L&N on LDN : The Blog

Latest musings on London from the Londonewcastle team

Weekly entries on living in London with a focus on central London property and the Londonewcastle Art Programme which includes the Londonewcastle Project Space we own and run in Shoreditch.


Mears Ashby Hall, Northamptonshire


Londonewcastle were fortunate enough to stay in the beautiful Mears Ashby Hall, located in the countryside of Northamptonshire.

Ready to meet and greet us at the front door was our butler Martin, who was with us for the rest of our stay and took care of any requests.

After some lunch in the garden we were all ready to get started on some activities. As we were on farmland there was really only one thing we could do - clay pigeon shooting. We all really enjoyed this as some were complete beginners and others had taken part before. We were briefed before and had an instructor with us the whole time.

Once we had finished our afternoon activity, we headed back in to get ready for the evening ahead. The girls from Lipstick and Curls arrived to help the ladies with their hair and makeup. Once we felt glamorous enough, the costumes were on and we headed downstairs to enjoy canapes and a live Swing band.

Dinner was served and was truly delicious - three courses cooked by the fantastic Wowhouse Caterers. Joining us for dinner were The Murder Experts who put on a murder mystery to remember.

For the rest of the evening we were entertained by the Twin Swing duo, and enjoyed cocktails made by the staff from Mobar Hire.

For more details on the companies we used please see below.

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Londonewcastle in the 1920's


The members of Londonewcastle packed their bags and headed for the English countryside last week. Dressing up in 1920’s attire we managed to recreate the historic era in a grand manor house. With a jazz band, Charleston dancers and a murder mystery team on board we quite literally felt that we had travelled back in time.

Have a look at some of our photos below.

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Another post will follow about the visit - stay tuned.


London Graffiti, Anna Laurini


Walking around Holborn/Bloomsbury you may have come across variations of Anna Laurini’s work - often plastered across closed or abandoned shops.

This piece below really caught my attention, as I find it really interesting that in a busy, humming city a simple phrase or caption can make such an impact on passersby. I would love to know how many people have walked past it and smiled or have taken a photo and shown it to a loved one.

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Laurini’s style is said to be inspired by the abstract impressionism movement which is very apparent in her latest work.

To find out more about her please visit here.


Coffee Hit


London is heaving with coffee shops. From Pret A Manger to Starbucks to Costa, you can’t turn a street corner without seeing one. But growing alongside these huge chains are the more trendy shops, the type that don’t have to scream out for your attention and showcase an unappealing lengthy queue. As popular as the huge chains are, I feel that they often lack character and the coffee doesn’t impress as much as you’d hope.

Whilst walking through Bishopsgate and Spitalfields Market, I came across a chain that I had never heard of before - Department of Coffee and Social Affairs. Both shops were unique had completely different layouts and interiors; Bishopsgate was light and open with windows and an organised seating area, whereas the Spitalfields shop kept with the market theme and was set in a small corner comprising of open brickwork and just a few benches to share with other customers.

Whilst being a little on the expensive side, you get to choose which coffee beans you would like for your brew and the staff make your visit really enjoyable. I think Department of Coffee and Social Affairs should be the place you visit next to give you your morning coffee hit.

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For more information and locations, click here.


Yog Frozen Yoghurt


Not that we’ve been blessed with a sweltering hot Summer, but it’s still warm enough to want something cold after being stuck in the office all week or on the tube.

Whilst ice cream would be most people’s port of call, others still wish to watch the calories. So instead of a fattening Mr Whippy, you can now get fat-free frozen yoghurt from Yog.

They offer a range of yoghurt flavours such as natural, dark chocolate, pomegranate, passion fruit and coconut. These are all lovely on their own, but if you want to make it even better you can add toppings like mini brownies/oreos, blueberries, strawberries, smarties, granola and banana.

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Click here to find your nearest Yog shop.


Popin' Pete Pop Shop at Londonewcastle Project Space


Popin’ Pete will be holding their launch party at our Project Space in Shoreditch on Wednesday 12th August. It is also United Nation’s International Youth Day so they will be having a whole day of celebrations with young people from Plymouth, Leeds, Nottingham and London.

They have recently returned from Leeds where they had over 200 people taking part, raising an impressive £300 for Macmillan Cancer. Check out their latest promo below, and for more information visit www.scannersinc.org


Coffee and pastries with Jillian Eldridge


Our latest artist Jillian Eldridge who is currently exhibiting work at our Project Space in Shoreditch, will be holding a coffee and pastry event this Sunday 3rd August. Jillian is currently showcasing her beautiful paintings in our gallery, and it is a fantastic opportunity to meet her and discuss the artwork. It’s free entry and open between 11am and 1pm.

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To find out more about Jillian’s work, visit her website www.jillianeldridge.co.uk




Londonewcastle threw a wedding party to remember for Emma and Dorota, who are both getting married in the next two weeks. All members of staff joined in to congratulate the girls at the event held on our roof terrace at Londonewcastle. Complete with veils, pizzas, Pimms and champagne we gave them a great send off.

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We would like to congratulate both girls (and their future husbands) and we hope that they both have lovely, memorable days.


Queen's Park Place marketing breaks cover


With the construction of new development Queen’s Park Place progressing at a pace, we are gearing up for a marketing campaign to raise awareness across London.

It’s the first opportunity that buyers across the city will have to take a closer look at the development, which completes in Spring 2016. To date, the website, hoarding fronting Salusbury Road in Queen’s Park and obvious signs of work on site have been the only signs of what is to come.

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For more information and to make an enquiry, visit www.queensparkplace.com


Arundel Square still shines

Peter A

Took a trip down (recent) memory lane during a cycle from west London where I live to the Olympic Park via the achingly hip Rapha Store in Soho on the way out and on the return leg via Islington. Couldn’t help popping by to see our 2010 development Arundel Square in the failing light of a crisp autumn afternoon.

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The park has matured nicely and people of all ages use it enthusiastically - whether walking the dog, chilling out on the grass or climbing the tree house. I think the development has also matured nicely and sits well amongst the period properties on the opposite side of the park. The facade colour has aged well and the balconies seem to respond tot he colours in the park. Decide for yourself.


Room with a view this Summer?

Peter A

With summer in full swing it’s the time Londoners finally get to enjoy the views and outside space that they have. Our recently launched development 62-68 Rosebery Avenue in Clerkenwell has some great views. See for yourself in the pictures below.

These penthouse duplex apartments are available now - for sales enquiries and to arrange a viewing of one of the three remaining units, please contact Hurford Salvi Carr 020 7250 1012 or Pilcher Hershman 020 7399 8600.

View of the city at night from the front door and through the living space

View of the city at night from the front door and through the living psace

View from the study space in Apartment 1 of the terrace

View from the study space in Apartment 1 of the terrace

View of the church on Exmouth market from Apartment 4's kitchen

View of the church on Exmouth market from Apartment 4’s kitchen

View from the bathroom of the tree cover on Rosebery Avenue

view from the bathroom of the tree cover on Rosebery Avenue

View east from Apartment 1's roof terrace

View east from Apartment 1’s roof terrace



Rosebery Avenue - more details revealed


Another visit to 62-68 Rosebery Avenue and a few more shots of the development - a more revealing picture of the front shows how the mature canopy of trees gives privacy from the hustle of Rosebery Avenue below, without impacting the views from the 3rd and 4th floors. This shot also shows how well connected the scheme is - with new Routemaster buses scurrying about between Islington and the West End (the 38 route shown actually ends in Victoria).

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The views from the roof terraces on the other / South side of the building aren’t too bad either - the image below is the actual view from Apartment 3 - with the barbican and city towers on one side of the trees in Spa Fields Park, with The Shard and St Paul’s on the other.

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A panoramic shot crowns this post off. Hope you like - if you are interested don’t delay as we have received genuine interest since the launch on 11 June.

Panormaic view from the roof terraces

Panormaic view from the roof terraces

Click here for more details and agent contacts.


62 - 68 Rosebery Avenue nears completion


Works are coming to a completion at our new development in Clerkenwell - situated off the perennially attractive Exmouth Market. Th shots below give a glimpse of what buyers can expect from the 4 luxury duplex penthouse apartments within.

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The architects - Macdowell + Benedetti have done a fantastic job on the external appearance of the building - retaining the historic facade while bringing it bang up to date with refurbished and new windows and frames in gloss black that really complement the brickwork.

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Internally, an expressive materials palette has been used by interior designers The Sheldon Studio, including cracked bronze feature panels that connect the kitchen and living/ dining areas.

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The apartments, priced from £1.375m, are available for viewing now through our joint sole agents Hurford Salvi Carr 020 7250 1012 and Pilcher Hershman 020 7399 8600.


Catlin Art Prize 2014


It’s The Catlin Art Prize’s 3rd year at Londonewcastle’s project space on Redchurch Street…

With fresh graduates and emerging artists from across the UK, the exhibition is always going to be out of the ordinary and this year is no exception.

The seven finalists have cleverly utilised the space, transforming the gallery in ways that that are difficult to appreciate unless you’re there (nonetheless);





Justin Hammond, Curator of the The Catlin Art Prize has firmly established the award as one of the most essential and serious BA and MA Fine Art graduate prizes in the whole of the UK. Each year, Justin curates what are, in his view, the next challenging artists across the UK.

Justin Hammond

Justin Hammond

To visit the exhibition and place your vote, head down to the gallery by 24th May.


Hingston Studio's Teaser sets scene for Rosebery Avenue launch


A teaser video produced by creative agency Tom Hingston Studio that riffs on the identity they cleverly conceived for our new residential development in Clerkenwell, which is inspired by the eclectic signage and typography found in the local, vibrant area around Exmouth Market.

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The development of four duplex penthouses launches in June-2014 and features interios by The Sheldon Studio, bespoke high specification finishes and fantastic AV installed - not to mention the video installation in the lifts by New York-based artist Marco Brambilla. Read about the piece here.

More about the development here…


Robert Soning vs English Heritage on Monocle 24 Radio


A clash of the titans was avoided by an intelligent Monocle 24 radio debate between Robert Soning, COO of Londonewcastle and Nigel Barker, London Planner & Conservation Officer for English Heritage on the subject of Demolition: When is it time to clear it all away and start afresh?

The debate focuses on those who decide when to list buildings, those who build new, and the artists, activists and architects that are taking action.

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NB: “Each owner should be regarded as a custodian.”

RS: “There is tension, but English Heritage is vital in cities like London. Each area and building should be judged on its own merits…”

RS: “There is a long hard process to go through and it’s not for the faint hearted.”

Click here to listen to the full show online.

Click here to subscribe to the show on iTunes.

About The Urbanist

Hosted by editor Andrew Tuck, the show is about the people making city life better, from dedicated mayors to hi-tech businesses. monocle.com


Are Managing Agents ready for the age of Mixed Use?


Robert Soning, COO of Londonewcastle comments:

Q. What do you look for in a residential management company and what could be learnt from commercial?

“Buyer expectations for new build developments are very high – much higher than they were 5 years ago and so we need a residential management company that understands and can meet these challenges.

There are more mixed use developments – so the management company need to understand, integrate and coordinate with the different uses on site – an ‘Estate’ management understanding and experience – for example, leisure uses on site bring more people and later hours and this must be managed effectively to work properly over the long term.

We need businesses who can provide 24 hour onsite concierge and associated ‘lifestyle management’ services e.g. restaurant bookings, theatre tickets, private dining, health and fitness services. It’s not just about the back end – the front end is key and we need luxury hotel levels of customer service and management. Front office staffing is key:

the right people selection and recruitment processtrainingmotivatingmanaging – e.g. secret shopping, customer satisfaction surveys, leaseholder feedback meetings.”

Q. Future developments – what facilities will they have and how will they be managed?

“More sophisticated services will be offered in large developments not just a screening room and a gym, but private dining rooms, ‘club’ rooms which are more multi-functional and day to night, for business meeting and leisure use – like a private members club in effect.

We may also see leisure / entertainment uses that adjoin the residential becoming more open and integrated; for example, a café, restaurant or spa that share the same lobby space as the residential – which will need to be considered and managed. These facilities will bring more people over longer hours so responsiveness needs to excellent.”

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Q. Is there a skills gap and training issue in the market?

“Yes there is. We need sophisticated organisations with skills and expertise of both residential and commercial management.”

Q. Can we learn from overseas or commercial managers?

“From overseas definitely. London – and England – is still not a service industry led mentality like it is in America and we can still learn a lot from them.”

Q. Is a low service charge a false economy?

“ Yes, it rings alarm bells that service levels may be low and inadequate; for example, maintenance, sinking funds, management, refuse. As buildings get more complex and the facilities expand, there will be a new minimum level of charge.”

Q. How do you see the role of social housing and build to rent organisations?

“The important thing is that social and private housing is separated at the design stage of new build projects, but day to day management needs to ensure coordination and communication between private and social managers.”

Q. How important is service charge when marketing properties to overseas purchasers?

“It is very important to show value. But overseas buyers are used to high-rise, managed buildings so there is a level of expectation. Again it depends on the in price of the apartments, but too low a service charge can be damaging as it risks rising concerns over inferior service levels - especially long term maintenance.”

Q. Do mixed use buildings provide an opportunity for consolidation in the market – e.g. could commercial managers step into the residential space and/or vice versa?

“Absolutely – there is no choice. London is now very sophisticated and you can’t have one without the other – mixed use developments are the norm. I think larger commercial managing agents will start doing residential management – either by adding their own offering or buying/ merging with residential management companies – or vice versa.”

Q. What different challenges (and benefits) do mixed use projects have?

“Mixed use is more challenging – the challenges are wider integration and maintenance issues. You need experience and a sensitivity to the issues.”

Q. What impact will mixed use schemes have on future property values?

“They could have a positive impact on values, if (a) they are run well and (b) the tenant mix is managed sensitively / controlled by the developer at the outset to ensure the right fit between each class and the relative price point.”

For more on this subject, click here.


Roundhouse 2013 Gala raises £600,000


Ray Davies (of The Kinks), Boy George, Heaven 17, Imogen Heap and Eliza Doolittle were a few of the acts that took to the stage to celebrate the Roundhouse 2013 Gala, hosted by Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw.

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The night also showcased some of the talented young individuals who benefit from the Roundhouse’s Creative Programme - with the Roundhouse Choir collaborating with Heaven 17 and Imogen Heap; spoken word artist and winner of the 2012 Roundhouse Poetry Slam Hibaq Osman and Roundhouse spoken word tutor Polarbear (a real highlight of the night); hula troupe The Majorettes and the Roundhouse dance/acrobatic troupe, Funk da Cirque.

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Harry Enfield and Christie’s Hugh Edmeades took charge of the auction which included some amazing lots - especially works of art; including an original Coldplay Xylobryte artwork (as seen on the cover of the Mylo Xyloto album); an original piece by Antony Gormley - which fetched £40,000 and prompted the artist to stand up and offer to make another identical piece for the same price; pieces by the Chapman Brothers; Conrad Shawcross; Ron Arad; Sir Peter Blake; Rankin; Blur; Marc Quinn a walk-on role in Les Misérables; afternoon tea with award-winning playwright Alan Bennett; meet and greest with Emeli Sandi and One Direction and a working lunch with Lord Sebastian Coe amongst many others.

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The event raised over £600,000 to support the vital work the Roundhouse does with 3,000 11-25 year olds every year, helping them to realise their creative potential as well as building confidence and skills to take into their futures. The money raised will also contribute to maintaining the Artistic Programme that engages young people through a diverse and contemporary range of theatre, circus and music.

The evening was jointly sponsored by Londonewcastle and One Housing Group.


London property market changes in the last five years


Robert Soning, COO of Londonewcastle took time out to reflect on the changes in the London residential property market recently:

The style and quality of design of new developments has changed dramatically since 2007 - for the better. Developers have to try a lot harder and really get the details right – specification, style, finish and services have all got to be right to appeal to buyers.

The Growth of Residential Services

What has also really changed, is the continuing upwards drive for residential services which used to be the preserve of prime area developments only – I’m not just talking about swimming pools and gyms, but screening rooms, private residents clubs, libraries, business centres, wine storage and 24hr onsite concierge services. When we tabled the idea of the latter for The Henson development in Camden back in 2007, people thought we were mad, but residents really bought into it. We are going to see this trend continue as people continue to work longer hours and travel more, spending less time in their homes while buying more goods online for delivery to their home address.

I think interior design has evolved and become more expressive. Thankfully, most developers have moved on from thinking that every buyer in the world wants an Eames chair.

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In terms of demand, it’s well documented that we are currently experiencing a surge in international buyers – with 59% of all buyers of prime stock being International and up to 70% for new build developments in prime areas.

New Markets

The two main difference between now and 2007 is the breadth of new markets that are now investing in London beyond the traditional major European states and selected Far Eastern and Middle Eastern nations.

The breadth of areas that are now being invested in beyond the usual has also changed to encompass areas that would not have previously been considered and this has been driven by quality developments with quality specifications and services that meet the needs of these international buyers and investors.

For example, Russian clients didn’t really featuring back in 2007, but we had a number of buyers from the country at The Henson. Mainland Chinese customers were also not a part of the market, but now represent about 3% with a heavier bias in Canary Wharf. Malaysians have also entered the market in greater numbers – with about 350 off the total 900 or so off plan sales for Circus West, the first phase of Battersea Power Station’s regeneration.

What will be interesting over the next couple of years is if Chinese customers will grow as a percentage of the market – especially outside of their currently favoured areas and price point - and the oft talked about growth of BRIC countries – especially India, where few inroads have been made other than a few sales at the top of the market.

Londonewcastle creates individual developments for people with individual taste. We develop with the domestic owner-occupier market in mind and it’s that vision that our overseas customers want and buy into.

Inside/Outside Space

Outside space is always at a premium, but customers really want to maximise useable space. As a result, ‘Winter / Sky Gardens’ do seem to be in vogue at the moment. They can now be seen at numerous other developments across the capital. We have designed them into our Dollar Bay development in Canary Wharf and it’s easy to understand why they have become popular with architects, developers and planners alike. They provide flexible, year round, usable inside-outside space and amenity. You have the flexibility to use what would traditionally be a terrace for a number of uses – sun lounge, library, study or additional living space.

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Customers see the benefit because we are limited to the amount of time we can use outside spaces in this country due to the climate or in a tall building, due to the height, perception of safety and wind. It’s the opposite situation in hot climates, where there is a preference for shaded and/ or climate-controlled spaces to escape from excessive heat, humidity and poor quality air.

In addition to private amenity space, it is also good to provide shared communal spaces in developments where neighbours can relax. It improves the richness of the development and helps to foster communities with the development.

A New London?

Yes, as prime areas have extended it has pushed traditional notions of prime (defined by areas that cost £1,000 per square foot (psf) – Nine Elms, the city fringe (encompassing Old Street and Shoreditch), Paddington, Kings Cross all spring to mind.

Shoreditch is now commanding £1,000psf for quite average developments on the right streets and we have high hopes for our proposed development of the Huntingdon Estate in this area which will deliver a specification and living experience that has not been seen in the area before.

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Welcomed Legislation

Legislation is always changing and evolving – from greater community/ public consultation – which we welcome - to moving towards carbon-neutral new developments including thermal efficiency, the use of recycled materials in construction to the energy efficiency heating/ cooling systems and appliances.

Interior Design Evolved

Open plan living has continued as a trend, rather than it being new. I think we are moving away from Scandinavian simplicity to more expressive interior design with a wider palette of seemingly clashing materials that work well when used intelligently together, but admittedly this is in more individual areas and seems to be less prevalent in the ‘greige’ parts of town.

One thing we are really seeing in new developments is demand for as much storage space as possible throughout the apartment – or within the development; for example, the provision of storage boxes in basements can command as much of a premium as car parking spaces.

Technology in the Home

We are going to see the continued increase of home automation – the one thing that hasn’t been linked up yet is bathrooms and kitchens. You will be able to switch on appliances remotely via smart devices, fill a bath and put your fridge in holiday mode for example. There is no reason to believe that you won’t be able to control security and access to your home too as it is already possible to set up profiles for home automation systems today.

I think we are likely to see screens and audio systems being even more integrated into the fabric of the home – multi function screens that act as TV, home hub and communication devices.


Roundhouse Gala releases auction


The Roundhouse Gala, co-sponsored by Londonewcastle has released the list of auction lots ahead of the Gala on Thursday 7th March 2013.

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The lots include some incredible pieces by Antony Gormley; Coldplay and Paris; Conrad Shawcross; Ron Arad; Sir Peter Blake; Jake & Dinos Chapman; Marc Quinn; Rankin; Dennis Morris; Blur/ Stylorouge to name but a few of the artists. Experiences range from a meet up with Lord Coe to a meet and greet with One Direction!

For a full list of the lots click here.

To submit a sealed bid for any of the auction items email here quoting the item title number no later than 11am on Thursday 7th March 2013.

Please include: - Your name - Your mobile number - Your bid

If you are the highest bidder when the auction website closes in preparation for the event, you will be contacted by the Roundhouse team for further information.

To read more about the event, click here.


All the proceeds from the night will go towards maintaining the vital work we do with 3,000 11-25 year olds a year, helping them to realise their creative potential as well as build confidence and skills to take into their futures. It will also enable us to develop our artistic programme, offering audiences of all ages new and extraordinary experiences in live music, circus, theatre and new media.


The Big Think ponders the Future of Residential


We follow up on our earlier report on The Big Think’s first debate last Monday with details of the second debate on residential (watchMishcon de Reya’s short video).

The topic of the day was, inevitably, ‘generation rent’. It was discussed that affordability and the quality of experience are the two main problems. A way must be found to enhance the experience of living by allowing the tenant to contribute to the property in order to improve their experience and create rental properties that allow the tenants to have a better relationship with their home.

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Nevertheless the challenge for the property industry is to provide both quality private and rental properties. Contributors felt that a new model is needed where people can stay as long as they want in their flats,with green spaces nearby and gym access provided. The idea is that these attractive rental properties would reduce the desire for home ownership and thus create a private rented sector with a range of price points and properties.

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Creating housing for the ‘active elderly’ is another important product. Amanda Reynolds commented that people are looking to come back to the city after their children leave home and no longer want a house with a garden to manage, but want to be near to amenities that give them access to a range of shared and active amenities. That need requires new housing types. A mixed community is the insurmountable challenge.

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CEO David Barnett added that Londonewcastle is developing homes for, “The kind of creative who flits between cities and owns a flat in each.” See our Developments to find out more.


Kensington Dragon's take revenge on TFA Crouch End


Londonewcastle sponsored Kensington Dragons Under-11’s beat TFA Crouch End 5-3 at home in sweet revenge.

With a few international stars away the Dragons started with conviction and hunger, determined to continue their winning streak. The team was sharp and played with finesse as an early 20 yard scorcher started super Sunday. This was followed by a fast run down the left wing before a cut across three of the opposition ended in the ball landing in the back of the Crouch End’s net.

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The Dragons defence withstood the pressure and the first half ended 3 – 0 to the Dragons. The second half started with Crouch End swinging into action to score two successive goals to take the game to a nail biting climax.

It was then end to end football with the Dragons midfield scoring a great solo goal to stabilise the side.



Robert Soning speaks at ALISN's Conference for Emerging Art Organisers


Following the earlier entry, here is a video of the panel discussion, “Real-Life Solutions to Financial Viability” that was held at Goldsmiths at the end of November. Robert Soning was there to discuss the Londonewcastle Art Programme and our contribution to the art scene in London.

Other speakers on the panel hosted and moderated by ALISN director Iavor Lubomirov included:

  • Julia Alvarez, Director of Bearspace, and South London Art Map

  • Victoria Browne, Founder of KALEID editions

  • Will Lunn, Director of Sumarria Lunn

ALISN will be at the London Art Fair in January 2013 where they are taking over three booths and making them affordable to artist-led galleries and projects. Visit the main show in booth P29, with films taking part in the film programme booth P28 next door, as well as performance art in the Talks & Discussions Theatre near the cafe in the atrium.

Camera, sound and editing: Helena Doyle


Arundel Square wins Landscape Institute Award


The newly regenerated public gardens at Arundel Square recently won a Highly Commended in the Landscape Institutes 2012 Awards in the ‘Designs under 1 hectare’ category.

The multi award-winning development (12 and counting…) of 146 apartments and penthouses designed by Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects and developed in joint venture by Londonewcastle and United House Developments created an engineered deck over a railway cutting which allowed the creation of a 21st Century London square.

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The judges said:

“This classic yet modern design is appropriate as a new London square. There is rich planting for an urban environment and excellent response to site constraints.”

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Londonewcastle take part in The Big Think on the Future of London


Mishcon de Reya and Central recent hosted the second in a series of linked discussions that examine the potential property future of London post-Olympics.

The Big Think

The Big Think

The second in the series was a round table, sponsored by Londonewcastle and James Andrew Residential Management with Property Week as media partner, that examined new ways of living and housing fit for London’s growing future.

An eclectic bunch of professionals came together to voice their views in an attempt to form an agenda that can be taken forward at Borough, Mayoral and Governmental level. Thankfully, participants were keen to air their views and get some traction going to help the industry tackle the current issues.

Steve Edge and Robert Soning in full flow

Steve Edge and Robert Soning in full flow

Click here to watch a short film of the event.

The event will be featured in the 14 December issue of Property Week and there will be a more detailed supplement on The Big Think series of debates in the pre-MIPIM issue in March next year.


Robert Soning speaks at a packed Goldsmiths Conference for Emerging Art Organisers


Robert Soning appeared on the panel at the 2nd Annual Goldsmiths Conference for Emerging Art Organisers Conference. Here he responds to Iavor Luminov of ALISN who hosted the conference and invited the Londonewcastle chief to attend.

The Goldsmiths / ALISN Conference

The Goldsmiths / ALISN Conference

Londonewcastle operates from an unusual position - you are a property business, which also supports an art programme. Could you tell us about your motivation for your involvement with art?

We are passionate about art and my business partner and I are collectors and decided to extend this interest. We liked the idea of giving talent a platform and we have always believed in collaboration.

Importantly, we had some great spaces that were lying empty in the right places whilst being brought forward for redevelopment so it made sense to put them to good use rather than keep them under lock and key.

An aspect I find particularly striking about the way you have chosen to design your art programme, is that you are supporting emerging art, rather than becoming involved with established names - what draws you to doing so?

We are quite anarchistic and don’t follow the mass market, so we are not interested in the usual names – the Londonewcastle Project Space is simply not open to them. Essentially, we provide a ‘leg up’ – by providing a large space - which at 3,500 sq.ft is bigger than emerging artists typically get the opportunity to present their work.

We’ve been offered big name shows, but we frequently turn them down. All too often they don’t really want to ‘collaborate’ - and that’s not what we are about.

The Goldsmiths / ALISN Conference

The Goldsmiths / ALISN Conference

Are there synergies or contrasts between your attitude to art and the way you do business?

There are both similarities and contrasts between our attitude to art and way we do business. We are a design-led boutique property developer – which means we relate to the creative industries and they relate to us. And we only work with people we like, that are passionate and open to collaborate.

The Londonewcastle Art Programme includes work with Catlin Art Prize. Could you tell us about some of the synergies you have found there and why you collaborate?

The Catlin Art Prize is exactly why we set up the programme – they are the ‘vehicle’ and we are the ‘platform’ for new up and coming artistic talent. Justin Hammond, the curator is honest, professional and straight talking and the execution of the show is great – with a lot of attention to detail.

Also now more than ever it is important to do this. In a tough climate our programme is important.

The Goldsmiths / ALISN Conference

The Goldsmiths / ALISN Conference

Londonewcastle also runs a street art programme, can you tell us about this?

Again, it came out of our love of the genre and fact that graffiti art has evolved into an art form and should be accepted in mainstream art – this happened years ago in Paris and New York – we are years behind! It’s still quite anti-establishment and that appeals.

We saw talented artists being arrested and we wanted to provide a canvas for the next generation of artists – to give our own seal of approval for this authentic art form.

We’ve now worked with some pretty big names including EINE; Shepard Fairey; Pure Evil, Stik, ROA, David Choe, Blek Le Rat, etc BUT crucially it is supported by local artists and crews like TEZ and TEK13.

One of the ways that Londonewcastle supports the arts is by providing exhibition space in Redchurch Street. Are there other benefits, both immediate and long-term, that your programme creates for artists?

The immediate benefit is that artists get to exhibit in the space with total creative freedom. The long term hope is that it will have a positive impact on artists careers by providing a ‘spring board’ through the use of the space.

The discussion topic for the panel is *financial viability and for many emerging organisers finding and paying for suitable exhibition spaces is a serious logistical and financial challenge. Some solve this by working with organisations like yours which are able to offer access to properties. Do you have any advice about the best ways to approach businesses? What are some of the things you look for in an organisation that wishes to work with you?*

Be organised! Write a good proposal fulfilling all of the requirements laid out by the gallery / space provider - clearly communicating what you want to do and why that will be interesting.

Try and lock down some – even minimal – financing to ensure that your show can go ahead and can cover; for example, production and insurance costs. Also, if you need sponsorship, get it sorted before applying for space use – or at least approach potential sponsors before you submit your proposal.

Be flexible on scheduling and realistic about your run; enlist as much help as you can from others and finally, consider how you will run the show – and promote it – on a day to day basis.

You work with artists, curators and organisations. How deeply do you get involved with the realisation of projects?

We supply the platform – success or failure is part of the learning process - it’s all down to the individuals.

How closely do you work with the artists and curators?

We work closely with all exhibitors, BUT we don’t dictate on content.

What are some of the most rewarding projects you have been involved with and what drew you to them?

• Emma Richardson from Band of Skulls solo show of paintings entitled ‘Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’ in Feb 2012 – because we feel she is a real talent.

• Lawrence Watson’s ‘The World is Yours’ photography show in June 2009 – art takes many forms and music is one of them.

• Plus Arts Projects ‘Neon & Vinyl’ in October 2011 – Kerry Ryan is an authentic craftsman – a humble sign maker of Neon’s turned curator and artist.

• ‘150 Voices’ for Providence Row curated by Shiraz Bayjoo – a charity that is close to our hearts dealing with real issues on our streets. And art draws attention to these issues and engages people.

• ‘Hel Yes!’ pop up restaurant and exhibition presented by The Finnish Institute for London Design Festival in September 2010 – explored the theatre of food – again food art fusing with design and music and performance.

• ‘218 Gherkins’ by the pupils of William Davis Primary School for NSPCC’s Childline – showed local children expressing themselves through art and the pride of seeing their pictures on walls in a gallery.

Chris Moon’s recent breakthrough show ‘Reverie’ in October this year – a young outsider artist who lives in a squat, producing quality oil paintings that are older than his years.

How far is your arts programme philanthropic?

I guess, basically it is, but it makes life interesting – it’s got nothing to do with the money. It’s a project we have chosen – a ‘journey’ on which we have met some interesting, like-minded people. We don’t see it as philanthropy – we view people as equals.

Are there aspects of your arts programme that benefit the property business side of Londonewcastle?

Yes - it provides an opportunity for people to come into contact with Londonewcastle and establish an idea of us as a business – who knows, they could be buying a flat from us next year.

It also increases awareness of Londonewcastle as a creative business and reinforces our reputation as innovators in what most people outside of the industry regard as a pretty dull business.

Is there something that art can do for other property developers and for other businesses?

Not really – other people might play at it, but they frequently get it wrong because they don’t have the knowledge, experience, attitude or contacts to do it properly. Art should not be a ‘pony’ for industry – it IS an industry.

In the charity sector it’s a good way in which to get your message across and raise awareness of your issues.

The Goldsmiths / ALISN Conference

The Goldsmiths / ALISN Conference

Is there a place for art in business in general?

Yes – now it’s all about the creative industries and collaboration.

How can conversation between art organisers and business be brought about?

It’s down to the art industry to present itself in a way where it can be seen to be beneficial to both sides. It’s about collaboration – we are living in that environment now.

There are an increasing number of businesses which are finding reasons to become involved with and to support emerging art. Collyer Bristow uses their law offices to put on exhibitions of emerging art. Departure Gallery, Art Catlin, Londonewcastle Arts Programme, Artspace Lifespace all use their property-related businesses to support the emerging arts. What do you think is driving this interest amongst businessmen to spend on supporting emerging art?

I think it all stems from an interest in the arts and fostering/ promoting an interest in the arts from an early age.

As a businessman with experience of working with art organisations and curators, you have a unique perspective on the way that we work. Are there any insights you have gained through working with art organisers and is there some advice you can give us as a business professional?

Art is no different from other industries – there are good and bad people. Yes, it can be quite egotistical. My advice is keep your feet on the ground and remember where you came from.

Above all, art’s got to be fun - so enjoy it.

ArtLyst coverage of the event.


David Barnett's review and predictions for the London property market


I sat down last week with our CEO David Barnett and he gave me some of his opinions on how the property market performed this year and what he thinks is going to happened next year. I thought I share this with you.

How has London performed in 2012? How did the year feel to you?

In our opinion London continued to perform and hold its status as one of the world’s capital city. The London residential market has remained rock solid and continues to grow. At Londonewcastle it was the first year we felt ourselves pulling away from the chaos of 2008.

What were the key events/ issues/ drivers and will they continue to impact the market in 2013?

The major piece of regeneration was by far the London Olympics. Its features enhanced London’s position - not only as the world’s capital but as a capital that goes through a huge transformation. The Olympic legacy will enhance London over the coming year. Not only did it impact the sporting sector but the housing prices around the area it also initiated large scale infrastructure projects, improvements to transport links, shopping facilities and local amenities, which has transformed previously neglected neighborhoods making them more desirable.

Olympic Park

Olympic Park

What did LN do / how did you find it?

We had a successful year of gaining/ planning consent and are looking at a number of really exciting projects across London. The Dollar Bay development in Canary Wharf for which we obtained the planning permission in March is a 31-storey luxury residential tower with 185 units.

Just recently we received the planning permission for Kelaty house in Wembley. Located directly opposite the Wembley stadium the development will comprise of student accommodation with up to 599 rooms and 198 room hotel (total GEA of approx. 400.000 sq feet).

What do you think will happen in 2013?

We think the London pricing will be stable with certain increases in London’s prime postcode areas. The planning system will remain an obstacle for the delivery of housing.

What’s in store for LN in 2013?

We are looking to complete a number of major acquisitions. Most importantly, a further 300 000 sq feet development been submitted to planning in key 1 2013.


Lisa Latte opens in Fitzrovia


Londonewcastler’s are flocking to new independent coffee supplier Lisa Latte, newly arrived in Fitzrovia. In typical independent coffee culture style, the premises are very hard to find, opening hours flexible and the offering changes daily depending on mood and the weather. But what cannot be doubted is that the mysterious Lisa is a mighty fine Barista…

Lisa's Latte

Lisa’s Latte


The Who, the What, the Why.

Peter A

Arundel Square-Penthouse (arundel-square-penthouse.jpg)

The Who? is Londonewcastle and some friends and guest authors that will pop up from time to time giving us and you their views. The What? is London life. What else? It’s who we are, it’s what we do, it’s what we breath. And for us and above all else, it’s where we live. The Why? is to share our enthusiasm for this greatest city on Earth … its richness, its diversity and its ever changing nature.