imagesLondon, England.

This Airbnb Listing

What is with these beautiful apartments? Not quite a studio apartment, which by virtue of pedantic definition limits itself to a wall-less type of one-room living, but not exactly a family flat either. What do you call these in betweens? Regardless, I’m a convert. Over the past year I’ve had the privilege of staying in quite the number – the one in Seoul, the one in London, the one in Taipei.. All found on Airbnb, of course. The website is peppered with accommodation of all styles, and each trip I do I feel like I’ve been gifted the unique experience of lifestyle-shopping, living in different types of houses until I settle on the type I see myself in, long term. And these in betweens – small, studio-ish apartments (lets call them boutique apartments) that are best suited to accommodate one or two, completely self contained and beautifully manageable – they’re the ones I’ve fallen in love with.

My best friend and I stopped over in Edinburgh for a night before driving up to the Isle of Skye (another post on that in the future!) but when we walked in to the apartment the regret was real: why didn’t we stay another night? Who knows, who knows. All these unmade choices. All these alternate realities. The Edinburgh apartment was ridiculously gorgeous, like, professional tumblr material kind of gorgeous. I walked around, snapping photos, taking mental and photographic note of points I’d potentially work into my future apartment. Research, I told myself, but who am I kidding? I was just trying to make myself believe that I’d stay in this place forever.


The charm of the boutique apartment wasnt just in how gorgeous it was – it seemed almost fortuitous that it was also planted firmly with one side of the apartment opening up to endless shrubbery. The result was the creation of a kind of insulated peace, waking up to fresh air and birdsong. Something I’ve noticed over my time in europe and the uk is that most cities dont bother installing air-conditioning units because it’s only hot all of two months in a year. No air-conditioned trains, buses, cafes.. but as horrifying as this sounds to a equatorially born traveler, I get it, I really do. When you can wake to crisp, cool air, that also smells of nothing but the word fresh, why would you bother?

Just to clarify, this was what airbnb calls an entire home booking, which means we had the whole boutique apartment to ourselves. As much as I love staying in a private room so I can chat with a readymade local (ha!) and figure out what’s what, this trip was predominantly a best friend anniversary sorta trip, so we stuck to booking entire places just so we had the luxury of lounging around watching game of thrones and having heart to hearts without having to worry that we’d be disturbing someone else in the house. Depending on the city you’re in, entire home bookings tend to be slightly more expensive, but this one was under $150 a night (and it drops to $88 during the low seasons), which I thought was pretty good for what we got. Claire, our host, met us at the door to let us in and show us around. Bread and eggs in the basket, some milk in the fridge

“Think you guys will be okay?”
I looked at her. “Claire,” I said, finally, as my best friend slipped away to admire the bookshelves and furniture, “I think we’ll be way more than okay.”

Say hi to Claire in Edinburgh.