A Stay in Clabon Mews
In June 2007, I returned to London, this time to stay in a mews home I booked through Uptown Reservations. I arrived by train into Victoria Station and only had to take the underground one stop to very convenient Sloan Square. From the station, it was only a five-minute walk to Clabon Mews.
Julie, the mews owner and artist by profession, bought the property in 1980, gutted it, and put in a winding stair case from the first to third floor. The first and second floors have an open floor plan and are artistically decorated. The third floor has three bedrooms (all en suite)—one which Julie rents out. Buying older mews and renovating them seems to be very popular. For example, there were at least four mews properties under heavy renovation in Clabon Mews. The pub were I celebrated my birthday in 1998 is now a private home.
It was Julie who pointed out to me that the word “mews” in not equestrian in its roots at all, but instead related to hawks. And, indeed, the first definition for “mews” in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is “the royal stables formerly at Charing Cross in London, so called because built on the site of the royal hawk mews.* Digging deeper in the OED, one definitions for the verb “mew,” is “of a bird, esp. a hawk: to moult or shed (its feathers). I definitely will return to do some more mews wanderings and musings.
I was also very happy to meet Monica and Keith again. The ten years between our meetings had been good to them. After a pub drink, they dropped me and my son off at the first Whole Foods in England located on Hyde Street in Kensington.
*As explained in the OED, this is to be distinguished from the Royal Mews near Buckingham Palace, where the sovereign's state coaches are now kept—which is the one I visited.
your own stay in a London mews home, contact:
8 Kelso Place
Kensington, London W8 5QD
Telephone: 44 (0)20 7937 2001
Fax: 44 (0)20 7937 6660
First posted July 7, 2007.