"The Harpy" Houseboat by Tower Bridge: London's original Customs & Excise floating office, built in 1904 as 'HMS Harpy', immaculately restored as an exceptional 4 bedroom London home with the postcard view of Tower Bridge.
Heal's 1920's oak furniture, Egyptian linen, eclectic art & objects, fibre optic WiFi, SkyQ TV & Sonos sound system, make staying on board The Harpy a memorable experience. In the heart of London but with no traffic noise, this unique 'Waterhouse' is a magical place to stay.
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. The oldest houseboat in London; built in 1904, she is 113 years old.
Because of the unusual nature of the vessel, and unlike most houseboats, all cabins are above deck with exceptional river views.
"The Harpy" is connected to mains water (with an alkaline water filtration system), mains electricity, mains gas (with gas central heating and gas cooking), a landline telephone, fibre optic (100mb per sec.) wi-fi, Sky Q TV and a Sonos sound system in every room.
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 at his 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 aluminum US Navy chairs (with cushions, so they're comfortable), a 1950's Hygena kitchen unit and a Conran beech circular 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.
There's lots of (all LED) lighting, 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 18 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 Miele 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 Daisy Fellowes, a well-known socialite of the time and Great Aunt of Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes, no less.
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, two Heal's oak wardrobes (with plenty of wooden hangers), a full length 1930's draper's shop mirror, Heal's oak desk, stool and a sofa (which can also be used as a sofa bed if required), and three Turkish 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.
Sonos speakers, a new Sony HD TV, SKY Q, electric curtains and limed oak wooden Venetian blinds make this an exceptional bedroom.
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, wardrobe with a full-length mirror, bookcase cabinet, small table, stool and three kilims.
Cabin 3 has a standard size double bed; 140cm (4ft 6ins) x 190cm (6ft 3ins), two bedside tables, touch controlled bedside lights, wardrobe with a full-length mirror, dressing table, stool and two kilims.
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). With single beds there is one bedside table and light, with a double there are two bedside tables and lights. There is a wardrobe with a full-length mirror, a chest of drawers, desk, stool, Sony TV and TV cabinet and two kilims.
The Alphabeds Whitecroft sprung mattresses have all organic British wool fillings with cotton covers and no fire retardant chemicals. The linen in all cabins is 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 good size cotton 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 curtains and/or blinds in all rooms and loads of cushions.