"In the 1960's and 1970's mews were hugely undervalued, although being located in the very best part of town they were often run down, scruffy and in danger of being bulldozed. During my international car rally racing years I found that many of my fellow racers fettled their cars in mews, a few started to be gentrified and I saw how these unloved working mews could be saved if, one by one, they were developed sympathetically, so I championed them. I was determined to elevate the price per square foot value of mews to that being achieved for the large houses they back on to and after all these years it appears that in many cases we have achieved just that. I have owned five mews houses myself, so I practice what I preach, and have found great happiness in the olive tree lined Bathurst Mews where I have lived for over twenty years. If you are considering buying a mews house I defy you to walk down my mews and not be delighted by its beauty and tranquillity" Antoine Lurot 2014.
Antoine Lurot came to London from his native France with his mother, the artist Doris Lurot Betjeman, a cousin of the poet John Betjeman.
In the swinging 1960s, Antoine became a successful rally driver, becoming friends with racing legends such as John Surtees and James Hunt.
He noticed that many drivers operated from mews house that had accomodation and garage space, and could be obtained for not much money in those days. Lurot realised that mews houses were becoming very fashionable and decided to start the first estate agency to specialise in mews properties - Lurot Brand.
His first step was to get to know his 'patch' by visiting every single mews in London on his Honda motorbike. He took photos and documented more than 800 streets, building up an unrivalled knowledge and expertise which became the foundation of Lurot Brands mews directory.
He also began to realise how picturesque mews are, with their variety of small houses, cobbles and sometimes a grand arch marking the entrance.Because they were built at the back of fashionable town houses, mews offer practical accommodation in the best areas of the metropolis.
Lurot Brand was an instant success, selling mews properties to artists, designers and media people. But the firm also became known for innovation.
Lurot Brand was the first London Agency to provide floor plans for every property on their books, and to compare prices using pounds per square foot. Antoine, with David Mclean-Watts (Cluttons) and Ian Hommersham (JDWood), set up the Central London Estate Agents (CLEA) and its publication The London Magazine for which Antoine personaly structured the funding.