The SpaceROOM 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. 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 a 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. Guest AccessPlease 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 GuestsThis 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. The NeighborhoodTeddington is a safe, green and serene part of southwest London, perfect for cycling, walking or running, with the fabulous Royal Bushy Park only a five-minute stroll away, and scenic paths to be found along the nearby Thames.
If you're hungry, you only need to walk around the corner to The Lion, an English pub with good wine and real ale, and an excellent French kitchen called La Cloche. The bustling market town of Kingston upon Thames is around 15 min away by foot, with fantastic shopping, restaurants and even a lovely modern theatre, The Rose. In the other direction, a 20 min walk will bring you to Teddington High Street, with more restaurants and shops, or to Teddington Lock, where you can access the Thames Path for riverside walks and see boats navigate through a complex of three locks.
Hampton Court Palace, the 500-year-old home of King Henry VIII and one of the most popular tourist attractions in London, is only a 30-minute walk away across beautiful Bushy Park. This lovely royal park is known for its population of over 300 freely roaming red and fallow deer, and for the significant role it played during WW2, when it served as a base for allied forces, mainly American. Getting AroundParking is free on surrounding streets.
Hampton Wick Station is an eight-minute walk away, and will bring you into London Waterloo Station in around 36 minutes, Wimbledon (for the tennis or underground trains) or Richmond (for Kew Gardens or the underground) in 17 minutes, and Twickenham in only 11 minutes (for the stadium, which is about half a mile from Twickenham Station and an easy walk -- convenient for rugby games). Trains to central London run every 15 minutes at peak periods.
The studio is about a 15-minute walk to Kingston upon Thames and central Teddington. But if your legs are too tired for the walk, there are also good bus connections to Kingston and Teddington High Street, as well as an excellent and inexpensive 30 minute express bus (X26) to London Heathrow airport from central Teddington (Broad Street). Heathrow is also easily reachable by taxi (around 25 min), and Gatwick Airport is convenient by train via Clapham Junction.
From Kingston you can also take very beautiful boat rides towards Richmond or Hampton Court Palace. For more London transport info, see the TFL (Transport for London) website. Other Things to NoteThe 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.