wide hall. The accommodation is configured with the first floor as the main living space, while three of the bedrooms occupy the upstairs storey.
Volpi says: “The drawing room has a southerly aspect, which means you obviously get an awful lot of light throughout the day.
“And everywhere you look there are delightful original features, such as a balcony off the kitchen which has views to the Firth of Forth, and the wrought-iron maid’s trays on the original railings.”
A maid’s tray was for use by service staff as a handy spot to put down trays of food while knocking on a door and is a feature in many Georgian houses.
The current owner of the apartment has utilised them to host plants, which trail dramatically down the inner stairway.
As well as the drawing room and dining-kitchen on the first floor, there is a WC and a fourth bedroom which is currently being used as a home office.
Upstairs are three large bedrooms, each with spectacular views over the Edinburgh skyline, and a trio of bath or shower rooms.
As an upper-duplex, there is no garden with the property, but Volpi adds: “Although you don’t have private outside space, you do have access to Queen Street Gardens, which many people prefer – not just because of the difference in value, but you are at the price point where a lower-duplex with a garden will be much nearer the £2-million mark, and a full townhouse would obviously be much more.
“But a low-maintenance home will appeal to those who don’t want the upkeep of a private garden, but still have access to outside space.”
Queen Street Gardens is private to local residents and comprises seven tranquil acres in the heart of the New Town. Its ornamental landscaping was actually laid out just a year before work on Great King Street was completed.
Volpi points to the advantages of the duplex. “It is a characterful period property located in what must be one of the most sought-after addresses in Edinburgh, but with a brand-new heating system, all-new bathrooms and kitchens, which is a lot easier to leave if you have a home elsewhere or want to travel.”
Volpi regards the New Town as a perpetual safe bet in terms of any volatility in prices, too. He says: “These types of property are almost bulletproof, and that comes down to supply and demand. There is a finite number, and [they] just appeal to such a wide range of buyers.”
Area Great King Street is peaceful Georgian residential thoroughfare, which is entirely A-listed and forms a central part of Edinburgh’s New Town, designated a Unesco World Heritage site due to its architectural importance. The prestigious address is close to the bars, shops and restaurants of the city centre and Stockbridge, as well as an array of parks, cycle paths and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
Schools In the catchment for Broughton Primary School and Drummond High School. Well placed for most of the city’s independent schools, the nearest is Edinburgh Academy.
Interior Four bedrooms, drawing room with space for dinner parties, dining-kitchen, three bathrooms.
Exterior Access to the seven acres of Queen Street Gardens with a key on payment of an annual fee. Zoned permit on-street parking.
34 Great King Street, Edinburgh, is priced at offers over £1.25m
For more information, contact Ricardo Volpi on 0131-222 9600.