Coombe Hill in Kingston upon Thames has traditionally been a magnet for celebrities including Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, and it is easy to see why.
The private gated estate is sandwiched between two golf courses, allowing high-profile residents to live in quiet splendour, unbothered by prying eyes. It is also a fair bit cheaper than comparable "town-meets-country" spots north and south of the river, such as Hampstead and Richmond.
Fairlawn, above, is a former grand Victorian pile, renovated and split into a pair of six-bedroom houses, book-ended by two new builds. Each property has a 100ft rear garden with access to a large communal meadow. Residents arrive through ornamental iron gates to a gravelled quadrangle with an ancient cedar tree and barn-style car ports. Behind the tasteful, traditional façades are the relaxed layouts today's families crave —modern-design, open-plan spaces, cosy retreat areas with eco-friendly fireplaces, "media dens" and lots of storage. Prices from £2.5 million. Call Coombe Residential on 020 8947 9393.