‘Barcelona is in­cred­i­ble

Living Etc - - HOMES / ETC -

at New Year,’ says Ivan Mas­sow. ‘It’s a Catholic city, so there are al­ways pa­rades and fes­ti­vals. I’m torn be­tween stay­ing in Lon­don for the an­nual fire­work dis­play and see­ing in the New Year, Span­ish style!’

Ivan cam­paigned in 2015 to be the Con­ser­va­tive can­di­date for Mayor of Lon­don (Zac Gold­smith got the gig), but doesn’t hide the fact that an­other cap­i­tal claims a piece of his heart. ‘I love Barcelona, ev­ery­thing from the ty­pog­ra­phy on the shopfronts to its cof­fee shops – it’s not over­run with Starbucks, like so many other Euro­pean ci­ties,’ he says. ‘The peo­ple are fiercely in­de­pen­dent, but it’s also bril­liantly mul­ti­cul­tural. Plus, it has a beach! Ev­ery time I get off the plane, I feel like I’m on hol­i­day.’

It’s no Airbnb pad for Ivan, though. After an ex­ten­sive search, he bought this prop­erty three years ago. ‘I wanted a first-floor prin­ci­pal apart­ment in a his­toric build­ing, with the high ceil­ings and spa­cious rooms that im­plies,’ he ex­plains. ‘I also wanted out­door space, so the roof ter­race was a mas­sive as­set. And, last of all, I didn’t want to pay a pre­mium for some­one else’s taste and ren­o­va­tions – it had to be some­where I could com­pletely trans­form.’

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