Truly Tasteful Homes

Developers are tempting house buyers with swish on-site restaurants.

gen casamia 800px
Casamia at The General 

When legendary French chef, Michel Roux, 76, announced he and his son, Alain, were opening a new restaurant it caused a ripple of excitement among foodies.

But Roux at Skindles, as it will be known, will be very different from the family’s signature three-michelin-starred establishment, The Waterside Inn, at Bray, Berkshire.

For a start, the restaurant is within the site of a new residential development, Taplow Riverside, being built by Berkeley (berkeleygroup.co.uk).

The scheme on the back of the Thames near the village of Taplow in Buckinghamshire, will mark the first time Michel Roux has been associated with a residential project.

‘I knew the location. It’s a beautiful part of the world and will be a superb development spot and will offer a dining room and bar. It is named after a famous hotel that stood on the site and, in its heyday, was visited by Princess Margaret, Winston Churchill and The Rolling Stones.

It's the latest example of a shift towards combining residential sites with restaurants. Developers are increasingly seeing fine dining as a means to attract not just buyers but higher-spending visitors. ‘A quality restaurant brings a valuable element to the perception of a new development’ says Andrew Saunders-Davies, director of Berkeley. ‘ It offers residents a lifestyle choice.’

The residential aspect of Taplow Riverside comprises 139 homes in 17 hectares of land between the Thames and Jubilee Rivers. Properties come in a mix of new-build houses, apartments and renovated heritage buildings.

Prices for a two-bedroom flat start at £650,000, and five-bedroom houses from £1.85 million. The prime properties are the four-bedroom waterfront villas, priced from £2.25 million.

City centre mixed-use projects often stray towards the chains when it comes to dining, but with foodie culture on the rise, some developers are trying to keep things independent.

City & Country specialises in conversion of heritage buildings and has three locally owned establishments at its Bristol site, The General, a former hospital (cityandcountry.co.uk).

Michelin-starred Italian, Casamia, first opened in nearby Westbury-on-Tyrm, but moved into The General last year. Also on the premises is a tapas restaurant and pizzeria. ‘The restaurants have put The General and the area on the map, not only as the smart new address in Bristol, but also as an exciting food destination,’ says Helen Moore, of City & Country. ‘A Michelin-recognised name like Casamia has a certain cachet.’

Conversion properties at The General, which is Grade II Listed, start from £525,000 for two bedrooms, with a limited number of new-build apartments priced from £745,000 for three bedrooms.

Similarly, when the Wykeland Group designed the masterplan of the renovated Fruit Market in Hull, it made a conscious decision to invite local restauranteurs to apply for spaces there.

The development of Hull’s waterfront, will have 101 homes plus restaurants, shops and workspaces.

‘We’re trying to create an urban village,’ says Dominic Gibbons of Wykeland, ‘We wanted to achieve a different atmosphere. So, we targeted independent, regional restaurants.’

Dining options include a gourmet tapas restaurant, a bistro and find dining Indian restaurant Tapasya. Other offerings are an artisan chocolatier and patisserie, and Yorkshire’s first gin bar and distillery.

The mix of apartments and townhouses is being sold through Beal Homes.

A further 14 apartments are also available in converted character buildings with ten more in the pipeline. There is room for another 80 new homes on an adjacent site.

‘It’s all about making the development a place people want to be,’ says Gibbons.

Top