This quiet, bright and airy studio for a maximum of 2 guests is in a leafy London village, a short walk from the bustling medieval market town of Kingston upon Thames. Located within the owners' sunny private garden, it benefits from its own separate entrance and patio garden, as well as a private shower room, kitchen area and washing machine -- all your own space, not shared. It is also a 5-min walk from the 445-hectare Royal Bushy Park and just over 30 min by train to London Waterloo Station.
ROOM FOR TWO: This is a calm and airy space -- a double-height room of around twenty-six square metres with wood laminate floors, white walls and skylights. There are also double glass doors to your hosts' back garden on one side, and on the other your own separate entrance through a courtyard/patio garden with plants, a table and two chairs. The courtyard, with its locked gate, would be a safe place to store your bicycle(s), enjoy a cup of tea, or hang out your washing to dry, and is your outside space during the rental.
The skylights overhead and windows in two aspects make the studio very light (see below under 'Other things to note'). Everything is on one level, with no stairs. The vintage marble table (which may have been used by ABBA -- ask us for the story if you're a fan) with four chairs would be a nice place to enjoy a meal or get some work done. There is a shower room with toilet, tiled electric shower and sink, done up in cheerful colours to help you wake up in the morning. And you don't have to share it with anyone.
EATING: Tucked in the corner is a kitchenette, with a microwave, toaster, electric kettle, single electric induction hob/burner, 'Crockpot' slow cooker and refrigerator, as well as units housing pots and pans, crockery and utensils for four. Also supplied are a teapot and cafetiere/French press. Please note this is not a full kitchen, as there is no regular oven, full hob/stove or freezer. We will start you off with essential supplies such as coffee, tea, salt and pepper and washing-up liquid.
SLEEPING: The bed in the studio is an iron daybed made up of two proper UK single mattresses (90x190cm). The daybed offers flexible sleeping arrangements for couples as well as friends or family travelling together, as it can be used in three different ways: 1) as one 'sofa'/day bed (with a wheeled trundle underneath), for a single person (90x190cm); 2) placed side by side at the same height to form a double bed (180x180cm); or 3) as two separate single beds.
HEATING: The building is well insulated and kept warm in the winter by a thermostatic convector heater. There is an electric water heater above the sink for washing the dishes, and a heated towel rail in the bathroom (please note there is a cold-water tap only here). An electric fan is available for warm summer days.
AUDIOVISUAL/IT: Wireless internet from our house across the garden is available free of charge for email and light surfing, although is not likely to be strong enough for higher-bandwidth activities such as video calls or streaming (heavy users may wish to bring their own mobile broadband/ dongle). The wall-mounted flat screen TV has a built-in DVD player and receives UK Freeview channels, and there is a small selection of DVDs. A radio/CD player is provided, with a socket for your MP3/Ipod, and an auxillary lead for this. We also have a voltage converter for American guests (Maplin 230V to 110V 300W Voltage Converter), should you need to plug in your US two-pin electronics.
OTHER AMENITIES: There is a washing machine and indoor clothes airer for drying (no dryer), as well as a retractable double washing line in the studio courtyard for outdoor drying. Towels and quality cotton bed linen as well as soap and shampoo are provided, and for longer stays we will supply a second set of towels and bedding. There is an iron and mini ironing board, hair dryer, proper bicycle pump, and vacuum and other cleaning supplies, including mop and bucket and dustpan and broom.
Please note that the hosts' back garden is not part of your rental, although naturally you are welcome to open the double doors for ventilation. The studio is entered from its own gate to a quiet Victorian cul-de-sac behind our house, through a courtyard garden. This is your own private space to hang out, although we may need occasional access.
Interaction with guests
This is a self-contained unit with separate entrance, so you can come and go when you please without worrying about disturbing anyone. We would like to meet you at the beginning of your stay, and we will usually be close by should you have any questions, but otherwise we will leave you in peace. The studio looks out onto our sunny back garden (there are curtains for privacy and to block the light), where our school-age children may play in the daytime.
The entrance gate to the studio courtyard is the only rear entrance to our property, so we may occasionally need to pass through with our bicycles. Also, there is a shed here that houses our suitcases, lawn mower and barbecue, which are accessed infrequently. We will also need to water the plants sometimes, unless you would like to help with this! And you may see our gentle but shy calico cat, Poppy, chasing butterflies in the garden or courtyard. Otherwise the courtyard garden will be your own space.
Other things to note
The maximum capacity is strictly two people + babe-in-arms. We can provide a baby travel cot and linen upon request. Please note that, although there are curtains and blinds to the lower windows, the room can be light in the evenings and mornings in summer due to two skylights high up in the ceiling, which do not have blinds. The wifi is free but not super strong. We have a very gentle cat at our house across the garden, but as she is shy, she is very unlikely to enter the studio during your stay. You may see glimpses of her in the hosts' garden or in the studio courtyard, and she does like to visit the studio when it is being prepared prior to your visit. Accordingly, we cannot say this is a cat-hair-free zone for those with an extreme allergy.
Please note that the maximum sleeping capacity is strictly two people plus infant. This is a quiet residential neighborhood, so please be respectful of your hosts and other neighbors (no parties or loud music). You have access to a courtyard garden, but the hosts' garden is not part of your rental. We ask that you take off your outdoor shoes when indoors to keep the flooring looking nice.
The doors of the property must be secured each time the property is left unoccupied, and the gate to the street must be locked at all times when not in use.
Checkout procedure: Please take good care of the property and leave it in a clean and tidy condition when you depart. This includes washing your dishes and cookware, removing and sorting your rubbish and recycling to the appropriate outside receptacles, and putting furniture and accessories back where you found them.
We hope to meet you upon departure to get feedback on your stay and help you on the next stage of your journey. Please let us know before this if you need anything or have any questions, and notify us prior to departure of any damage, losses or breakages, or if something requires repair or maintenance. This will help us be ready on time for the next guest.
I'm an artist, writer/editor/translator and mom of two from the US, with an English ex-architect husband. We do a lot of gardening, and from the studio you can see our back garden with flower borders, vegetable patch and greenhouse, where our son indulges his passion for chilli peppers.
We like culture, good food and wine and getting out in the fresh air, all of which we have on our doorstep, with the Royal Bushy Park and medieval market town of Kingston upon Thames both a short walk away. We've made our home in this green and pleasant borough of London for over fifteen years, and before that we lived eight years in the beautiful city of Stockholm, Sweden. We love to go on holiday to France, sometimes visiting my brother and his wife, who are organic winemakers in the Minervois region.