Few places in the capital have such a deep history as Strand, Temple and Aldwych. They have been urban since the Middle Ages, when the clergy and royal courtiers built mansions with boat landings on the banks of the Thames, between the City of London and the Palace of Westminster.
This patch was the domain of 17th-century diarist Samuel Pepys and Sir Christopher Wren. Somerset House is the only palace to have survived the generations of speculative development that turned the area into a commercial zone.
190 Strand, pictured, seeks to restore the area's cachet as a top residential address. A Sixties office block running down to Victoria Embankment has been bulldozed to make way for a two-acre scheme of 206 homes, including townhouses.
Six new buildings wrapping around a private landscaped square take their architectural cue from classic mansion blocks — robust yet intricate, with façades of stone and decorative metalwork filigree panels that imitate lace patterns.
A ground-floor colonnade runs the length of the scheme towards the river, moments from the site of the proposed Garden Bridge, a floating park across the Thames. The scheme is a step up for the area, with a grand entrance lobby and a package of amenities from a spa to virtual golf.
Interior design is said to be inspired by sumptuous hotels such as The Savoy up the road. The style is bold yet oozes class, with coffered ceilings and extravagant finishes of marble and polished nickel. Prices range from £1,225,000 to £9,512,500. Call St Edward on 020 7118 9190.