As I sat on the Stansted Express last weekend, I peered out of the window at the nice flats, houses and back gardens of London Fields. “This looks nice,” I thought to myself, so fired up the Zoopla app to see what was for sale round there.
What I found still makes my blood boil one week on.
Let me introduce you to the Clapton Postage Stamp:
So far, so normal. But where is the bedroom? I hear you ask. Well let’s consult the floor plan:
That’s right. There isn’t a bedroom, just what is generously described as a ‘sleeping deck’ which in actual English means the bed is crammed on a bit of MDF above the living room in the gap next to the Velux window, and you have to climb a full-sized ladder to get up there, like some sort of tree monkey.
The entire property comes in at just 200sq foot. That’s about the same size as 17 bath towels, 200 aeroplane tray tables or 3,500 playing cards. Or 1.24 times the size of the average US car parking space (which are bigger than their British counterparts)
Don’t get me wrong, this is a very clever use of space, making a home out of what is probably the same size as a stairwell. But the price! Dear God, the price!
TWO HUNDRED AND NINETY FIVE THOUSAND OF YOUR FINEST BRITISH POUNDS, if you please. £295k! Also please bear in mind that this is in Clapton, not Soho or even Shoreditch, where it will still take you the best part of an hour to get to work in Blackfriars.
Only got £154,915 to spare? How about a detached four bedroom, 2 bathroom house with off street parking and a share of a pool and gardens near Bergerac and Périgueux in France?
For just over half the price of that pisstake in E5, you could live la belle vie in the Dordogne, and as an added bonus, you won’t have to complain about the Overground always being down.
Let’s have a quick look at what life would be like in your belle maison.
I mean, I’m not really sure I need to do any more convincing after this, but I’ll have a go.
After landing at either Bordeaux airport (approx 130km away) or Bergerac airport (approx 72km), you’ll drive to the village of Verteillac, stopping at the boulangerie and Carrefour on the way for supplies. After dumping your suitcases, you will take a dip in the pool while the wine chills.
After completing a few laps to loosen up after the travelling, you’ll put on your flip flops and head to your private terrace, where you will dry off in the sun and enjoy an aperitif. You will show your guests to one of the four bedrooms (instead of having to work out how the hell you’re going to fit a sofa and/or air bed in the Clapton pot hole) and then change for dinner.
You will wander into the village and dine on local produce at the village’s bar/restaurant, before heading back to the house, and collapsing on the sofa to drink more wine and watch a terrible French talent show, or one of their weird chat shows where the guest sits miles away from the host across a table.
Spend the rest of your trip/life eating beaucoup de fromage, swimming in the pool or the river, and chatting with the villagers en francais, and wondering why the hell anyone would ever pay €333,000 to live in a London flat the size of your hallway.
Clapton v Verteillac
Price: £295,000 v £154,915
Square footage: 200 v 1367
Number of bedrooms: 0 (or 1 if we’re being generous) v 4
Outdoor space: Diddly squat v private terrace, shared garden and pool
Commute to my office: 5 miles (50 mins on the bus) v 945km (1hr 45m flight Bergerac-London from £67)
(All pics from Zoopla)