Stylish homes with incredible transport links: why debut novelist Laure Van Rensburg chose her new home at Abbey Quay

Abbey Quay, a 6-acre riverside urban village by Weston Homes in Barking, one of London’s up-and-coming areas, provides some of the most competitively priced high-quality housing in the capital with excellent transport links, making it the ideal place to reside for people like 46-year-old novelist Laure Van Rensburg, who recently bought her new home at the development to be closer to her office in The Strand.

Abbey Quay offers an exciting collection of 1,089 new one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments of mixed tenure, all with their own private balcony or terrace, alongside 22,281 sq ft of commercial and leisure space which is planned to include a new pavilion restaurant, local shops, cafés, gymnasium and community hub.

Laure, a French writer who came to London as a graduate and decided to stay in the city, acquired a six-figure publishing deal for her psychological thriller titled Nobody But Us, which was published in April. With her recent success, the 46-year-old writer wanted a new lease of life and decided that she wanted to purchase a new property using the proceeds of her book deal. Laure who works for Pearson Education and currently lives in a one-bedroom flat in Romford, Essex, says: “I wanted to move up the ladder and be closer to London where our offices are”.

Being a single woman with a vibrant social life in the city, the Weston Homes waterfront development Abbey Quay was the perfect place for Laure who recently purchased a two-bedroom apartment at the development. She remarks that “being able to walk along a well-lit road to the nearby station, and the incredible choice of fast transport links in and out of London, were big deciding factors for me, as well as having a supermarket very close by and a park across the road.”

Barking Station is only a 10-minute walk away from Abbey Quay, with access to both District and Hammersmith & City lines and the overground line which has connections to Fenchurch Street in Zone 1 in 15 minutes, or Liverpool Street in 21 minutes. A new overground station at Barking Riverside opens in summer 2022 and will serve the emerging development area. The radical new regeneration project taking place in Barking, which has plans for over 25,000 new jobs, an upgraded town centre, faster transport links and 50,000 new homes, makes the area a highly desirable place to live.

Laure pored over the floor plans at the Weston Homes marketing suite, as well as looking at offerings from other developers. Abbey Quay proved to be her favourite option.  “The homes looked good, modern and with attractive brickwork. I have seen many London blocks of flats that just get tired and grubby too quickly”. Another attraction for Laure was the all-inclusive price: “The other developers that I looked at made you pay for so many extras”.

Speaking of her apartment, Laure says: “I love the light, spacious open-plan design and the temperature control taps are a bonus for heat and water savings, I’d never seen those before. I love the big run of kitchen cupboards and the boiling water tap; it means that there is no need for the clutter of a kettle. In the bedroom the large double-size wardrobe gives terrific storage, there is so much included.”

The list of advantages that caused Laure to choose her apartment continues: “Good insulation was important for me,” says Laure, “I don’t think I will ever need to put the heating on! Generally, I like new build homes best because the insulation is so much more sophisticated than in older properties and it costs a fortune to try to make old homes sustainable”.

There was plenty to consider as she studied the brochures and plans for this collection of one, two and three-bedroom flats. “Wall space is important to me for my collection of books, however, outside space is also important. I love the balcony and the amount of outdoor space it provides”.

The homes at Abbey Quay allow for differences in personal taste. When purchasing a home, buyers have a choice of different finishes. “There were so many choices for the interior finishes. The staff at Abbey Quay were so patient, I must have spent hours looking at all the options and colour schemes.”

Providing riverside living at its very best, Abbey Quay has been master planned to provide a new urban village for Barking. Abbey Quay directly overlooks the River Roding, a tributary of the River Thames, and is bordered by London Road and Abbey Road, overlooking Abbey Green park, just a short walk from Barking’s mainline and London underground station.

Designed by award winning architectural practice Broadway Malyan, Abbey Quay consists of striking contemporary buildings, ranging from seven to 29 storeys, providing 1,089 apartments. Dunstan Place and Erken Plaza are the first two apartment buildings to be built and launched in phase one of the development.

Loxford Plaza, a large public square overlooking the river, is the centre of the urban village with a pavilion restaurant, outdoor seating and river views. Central to life at Abbey Quay is the village Community Hub, with its concierge service, comfy seating areas and flexible leisure spaces. Maker’s Yard is a second public square, bordered at ground level by employment space for creatives and business start-ups, complete with cafes and space for outside exhibitions and market/deli stalls.

All the elegant apartments at Abbey Quay feature contemporary, open plan living areas, opening onto balconies, complete with bespoke designer kitchens and luxury bathrooms, all finished to the highest specification with modern London living in mind.

The homes offer a premium fully inclusive specification and are equipped with superfast full-fibre broadband. The contemporary kitchens by Oakwood Kitchens have quartz stone worktops and upstands, a wide range of integrated appliances and stainless-steel sink with integrated removable chopping board, tap with hose-spray extension, instant boiling water tap and neat integrated soap dispenser. The bathrooms have Arctic white suites, walk-in Fascino smart showers or bathtubs, heated towel rails, integrated vanity storage, a mirror with de-mist feature and a choice of floor and wall tile colours and finishes.

With her first book out and a second already written and accepted, Laure’s rising success and exciting lifestyle calls for a stylish home where she can be close to central London.  The two-bedroom apartment at Abbey Quay provides the perfect setting for the glamorous lifestyle of debut novelist Laure van Rensburg who adores her new home.

Suzanne Aplin, Group Sales & Marketing Director at Weston Homes says: “Abbey Quay is the ideal location for London living, with close proximity to public transport, providing excellent links into central London within 20 minutes. The remarkable retail and commercial facilities and riverside public spaces make this waterfront urban village a highly desirable place to live and the apartments at Abbey Quay make for excellent homes within this exciting area of regeneration”.

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