Europa House

Little Venice, London, United Kingdom Book from

Reviewed by Abi Dare
Low-key luxury in leafy West London: family-friendly self-catering apartments with 1-3 bedrooms, ideal for short breaks or longer stays
Staying at Europa House is like having the keys to your very own London home - and an elegant, tasteful one at that. Inside this smart stuccoed townhouse are 12 vast apartments, all with airy living rooms, 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms and swanky kitchens, and all impeccably furnished. The sophisticated décor blends neutral tones with bespoke pieces sculpted by Tom Dixon and Mark Brazier-Jones, and the discreet ambiance has been known to attract many a Hollywood A-lister. But this grown-up place also offers a warm welcome for families: child-friendly trappings include toys, games, lots of baby equipment and a helpful shopping service.

Set amid the tranquil canals, tree-lined avenues and lifestyle boutiques of Little Venice, Europa House is away from the madding crowds yet only a 10-minute Tube or taxi hop from the central sights. There are supermarkets and delis if you want to self-cater; restaurant delivery menus and local eateries if you don’t. Best of all, you get access to London’s largest private garden square - 3 beautiful acres of enclosed lawns, complete with a kids’ playground. It’s all so stylish and serene that some guests have been known to move in for several years - after a night here we wished we could, too.

Highs

  • Space and plenty of privacy, so it's ideal for families or groups of friends - the 2-bedroom apartments have a double and twin room, plus 2 bathrooms
  • Elegant yet comfortable interiors, still looking lovely when we revisited in 2014
  • Little Venice is peaceful and picturesque with charming walks along the canal, and is a good base for exploring London - the apartments are 5 minutes' walk from Warwick Avenue and Maida Vale on the Bakerloo Line
  • The enclosed grassy garden is perfect for picnics and games
  • There’s a 24-hour telephone concierge service to help you get the most out of London living, plus a secure underground car park on site (a rarity in the city)

Lows

  • Not ideal for the central London buzz - there are pubs and restaurants nearby, but nightlife is a taxi or Tube ride away (a big plus for many!)
  • Be aware that you'll need to pay a security deposit on arrival
  • Staff are on site 9am-5.30pm Monday-Friday (if you arrive outside these times you'll be given a code for the external key safe)
  • Availability can be a problem at peak times, when you'll need to book in advance
  • There's normally a 14-night minimum stay for the 3-bedroom penthouse apartment, and a 5-night minimum stay for all apartments during the week

Best time to go

London is a great year-round destination. Come in spring or summer if you want to make the most of the garden and enjoy walks along the canal. Autumn and winter are normally quieter and can be wet and blustery, but you might still enjoy clear, crisp days and plenty of sunshine.

Our top tips

Stock up with treats from a nearby deli, borrow a rug and head out into the garden for a picnic - you’ll soon feel miles away from the city.

Great for...

City Style
Family
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Apartments
  • 12 apartments
  • Self-catering (+ restaurant delivery service)
  • All ages welcome.
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Rates" class=" iconified " > Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Concierge Service
  • games and picnic rugs to borrow
Room: 2-Bedroom Apartment

Rooms

The first thing you notice about your apartment is the amount of light - large windows let the sun pour in, and walls, carpets and sofas come in bright white or neutral beige. The second thing you notice is the space: you get a living room with a dining table, a bedroom with a kingsize bed, an ensuite, and a very roomy kitchen. The 2-bedroom apartments also have a twin room, a second bathroom and a hallway-cum-study with a desk. All have flat-screen TVs in both the bedrooms and living rooms, plus DVD players and CD players in the latter, so you can spread out and make yourself feel at home.

The décor is simple, stylish and classically elegant. Cushions, paintings and vases of fresh flowers provide flashes of lime green, and bronze is reflected throughout - in the silk curtains, the mosaic-tiled coffee tables, and the spindly wrought-iron chairs and dressing tables. Perhaps inspired by the garden outside (which most apartments overlook), there are whispers of the natural world in the fabrics and furnishings - the white bed linens are embroidered with subtle floral patterns, and the metal light fittings resemble feathers, leaves or twisted branches.

Bathrooms are clad in grey and white marble and feel a little austere compared to the other rooms, but they have everything you need: tubs with powerful overhead showers, piles of fluffy towels, and bottles of beautifully fragranced Ren toiletries.

There's also a 3-bedroom penthouse apartment with 2 large roof terraces, direct lift access and views across Maida Vale. It's normally set aside for stays of 14 nights or more, but shorter bookings are accommodated whenever possible.

Features include:

  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dishwasher
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob stove
  • Ipod dock
  • Iron
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • Tumble dryer
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

The apartment kitchens are huge - making cooking an exciting prospect if, like us, you normally cope with a space the size of a shoebox. They’re also very stylish and extremely well-equipped: everything is sparkling white, from tiles to worktops, and sleek cupboards hide a fridge-freezer, a dishwasher, a washing machine and a tumble dryer. You also get an oven, a hob, a microwave, a kettle, a toaster, pans, cutlery and crockery, and every kind of utensil you can think of (including a few we failed to identify uses for, despite our best Heston Blumenthal efforts).

A complimentary welcome pack (Fair Trade tea, coffee, sugar, organic milk, hand-baked cookies, hot chocolate and mineral water) is provided, as are essentials like bin bags and washing-up liquid. You’ll find a small supermarket across the street, and there are some fantastic delis on nearby Clifton Road - head to Raoul’s Gourmet for cheeses, artisan bread, homemade sauces and tempting chocolates, and The Organic Grocer for a staggering array of fruit and veg. A shopping service is available for an additional charge - send staff a list before you arrive and you’ll find your cupboards stocked.

If you don’t want to self-cater you can order food through the restaurant delivery service (choose from European, American, Thai, Japanese and Indian), or eat out. The Warrington is just next door, serving posh pub grub (you can also pop in for a drink), and there are various eateries a 5-minute walk away on Formosa Street. We had a faultless meal of potted Cornish brie, pan-fried haddock with wild mushroom risotto and a zingy apple and mango sorbet at the buzzing Formosa Dining Room, followed by tipples in a cosy snug at the adjoining pub, The Prince Alfred.

Features include:

  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob stove
  • Meal delivery service
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Shopping service
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Stroll along the Grand Union Canal, past brightly painted houseboats, weeping willows and quaint bridges, stopping to feed the ducks and sip coffee at a waterside café
  • Take to the water on a boat trip. Jasons Trip runs 45-minute cruises to Camden Lock aboard a century-old narrow boat (April-October only)
  • If you’re more of a land-lubber, join a guided walking tour with London Walks. A walk around Little Venice departs from Warwick Avenue Tube station at 2pm every Saturday and Sunday, and there are dozens of themed tours to choose from in the city centre, including ‘Literary London’, ‘Blood-Curdling London’, ‘London at War’ and ‘Subterranean London’
  • Walk the short distance to Abbey Road Studios and giggle as tourists try to recreate the famous Beatles album cover on the zebra crossing outside. Home of many legendary recordings (including Pink Floyd tracks and the scores for the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings films), the studios are now a protected historical site
  • Spend a few hours wandering around Clifton Nurseries (a 5-minute walk away). London’s oldest garden centre, it’s been open since 1851 and is brimming with exotic plants, beautiful garden accessories and impressive floral displays
  • Jump on the Tube and head to Regent’s Park. Splash around on the boating lake, then visit the lions, gorillas and tigers at London Zoo. During summer, you can also watch Shakespeare at the park’s open-air theatre
  • Browse London’s famous markets. Head to Portobello Road in nearby Notting Hill for vintage clothes and trendy homeware, try Camden Market for cult fashion, second-hand clothing and eclectic crafts, or go to Alfie’s Antique Market in Marylebone for furniture, art and collectables

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Theatre and music
  • Wildlife

Kids

Europa House makes a great London base for families - the apartments offer lots of space, and the huge garden with a playground provides a safe outdoor area. You're away from the city-centre crowds, yet the main attractions are easily accessible via the Tube or taxi, and the 24-hour telephone concierge can help with anything you need.

You get the Europa House Kids Directory on arrival, this details all local parks and playgrounds as well as their Top Ten of Fun Things to Do in London. There's also a toy cupboard with an impressive number of toys, books and games to which children can help themselves - when our Kids Collection Editor visited, her daughter loved the sign on the door which said 'Keep Out, Kids Only'!

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

The 2-bedroom apartments have a master bedroom with a kingsize bed for the grown-ups and a twin room for the kids, as well as a second bathroom - and both bathrooms have baths. Cots and extra beds can be added to all apartments.

Babysitting:

Staff can book trained babysitters on request. There is a registration fee on top of the hourly rate, so it isn't cheap (see Rates).

Baby equipment:

  • Cots
  • High chairs
  • Baby baths
  • Potties
  • Changing mats
  • Toilet steps
  • Socket covers
  • Children's crockery and cutlery

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

The apartment kitchens are ideal for whipping up family feasts, or you can order takeaways through a restaurant delivery service. There are plenty of eateries nearby which cater for kids - you'll find a list of recommendations in your apartment and in the Kids Directory. Kitchens contain blenders and microwaves.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Toys
  • Games
  • Sports equipment such as cricket set and badminton racquets
  • Books
  • Children’s DVDs
  • Garden with a kids’ playground
  • A play teepee in summer

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Boat trips and feeding the ducks along the canal
  • London Zoo and the Regent’s Park boating lake
  • Puppet theatre barge in Little Venice
  • Regent's Park
  • Hyde Park and the Serpentine

Families Should Know:

The garden behind Europa House is completely enclosed and well away from any roads, providing peace of mind for parents. There's a supermarket just across the road for nappies and baby items. There are some steps into the building but a ramp has been erected there for ease of access, and there's a lift to all floors.

Distances:

  • Airport: 40 minutes (London Heathrow)
  • Hospital: 5-10 minutes
  • Shops: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
9/
Service
9/
Value
10/
Overall

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Rates for Europa House