Sitting beside the canal on Limehouse Cut, the Spratt’s Patent Building was constructed in 1899 to churn   out cans of Bonio dog food to the masses, as the UK’s first commercial pet food enterprise. Today, this chunky former factory is home to around 100 live/work units and consequently a large community of creative types; you can hardly move for sculptors, painters and musical maestros.


Converted in the mid 80s, the complex was one of first ‘loft-living’ opportunities in London and retains a flavour of raw authenticity that is simply not present in some of today’s slicker and smaller offerings. It’s nicely augmented with old adverts from the building’s Dog Days displayed in the common parts, as well as the original Spratts Patent Limited sign that’s preserved in whitewashed glory over the red Victorian brickwork.



In an inspired move to help the residents make the transition to friends, a 1500 sq ft communal roof terrace was included as part of the original plan; back then the sky was somewhat naked, but now the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf make a fine addition to the view. Adding yet more to the sense of neighbourliness, everyone has a share of the freehold, making these ‘something in the industry’ folks quite the bunch of artistic-pedigree chums. 7-studio2


And so to Rupert’s apartment, a three-storey live/work space of around 2,000 sq ft, with the significant USP of a professional recording studio – and we mean professional – on the lower floor. It’s properly soundproofed and if you’re looking to set-up your own operation, the equipment is up for negotiation.


Upstairs, a big open-plan living space has a balcony on the canal, a slightly raised dining and kitchen area, plenty of exposed brickwork and, naturally, a spiral staircase leading to the top floor. Here you’ll find three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Along with the waterside balcony, there’s a larger decked area at the back that’s big enough for plenty of people and a barbecue.


“It’s been fantastic living here” says Rupert. “We spent a year looking at various places. I wanted a live/work place with a recording studio and here was a ready-made solution; with no residential impact and no direct neighbours.”


After buying it, Rupert spent about a year gutting and refurbishing the – somewhat unusual – previous design: “You had to go through a gap about 4ft high to get to the mezzanine”. There’s none of that now, and other modern additions like under-floor heating add a bit of 21st century to the factory-high ceilings and industrial crittall windows.


Parking, of course, is essential, and as well as the space included with the apartment, the building has a round 10 visitor bays: music to the ears of clients or friends.


The apartment is for sale at £1.15million7-terrace



The Old Aeroworks, in St John’s Wood, used to make gun turrets for wartime Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancaster bombers. In 1988, Sir Terry Farrell redesigned a section for his architectural practice, and another section became a series of authentic loft spaces. The one we’re about to tell you about was designed – for his own home ­– by the architect Tom Croft and he was the right hand man of John Pawson, who is effectively The Man when it comes to minimalist living: so we’re hoping you can get the pedigree of this stonking 1920s art deco wonder.


The apartment is more than a flight of fancy; it’s 1150 sq ft of joyfully self-indulgent factory space. With just 1 bedroom, we’re sure you’ll be getting a picture of just how, well, big, it feels – aided in style by high ceilings and vast crittal windows. When Neil – our illustrious client – was in residence, the living room had 4 Barcelona chairs, an Eames lounger and a Knoll coffee table; the Karma Sutra of minimalism, if you will, for a truly sexy space.  2-17-hatton-external


Three floors up and looking across London rooftops towards Hyde Park, the apartment is really an East End urban retreat sandwiched between Marylebone High Street and Little Venice, which gives it the realness about which your friends will rave, in a neighbourhood that everyone craves. Inside and outside, it’s the perfect pad for anyone who hates the word ‘compromise’.


Yours, for £835,000



Sir Clive Sinclair was an inventor extraordinaire. He brought us the first pocket calculator, and the first genuinely successful and omnipresent home computer with the Spectrum (remember JetPac?). Well, he was prone to a bit of innovation on the home front as well, and this wonderful penthouse at the top of York Central in King’s Cross still bears some of his hallmarks, despite having a new owner.


One of the cleverest things is Sir Clive’s floorlighting that bounces light off the ceiling and walls, rather than frying your head from above. It makes a tremendous difference to the atmosphere in the apartment and it looks a treat as well. Underfloor heating and electric blinds are, of course, standard.



Elsewhere the penthouse is, quite simply, astonishing. Arranged over the 7th and 8th floors, it has private terraces, direct lift access and incredible views of London in every direction. The main living space alone is around 1,000 sq ft, enclosed by floor-to-ceiling glass, while upstairs there’s another double height reception room. There are two bedrooms, one of which has a large en-suite, the other its own mezzanine; perfect for a home office.


Available immediately at £2,500 per week for a LONG TERM rental on an UNFURNISHED or PART-FURNISHED basis