An Art Deco classic and a fine refuge

By Charlie Jacoby, June 2, 2009
Azzali's home in Valencia Road

Azzali's home in Valencia Road

Stanmore agent Anthony Breslauer is looking for a buyer with the “vision and passion” to refurbish a five-bedroom Art Deco house in Valencia Road, Stanmore. The property has been in the possession of three generations of the Italian refugee family who bought it in the 1930s.

The story begins with Attilio Azzali who moved to London’s Kings Cross in 1926 to escape the famine in the Apennine region that year. From small beginnings, Mr Azzali opened the first of his three London restaurants close to Victoria Station in 1929. Eager to provide his wife Elvira and baby Bruna larger accommodation and a more peaceful environment in the suburbs of Greater London, he took a train ride to the newly opened underground station at Stanmore in 1932 and immediately fell in love with the place.

In a large open field opposite Stanmore station at the junction of Valencia Road, Glanleam Road and Kerry Avenue, an architect was designing and building a small number of two and three-storey detached art deco family homes. Later, Harrow Council would protect these houses with a conservation area designation.

Mr Azzali liked the villagey feel of the area, the style of the property, and the easy access to Central London by road and rail. He bought number 4 Valencia Road.

In 1955, Attilio’s daughter Bruna married Alfredo Rastelli, the son of an ice-cream entrepreneur from Warrington in Cheshire. Shortly thereafter, Attilio and his wife retired back to Italy and Bruna and Alfredo raised three sons at the property. The Rastellis went on to own and run three restaurants in Central London.

Bruna and Alfredo passed away in 2004 and 2007 respectively and the property is now owned and occupied by their surviving sons Lorenzo and Leonardo.

Valencia Road has a 130ft garden

Valencia Road has a 130ft garden

Close to Stanmore Jubilee Line underground station, the 2,200-sq ft property has a 130ft garden. As well as entrance hall, dining room and reception room, it has two bathrooms, garage and driveway parking. Asking price for the freehold is £995,000.

    Last updated: 2:08pm, June 2 2009