|Luxury studios flats in Central Oxford: for an academic term or two, a business trip... a break||
Intimate may be the best way to describe Studio Lavandula. The reference here is not so much the size as the close-up view of the river. It doesn't have the big views of the other apartments but, being on the lower ground floor, the ducks and swans glide past at eye-level. If you’re lucky you might see a kingfisher dart past. The filigreed prow of a Venetian gondola is sometimes framed in the middle of the window, reminding guests of that other place where crenellated castles stand romantically close to the water.
Studio Lavandula has Italian stone floors warmed by underfloor heating and a thick gabbeh rug. It is the cosiest of the Folly Bridge apartments with a lower ceiling than the studios above, which makes it feel smaller, although it is not. Despite being on the lower ground floor, it is surprising light with windows on two sides, one looks over the footpath at ground level to the river, the other is onto a light well and the flowers of the garden. A portrait of a woman with a bowl of fruit by the Dutch artist Gassner hangs by the dining table and an abstract oil by Paul du Toit hangs above the bed.
The studio is furnished with a double bed, which lifts to provide extra storage, two bedside tables with drawers, a round dining table with chairs and a comfortable armchair. The wardrobe has a mirror glass door, a hanging rail, and three drawers. It is W50xD60xH236.
The hideaway kitchen is cleverly designed to provide for modern living, almost invisibly: double induction hob, combination convection oven/microwave/ grill, small fridge, coffee percolator.
Folly Bridge House bathrooms are small. Their size is dictated by trying to introduce 21st comfort into a heritage house. So, if a large bathroom is a critical element of your enjoyment, FBH is not for you. However, the bathroom is bright, light with an innovative powerful water-softening shower and hairdryer.
There is superfast fibre optic broadband and a flatscreen TV/DVD. The latest in ventilation systems removes cooking smells, steam and Oxford’s notorious damp climate from the apartment, replacing them with fresh, warmed air from above the trees at a rate of 180 cubic metres per hour.
Clothes washing and drying/ironing facilities are provided on the lower ground floor. Gated parking, in front of the house, is available at extra charge.
Chairs and tables by the river allow guests to watch the canoes, punts, narrow boats, barges and university rowing crews at play.