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Tower Bridge 5* Houseboat: London's best view

I-SuperhostGreater London, United Kingdom
Amaphenyana azizindlu sinombuki zindwendwe onguAndrew
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"The Harpy is Magical" - Telegraph Magazine, March 2019.
Available now for bookings. Minimum booking 3 nights.
Built in 1904, the world's first floating Customs House, HMS Harpy is an exceptional 4 bed, super-luxury London home, with the classic postcard view of Tower Bridge. 1920's oak furniture, giant sofa, comfy beds, fine Egyptian linen, tub baths, quirky art, fast WiFi, UHD TVs, Sky Q & Sonos sound system. Staying on board The Harpy, in the heart of London, is a truly memorable experience.

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With 1,850 sq. ft. (172 sq. m.) of internal accommodation and 2,500 sq. ft. (232 q. m.) of external decks on an 80ft (24.3m) x 30ft (9.2m) pontoon, The Harpy is one of the largest Thames houseboats. It is also the oldest houseboat in London; built in 1904, she is 115 years old.

Because of the unusual nature of the vessel, and unlike most houseboats, all cabins are above deck with river views.

The Harpy is connected to mains water (with an alkaline water filtration system), mains electricity, mains gas (with mains gas central heating and gas cooking), a landline telephone, fibre optic wifi and Sky Q TV.

The upper deck living space is a 60ft (18.3m) x 14ft/16ft (926 sq. ft./86 sq. m.) open plan living/dining/kitchen, with 22 windows and exposed timber trusses to the 11ft 9in (3.6m) ceiling.

The upper deck furniture includes a 1922 Heals oak dining table designed for Winston Churchill's Chartwell house, several other 1920's Heals pieces, a 1925 Savoy Bar chair, two 1928 'LC2' Le Corbusier chairs, two 1935 Alvar Aalto bentwood lounge chairs, six Emeco 1944 aluminium US Navy chairs (with cushions, so they're comfortable), a 1950's Hygena kitchen unit and a Conran circular beech kitchen table. There is a large B&B Italia sofa and a Muji fold-down sofa bed.

The art on board includes works by Gladys M. Black, Eric Rimmington, Patrice Moor, Michael B White, Keggie Carew, Julie Wadsworth and Rosannah Wadsworth. Photographs include a set of original 1890's photos of Tower Bridge under construction.

LED lighting is mostly on dimmers.

From the living-dining-kitchen, there are 2 doors and a French window onto the 1,259 sq. ft. (117 sq.m.) upper deck, with an eight-seater teak dining table, a serving table and two benches, all with the postcard view of Tower Bridge and City skyline down to Canary Wharf. There are 12 external upper deck bulkhead lights and stainless steel safety wires between the deck rails.

The kitchen includes a new Samsung American fridge/freezer/ice maker, an alkaline water filtration system, Neff gas hob and double oven, extractor fan, Miele dishwasher, microwave, espresso coffee machine, rice steamer, juicer and all the basics; chefs knives, kettle, Dualit toaster, Kenwood blenders, cafetieres and Le Creuset pots and pans, graters, measuring jugs, mixing bowls, oven gloves, tea towels etc.

There is plenty of (white) crockery/serving dishes and Tablecraft cutlery; generally 16 of everything. Guests are welcome to use the herbs, spices and oils and various dried foods on board.

Off the entrance hall is a laundry cupboard with a new LG 8kg/12kg washer/dryer.

On the lower deck, Master Cabin 1 has a large picture window (with remote control electric curtains), overlooking Tower Bridge.

The king size bed 183cm (6ft) x 198cm (6ft 6in) is a 1920's Heal's oak four poster originally owned by The Hon. Daisy Fellowes (née Marguerite Séverine Philippine Decazes de Glücksberg: 29 April 1890 – 13 December 1962, a.k.a. Princess de Broglie), a well-known socialite of the time, Paris Editor of the American Harper's Bazaar, fashion icon, and an heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune. She was also the Great Aunt of Downton Abbey writer Lord Julian Fellowes, no less. So if you fancy sleeping in a bed with provenance, you found the right place!

Most of the furniture on The Harpy is 1920's Heal's oak; 52 pieces at the last count.

Cabin 1 has two Heal's oak bedside tables with bedside lamps and small adjustable reading lights, remote controlled electric curtains, limed oak wooden Venetian blinds, a remote controlled Dyson AM06 quiet bladeless cooling fan, two Heal's oak wardrobes (with plenty of wooden hangers), a full length 1930's draper's shop mirror, Heal's oak desk, make-up mirror, leather stool and a sofa (which can also be used as a small sofa bed if required), and three kilims.

The ensuite bath has a riveted cast iron tub (if Captain Pugwash made baths, it would look like this), with hand shower, a separate shower, loo, large basin, four mirrored cupboards with side lighting and two heated towel rails.

Two Sonos speakers and a Sony HD TV with SKY Q make this an exceptional bedroom.

There are two landline telephones/gate entry phones; one each side of the bed. UK landline calls are free and included.

There is a private deck area accessed off Master Cabin 1, with two deck chairs and side table.

Cabin 2 has a queen size double bed; 5ft (150cm) x 6ft 3in (190cm), two bedside tables, touch-controlled bedside lights, a remote controlled Dyson AM06 quiet bladeless cooling fan, wardrobe with a full-length mirror, bookcase cabinet, small table, make-up mirror, stool, three kilims, Sonos speaker and landline telephone/gate entryphone. UK landline calls are free and included.

Cabin 3 has a standard size double bed; 140cm (4ft 6ins) x 190cm (6ft 3ins), two bedside tables, touch-controlled bedside lights, a remote controlled Dyson AM06 quiet bladeless cooling fan, wardrobe with a full-length mirror, dressing table, make-up mirror, stool, three kilims, Sonos speaker and landline telephone/gate entryphone. UK landline calls are free and included.

Cabin 4 has two 75cm (2ft 6in) x 190cm (6ft 3ins) single beds which combine with zip-linked mattresses to make a queen size double bed; 150cm (5ft) x 190cm (6ft 3ins). Two bedside tables and lights. A remote controlled Dyson AM06 quiet bladeless cooling fan. There is a wardrobe with a full-length mirror, a chest of drawers, desk, make-up mirror, stool, three kilims, Sony SkyQ TV, Sonos speaker and landline telephone/gate entryphone. UK landline calls are free and included.

All cabins have French polished mahogany panelled doors, each with its own key on a wooden labelled fob.

The Alphabeds Whitecroft sprung mattresses have organic British wool fillings with cotton covers and no fire retardant chemicals. The linen in all cabins is fine Egyptian white cotton, professionally laundered and pressed before each letting. The duvets are feather and down, as are the pillows, with anti-allergy covers. There is an ample supply of proper size fluffy towels and bathmats.

Bathroom 2 has a bath with overhead shower, and separate hand shower, two mirrored cupboards, side lighting and two heated towel rails.

The guest loo has a basin, mirrored cupboard, side lighting and a towel rail over a radiator.

Floors throughout are oak. There are lined curtains and/or wooden venetian blinds in all rooms and loads of cushions.

Ukungena kondwendwe
This is a 'whole house' offer so all main areas on board are open to guests, except the boiler room/tool shed and hull.

The Harpy has two secure underground parking spaces in Scotts Sufferance Wharf, Mill Street; just ask if you would like to use one - no extra charge.

Ezinye izinto ekufuneka uziqaphele
The Harpy Houseboat is a unique historic vessel; her status as a London icon recognised in Legoland's model of London! - see pic in 'Fotos'.

From 1904 to 1981 'HMS ('His/Her Majesty's Ship') Harpy' was London's only floating Customs & Excise office, moored in front of Customs House, Upper Thames Street, on the north bank of the River Thames, 400m west of Tower Bridge.

Up to 83 Customs Rummaging Officers were stationed aboard, on watch for ships coming into the Pool of London to load goods into the riverside warehouses. From launches moored alongside HMS Harpy, they boarded the ships to rummage for contraband goods. (The origin of the word 'rummage'; looking for rum).

HMS Harpy was used as a VIP and royal landing stage. See photo of HM King George V on board in 1920. When Princess Margaret married Lord Snowden they left for their honeymoon on HMS Britannia from HMS Harpy.

In recent years guests have included HRH The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Westminster, Lord Heseltine, Sir John Major, Paul Eddington (Yes, Prime Minister), Jane Seymour (whose OBE party was held on board), Lord (Julian) Fellowes and David Emmanuel.

The Harpy has featured in a number of films and videos; most notably; A Fish Called Wanda and Speilberg's Young Sherlock Holmes.

When the current owner, Andrew Wadsworth, acquired The Harpy as a London home in 1981 she was moved to the south bank, c. 400m east of Tower Bridge. A complete restoration was undertaken, transforming her into a floating family home. Maintenance and improvement works have continued since so she is now in better condition than at any time since first being moored here 39 years ago.

The Harpy floats about 75% of the time. At low tide, she rests on the riverbed. Since February 2017 she has been held in place by spring loaded 'horns' which cushion most of the movement, but when large boats go past she still sways a bit. Most people get used to it very quickly; part of the unique experience of staying on board The Harpy.
"The Harpy is Magical" - Telegraph Magazine, March 2019.
Available now for bookings. Minimum booking 3 nights.
Built in 1904, the world's first floating Customs House, HMS Harpy is an exceptional 4 bed, super-luxury London home, with the classic postcard view of Tower Bridge. 1920's oak furniture, giant sofa, comfy beds, fine Egyptian linen, tub baths, quirky art, fast WiFi, UHD TVs, Sky Q & Sonos sound sys…
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Greater London, United Kingdom

Situated directly on the River Thames, this unique floating vessel is located in the historic heart of London near Tower Bridge. Many restaurants, cafes, bars, and tourist attractions are within easy walking distance. There are 10 supermarkets, food stores, delis and markets within 10 minutes walk and many other shops nearby.
Situated directly on the River Thames, this unique floating vessel is located in the historic heart of London near Tower Bridge. Many restaurants, cafes, bars, and tourist attractions are within easy walking d…

Umbuki zindwendwe ngu- Andrew

Ujoyine nge- 2014 September
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  • I-Superhost
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As this is a 'whole house' offer we are not there when you are, but either Andrew or Jan, the housekeeper, will be there to meet and greet guests on arrival and on departure. We are available at all times and glad to help with any questions or issues arising, including recommendations of places to eat or visit during your stay in London. Just call, text or email.
As this is a 'whole house' offer we are not there when you are, but either Andrew or Jan, the housekeeper, will be there to meet and greet guests on arrival and on departure. We ar…
UAndrew yi-Superhost
Ii-Superhost zinamava, zikwizinga eliphezulu ibe eyona nto iphambili kuzo, kukuba iindwendwe zihlale kamnandi.
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