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Samantha Varvel's visit to Ashley Gardens, London


11 March, 2024


3 April, 2024

We were delighted to welcome Samantha Varvel and her family to the gorgeous Ashley Gardens in London. Born in Tokyo, Samantha grew up internationally, travelling the world from Singapore to London. She went on to study journalism, before embarking on a career in finance in New York, and then settling in Connecticut with my two young children. Today, Samantha runs her own blog and Instagram account, celebrating all things design, family, fashion and travel.

What makes you choose onefinestay when you travel?

"I think you experience a city differently when you feel “at home” in a onefinestay property. It’s a more authentic experience, which was what we were looking for this time in London. I had stayed with onefinestay previously with my family at their Kinnerton Street residence and we had such a lovely time that returning to onefinestay was top of mind as we were planning this trip."

"Particularly with young children, having your own kitchen and a comfortable home to return to after a busy day of exploring, truly makes all of the difference. It’s really the best of both worlds being able to stay in a real home while having access to all of onefinestay’s services, such as airport transfer, babysitting support, housekeeping options and even help with recommendations and dining reservations."

Describe the design and style of Ashley Gardens in three words

"Elegant, traditional, eclectic."

What were your favourite features of the home?

"I was personally partial to the beautiful wallpapers used throughout the home, particularly in the primary suite. I adore a floral pattern and felt right at home with the gorgeous prints found in Ashley Gardens."

Did you have a preferred place within the home? How about the little ones?

"We really enjoyed having a comfortable living room and kitchen, and the kids loved the toys supplied by the onefinestay team! Such a lovely touch that occupied them for hours."

Tell us more about the neighbourhood you stayed in - did you find any great local spots?

"Ashley Gardens is located in-between Westminster and Belgravia so we were within walking distance from the great sights like Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, whilst in the opposite direction we could easily access some of my favorite spots in Belgravia, where I once lived with my family as a teenager."

"We love shopping and dining on the adorable Elizabeth Street, which houses some of my favorite children’s clothing boutiques such as Pepa & Co. and Papouelli Shoes. We enjoyed cupcakes at Peggy Porschen and fish and chips at Thomas Cubbitt."

Were there any spots you wanted to introduce your children to?

"Both children have been to London numerous times and I always love showing them my old stomping grounds, starting with the home where I once lived with my family on Chester Square. We always enjoy some favourite quick and easy, kid-friendly meals at Wagamama and Nando’s."

Did you have any ‘must-dos’ for your trip?

"This trip we certainly had the kids in mind, so we planned to visit all of the best museums, from the Science Museum to the Natural History Museum and London Transport Museum. The children loved them all! We visited our favorite playground in Hyde Park, The Diana Memorial Playground, and tried a new one near our onefinestay flat, the playground in St. James Park, which they also loved!"

And finally… where to next?

"We are heading on a family trip to Anguilla in April and are so excited we can hardly wait! After a long winter we are really looking forward to some sun."

Tempted by a London getaway?