Mews: hooks and curly trees

So you buy your million pound Mews house in London.  How do you make the best use of it?   You can keep the stable doors, and garage your Jaguar inside.

Mews black garage doors

The doors on the upper storeys may be less useful, unless you can winch your Porsche up there.

I don't think the horses used these doors.

If you have any space at all between your front door and the cobbled street, plant some shrubs in containers.

Tree and shrubs in containers

Nothing too rural – you need to keep the chic urban look.  A few curly trees will give you a rather special place to soak up the afternoon sun.

Mews bench

Mews: an introduction

If you walk around London, and look beyond the main roads, you will eventually come across some of these small, attractive streets called “Mews”.

How to make a mews look good.
What a lovely place to live in the centre of the city.

The best explanation that I’ve seen of the name ‘Mews’ is on the website of the British monarchy.  The word “mews” comes from the French muer and Latin mutare, meaning “to change”.  This term was applied to the moulting of a hawk or falcon, then to the caging of the bird, and then to the building housing the king’s falcons: “The King’s Mews”.  By the 16th century, that building was being used to stable horses – but the name stuck.

The term “mews” then came to be used to describe stables owned by non-royal folk.  If you lived in a large Georgian house on an elegant street like Wimpole Street, then your animals, and the people who cared for them, might live in Wimpole Mews, Weymouth Mews or Devonshire Place Mews, set back behind the grand houses.  This would keep their noises and smells at an acceptable distance from you.

Devonshire Stables

In the 21st century, the stabling for horses has been replaced by garaging for cars.

Stables now become garages for cars
More horsepower in the Mews these days

The housing for humans has been upgraded, so that, if you have enough money, and are in the right place at the right time, you can escape from apartments/flats, and live right in the middle of London, in a house that looks like a country cottage.

Mews houses in Marylebone

Another Marylebone Mews

I’ve been walking round London snapping photos of the Mews, so there will be a couple more posts on Mews houses to follow…..

Protecting your New House

In my last post, I mentioned a face in the background.  It was a red faced mask, hanging on a building. Here is another similar face.

Drishti Bommai closeup

These red faces appear on buildings all over Bangalore.  In Tamil they are known as Drishti Bommai.  I have also heard them described by Kannada speakers as Muneshwara.  They are hung on buildings during construction (as you can see in the next photo of an unfinished building in Nallurahalli).  They are intended to protect the builders and the future occupants, by warding off the Evil Eye.

Building site Nellurahalli

The next photo shows the roof of our driver’s house, built in 2012.

Red face on driver's houseThe final two photos show Drishti Bommai which haven’t been activated yet – I spotted them for sale at a roadside stall on 1 August.

Different Drishti Bommai

Side view of Drishti Bommai

Similar faces are painted on trucks – as in my post from 9 September 2012.

Brightly-Painted Houses


Asian Paints must be a successful company, because people in Karnataka love to paint their houses with bright colours.

They go for bright green…..

Green house

Or purple or pink…

Pink house

Or blue…

Blue house

While the upmarket gated communities go for pale sophistication….


Some apartments just use all the colours…

multi-coloured apartments