Rat and Mouse
Area: Celebrity homes
Fri
18
Jul

Very soon, according to this. Fifty-three acres, including stables and an indoor riding arena and well-placed, according to the AOL money man, to profit from the continuing ripple-effect into commuter land.

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Wed
16
Jul

It’s on.

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Fri
04
Jul

It’s the blurred one. 

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Thu
19
Jun

A “weekend retreat, for Depp and his partner Amber Heard… that’s the rumour.

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Tue
17
Jun

Margaret Thatcher’s former home in Belgravia’s Chester Square is expected to reach the market for around £35m after the current owners have completed a significant refurbishment (to include a basement excavation and extension into a separate mews property behind it). Thatcher sold the property a year before her death for just £4.16m. More here.

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Fri
13
Jun

Fancy leasing from Steven Spielberg, William H Macy, Salma Hayek? Only in LA.

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Fri
23
May

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This Grade I-listed, nine-bedroom mansion in SW1 suggesting an obsessive eye for detail and featuring work by Lee F Mindel and Anthony Close-Smith is currently on the market with an undisclosed guide price. Vendors? Sting and Trudie Styler. Particulars here.

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Architectural Digest feature here.

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Thu
22
May

According to this, she’s already visited several properties, ranging in asking price from £1.5m to £2.5m. 

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Thu
15
May

And he means “move”, according to this. Clooney’s due to marry London-based human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, and the pair are said to be planning a new London home.

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Wed
30
Apr

X-Men couple, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Holt have apparently bought in St John’s Wood. According to this:

Jennifer has fallen in love with the English countryside, said one source, who said: "Jen loves the English way of life and as they are now serious again, it makes sense to look into buying somewhere."

And where better than the remote, rural, wooded area known to the locals as St John’s?

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Thu
24
Apr

It’s beautiful on the outside… bit eccentric on the inside

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Wed
23
Apr

There are reports today of a £5.5m house purchase in Mayfair by Jay Z and Beyoncé. Exchange is said to have taken place about a month ago. A permanent relocation to London seems unlikely, but the property may serve as a base for British/European tours. 

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Tue
25
Mar

He thinks a roof-top terrace, 6ft glass screens and big planters, would be lovely. His neighbours disagree. 

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Wed
05
Mar

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It’s Al Capone’s sunshine hideaway, and Capone’s alibi for the Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929, on the market for £5.06m. Fascinating story, here.

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Fri
03
Jan

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William Flynn - a kind of criminal cross between Karl Pilkington and a Boerboel - was sentenced to eight years behind bars yesterday for stealing more than £800,000 in jewels from wealthy vendors (including Petra Ecclestone), while posing as a Kazakh millionaire and conducting viewings of high-end properties. More here.

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Thu
05
Dec

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Annie Lenox is a vendor, according to this, of a £12,000 Portobello Road Christmas cake/5-bedroom home over five floors. 

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Wed
20
Nov

The actress, singer, reality TV show star shows the Daily Mail around her Pimlico home. 

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Thu
14
Nov

And why not?

Taylor Swift apparently wants a European base, and she wants it in London. No idea where she’s looking, but pretty confident she’ll be paying in cash.

Meanwhile, David and Victoria Beckham are reported to have made an offer on a £50m property near Kensington Palace. 

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Wed
13
Nov

According to British tabloid magazine Heat, Kanye West and his fianceê Kim Kardashian reportedly wants to uproot their young family and move to London so their daughter, Nori, can go to Oxford University and “grow up alongside royalty.”

And good luck with that. Interesting, though, to see two land of opportunity success stories keen to embrace old-fashioned UK elitism. 

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Wed
18
Sep

£3m buys the Spitalfields home snapped up by Keira Knightly just over a year ago from fellow thesp Samantha Morton. Some details here. Particulars here.

If these walls could talk… the Grand Designs Kennington water tower [April 19, 2013]
If these walls could talk… Pooh edition [March 29, 2013] 

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Wed
28
Aug

After remarks to the US edition of OK! magazine, rumours are that Tom Cruise is considering either a Notting Hill or St John's Wood property purchase to provide a permanent London base where he can spend time with his daughter while working in Europe. Agents: on your marks... More here.

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Tue
11
Jun

He told the Produced By conference, also in LA, that he was not looking forward to uprooting, admitting that the decision to shoot in Britain "really does make me insane". He said, of his children's reaction: "When you're 13 and 14, it's like, fuck that, I don't care what the movie is."

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Mon
13
May

You know… ad man, screenwriter, annoyingly nice guy who worked on the Make Poverty History campaign. A glimpse inside his home office in Hampstead. 

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Fri
03
May

The Jane Fonda Kit House… a kinetically-powered micro-home, in which sweat and lycra replace electricity and gas. Nuts? I thought so, until I looked at the photo and realised she's already got to grips with cloning.

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Fri
26
Apr

All kinds of accusations are flying as former Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas has found himself in the centre of a legal row concerning a multi-million pound London property owned by his girlfriend's ex-husband. Daniella Semaan has taken her property tycoon husband Elie Taktouk to court, claiming he's failed in his responsibilities to provide her with financial support for their children. She's demanding the sale of his £7m London property, to liquidate £1.4m for her to buy a property of her own. But - and here's the killer part - Taktouk is claiming that a company controlled by her footballer boyfriend has made an aggressive £5.4m bid on the flat. Full story here.

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Wed
24
Apr

Rumours of an imminent move to London have been circulating for the past few months, now we know. She's coming, and she'll be based at her Canary Wharf penthouse, a property she has apparently owned for some time. I wonder, then, why the need to break ties with LA?

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Wed
03
Apr

Go on a tour of Adele's homes past and present, with Curbed.

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Tue
02
Apr

Il Divo's Sebastien Izambard in his west London home [Daily Mail]
Kelly Brook and Danny Cipriani spotted house hunting in Fulham [Metro]
Beckingham Palace listed at £15m [Realty Today]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog, since 2005 

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Fri
29
Mar

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AA Milne's childhood home, on Chelsea's Mallord Street, is on the market with an guide price of £6.95m. According to the current owners, details of the home are echoed in the original illustrations to the books. Particulars here.

If these walls could talk… Jude Law edition, on minute it's there… [January 29, 2013]

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Thu
28
Mar

According to Nationwide, Camden house prices are up 15% on the year, the most dramatic rise in the UK. Remember, Camden - for these purposes - is more than Camden Town, and includes sleb-heaving Primrose Hill, plus Belsize Park and Regents Park, and the Kings Cross regeneration zone. More here.

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Tue
26
Mar

… she'd be living in London, according to rumours, fuelled by the appearance of her three LA properties on the US market

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Thu
28
Feb

On the subject of basements, news here that Dragon James Caan is in trouble with neighbours over plans (passed by Westminster Council) for a substantial underground extension to his St Johns Wood townhouse. The very same neighbours, Mrs Caan points out, who have created years of disruption with their own building work. 

Those evil basement conversions.

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Wed
27
Feb

Planners have said yes to Roman Abramovich's controversial plans to turn three Cheyne Walk townhouses into one… a three year process costing £10m and involving every London neighbour's favourite bit of building work: the basement excavation. More here.

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Mon
25
Feb

That's right, not one but two American celebs quoted mooting a move to London. Timberlake, quoted by the Mirror's 3am "journalists", says that he's been enjoying London Fashion Week (which - let's face it - is a fair representation of life in London) so much that he "should really buy a house here". Estate agents, don't get too excited. However, living charcoal and New Jersey "tan mom" Patricia Krentcil has far better reasons for considering a move. Banned from tanning salons in the tri-state, she's attracted by London's lax tanning salon rules, and feels she could fit in much better here.

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Thu
21
Feb

Niklas Zennstrom bought the property, a modernist construction in Hamble's sought-after Crowsport estate, built by and for its previous owners, in November 2009; but when he came to make some improvements he discovered the property was falling down around him. He tried to sue the vendors under the Defective Premises Act 1972, but a judge has ruled that they were genuinely ignorant of the property's underlying condition. According to this, he's now going after the architect, builder and structural engineer. 

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Tue
19
Feb

Dragon's Den series 11 will feature top interior designer Kelly Hoppen, who likely to bring a bit of (much needed) glamour to the show. Read her tweeted announcement here. Follow the Rat and Mouse here.

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Tue
29
Jan

Off-road parking (a garage, no less, in Maida Vale), a decent-sized garden and heart-throb vendor Jude Law are selling points for this £4.35m 4/5 bedroom Maida Vale property. Details are on a popular US-based celeb-property blog here - but they seem to have come and gone from both the portals and the agent's website very quickly.

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Fri
11
Jan

He bought Primrose Hill's Queens No 1 pub about six months ago with initial plans to just live above it. Now, he's turned his attention to a wholesale residential conversion and, according to this, neither locals nor beer-lovers are happy. 

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Tue
27
Nov

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It's a five-bedroom, five-bathroom thing in Beverly Hills, and comes complete with a full-sized football field (pictured, above)… which sounds cool until the day you decide to play on it by yourself and you look like the loneliest man in LA. It's listed for $3.6m ($100k less than he paid for it seven years ago). More here.

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Fri
16
Nov

When it first hit the market it came with a price tag of £2.7m, now just five months later it's up for auction with a guide price of £1.8m. According to a "source close to the family", they've grown tired of tourist viewings. The auction's set for December 3, details here.

If these walls could talk… Amy Winehouse edition [June 1, 2012]

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Fri
05
Oct

Those of a bitter, jealous or resentful disposition look away now… the Primelocation blog takes a tour of One Direction "star" Harry Styles' breakneck climb up the property ladder and his latest gaff, a £3m house in Hampstead. Pics here.

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Mon
01
Oct

JK Rowling is one of her Edinburgh homes. It's a 19th Century mansion, eight bedrooms, loads of original features, landscaped gardens and a guide price of £2.25m. It's where she wrote at least four of her Harry Potter novels, but she hasn't been resident in the property for at least two years. More here.

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Mon
24
Sep

Bought in the early 1990s: £950,000.

Agreed for sale right now: apparently in the region of £35m.

The Sunday Telegraph can't work it out. Properties in Notting Hill are said to have increased by about 341% in value in the last 20 years, so how's Nick Ross squeezed approximately ten times that out of his investment? More here.

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Thu
16
Aug

What to do if you can't sell one home in time to another? Just go and buy it anyway, obviously. Primelocation's blog looks at George Osborne's extraordinary (-ily insensitive) property expansion in Notting Hill. (And what it says about the neighbourhood.) 

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Thu
26
Jul

Colin Firth, Ralph Fiennes and Joely Richardson haven't just won their battle to halt the controversial redevelopment of Hammersmith's town hall site (and demolition of the art deco cinema), but they've earned themselves an apology, too. According to H&F Council head Nicholas Botterill, they'd "got it wrong" and "have learned from it". The power of celebrity. More here.

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Wed
20
Jun

According to this, former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson has issued a repossession notice and begun legal proceedings to have his former girlfriend and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nancy Dell' Olio evicted from their Belgravia property. Eriksson bought the flat in 2005, and broker up with Dell'Olio in 2007. She apparently intends to fight,  insisting she won't leave until Eriksson transfers an Italian property into her name. 

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New X-Factor judge Nicole Schersinger is planning a London move, according to this. Agents take note… she wants a place in time for the live finals, beginning in October. On your marks...

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Tue
19
Jun

The London estate agents are going to be dueling over who gets to help actress Naomi Watts choose her abode in the London neighborhood of Kensington in the upcoming months as the actress reportedly relocates there for a role.

She's to play Princess Diana in a film focussing on the last years of her life. She apparently wants to relocate to London to soak up some of the sights, sounds, smells of Kensington to help her prepare. 

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Mon
18
Jun

She's quoted here complaining about the noise and the effects on the market of her Holland Park neighbours expanding downwards. Doesn't sound as if it's winning her many friends. 

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Thu
14
Jun

According to this, Kate Moss is "freaking" out after her new Highgate home has a damp problem that's risen from the "butler's kitchen" (American friends… this is the name of the room, it doesn't mean KM has a butler) and is now making the ground floor pong. And there's more...

This isn't the first time she has been the victim of a foul stench in her home. The source said: ''The kitchen of Kate's last house flooded with sewage and needed a £100,000 makeover.

A surveyor, somewhere, will be reading this and feeling nervous.

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Wed
13
Jun

Zayn Malik has reportedly spent £2.2m on a six-bedroom property in Hyver Hill (Barnet). If you live locally and aren't au fait with O.D. - here's what he looks like. Alternatively, he's the six-year-old with the keys to the £2.2m house down the road. 

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Thu
07
Jun

According to a gleeful Daily Mail, Ian Hislop has had plans to extend his Chelsea townhouse dismissed by the local council. He had intended to extend the second floor (to make way for a gym), remove a tree from the garden and add a terrace and stairs. The council have apparently objected on aesthetic grounds. More here.

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Fri
01
Jun

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It's a three-bedroom semi in Camden Square… with CCTV, security gate, a decent garden for such a central location (although it's a pity so much of the grass has been concreted over) and the sad and somewhat macabre distinction of being the location Amy Winehouse was found dead last year. It's with HouseNetwork.co.uk, guide price £2,699,950, particulars here.

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If these walls could talk… Sam Wanamaker edition [March 2, 2012]
If these walls could talk… Vincent Van Gogh edition [February 29, 2012]

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Tue
29
May

It's a £2.4m townhouse that used to belong to Sam Morton. More here.

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Wed
23
May

Sounds quite scary. A row of terrace houses in Stockwell unexpectedly lost their roofs, and are currently declared unsafe, in a wealthy Stockwell Street. Full story and pictures here.

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Homes & Property reports Brad and Angelina have left Richmond and are currently renting… a large mansion on the Wentworth Estate in Surrey. More here. Wonder what could have motivated that?

At home with Brad and Angelina [October 7, 2011]

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Thu
17
May

… to protest the Olympics.

[Kim's] arrival in the UK fuels reports that the Kardashians are set to move to London this summer to film a special reality TV show.

An insider told HollywoodLife earlier this year that the Olympics were a golden opportunity for reality TV’s hardest working family.

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Fri
11
May

The story is the Henri wants to demolish his Hampstead home and build a new one. Conti, who lives at the bottom of his garden, isn't impressed.

If someone wants a larger house, why not just buy one somewhere else?

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Wed
04
Apr

Difficult to pin down, but could be this one. What we do know, a one-bedroom apartment in Marylebone on the market for £610,000. Apparently, he's upsizing.

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Fri
09
Mar

The list - so far - who've lived or are living in Princess Park Manor, Friern Barnet.

One Direction
JLS
The Wanted
Girls Aloud
Ashley Cole

Fantastic stuff. Imagine the late night discussions... which is the best Proust translation, the classic Moncrieff or the more faithful Lydia Davis? Vicious Tractatarian debate... who has the best handle on early Wittgenstein... Cheryl Cole or Aston Merrygold?

There's a feature, here, about the former lunatic asylum's celebrity status. If you think you could keep up with the free-thinkers, there are a range of properties still available, from £400,000, here.

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Princess Park Manor and One Direction [January 6, 2012]

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Mon
05
Mar

Earlier today, it was all about Will.i.am, now it's Rihanna. Just in case you give a monkeys, she's reported here to be considering a London move to get away from here ex.

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Fri
02
Mar

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Zoe's father, he was an American actor/director and the man feted as largely responsible for the re-building of the Globe Theatre, founding a trust in 1970, fighting for planning permission and helping to fund the project out of his own pocket. He lived nearby in the former Surrey Dispensary on Trinity Street. The original building had a charitable purpose (distributing medicines to the poor) and still features the large outdoor vaults. It's with Hampton's, guide price £2.95m, particulars here.

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If these walls could talk... Vincent Van Gogh edition [February 29, 2012]

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Thu
01
Mar

Jose Mourinho has been snapped with London estate agents, and friends have apparently confirmed a move to London is a possibility. The talk is about replacing Harry Redknapp at Spurs, if Redknapp gets the England job. More here.

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Wed
29
Feb

It's that blue-plaque end-of-terrace on Hackford Road near Stockwell. It's a three-story property, and it's the first time it's come up for sale in over 60 years. It's also apparently entirely unmodernised, including an outside toilet. The artist moved there as a young man in 1873, and is said to have remembered his time there fondly. It's to be auctioned by Savills next month. Guide price £475,000. More here.

If these walls could talk... 1900 house edition [January 24, 2012]

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Fri
24
Feb

And persuades Joanna Gosling, Alan de Botton, Paul A Young, Watson & Oliver and Kate Humble to show you where they do their stuff .

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Mon
20
Feb

It's only been up since 12 years, but Thierry Henri already has plans to tear down his Richard MacCormac-designed Hampstead home and replace it with a giant new four-story property, including 15ft by 40ft of fishtank (four tanks, one on top of each other) rising up the middle. The Daily Mail is among the newspapers obsessed with the tank. They estimate a £12,000 annual bill just for lighting, heating and cleaning the tanks. MacCormac is said to be understandably unimpressed. More here.

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Wed
01
Feb

She's said to have bought in a luxury new-build development in the Fitzrovia area. Details? It's apparently "modern concrete" on the outside, has floor to ceiling glass, four penthouses and a communal courtyard. Any ideas?

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Mon
30
Jan

The price has been up (£70m, originally), but it only sold when it was down (£36m, according to the Telegraph), to a Middle Eastern businessman who'll now enjoy a heated marble driveway, a guest bedroom with en suite swimming pool and 24 carat gold mosaics. The Telegraph describes it as Britain's "tackiest House", which sounds like a challenge. Can you find tackier?

Updown Court, the ups and downs [July 15, 2011]
Examiner.com examines Updown Court [August 11, 2009]

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Mon
23
Jan

The FT does its own version of Hello magazine with a tour of Thatcher's old PR man and founder of the controversial (some might say, apparently) Bell Pottinger Group, Tim Bell's Hampstead pad, where he counts Thatcher and Yehudi Menuhin as neighbours.

Bell’s sitting room on the first floor overflows with books: on the shelves, on the tables. This is where he reads and many of the books tell the story of his life and times: first editions dedicated to him by Thatcher, Cecil Parkinson and Jeffrey Archer.

Nothing from Jimmy Wales, apparently.

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Fri
20
Jan

The Wikipedia founder is apparently considering a move to London to be with his fiancée Kate Garvey... and to enjoy the cultural riches not, apparently, shared by Silicon Valley.

"There’s nothing in terms of cultural amnesties that would be of interest to creative, highly intellectual people," he said. "If you’re looking for a stimulating environment with different people and art to fuel the soul, London is a great city in a way that Silicon Valley isn’t.”

I'm presuming he said, or meant, "amenities".

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Fri
06
Jan

There's a "thing" in the Daily Mail about One Direction and Princess Park Manor, in particular Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson who are said to be on the verge of buying the penthouse once owned by Ashley Cole. The development, next to New Southgate station, is the old Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum, which - in turn - was once home to John Duffy, who was worse than Ashley Cole.

More interesting than the property story are the comments below the piece... a true Daily Mail-style menagerie of opinions. My favourites, the one from the former asylum employee who warns of the ghosts, and this:

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Tue
03
Jan

Yes, Happy New Year to you. Would you like to buy a pair of Cheryl's pants?

If so, there are apparently a few pairs available from her builders. According to this shock story suggesting British builders will not only have the shirt off your back but the pants out your drawer, workers at Cole's Hadley Wood home have been conducting tours of her empty (she's currently based in the States) property and selling off personal items she left behind. According to the builders, the pants were unwanted or abandoned. How could they tell? Because she wasn't wearing them?

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Wed
28
Dec

He is - according to the Sun - officially a Londoner, now. He's been telling anyone who'll listen that he's now based, permanently, in the city while he pursues his fashion career. No clue as to his chosen neighbourhood, however.

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Thu
01
Dec

According to this, ex-News of the World editor and Tory strategist Andy Coulson is selling his Dulwich (actually, Wood Vale) five (actually, six)-bedroom home in a downsizing exercise. He's lived there since 2001. On this occasion, we've decided to not give away an address.

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Tue
15
Nov

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Back on the subject of plaques - a blue one, this time - there's controversy over English Heritage plans to honour London's first stripper Phyllis Dixey, at her St Mark's Hill, Surbiton former home. The controversy isn't regarding the plaque, but the text. EH would like to call her a "striptease artiste". Residents aren't sure. Some are suggesting "burlesque dancer". Does it matter? If it walks like a duck...quacks like a duck. Ms Dixey didn't walk like a duck, she was - apparently - much more elegant. But the point still stands. More here.

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Mon
14
Nov

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This strikes the Rat and Mouse as a good idea. Property search and valuation website Zoopla is introducing purple plaques for properties with a celebrity connection (unlike the blue plaques, the celebrity can still be drawing breath). Former homes of David Cameron, Gary Barlow, Liz Hurley, Lewis Hamilton and Chris Evans are among the properties already honoured, with more to come. At first, we thought the plaques were going to be virtual-only. But, no. They appear to be actual physical objects you can claim from the website if you own a home with celebrity connections. Is it shallow? Of course. Will it drive visitors to Zoopla? You bet. (Not sure I'd want one on my house, though.) More here.

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It contains zero content but I'm linking to the post anyway just because it's worth seeing for its extraordinary irritation factor. The thrust of the piece? Celebrities live in London. The style of the piece? Sacha Baron Cohen as Bruno. Edited by Gok Wan. Is this - actually - for real?

Looking for the best real estate? The best life in general? Here’s a tip. Get out of the cornfield, and hope a flight to Heathrow, stat. Cheerio…

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Fri
28
Oct

It's a $2.9m "compound" in one of West Hollywood's more desirable neighbourhoods... five bedrooms, four bathrooms but no pool - which, according to the Real Estalker, is a problem. It sounds as if Lucas can drive a hard bargain, though. The $2.9m purchase price compares favourably with the $3.49m the previous owner paid back in 2007.

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Tue
11
Oct

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It's a £5.5m property, very possibly one of these, and the two singers are said to be about to go head-to-head for it.

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Fri
07
Oct

The pictures come courtesy of a US magazine, but they've been reproduced by the Daily Mail. It's in Richmond (Whornes Place, to be precise) and it's a property with a lot of history. Parts date back to the 15th Century, although it was rebuilt in the 1920s. More recently, it's been popular with other Hollywood A-Listers (including Johnny Depp and Michael Douglas). Brad Pitt is currently filming in London. For a look inside, go here.

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Thu
01
Sep

It's a 15-bedoom house that, until 2004, belonged to the Russian Government and was apparently used as a spy base. It still had "radio rooms" when its previous owners took it over and spent £20m making it a home. Roman Abramovich reportedly spent £90m buying the property. More here.

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Wed
17
Aug

First, Faye Dunaway:

Faye Dunaway is a defendant in case No. 76667/11 in Manhattan housing court, just another rent-stabilized tenant facing eviction. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, her landlord claims that Ms. Dunaway, who pays $1,048.72 a month for a one-bedroom walk-up apartment in a century-old tenement building on East 78th Street, does not actually live there, but rather lives in California.

So what? The property's rent-controlled, and under local law someone benefitting from rent stabilisation needs to actually live for the majority of the time in the property. Her relationship with her landlords appears to have already been fractious, with a claim of unpaid rent back in 2009. How's it looking, according to the New York Times her New York neighbours claim to have never met her.

Next, Burt Reynolds:

The 75-year-old actor is being taken to court after claims he has failed to make a payment on his waterfront mansion for almost a year.Lawyers for Merrill Lynch have asked a judge to sell the £1.4million house, set in 4.5 acres, so they can recover the £700,000 the bank says it is owed.

The property has a beach, a pool, even - bizarrely - it's own hairdressers. It's actually a rather sad story, of prescription pain killers, heart problems and a failing career.

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Mon
08
Aug

It's a blue plaque property -  former home to Coleridge and JB Priestley - and Kate Moss's plans for a satellite dish, security cameras, basement kitchen and gym/steam room aren't delighting her neighbours.

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The details plans are online here.

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Tue
19
Jul

He's awaiting a decision by Kensington & Chelsea council on plans to redevelop a former clothing warehouse in Chelsea, creating offices, home and courtyard. This isn't a purely personal project (he's already developing a property down the road, which he'll call home; this looks like a proper experiment in property development. The council have made encouraging noises; much to the chagrin of the Chelsea Society. More here.

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Mon
18
Jul

20110718Craig David1

It's in Hampstead (Inverforth House), it's already been the subject of a bit of a fuss over a roof terrace hot tub and on the market as a £6,000 a week let. Now, it's for sale, with a guide price of £3.95m. Four bedrooms, double garage, lots of terraces, some extravagant fittings and fixtures and the same bedspread it had two years ago. Go here for the particulars.

20110718Craig David2

Craig David's hot tub - what's he got on his mind? [August 30, 2005]
If these walls could talk... they'd say "re-wind" [October 21, 2009]

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Mon
06
Jun

20110506Titmuss

It's a four-storey house in Sidney Grove, Islington, with four bedrooms and a decent roof terrace, and the vendor's none other than fun-loving model and actress A.T. Titmuss chose Foxtons, and the property's listed here, with a guide price of £850,000. Judging by the photos, Titmuss hasn't been living there for a while, but has been renting to a tidy and minimalist small brown bear pictured below.

20110506

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Mon
16
May

7 bedroom house for sale in Clifton Hill St Johns Wood London  NW8

It's been home to ex-Hollyoaks actress, toilet paper heiress, ex-Ryan Giggs love-interest and member of the Primrose Hill set Davinia Taylor, but now she's selling it in an act of divorce settlement liquidation. Interestingly, it also doubled as her friend Kate Moss's hideaway during her widely reported split with Pete Doherty. (Full rundown on that, here.) It's a white seven-bedroom semi-detached house in St John's Wood, and it even comes with a garage. In NW8! Guide price? £5.95m. Particulars here.

If these walls could talk... Robbie Williams edition [April 12, 2011]

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Tue
12
Apr

It's a temporary move, apparently, for a summer shoot, but it's a state-of-the-art bachelor pad he's looking for close to Guy Ritchie's Punchbowl pub in Mayfair.

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20110412Robbie

It's a three-bedroom flat on Kensington Park Road, and it was home to Robbie Williams when he left Take That and moved to London. Williams shared the apartment with Nicole Appleton and later Geri Halliwell. It's a four-floor affair, with a roof terrace, right in the heart of Notting Hill. It's with Domus Nova, guide price £3.45m, particulars here.

20110411Robbie2

[via Prime blog]

If these walls could talk... James Hunt edition [April 5, 2011]

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Wed
06
Apr

Despite denials from her "people", the Australian papers are reporting that Kylie Minogue has spent £16m on a three-bedroom apartment in One Hyde Park. More here.

If these walls could talk... Kylie edition [September 3, 2010]

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Tue
05
Apr

20110405hunt

It's a four-bedroom West Kensington mews house, originally two properties converted into one, and it was home to F1 motor racing hero James Hunt during the early 1980s... a tempestuous period that saw him lose his first wife to Richard Burton (who one would have thought didn't need any more). But don't be fooled by the blue plaque... it was commissioned by the current owners (Hunt's death, in 1993, wasn't long enough ago to warrant an official one from English Heritage). The properties on the market with Marsh & Parsons, guide price £2.75m. Particulars here.

[via Prime]

If these walls could talk... Forbes Battersea mansion edition [March 11, 2011]

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Mon
04
Apr

According to the Sunday Telegraph, thespian couple John Alderton and Pauline Collins (who starred together in Upstairs, Downstairs) have been waging a war against the creeping scourge of the underground swimming pool. They've just successfully put the kibosh on a neighbouring banker's plans to knock down and rebuild, but only after putting up with similar redevelopments on the other side. It sounds as if they're in the difficult position of owning a listed Arts & Crafts property surrounded by expendable 50s blocks liable for gutting and rebuilding. More here.

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Tue
29
Mar

20110329hello

Think again. The former Wonderbra model is apparently locked in a dispute with her Chelsea neighbours over plans to gut and rebuild her five-storey property. She's apparently had planning permission for extensive ground floor work and a giant basement, but she's pushing for a complete interior rebuild. The plans were previously rejected because of the disruption to the road, but she's an appeal scheduled for mid-May. Her neighbours - according to this - have clubbed together to hire a QC to represent them, and delivered a petition with 80 signatures. She appears undaunted. If the work does go ahead, let's hope she's planning on selling, because I doubt she'll be in a position to pop next door for a cup of sugar.

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Mon
28
Mar

In Blackpool, a tenant's revenge [Blackpool Gazette]
Posen downplays inflation risk [Reuters]
Take That's "Metric" Mark Owen sells Wandsworth house after "10 affairs"... vowing it's time to "start again" [New Magazine]
Why not buy in London? [Hong Kong Standard]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

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Mon
14
Mar

It's Kanye West, no less, and the rumour that he might be about to enrol at Central Saint Martins as a fashion student. More here.

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Fri
11
Mar

OldBatterseaHouse 1

Old Battersea House is a Grade II-lsted manor house in SW11, dates back to the 17th Century and was bought and painstakingly restored to its former glory (plus a few jacuzzis and saunas) by Malcolm Forbes (yeah, that Forbes) in the early 70s. Real Estalker lists Thatcher, the Reagans, Warren Buffet and Elizabeth Taylor, plus various Royals, as guests. Now, however, it seems the Forbes family no longer needs it, and the property's listed with Savills, guide price £12m.

If these walls could talk... Kylie edition [September 3, 2010]

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Wed
09
Mar

Remember, we recently revealed how Colonel Gaddafi's controversial son Saif was looking for tenants for his Hampstead Garden Suburb mansion? The property - now part of the family's frozen assets - has apparently been invaded by activists, demanding the proceeds are returned to the Libyan people. They're flying a banner reading "Out of Libya/Out of London". We just hope nobody's paid their deposit.

Your new landlord - Mr Gaddafi [February 22, 2011]

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Fri
25
Feb

Colin Firth crowned nation s ideal neighbour according to Zoopla co uk  Zoopla co uk Blog

No Oscar in the bag yet, but Colin Firth will I'm sure be delighted that he's "the nation's ideal neighbour". According to data by Zoopla, Firth's the celebrity neighbour you'd most like to have (with 15% of a very spread vote), soundly beating (something we'd pay to see) Cheryl Cole (with 9%). Firth, incidentally, lives in Chiswick. The least desired celebrity neighbour? That would be Katie Price, who managed to grab almost 30% of the anti-vote. Incidentally. there's actually the possibility Price might be your neighbour soon. She's on the move. Particulars here, pic below.

Katie Price

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Tue
15
Feb

The building, at 34-35 Fitzroy Square, was empty while contractors were involved in a refurbishment. Ironically, it used to be a language school, and Guy Ritchie is said to be converting it into two residential properties. The group of squatters - apparently numbering around 12 - call themselves the Really Free School collective, and you can follow them on Twitter here. Best comment on the whole situation came from one of the contractors:

"It's a real cheek."

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Tue
18
Jan

On assignment for a Canadian publication, they discover a bit of eccentric, shabby  chic by all accounts.

Shabby chic, a magazine term coined originally by World Of Interiors in the 1980s, is a personal style that draws its strength from a composure of individual items assembled for their weathered, travelled or lived in provenance. Less about sharp corners and neatly cultivated lines, the maxim perfectly captures the essence of Treacy’s nest.

"Nest"? Read on... "raised on a poultry farm in Ireland"... "saw the feathers that surrounded him as more than simply plummage"... what the pluck? A chicken theme running right through the heart of his work. Who knew?

Mon
27
Dec

Hope your Christmas weekend was wonderful. After a couple of slow news days on the property front, there's not much about... except this interesting Mail on Sunday feature about Roman Abramovich's flat-by-flat takeover of a couple of buildings in Knightsbridge's Lowndes Square. The plans are to turn it into an eight-bedroom mansion (worth something like £150m), and the Mail has created an interesting mock-up, from plans submitted to the council. See it here. In the meantime, what do you do in a "drawing room" you don't do in a "sitting room"? (Not a set-up from one of the weekend's cracker jokes... a genuine question.)

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Wed
08
Dec

The Black Eyed Peas star has turned WILL.I.LEND with his i.am.home Mortgage Relief Program, aimed at helping people at risk of foreclosure stay in their homes. Details as to whether this is a fund, fronted by W.I.A, and reaching out to significant numbers, or a personal scheme in which the rapper reaches out to a handful of people he can help, is as yet unclear. But this might be a clue. More here.

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Mon
06
Dec

Some rare good news for estate agents... Kate Winslett and Sam Mendes are said to be considering a move to London for Mendes' forthcoming Bond shoot. More here.

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Wed
17
Nov

According to this she's looking for a London base. Husband Wayne, nor son Kai, should necessarily expect an invitation.

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Mon
08
Nov

No danger of ultimate disappointment, then, for Robert Downey Jr.

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Mon
01
Nov

According to this, she's already looking at apartments.

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Tue
19
Oct

Foilowing recent reports of a fractious relationship with the upstairs neighbours, who are mid-way through a noisy and disruptive renovation project, Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson have reportedly put their Belgravia home on the market. Saatchi bought the place in 2001 for £3.8m, and it's said to be carrying a £36m price tag now. Astonishing... especially given the high-profile problems with noise and surrounding development.

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Mon
18
Oct

News here that Boris Johnson - Mayor of London - is another to take up the "live-apartner" lifestyle, although possibly reluctantly. He's apparently living out of a rented Islington flat, just yards from the marital home. The talk is of an affair. Let's hope the flat is neither paid for by the taxpayer, nor claimed against tax.

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Fri
15
Oct

According to this, NIgella Lawson and Charles Saatchi's neighbours shouldn't expect an invitation to one of her lovely but just-elegantly-informal-enough dinners any time soon. An Egyptian couple, occupying the floor above their £10m Belgravia home, have offended the pair by erecting some unsightly scaffolding and spoiling their view. When their neighbours refused to remove it, Saatchi apparently took the matter into his own hands, or rather into the more calloused hands of some hired labourers - and oversaw the scaffolding's removal himself, apparently damaging some tiles in the process. Police were called, no less.

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Tue
14
Sep

Following news that Jay-Z is after a share in his favourite football club (Arsenal, of course), the latest speculation is whether a piece of the action would also necessitate a piece of London real estate. According to the Voice, London estate agents should brace themselves for a visit from Jay-Z and Beyonce shortly.

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Fri
03
Sep

20100903minogue1.jpg

The Daily Mail takes readers on a tour of Kylie Minogue's Drayton Garden's flat, making much of the knockdown asking price (down from £4.5m to £3.95m in a matter of months). At £3.95m, it's competitively priced with the competition, although it's considerably more lavishly furnished (remember those £55 brass tiles?) It's with John D. Wood. Go here for full particulars.

If these walls could talk... Katie Price edition [August 11, 2010]

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Wed
01
Sep

Some people think so. Owned by a super-wealthy industrialist and rented by Michael Jackson for a reported £60,000 a month leading up to his death, the Los Angeles mansion is apparently on the market for a whisker under £19m. Hypnotist Paul McKenna is celebrating a lucrative US book and TV deal.

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Tue
24
Aug

Blairs expand portfolio [Mirror]
Charlie Bruce buys in Beckenham [Mail]
On St John's Wood [Telegraph]
Buy now, buy later? [FT]
CGT damages BTL [FTAdvisor]
How much to set up an estate agency? [The Modern Estate Agent]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog

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Fri
20
Aug

Lily Allen's said to be looking in the south Cotswolds, possibly Stroud area, with £2m in her pocket. Meanwhile, Amy Winehouse is apparently back in Camden, after spending  £1.8m on a new home. More here.

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Tue
17
Aug

The story is that Jude Law and Sienna Miller have made an offer on that £4m six-bedroom Highgate townhouse they've been viewing for a while. More here.

Jude Law prepares for major redecoration in Little Venice [May 5, 2010]
Incoming celebrity alert - Highgate prepares for Jude Law and Sienna Miller [April 28, 2010]

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Fri
13
Aug

It was a party, apparently, to celebrated her daughter's engagement. The "Noise Patrol" apparently visited first to find "sound tests" taking place in the afternoon. They were back again at 10.45am, the next day, after more complaints from neighbours. Must have been one hell of a party. More here.

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Wed
11
Aug

20100811katieprice.jpg

Katie Price is selling her 8-bedroom Surrey home. She bought it in 2008, with Peter Andre, renovated it (it had previously been a retirement home), but headed out for the States shortly afterwards (and things soon turned bad with Andre). So it's got to go. It's in 1.3 acres, it's new, with a nod to Tudor, a nod to Gothic, a nod to the 30s, and it comes with an indoor swimming pool, and much less pink than you might expect. Guide price, £2.95m. Particulars here. Oh - and yeah - there might be a couple of sitting tenants.

 

20100811katieprice2.jpg

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Tue
20
Jul

Word is that Russell Brand's shifted his Hampstead Village home. No details as to the deal, yet. Meanwhile, Britney Spears' face looks like being a permanent feature in the giant wealth wet dream that is One Hyde Park. She's apparently bought an apartment there so she can reach out to her fans. For (an estimated) £20m she might have reached out and touched them more effectively by buying each of them a house. More here.

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Tue
13
Jul

20100713mayfair1.jpg

Once (part of) the home of John Adams, first UK ambassador to London and later the second president of the US, this Grosvenor Square three bedroom house includes Adams' music room (now the first floor reception room). Its central Mayfair location, its high-quality refurbishment, its courtyard garden and its special history make this a unique opportunity. The guide price reflects that... £8.5m, with Wetherells, particulars here.

20100713mayfair2.jpg

If these walls could talk... chick lit edition [June 23, 2010]

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Wed
23
Jun

20100623Chiswick

Two bedrooms, lots of light, nice internal architecture and a bed raided on perspex... bestselling chick lit author Adele Parks is selling her Evershed Walk (Chiswick) flat. It's with KFH, £1.295m. Particulars here.

20100623Chiswick2

If these walls could talk... are you pleased to see a US edition, or is that a gun in your pocket? [June 11, 2010]

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Fri
11
Jun

It's 226 West End Avenue, it's on the market for $30m and it used to be home to Mae West. The current owner appears to have picked it up for a bit of a bargain ($1.2m) in 2004. Here are some particulars.

[via Curbed]

If these walls could talk... the Spaced house [May 6, 2010]
If these walls could talk... Paula Yates edition [April 29, 2010]

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Thu
27
May

20100526Amityville

It's the Amityville Horror House... home of a real-life killing spree in November 1974, when Ronald DeFeo Jr killed his parents, two brothers and two sisters, and a subsequent (apparent) haunting, which drove out the property's new owners. The events inspired a book, and subsequent series of films. It's a Dutch colonial house in New York State; it's on the market for $1.15m. Buy it now. Be there in time for Halloween. Ignore the horror bus tours.

20100526Amityville2

[via Curbed]

If these walls could talk... the Spaced house [May 6, 2010]

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Wed
05
May

Apparently, Sienna Miller thinks it's time for an expensive spruce-up.

Miss Miller has even recruited the services of her former stepmother, interior design to the rich and famous, Kelly Hoppen.

Wonder if Law went for the beer can bong and PS3 look in her absence?

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Tue
04
May

That's two mansions in Fitzrovia, adding up to £6m, which he's going to open up into one giant palace. It's funny how a divorce can bring it all together... a fat cheque and some well-deserved creative success.

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Thu
29
Apr

20100428Stlukesmews

Thanks very much to the Rat and Mouse tipster who sent me this. It's 4 St Luke's Mews, in Notting Hill, the house in which Paula Yates lived, and died, in 2000. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a very trendy location off All Saints Road, and its own share of notoriety. It's with Bective Leslie Marsh; guide price, £1.75m; particulars, here.

If these walls could talk... Simon Day edition [April 6, 2010]

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Wed
28
Apr

According to this, they've got their eyes on a 6 bedroom, £4m period home in Highgate. Which property? We're not sure. Maybe this? If you know, please get in touch.

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Fri
16
Apr

We don't have particulars or an asking price yet, but the news is that Patsy Kensit's about to chuck her four-storey home, near Hornsey Lane, onto the market. More here.

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Fri
09
Apr

Nicky Haslam-designed Park Lane penthouse: £25,000 a week [City AM]
iPhone apps and celebrity stalking [Guardian]
Lovely Leighton House [Independent]
The election; your property [Times]
The bankers bid up Fulham [Times]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog, since 2005

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Tue
06
Apr

20100406Simon Day

It's a very nicely kitted-out two-storey, three-bedroom house on a cobbled mews in Primrose Hill, with more wood than Dirk Diggler. And it belongs to a British comedy hero... the Fast Show's Simon Day. It's with John D Wood, with a guide price of £1.45m. Particulars, here.

If these walls could talk... Daniel Craig edition [March 12, 2010]

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Tue
30
Mar

He's Doug Potts in Emmerdale... and he's also been Clifford on Acorn Antiques, Stan in dinnerladies, and a stalwart of many Royal Shakespeare Company productions. He's a terrific actor, but he's leaving London for Yorkshire, and his very nice (and very very nicely situated) two-bedroom Highgate apartment, with views over the heath, is for sale with Litchfields. The guide price is £799,950. Particulars here.

20100329Millfield

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The Althorp Estate has confirmed the biggest yardsale we've seen in some years. The stately home belongs to the Spencer family, it was Princess Diana's childhood home, and it's where she's buried. Artifacts for sale will include a Rubens portrait and 19th Century horsedrawn carriages. To be conducted by Christies this summer - it's expected to raise as much £20m. More here.

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Mon
29
Mar

Soon to hit the estate agents' window with a price tag of £2.5m. But - according to Price - there's a troublesome sitting tenant or two... ghosts... an old lady upstairs, and a different ghoul downstairs, tampering with her sunbed. More here.

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Thu
18
Mar

Why confused? Because they got the wrong house. Why American? Because they spray painted "Ramsay is a douche"... not a word your average London vandal could define, never mind spell. More - in fact everything except a reason to care - here.

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Fri
12
Mar

Thanks to the Rat and Mouse reader for the tip... "apparently" - and we're trusting you on this one - this is Daniel Craig's very lovely 4-bedroom mews house in SW7, complete with gym, cinema and conspicuously placed Tom Ford book. Guide price: £4.25m; particulars here.

20100312Daniel Craig

If these walls could talk... Max Clifford edition [January 21, 2010]

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Wed
10
Mar

Residents of Bolton are getting het up by Manchester United footballer Gary Neville's plans for a flower shaped eco-home on green belt land. Quotes - here - from a meeting in a Methodist church hall show how the message is in the subtext.

"Why do we have to have this dirty great big house because he has lots of money?"

You don't. You can still keep your little house. He gets to have the great big house. And that's possibly the problem. The use of the word "dirty" is interesting. This, from the architect's website:

Make has submitted a planning application to Bolton Council for a new eco-home which, if approved, will be the first zero-carbon property in the North West of England... The design team has worked closely with Peter Rolton, a key member of the Government’s advisory panel for renewable and sustainable energy, and the proposed scheme has already been identified as an exemplar project within the Government’s ‘Planning Performance Agreements for Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Schemes’ programme.

It just seems a shame to me that while Bovis gets to squat above the country, dropping these at will, innovative, eco-friendly architecture that tests technology for future use is made so difficult.

20100310Neville

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Tue
02
Mar

Courtney Love loves Hyde Park.

"I am going to move here. I am getting a house in New York and a house in the UK. A flat, anyway."

Between the second sentence and the third, presumably she typed W1 into Primelocation.

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20100301Anniston

Very nice. Jennifer will take you on the full tour, here.

[via Jake Bennett]

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Thu
25
Feb

I could link straight to a tabloid on this one, but that would mean missing out on the wonderful Divorce Diva divorce blog (I kid you, not), which says:

It has been reported that Ronnie Wood is selling his £7.25 million five-bedroom house for £5.8 million, as he needs a quick sell so that he can pay for his divorce settlement to ex-wife Jo Wood.

If we're right about this house, it's this, on Cheyne Walk, and he bought it a couple of years ago as an investment. (Not much of one, it turns out.) It's currently little more than a shell, with detailed planning permission for a substantial extension, including basement, sub-basement and pool. Click through to the particulars for its interesting history.

20100225Ronnie Wood House

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Tue
02
Feb

... she brought it home.

She persuaded hubby Chris Martin to shell out on replicas of its designer furniture for their lavish mansion in Holland Park.

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Wed
27
Jan

Back in 2007, we reported on plans by Declan "Dec" Donnelly to renovate his Chiswick home so that it would match the Chiswick home of Anthony "Ant" McPartlin, which can be found, conveniently, a few doors away. The neighbours weren't happy, was the story, and I'm not surprised. A whole street can be tainted by that kind of weirdness. I didn't think Dec would get away with it... but apparently - and a little bit creepily - he has:

Just so visitors can tell the difference, Ant's is on the left and Dec's is on the right - the positions the pair religiously follow in their public appearances.

And there's nothing like mock-Edwardian when you want everyone to know you've arrived.

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Thu
21
Jan

20100121Clifford1-1

If they could talk, we'd listen. It's a four bedroom bungalow in Walton on Thames's Burwood Park, and features a flash indoor swimming pool, a large garden and pink, white and siver-grey decor, presumably so a naked Clifford would appear completely invisible. It's with John D Wood, at £1.79m. Particulars here.

20100121Clifford2

If these walls could talk... big orgy edition [November 12, 2009]
If these walls could talk... they'd say "re-wind" [October 21, 2009]

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Mon
18
Jan

Apparently it's over a ten-foot high metal (no less) fence, she and husband Chris Martin want to build around their garden for security reasons. Mmm... the Pentonville look.

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Mon
11
Jan

It appears this was wrong. Lily Allen's just bought in north London, apparently, and is moving into interior design.

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Mon
28
Dec

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and you didn't receive any gifts involving either Jeremy Clarkson or John Barrowman. We're back and blogging, on a limited service, up until New Year.

This isn't London, but it's Brighton, which is kind of London, except saltier.

20091227Cate Blanchard-1

23 Lewes Crescent is a nice five-bedroom, Grade I-listed Regency townhouse, and the former home, we believe, of Cate Blanchett. Features? A sound-proof music studio (installed, we guess, by Blanchett's buyer Richard Stannard), gated gardens of seven acres (classy) and suede-covered walls (pervy). Guide price: £3.1m. Particulars: here.

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Tue
15
Dec

Here they are, the unthinking woman's idea of proper music... Blake. But baritone Stephen Bowman apparently hasn't thrown himself into the rock'n'roll lifestyle so competely he isn't still thinking about a bit of property investment. He's renting out his Notting Hill flat to foreign, short term tenants and - its seems - making a killing.

'I can charge 60 to 70 per cent more than usual letting rates when I make my flat available for short lets,' says Stephen. 'People pay more if they only want to rent a home for a few months because they recognise it is more hassle for me, but a lot cheaper than hotels for them.'

Where's he finding them? Facebook.

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Wed
09
Dec

Daily Mail readers, apparently.

I live on my own but my older brother, Gareth, lives in Islington so it is good to have family nearby.

For the love of God, please, no more...

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Fri
04
Dec

Rumours are circulating that the Beckhams are on the verge of some London house-hunting. David B. is tied to LA Galaxy until 2012, but the idea is that a return to the UK will follow, and the rumours surround he hiring of an interior design firm, suggesting purchase plans may be imminent. Interesting.

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Mon
30
Nov
Devotees of The X Factor may think they have died and gone to heaven when they hear that 15 West Heath Avenue, the modern house that this year's TV song contest finalists are sharing in Golders Green, North London, will soon be up for sale.

Six bedrooms, fingerprint entry, gym, media room and the lingering aura of Olly Murs loving up Stacey Solomon when they both should have been practicing their scales. Expected asking price? £6.25m.

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Mon
23
Nov

Head over to the Independent for a tour of the place Mika calls home, and reveals a few secrets.

From early childhood Mika would spend five consecutive hours dancing in his bedroom to Nina Simone, Michael Jackson and the Beastie Boys.

You see, it's funny how there are two ways to go from this starting point. One - the Mika way - is to become a big-selling and creative singer-songwriter. The other's unthinkable. Mika's South Kensington flat is surprisingly restrained and elegant by the way. See it here. Leona Lewis, meanwhile, is going. Rumour has it she's paid £1.8m for a nice LA villa. And you can that, here. Finally, over at the Star, the news is that Amy Winehouse has moved into a "boob clinic".

Amy Winehouse has set up house – in the hospital where docs fixed her boobs.

So? I could live in a boob clinic if I wanted.

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Tue
17
Nov

Could Stephen Fry - celebrity Twitter user as he's referred to here - be moving? He apparently commented to an invited audience, recently, that he's looking for an LA base near his old friend Bertie Hugh.

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Thu
12
Nov

20091112Russellbrand1

You see, this is why the Rat and Mouse loves its readers. Thanks to everyone who pointed me in the right direction (see directly below). One fellow blogger (you know who you are) even attached photos.

Without further ado... a lovely three-bedroom Hampstead Village house, somewhat contemporary inside, but you'd expect nothing else, since it's the party palace of none other than Russell Brand himself. We particularly like the use of inverted commas around yoga in the particulars.

The top floor bedroom suite currently serves as a generous and bright office or study whilst the 2nd bedroom is used as a 'yoga' room.

20091112Russellbrand2

If these walls could talk... Austrian Nazi edition [November 5, 2009]
If these walls could talk... they'd say "re-wind" [October 21, 2009]

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Word is that RB has just put his Hampstead home on the market, in readiness for a possible move, with girlfriend Katy Perry, to LA. We know this... it's four beds, three baths and a hot tub in the garden. Oh, and it's on for £2.5m. We've a few ideas about which one it is... but we're not confident enough to spill the particulars quite yet. Any information will be treated as anonymous.

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Fri
06
Nov

And in Belgravia, no less.

The air is thick with dust; I notice large streaks of it are smeared across the back of Trevor's overcoat.

Filthy bloody Bohemians.

Actually, Eve's apparently an amateur architecture nut, and is elbows deep in townhouse restoration. The Telegraph gets the interesting early viewing that should - by rights - have gone to the Rat and Mouse. On second thoughts...

There is nowhere for us to sit; Sharon, who starred in Holby City and played opposite Trevor in the most recent series of WTD, moves a builder's half-eaten sandwich off a large cardboard box. "Don't sit there," Trevor says. "That's a speaker." So we hover by the large bow window at the end of the room, and look out across the garden, which is the reason they bought the house in South Eaton Place 18 months ago. "We'd never seen a rear aspect like this..."

And that, after playing opposite Claire Goose in Waking The Dead... Anyway, it's an interesting piece, and there's the making there for a very fine Belgravia townhouse.

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Wed
04
Nov

Lisa Marie may well be on her way... seriously. It was several weeks ago when she broke it to the press.... picking London for its quality of life (things must really be tough in Beverley Hills). But, of course, we all know that Rule No. 1 when getting a nation's press onside is telling them you're definitely going to move to their country, you like it so much. Now, though, her Beverley Hills mansion - in which she's lived since Elvis' death - is reportedly up for sale.

Meanwhile, looks like she might have a lodger, in the form of ex-husband Nicolas Cage. The story here is one of woe... chased by the IR, foreclosed on a property in New Orleans, flogging his UK and German homes, homes on both coasts of the US, in what looks like a giant property fire sale.

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Wed
28
Oct

It's like the Hollywood one... but London, and it takes in famous London film locations, plus the homes, nearly homes, once homes of the stars. It also introduces visitors to some great British institutions.

During a recent tour of Notting Hill, the first stop was a block of flats that Madonna failed to buy; she was gazumped — a peculiarly English practice whereby a house owner raises the price of a property after agreeing to sell at a certain price.

Tour details, here.

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Fri
23
Oct

You're dead right, there. Pamela Anderson is apparently borderline broke after the mother of all home refurbishments. Gold tiles by the pool, a platinum floor in the sauna... her unfinished Malibu home has left her stuck in a trailer home, unable to pay the bills. She says, "I'm a little girl with two kids - how could you screw me?"

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Thu
22
Oct

20091022Madonna

[Via the London House Hound], Madonna's Sheffield Terrace rental - from where she house-hunted for two years, and was burgled while she slept - could be your rental, if you've £13,000 a week to spend. Particulars, here.

Meanwhile, Prince Harry's girlfriend has apparently been property-shopping in London. Chelsy Davy's daddy is said to have dropped £1.65m on a two-bedroom flat. Where? Don't know, yet. Suggestions welcome.

If these walls could talk... they'd say "re-wind" [October 21, 2009]

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Stacey Solomon? She's the X-Factor contestant who sings like a sophisticate before turning into the missing Catherine Tate character. Fans have apparently been making mass pilgrimages to her home, showing her their support by daubing "John and Edward forever" and "We love Lloyd" on her gate. Ah, that's nice.

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Wed
21
Oct

20091021Craig David-1

Craig David's former penthouse in Hampstead, yours for £6,000 a week. Particulars, here. (Mmm, something says aspirin.)

20091021Craig David2

If these walls could talk... Liz Hurley's Fulham flat [October 5, 2009]
If these walls could talk... Ingmar Bergman edition [August 13, 2009]
Craig David's hot tub - what's he got on his mind? [August 30, 2005]

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Mon
12
Oct

Don't be too impressed by Louis Walsh's or Cheryl Cole's pads in the sun - is the message, via the Telegraph, from Royal Villas Europe, who deal directly with royalty such as Louis Walsh and Cheryl Cole - they're just rentals. And if you're feeling particularly rich, and aggressive, and need of sun, you could pretty much go and buy them from under Walsh/Cole, because getting on for half the villas rented out are also for sale. Is it a piece aimed at Telegraph readers idly flicking through their bundles of notes while watching X-Factor? Or an ad for RVE? Meanwhile, on the terrifyingly expensive Wentworth Estate in Sunningdale, Bruce Forsyth and Graeme Souness are said to be involved in a head-to-head dance-off for Hollow Lane House, a £9m mansion in the contemporary classical newbulid style. More here.

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Fri
09
Oct

It's a slim three-bedroom house detached in Streatham... should she take advantage of current upward trends and sell while the going's good not bad? Or add it to their current rental portfolio, making a hat-trick? Details here, and if you can bring yourselves to care, drop me a line or comment below. Agent comments more than welcome.

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Thu
08
Oct

Madonna's latest boyfriend must be able to walk on water or something, because there's are stories that she's splashing out... a little gift here, a £1.7m New York apartment there. Lucky Jesus. Meanwhile, Guy Ritchie's employing his famous charm, admitting he still loves her and proving it by calling her retarded. Whatever works for you, I suppose.

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Wed
07
Oct

Not a double-headed celebrity, because that would be horrible. Two celebrities, each with one head. First off, Sean Pertwee is - they say - selling his five-bedroom Islington house (below). It's one of those nice townhouses with iron railings in Angel's Liverpool Road. It's with Foxtons, at £1.575m... particulars, here. Secondly, we're hearing suggestions that Amy Winehouse might be considering a move, after more neighbour-problems. It appears she likes to rehearse and record in the dark hours, when her neighbours like to sleep. So, where to next? Somewhere with a bit of space around it? Oh, and it better be cheap.

20091007Liverpool Road

Nice fish.

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There's been an update... here.

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A £1.13m mews house, paid for, apparently, in cash, by Mrs Blair. (No wonder they need protection.) According to this, it was bought for second son Nicky, and brings the Blairs' property portfolio to £11.94m.

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Mon
05
Oct

20091005Hurley

I was away on business toward the end of last week and missed "news" - in the Telegraph - that a signature Fulham venue of the 80s, Liz Hurley's flat, is on the market. It was where she lived when Hugh Grant first came a-visiting... no doubt driving a Golf GTI, and wearing brogues. It's a flat you can buy with confidence that few consonants have ever been dropped in the drawing room. The problem? Which is it? We're told it's with Douglas & Gordon, and it's for sale at £315,000. We believe it's this one.

UPDATE - DARN! WE BELIEVED WRONG... BUT A KIND READER HAS PUT US STRAIGHT. THE FLAT'S ON AT £295,000, AND IT'S HERE.

If these walls could talk... Ingmar Bergman edition [August 13, 2009]

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Mon
28
Sep

It's been a long-time in the making, but - according to sources - Elle Macpherson spent the weekend drinking bubbly (okay, she always drinks bubbly), doing some celebratory shopping (okay, she always goes shopping), bathing in milk (okay, you get the picture), because she's finally sold her Notting Hill home. For how much, we don't yet know.

If these walls could talk... Elle Macpherson's £2m price-drop edition [June 10, 2009]
Celebrities who don't sell [April 16, 2009]

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Fri
25
Sep

We're hearing it's been demolished... we hope the Lego's been donated to a good cause.

Campaign to save James May's Lego house [September 22, 2009]

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Thu
24
Sep

The Primelocation blog wonders why Jade Jagger's £1.5m Queens Park flat still - after a year - hasn't shifted. Could it be the strippers' pole (see where I place that apostrophe... the Rat and Mouse provides itself on an extravagant imagination) in the bathroom? Those things are expensive to install, you know? Particulars, here.

20090924Jagger

Celebrities who don't sell [April 16, 2009]

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Tue
22
Sep

20090922Jamesmay

The campaign to save James May's lego house is gaining ground, with 2,565 fans on Facebook. Quick recap... it's a two-storey house, created - with help from the public - by man-boy TV presenter James May. Legoland was going to buy it, but - perhaps scared off by a possible W-shaped lego house price crash - they pulled out of the deal, and the whole edifice will be torn down today if a new buyer can't be found. More here.

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Wed
16
Sep

We believe it's this.

20090916Mills

Three bedrooms and first-floor in the swish Allingham Court, on The Bishop's Avenue. Full particulars, here.

20090916Mills2

Heather Mills looking for flip [September 14, 2009]

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Mon
14
Sep

Bought, just ten months ago, for £2.35m. For sale, right now, for £3.75m. It's in "north London", it's a flat, and there's a large silver Buddha in the hall. We're still searching for the listing...

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Wed
09
Sep
Actor Stephen Baldwin sought voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July after lenders began foreclosure proceedings. Baldwin, 43, listed $1.1 million in assets and $2.3 million in debt in documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, New York. His home is valued at $1.1 million and the banks sought to recover about $1.2 million in mortgage loans, according to court papers.

Actors, sportsmen... they've all been caught short by America's property value collapse, according to Bloomberg.

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Tue
08
Sep

Agents report surge of interest as Stamp Duty holiday deadline nears end [Channel 4]
Eastenders' Dawn goes property shopping in Islington [Daily Mail]
Danielle Lloyd and Jamie O'Hara buy in Berkshire [The London News]
Robbie Williams's home is haunted [The London News]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

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Tue
01
Sep

Groucho Marx's Beverly Hills home is for sale... a Wallace Neff creation specifically for the actor/comic/writer. More here.

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Mon
24
Aug

According to this they're building a giant extension that will give their Belsize Park house a total of 33 rooms. It's about time those ghosts got rooms of their own.

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Colonel Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has bought a plush pad in Hampstead. Here's how the Mail on Sunday managed to paint a picture of a venue fit for a Bond villain:

The neo-Georgian eight-bedroom property bought by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi in a secluded road in Hampstead, North London, boasts a swimming pool, sauna room, Jacuzzi and suede-lined cinema room where he will be able to monitor world events.

... while stroking a long-haired white cat. He might choose to watch Laurel & Hardy films while he's in there, too, but they're probably right. He'll mainly use it to monitor world events. What's the country coming to?

Meanwhile, it gets worse. Over at the Telegraph, that final bastion of opera-loving, Jag-driving, University town murder-solving Englishness Inspector Morse has had his elegant home redesigned redneck-style by a bunch of hapless squatters:

Members of the Inspector Morse Appreciation Society regularly travel to see the historic house, which was once worth well over £2 million. But they have been horrified to find that the one-time delightful 19th century mansion now lies derelict with boarded-up windows and doors a far cry in from its TV heyday. The Polish squatters stripped valuable fittings from the house and have left its overgrown gardens strewn with discarded junk furniture and other rubbish.

Interestingly, the house isn't in Oxford, it's in Ealing.

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Tue
18
Aug

Meanwhile, across the border in Essex, classy Jack Tweed has left his landlady seemingly unimpressed by his avant-garde approach to interior design.

Jade Goody’s widower left a hookah pipe on his kitchen table along with air-rifle gas cartridges, which can be inhaled for kicks... women’s underwear littered around. The bathroom basin was spattered with dried blood.

Hasn't she heard of the William Burroughs look? Jeez... some people can be so bourgeois. It's pathetic.

Anyway, unless Tweed manages to blow a hole in his head with an air-rifle gas cartridge first, she's going to kick him out. Apparently.

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Mon
17
Aug

Neil Morrissey's property investment pain [Daily Mail]
Latest London cool tip... Victoria [Sunday Telegraph]
Energy Saving Trust proposes ban on doer-uppers [PropertyWire]
For sale in Hampshire... we like this one [link to particulars]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

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Thu
13
Aug

20090913Bergman

A special Swedish edition, and the island estate home of the great Swedish director. The property was designed by architect Kjell Abramson with input by Bergman, and Bergman lived there for almost 40 years. The small island and the estate also provided the backdrop to many key Bergman scenes. Particulars, here.

If these walls could talk... foreign edition [June 23, 2009]
If these walls could talk... Elle Macpherson's £2m price-drop edition [June 10, 2009]

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Tue
11
Aug

And includes some little known facts including:

Geographically, the mansion grounds are situated in the village of Windlesham; local residents help guide celebrity real estate tourists visiting Europe through their area by explaining that Updown Court sits at the centre of the "golden triangle" framed by Ascot, Runnymede, and Weybridge.

Ah, those good people of Windlesham, always at hand to guide celebrity real estate tourists visiting Europe.

Feeling horny? Forbes UK property porn special [January 26, 2007]

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Mon
10
Aug

Susan Boyle... all the glamour a city can take [Entertainmentwise]
Beckhams eye £10m Chelsea townhouse [Ireland Online]
Simon Cowell turns office top-floor into home from home [Mirror]
Richard Attenborough flogs stuff to create space [Guardian]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog, since 2005

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Mon
13
Jul

Sex attack in MPs' squat-house [Daily Mail]
David Tennant moves into north London tardis [Google]
Londoners are sticking about [Guardian]
Investing in property funds [Independent on Sunday]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog, since 2005

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Fri
10
Jul

It's a £3m north London townhouse, according to this. Elsewhere, we learn that, until relatively recently, she was kept unaware of her £10m fortune, presumably in case she went on some crazy splurge or something. As if.

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Thu
09
Jul

The Mail has been examining the Land Registry for the details of Boris Johnson's recent move.

His new neighbours include Angus Deayton, with whom Johnson appeared on the TV show Have I Got News For You, while pop star Lily Allen used to live around the corner. Boris bought the property from Daniel Done, director of a City recruitment agency.

Apparently, he shifted his previous Highbury home to his estate agent, and spent £2.3m on his new one, after knocking £600,000 from the asking price.

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Mon
06
Jul

Yesterday, as the removal men crunched the gravel to their modest little country cottage - complete with polo field, orangery and 100 Surrey acres - they tell the Mail on Sunday about the day buy-to-let turned bad, and how they feel and understand the pain of the British everyman, hit hard by the recession. Yes, they've lost their house. They're being forced to downsize... selling the house for a slim £4.5m profit and buying Chris Evans's old £6m pad. They aren't asking for sympathy, explains Anthea, which is good, considering Bovey took millions out of the failing company, which - with its tens of millions of pounds of losses - is now, via HBOS and then Lloyds - largely the taxpayers' responsibility. But who suggested they talk to the MoS? Especially after the publication's made its feelings about the Boveys known. Sometimes silence is golden.

Monday morning linkage - in a bovver [February 16, 2009]
Bovey hands Imagine to HBOS [October 13, 2008]

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Thu
02
Jul

Kelly Brook and Danny Cipriani property shop in Wimbledon [Daily Mail]
Hatchet-faced Dragons' Den star threatens pensioners [Telegraph]
Historic London property, a photo tour [Country Life Picture Library, via House Historian]
Three homes for tennis players [Telegraph]
Christian Candy to marry [Telegraph]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog

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Tue
30
Jun

That's a headline I never thought I'd type. But, according to the Sun, in a piece that quotes Spencer closely, he'd been employed by Michael Jackson to find a home for the singer and family while he played his forthcoming UK dates. He was close to getting the star to sign... after persuading some wealthy individuals to clear off and vacate their own pukka pads, but - alas - it wasn't to be. Spencer missed out on his fee. Ticket holders miss out on what would have been some historic gigs. We all miss Michael.

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Wed
24
Jun

Madonna plans Wiltshire mansion duplicate in NY... yeah, that'll work [The London News]
The PM's Top Ten Financial Blunders [Times]
Up-and-coming... Dalston [Independent]
Thank God, it's business as usual in Prime London [Forbes]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

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Tue
23
Jun

One in five threatened by negative equity [ITN News]
Buy the Stig's house... maybe [Daily Mail]
Victorian Society v Lewisham Borough Council [Culture 24]
Bargain hunting or profiteering? [UPAD blog]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog, since 2005

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Mon
22
Jun

Incoming celebrity alert - Pixie Lott [ContactMusic]
Beckhams to sell French property [LittleAbout]
And house-hunt in London [Sun]
Andy Murray buys Surrey mansion... no tennis court [PropertyTalkLive]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog since 2005

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Tue
16
Jun

First off, a celebrity price-drop: Dawn French and Lenny Henry's Berkshire house sheds £650,000 from its £3m price-tag, after failing to sell in almost a year. Particulars, here. Meanwhile, not too many tears shed, I'm betting, at news that Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to take a financial kicking when he sells his Cheshire mansion to move to Madrid. Could lose as much as £600,000, apparently. He's unlikely to notice. The most bizarre sleb property story of the day, however, must be this:

Kate Moss' home could be dubbed as a smoker's paradise after the supermodel was reported to have up to 200 cigarettes on display at all time.

Mmm, a pack of Marlboro Lights on every coffee table... classy.

The 35-year-old further reportedly had a special tennis ball with holes for cigarettes to stick out from to oblige visitors looking for a smoke.

What?!

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Mon
15
Jun

Sienna Miller's painful price-drop [ContactMusic]
Prince Charles' blow against creative architecture [Guardian]
Buy-to-let and the cannabis farmer tenants [Guardian]
House prices and the north/south divide [Times]
London flats on a (£175,000) shoestring [Telegraph]
Vendors feel they have the whip hand [Times]
The best ftb mortgages [Citywire]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

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Thu
11
Jun
"I got a call from a property finder asking if I'd meet one of his clients at the Lanesborough hotel to discuss my house. I had a riding lesson that afternoon, so I tipped up at the hotel at 7.30pm wearing my jodhpurs, and was taken to the seventh floor where, unbeknown to me, Nicole Kidman was waiting."

I don't know about you, but I bloody hate it when that happens. Six years ago, it was Jennifer Aniston demanding a look inside my Hammersmith terrace house... and I was still in my clown outfit. Before that, imagine the look on Teri Hatcher's face when she wanted to talk Putney apartment, and got a glimpse of my Richard Nixon mask.

Anyway, the Telegraph's interviewee learnt the hard way that you can't deal with the stars. Unlike Aniston and Hatcher, Kidman didn't call security, but she did strike a deal and then walk away from it when she got pregnant. Apparently. So, the (seriously special) £12m Belgravia mews house, which might have belonged to Kidman, is for sale. For details, go here, and follow the links to 12 Grosvenor Crescent Mews.

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Wed
10
Jun

20090610Macpherson1

It hit the market last summer at £9.5m. Now the six-bedroom, five-bathroom, Ladbroke Gardens Grade II-listed townhouse is with a new agent, and marketed at £7.5m. A 20%-ish drop since the top of the market... sounds about right. All-important particulars, here.

20090610Macpherson2

If these walls could talk... London gangster edition [May 22, 2009]
If these walls could talk... Beckham house redux [April 28, 2009]

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Developer in hot water for bulldozing historic Wanstead building [This Is London]
Glenda Jackson: Social housing policy can beat the Fascists [Independent]
Tweetlister: tweets your property [Tweetlister]
Footballers who lose on property [Realestateweb]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

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Thu
28
May
Meanwhile celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and wife Jools have decided rather than moving from their £3million Primrose Hill terrace in London, they’ll just buy the one next door and knock through to make way for their third daughter, Petal, born seven weeks ago.

According to the Mirror, the new property will total 19 rooms.

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Fri
22
May

20090522London Gangster

Love the Godfather print above the fireplace... it's what you might call a cheeky little interior design conceit, except not in front of the owner, unless you don't mind walking home with your face in a carrier bag. Because the house belongs to Terry Adams of The Adams Family, Clerkenwell's near-legendary organised crime outfit. He's been in prison since February 2007, so it's about time the house was sold, and the proceeds used to pay off Adams' debts. You can read more here (apparently the property was extensively bugged by the police, so the new owner might want to consider a bit of a sweep before moving in). The particulars - which, perhaps not surprisingly, make no reference to the property's celebrity ownership - are here.

If these walls could talk... Beckham house redux [April 28, 2009]

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Tue
12
May

Nothing. Apparently.

If these walls could talk... Beckham house redux [April 28, 2009]
Update on the Beckham house [November 18, 2008]
Celebrity caché adds £650,000 in Leytonstone, apparently [November 17, 2008]

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Mon
11
May

According to the Daily Mail, there's bin-a-bit-a-bitchin' on the Western Morning News letters page, regarding Kirstie's Homemade Second Home. She is, according to a local man, adding to the affordable housing crisis in the region, without giving anything back to the community. Not so, says Allsopp, who replies on the page listing a whole group of local community bodies that he should approach and ask to find out whether Kirstie's mucking in.

"If after conversations with these people he still feels I make no valid contribution to the local community ... then I will happily reimburse him the cost of his correspondence."

Presumably she thought twice about offering to eat her hat.

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Tue
28
Apr

According to Now Magazine, Guy Ritchie's just bought a four-storey townhouse a couple of hundred yards from Madonna Mansions. It makes sense. He'll be able to see his kids easily. Watch people coming and going. Keep an eye on the place when it's empty. Pick up the mail. Feed the cat. Water the plants.

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20090428Beckham House

First it appeared on Gumtree, with an asking price of £850,000. We scoffed, until we heard about a £1m bid from an anonymous Austrlian football fan. Now, David Beckham's one-time family home - a three bedroom terraced house in Leytonstone - is on the market again, and it looks like we were right to scoff. Lot 57, to be auctioned Monday May 11, guide price £215,000.

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Thu
23
Apr
Lohan says: "I like Notting Hill a lot. I also often stay with a friend in Chelsea. I'd move there tomorrow. I prefer London of New York. The people are less judgemental."

The other reason, apart from the non-judgemental peeps in Notting Hill? Getting away from the paparazzi. Holy shit, I'm speechless.

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Fri
17
Apr
"There were two things I could become - an estate agent or a politician. Those are the only two jobs for people who know nothing."

Don't beat about the bush, Mr Moss.

Actually, he turned landlord, amassing tens of millions in property, and 43 London tenants, according to the Independent profile. There are some interesting details about his own gaff, too... a £3m plus house behind Hyde Park Corner, replete with gadgets, including a carbon fibre (yes, F1-manufactured) lift and a motorised table that rises and falls from the ceiling. Very boys' toys.

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Thu
16
Apr

Check out this interesting list of celebrity property, hanging around on the portals like a bad cold... including Elle Macpherson's Ladbroke Grove townhouse and Jade Jagger's exotically-furnished three-bedroom house in Queen's Park. The full list, here.

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Mon
30
Mar

News is circulating about Michael Jackson's rented base during his UK concert dates:

The eccentric singer is reported to have paid £1 million to rent a large country house near the edge of an ancient 22-mile maze of haunted passageways.

Ah... lovely, romantic, Gothic Bromley.

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20090330Spyschool2Dowman's Farm, in Coberley, Gloucestershire, is the former home of Frederick Winterbotham, RAF officer and distributer of intelligence gleaned from Bletchley Park's Enigma. In fact, according to this, what is now the breakfast room may have doubled as a spy school. The farm is for sale, in three lots, adding up to just over £5m, and including a selection of farm buildings and several hundred acres. Particulars here.

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Fri
20
Mar

Heathwood, 8 Wildwood Road, Hampstead is where Elizabeth Taylor was born and lived until the age of 7, in April 1939. Before that, it was home to painter Augustus John. Three-storeys, double-fronted, in two-thirds of an acre and overlooking the Heath, it's very nice. It's with Glentree Estates, guide price £5.5m. Particulars here. More about the Taylor connection, here.

If these walls could talk... Mrs Hugh Hefner edition, the house next-door [March 12, 2009]

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Wed
18
Mar

We recently highlighted the Matthew Wright's subterranean woes, as the baggy-eyed presenter gets little help sleeping from a Camden neighbour's basement extension work. Now there's news that Camden Council - smarting at being forced to give way to refused planning applications at appeal - is considering tightening up the rules after a significant increase in interest in extending underground.

It suggests that all subterranean extensions should be of "modest" size and descend no deeper than three metres. That policy will be tested later this month when the council rules on plans for a 35ft double-height project in King's Street, Primrose Hill. The local conservation area advisory group "objects strongly" to the plans, citing fears about the risk of subsidence to neighbouring properties.

Celebrity burrowers mentioned in the piece include Ricky Gervais (underground pool in Hampstead), David Cameron (digging down in North Kensington) and hedge fund manager Chris Rokos (counting room, Kensington Square).

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Mon
16
Mar

The extraordinary story in the Mail on Sunday of TV and radio presenter Matthew Wright's Camden nightmare, as his neighbours embark on a basement extension, and he's forced to give up a radio show because he can't get enough sleep to function, and face repairs to his own property.

The excavations have also caused damage to my property, which I believe will cost thousands of pounds to put right. The wooden floor in my living room has come an inch away from the wall it once abutted. Chunks of plaster have fallen off my walls.

So what's this... just another celebrity abusing his position to moan in a paper? No. Actually, the thrust is about the downside of the Government's new, short-red-tape, fast-track approach to planning, in a market that favours improvement over sale. It's an interesting read.

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Fri
13
Mar

According to this, "a girl can dream" and Julia Roberts is dreaming about moving to London so she can have a proper crack at West End theatre. What's she waiting for? Her kids to grow up.

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Remember this, a 2008 casualty of the property slump... when a tasty £35m deal on Khan's Chelsea Square property renovation fell through, costing her £15m? There's apparently not been much action since, either, and the latest is that she's given up, removed the property from Aylesford's listings, and moved in.

Was Jemima Khan really "robbed"? [September 15, 2008]
Whoops - just bought another house... [May 3, 2006]

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Thu
12
Mar

20090312Hefner

A whisker under $28m buys the seven-bedroom mansion next to the Playboy Mansion, and - presumably - at least the possibility of a party invite. The house has been occupied by Mrs Hefner, who moved in there after separating from Hugh. We can't imagine what her grounds for separation might have been. More here.

If these walls could talk... Anthony Hopkins edition [February 24, 2009]
If these walls could talk... Enoch Powell edition [February 16, 2009]

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Wed
04
Mar

While the Mail on Sunday apologises, after a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission, to Daniel Craig for publishing a photograph of his new house and rough details of its location, Marie Claire doesn't seem too concerned about devoting a page to Amy Winehouse moving into her new home, complete with long distance photographs of Winehouse wandering around dressed solely in a pair of pants. Can that be right?

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John "my behaviour was at times inappropriate" Leslie turned to property development after his TV career was cut short by some of that inappropriateness. Now, he's apparently attempting to double his money during a slump by spinning the wheel of fortune on an Edinburgh ex-nursing home he bought for £1.25m two years ago. Will he get £2.5m? Some local market experts believe so.

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Tue
03
Mar
‘She found a Regency-style four-bedroom townhouse in a middle-class, suburban area in Barnet. At around £1.4million it wasn’t cheap but Amy can afford it. Janis wants Amy close to her, so she can keep a strict eye on her daughter.’

At least that's what a "source" tells Now Magazine. (I don't actually read Now Magazine. Honestly... my robe was open and I just fell over and somebody happened to have left it lying there... )

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Mon
02
Mar

Blairs investigated for running business from residential let [Mail on Sunday]
You can take Clive Owen out of London... actually you can't [Press Association]
Mail on Sunday apologises to Daniel Craig for identifying his London home [Guardian]
NY Times "cheap skanks" sell photos of Lily Allen's London home to OK! [Independent]

The Rat and Mouse - twittering here

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Tue
24
Feb

It's on Castelnau, just across Hammersmith Bridge, in Barnes. It's a one bedroom flat, with high ceilings and a spacious look. It was also - apparently - once home to Sir Anthony. Price: £395,950. Particulars: here.

20090224Castlenau

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Wed
18
Feb

According to the Sun:

Soccer ace Frank Lampard has confirmed his split with ex-fiancée Elen Rives by putting their £8.5million townhouse up for sale.

Anybody know who's selling it? A link to the particulars would be appreciated.

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Mon
16
Feb

It's the South Eaton Place townhouse owned by the late controversial politician until his death in 1998. Powell's widow sold the property to its current owners. It was also where he was living when he made his career making/ending Rivers of Blood speech, and was fired from the Conservative front bench. Continuing on the political theme, it overlooks Blunkett's ex-grace and favour home. Three bedrooms, three bathrooms, three reception rooms, £3.65m. Particulars here.

20090216Powell

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Tue
10
Feb

20090210Artesian1

They're here, spending £4,000 a week on a three-bedroom Artesian Road address (which also happens to be for sale... hands in pockets for £2.795m).

20090210Artesian2

[via Homes & Property]

Incoming celebrity alert - Paris Hilton's property rampage [February 2, 2009]
Incoming celebrity alert - TomKat [January 22, 2009]

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Mon
02
Feb

It wasn't four months ago that we were reporting that Paris Hilton had been spotted snapping up brothels in the east... now - according to this - she's just bought in Camden. Keep going Paris, the London property market needs you.

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Thu
22
Jan

The Mirror's "Gossip Girls" have the scoop.

It seems Katie, who has just completed a successful run on Broadway in All My Sons, is keen to tread the boards in the West End. Tom, who lived in Notting Hill for two years when married to Nicole Kidman told us: “It would be a fantastic move. Katie was absolutely brilliant on Broadway and to work in the West End would be a joy.

Estate agents will be excited... between them, the pair could singlehandedly revive London's prime market. But we, at the Rat and Mouse, are skeptical... Hollywood celebs PR-ing movies by telling Londoners how much they love the city? Heard it before.

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Tue
20
Jan

The Penrith cottage - where Withnail and the (never named) narrator went on holiday "by mistake" - is up for sale, through Savills, asking price £145,000. It's apparently pretty much unchanged since filming, although it's attracted its fair share of graffiti from fans of the film. So it's in a state, and planning permission is necessary before it can be made habitable. It's also remote. But it's a proper piece of cinema history.

More here.

If these walls could talk... Simon Cowell's ex edition [January 14, 2009]

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Mon
19
Jan

She's back from Australia, she's £3m in her pocket, and a dad who's a partner at Behr and Butchoff in St Johns Wood. Dani's looking for a bargain, but her dad - sensibly - has started talking up local market.

Just before Christmas they experienced a sudden rise in registrations that has continued into January, fuelled by the recent drop in interest rates.

Love it. Family's family but property, that's business.

But Dani - who's smarter than the average Behr - doesn't give up that easily. Click here to read more as she looks around one of her father's properties, then brands it "pokey and dated".

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Wed
14
Jan

20090114Colinette

Sinitta's selling her Putney six-bedroom house. The Colinette Road property has six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a garage, a big garden and the very nice glass-walled dining room above. It's on the market for £3.95m. Particulars here.

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... for Tony Blair. According to this one of the Blairs' Connaught Square neighbours has just sold their (identical) house for £4.3m, that's £650,000 above what the Blairs paid in 2004. According to the agent, houses are holding up well, particularly on the Blairs' side of the street, where the properties are larger and wider. He also suggested the Blairs' neighbours might be profiting from the presence of the former PM, as the new owner was attracted to the increased security in the area.

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Tue
06
Jan
For the past five years, dressing-room banter among the Premier League stars has focused on how to jump on the bandwagon of rising house prices and emulate the fortune amassed by shrewd soccer veteran Robbie Fowler from unglamorous investments which include a street of cheap terrace houses in Oldham. But now the talk is of tumbling values, collapsing development firms, the fallout of the Icelandic banking system and failed deals.

The Mail examines Wayne Rooney's investment in developments in Aldgate and Whitechapel, via the Formation Group, which specialises in advising wealthy sports and showbiz stars what to do with their copious cash. Building work is being funded by Iceland's Heritable Bank. The Aldgate building (above Aldgate East tube) is apparently under threat. Other footballers have invested in property in the US and Dubai, as well as a range of property for investment and personal use closer to home. But it's not the footballers who are taking the property crash to heart the most. How about former super-middle weight world champion Glenn Catley, who doesn't sound too impressed with financial advice from well-known property investor Jonathan Power.

I'd like to rip Power's head off and spit in the hole.

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Mon
22
Dec

Probably the one X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke is said to be sharing with runner-up Ruth Lorenzo. Pity the neighbours.

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Thu
18
Dec

20081218Vale

An eight-bedroom semi-detached house with parking, in The Vale, off The King's Road, owned by the estate of Severin Wunderman, the man behind Gucci watches and Corum, and a man with unique taste. Giant gold-leaf ram's head? Check. Gothic hobbit house guest accommodation? Check (and pictured). Skulls on shelves? Check. Wunderman, who described himself as being fascinated with death, died last spring. The house was originally being marketed at £15.5m. It's guide price is now £10.5m. It's with Hamptons. Particulars here.

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Fri
12
Dec

Thanks to the Rat and Mouse reader who drew my attention to this. Keira Knightley has apparently spent £2.3m on a Shoreditch townhouse.

“Keira was fed-up of West London. She wanted to move somewhere more bohemian and arty."

Really? Is Shoreditch still bohemian?

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According to this, he's thinking of studying design at Louis Vuitton's London HQ, but he's also applied for internships virtually everywhere else, and - no doubt - every report contains a plug for his own clothing range. Nor is it the first time he's claimed to be London bound... remember this?

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Tue
18
Nov

Perhaps we were being a little cynical. According to this, the owners have already received a £1m bid from an Australian Beckham fanatic. But really??!!

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Mon
17
Nov

So, this three-bedroom terrace in Leytonstone is under offer, somewhere around its asking price of £204,995. But this three-bedroom terrace in Leytonstone is on Gumtree with an asking price of £850,000. The difference? The second one used to be home to David Beckham. Here's the blurb:

20081117BeckhamA THREE BEDROOM HOUSE WITH BATHROOM TOILET AND GARDEN IN LEYTONSTONE THIS HOUSE IS FOOTBALLER DAVID BECKHAMS FIRST HOUSE HE LIVED IN BEFORE MOVING TO CHINGFORD THE THROUGH LOUNGE HAS WOOD FLOORING LOOKING ON TO THE FRENCH WINDOWS AND THE GARDEN WITH A FITTED KITCHEN AT THE BACK OF THIS LOVELY TOWN HOUSE IN LEYTONSTONE THE TUBE TAKES 20 MINUTES TO THE WEST END ON THE CENTREAL LINE AND IS IN ZONE 3 LEYTONSTONE AS MANY FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO WERE BORN HERE DAVID BECKHAM SIR ALFRED HITCHCOCK DAVID BAILEY JONATHAN ROSS TO NAME A FEW IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A OFFER FOR DAVID BECKHAMS FIRST HOME CONTACT COLIN [telephone number removed]

Potential for a Beckham museum perhaps?

[via Estate Agent Today]

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Tue
04
Nov

According to X-Factor winner Leona Lewis, not only can you not take Hackney out of the girl, you can't take the girl out of Hackney. According to Virgin music news, she's in the process of buying the flat she's been renting.

Leona said: "We were renting it but the landlord was like, 'You have to get out now.' I talked him into selling it to me. When you're settled it's hard to move."

But why was her landlord about to kick her out? What kind of landlord wants to kick a tenant out when they clearly have the funds to pay the rent? Was this a buy-to-letter in trouble?

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Fri
24
Oct

I know, we did this whole thing yesterday, but I couldn't help wondering at the logic of this headline from the Site of the Year 2008.

20081024Brothel

Instead of what? Buying a new one?

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Thu
23
Oct

I've got to be honest... here at the Rat and Mouse we were of the firm belief that Paris Hilton's move-to-London chat was worth about as much as a handful of salt. There's nothing like babbling about a possible house purchase to make Londoners love you. But - according to this - she's done it... a £850,000 east London property that was once a Chinese restaurant, opium den and brothel... presumably at different times, but not necessarily. We haven't an address, but we're hopeful.

Meanwhile...

The U.S. Embassy on London's Grosvenor Square, the scene of riots in 1968 in protest against the Vietnam War, has been put up for sale following the decision to relocate to a site south of the River Thames.

If these walls could talk... Cold War edition [October 17, 2008]

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Thu
16
Oct

It's an apartment "in a house near Regent's Park"... and it cost in the £4m region, that's all we know. The Standard found another connection. It's...

... close to flats designed by the real-life Goldfinger.

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Wed
08
Oct

Not just Reese Witherspoon but her partner Jake Gyllenhaal. They're apparently viewing in Mayfair.

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Mon
06
Oct

Coombe Cottage, in Borrowdale (the Lake District), is being sold by Vivian Russell, garden photographer and ex-wife of Ken Russell. The house has apparently been graced with the presence of Cliff Richard and Felicity Kendall, and if that's not enough it's also where KR developed Clouds of Glory and Mahler. It's an interesting cottage, dating back to the 1860s, and it's with Cumbrian Properties, listed at £625,000. Particulars, here.

If these walls could talk... Ronnie Barker edition [September 16, 2008]

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Thu
02
Oct

According to a poll by Principality Building Society, here's your list of celebrity neighbours from hell, or heaven.

Neighbours from hell:

  1. Amy Winehouse
  2. Pete Doherty
  3. Naomi Campbell
  4. Heather Mills McCartney
  5. Kerry Katona
  6. Ozzy Osbourne
  7. David Guest
  8. Paris Hilton
  9. Gordon Brown
  10. Paul Burrell

I know, I know... the houses I've rejected because Paris Hilton's gaff's next door. For your favourite celebrity neighbours, click to keep reading.

***UPDATE: WHY'S GARY GLITTER NOT ON THAT LIST?!***

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Mon
22
Sep

It's a big repo-casualty in Holland Park, ex-home of troubled dot com gazillionaire Robert Bonnier (nostalgia here, latest here) and returned to the possession of the bank, after failure to pay the... drum-roll please... £8m of mortgages.

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Thu
18
Sep

Rumours of a Paris Hilton London property purchase have been circulating ever since the Rat and Mouse was just a Kitten and a Pup (sounds weird, doesn't it, but it's right). Back in May, she was apparently moving to London because of the men, their "cute little accents and their manners". Now, it's not just the blokes, she's extending her love to every one of us, because we're just, like, so real.

"London is my favourite city in the world. I love their accents, their attitude," the Daily Star quotes her as saying. "They are so real, they are not fake."

You're so right, Paris, and the realness and not fakeness starts right here, baby. She says she's looking in St John's Wood. Who knows, perhaps she'll fall in love with a well-mannered, cute-accented St John's Wood estate agent, like James here, buy a house from him, get married, and scatter a little stardust on this havoc-blasted London property market.

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Tue
16
Sep

Oxf050801 01
Dean Mill, Dean, nr. Chipping Norton was bought by Ronnie Barker 27 years ago. A six-bedroom country house in about 10 acres, it's seen some parties and played host to visits by the cream of British comedy. Mrs Barker's currently selling the place. It's with Knight Frank, with a guide price of £1.3m. Particulars here.

If these walls could talk... big Tory edition [August 15, 2008]
If these walls could talk... Notting Hill edition [August 12, 2008]

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Mon
15
Sep

Okay, PropertyWeek.com's on the side of the deal, and there's nothing wrong with that, but was Jemima Khan really "robbed" after her buyers pulled out of their deal and cost her £15m of profit? The story concerns this purchase, made a couple of years ago, and her subsequent renovation and extension of the Chelsea Square property. She was about to sell, apparently for £35m, when the buyer developed cold feet.

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Fri
15
Aug

20080815Parkstreet
The late Sir Ian Gilmore's Old Isleworth home - a mock-Georgian mansion on Park Road - is for sale. Gilmore edited and published the Spectator in the 50s, was Defence Secretary in the days of Edward Heath, and Lord Privy Seal for Thatcher, before a high-profile falling-out in the 80s. He had lived at Ferry House for more than 50 years, and the property has hosted visits by many of the big names of British politics. According to the Times, it's looking a little ramshackle in places, but it's big and has a fascinating history and superb location. It's with Savills, listed at £3.75m, and particulars (pdf) are here.

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Thu
14
Aug

The New York Times tours director Roland Emmerich's Knightsbridge apartment and finds a stuffed zebra, a 25ft Mao, giant murals painted by the man who reproduced the Louvre's art works for The Da Vince Code and...

... dioramas with scenes of notorious events like the actor Hugh Grant’s encounter with a Hollywood prostitute and the torture that took place at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. “People can spend an entire evening discussing a film,” [interior design] Mr. [John] Teall said, explaining what some might consider obsessive attention to detail. “I liked the idea that a house might inspire the same” reaction.

More here.

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Wed
23
Jul

And I thought I was the only person in the world to have noticed this extraordinarily undignified piece of marketing. In fact - I was so taken aback by its pure shamelessness, I couldn't help a sneaky, astonished admiration for the blush-free PR:

20080722Pimp

Over at the Guardian, Marina Hyde had no such admiration:

Just occasionally, one receives a press release that contrives to distill everything one hates about a certain stratum of "public life" into a single document.

Marina's goat was so thoroughly got, she dialed the PR agency concerned...

... to congratulate them on perhaps the most witless and inaccurate example of the genre this week. "Thank you," says the woman who answers the phone, and who is clearly unfamiliar with the words witless and inaccurate. "I meant to call anyway," she continues chirpily.

Youch!

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Mon
14
Jul

Joanna Page is apparently something of a keen btl-er, with a new-build in Crystal Palace, another in the Olympic zone, and a terraced house in Lordship Lane. Home is a house in Dulwich. Interviewed here, she sounds happy with her London property investments... although less enamored of some Welsh bricks and mortar.

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Thu
10
Jul

Her Camden neighbours have had enough of her "antics", they say, and are campaigning to the council to have her evicted. One of them, quoted here, has apparently been filming her frolics and fisticuffs, and will be handing the evidence over to Camden Council shortly. (What's that? The sound of half a dozen newspapers opening their cheque books?)

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Mon
07
Jul

Said to be on the point of moving into a £20,000-a-month Mayfair rental... a hub for his family while he films a Robin Hood movie with Sienna Miller.

Mon
23
Jun

According to this, Rachel Weisz has just bought in London, picking up a £3.5m house in Primrose Hill; and Reese Witherspoon is in Notting Hill, staying with Jake Gyllenhaal, who's currently filming here. There's still time for Hollywood to save the London property market.

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Mon
09
Jun

He is, according to The First Post, and he's looking at a £3m, six-bedroom house in Canonbury. Not only that, but a £3m, six-bedroom Canonbury currently belonging to "a staunch Labour Party supporter". The Rat and Mouse wishes the agent tasked with this particular negotiation luck.

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Fri
06
Jun

It's a very interesting read. There are two quite distinct points to be made: one, about the expenses system in general as they relate to property; two, about the Blairs' specific mortgage claims. On the first, the Rat and Mouse has always seen the logic in MPs needing two bases - a constituency home and something close to the Commons - and it's clear that the job of constituency MP shouldn't be limited to individuals with enough private wealth to provide two properties. So there needs to be aid courtesy of the tax payers. What the Rat and Mouse has never been able to understand is why the people should pay the interest on the mortgage, but the MP should walk away with the property and any capital gains the property might have made during his/her period of service. So-called "grace-and-favour" homes - rent free properties, owned by the state, used by the MPs - would surely be fairer to all concerned. Or at the very least some system of recovering assisted mortgage payments from capital gains when the properties are sold. The Evening Standard piece shows how the Blairs' current property portfolio has been built on an expense-assisted initial purchase. On the second point, the newspaper has been dredging through Government papers made available via the Freedom of Information Act. Apparently, it didn't take long - because most have been shredded "by mistake" - but what the article suggests is the following. Constituency home, bought 25 years ago: £30,000. Cost of renovating (according to Ms Booth's autobiography): roughly £30,000. Mortgage serviced by the tax payer: £90,000. The tone of the piece is extraordinary:

In the letter, Mr Blair says: 'I understand the Fees Office has agreed to honour claims made on the original mortgage amount of £90,449.73 up until November 2009, when the original mortgage was due to end.' All of this poses a number of questions. First, the couple spent £60,000 in buying and renovating Myrobella, so why was Mr Blair claiming expenses for interest on a mortgage of £90,000? Of course it may be a legitimate claim. The rules allow a remortgage to fund essential repairs or improvements, but alas, no supporting documentation appears to exist in the public domain.

Head over and watch the comments.

Why do we put up with this? [May 27, 2008]
More MP pigs at property trough [February 5, 2008]

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Fri
16
May

She was in town launching a new perfume, when she apparently mentioned to Metro:

"You know, I just love British men. I love their little cute accents and even more their manners. That's the most important thing."

What? Where's she been? She later goes on to talk tentatively about a future London move. We're skeptical.

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Tue
13
May

No, not Kevin Rowland, Kelly Rowland - one of the other ones in Destiny's Child and a different prospect all together. Apparently, she was seen at Mamilanji on Saturday night, where she tested the piano and a DJ pal tested the decks. All were in order, and so she's now testing property in Chelsea. Estate agents... scramble!

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Fri
02
May

20080502Wells

It's 12 Fitzroy Road in Primrose Hill, the former home of author HG Wells, and thought to be the place where he at least started work on War of the Worlds (remember the references to the area?). It's with John D Wood, and a guide price of £3.25m buys you three reception rooms, four bedrooms and two bathrooms in one of the capital's most sought-after areas. Listing here.

[via the Times]

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Mon
28
Apr

Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich has submitted plans to build an eight-bedroom palace in Knightsbridge. It would stretch across eight stories, joining to Lowndes Square townhouses... which Abramovich has gradually bought up, apartment-by-apartment, since the late 1990s. If it goes ahead, it's likely to become the UK's most expensive residential property, with a value of around £150m.

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According to yesterday's Sunday Times, Blair's capitalising on the economic meltdown he's left in his wake by going property shopping... a little premature in the Rat and Mouse's view, but perhaps he knows what he's doing. According to the piece, one of the properties on his list is Pophleys, a 16th Century farmhouse in Stokenchurch near High Wycombe, and the former home of Jethro Tull flute-hero Ian Anderson. It's on the market for £5.25m... although I can't find a listing anywhere...

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Wed
23
Apr

Talking to Empire magazine:

"The natives of England are sort of being left behind because the big money came in and if it wanted something it bought it and made a bigger fortune doing so. And as anyone who has tried to buy a house in central London knows, it's almost impossible to do so unless you have 10 million quid."

I know... I know... tell me about it... less than ten million quid and it's a bloody Transit van and a matress. But what can you do? It's those Russian oligarchs and American pop stars. More here.

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Wed
16
Apr

The Daily Mail carries a feature about Abi Titmuss's London property exploits, which have apparently seen her turn lads' mag shoots into £2m of London property... which she hopes will provide security while she shifts her focus to the serious stage. Meanwhile, Kylie Minogue is said to be checking out a Tudor mansion "in the idyllic British county of Sussex".

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Tue
01
Apr

20080331Frank

Rio Ferdinand invests in the Caribbean [Telegraph]
Trump's $45m Park Avenue apartment, check the illustrations [link to particulars]
Terri Seymour's new Hollywood Hills home [link to particulars]
Milla Jovovich lived here... for sale, $2.4m [link to musical particulars]
Mary J Blige's $5m markdown [NY Daily News]
Frank Sinatra's hideaway, $4.995m [pictured, link to particulars]
The latest on the Michael Jackson foreclosure auction [the Real Estalker]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog

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Wed
19
Mar

The Independent talks to novelist Charlotte Mendelson about her Dartmouth Park home. Where? It's near Highgate; it's leafy and nice. Mendelson - who's a proper novelist - talks the property talk with surprising fluency:

We'd made offers on various houses in Tufnell Park, which is nearby, but our hearts hadn't really been in them. They were mostly compromises, or they were horribly overdeveloped – lots of downlighters and strategically placed tiny shower-rooms.

That's what they say... every novelist has one estate agent in them.

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Mon
17
Mar

It's not a place I generally frequent, but ToryDiary at ConservativeHome is worth a glance this morning, regarding a Freedom of Information request about cleaning costs at Admiralty House. The story is that it cost £3,320 to clean the place after John Prescott had occupied it. What the hell had he been doing in there? Did it involve Rizlas and alcopops? Was he made to forfeit his deposit? More here.

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Fri
14
Mar

An interesting piece in the Tribune about the super-discreet property search agents who find homes for celebrities. Except, they're not so super-discreet we don't learn in the first sentence that...

Madonna likes to low-ball sellers. George Michael may not show up for meetings.

Apparently, in London you might have to sign a confidentiality agreement before viewing a property with a celebrity connection; and when the celebrity is the buyer, he or she only deigns to visit the property just before signing, letting trusted assistants nabe-scope instead. But their need for discretion isn't purely motivated by privacy...

"We all know what they are worth," said Carlos Riveros, a high-end specialist with Chesterton in London. "That's a disadvantage." Last year, the owner of a London row house did not even reply when Madonna, his neighbor, submitted a bid hundreds of thousands of pounds below his asking price, according to an agent familiar with the deal.

Read it here.

Fame costs - and right here's where you start paying [June 25, 2007]
Celebrity property addendum - exploit your fame [February 21, 2007]

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Wed
12
Mar

The Independent get a guided tour. Cornelia Parker's an artist. Her home is on Old Nichol Street, Parker gives some interesting history about the neighbourhood's less salubrious past, before Shoreditch House and successful artists arrived. Apparently, it's:

... said to be the root of the term "nicked", due to the number of criminals working around here. In 1880, it was deemed so run-down they bulldozed these streets. If you look at maps from that period, there's literally a blank space around here! Even now, if you keep an eye on an abandoned car, you'll see it will soon get stripped and then you know not to park near it, as it will be torched next.

A little harsh? She lives in an old print works, with a solar panel on the roof, but worries that surrounding building will cut off the light. It's an interesting piece.

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Thu
06
Mar

According to the Daily Mail, Bruce Willis has been viewing a £30m penthouse in Park Lane. The rumour is he's about to settle down with his girlfriend, and Mayfair is where he wants to do it. Good choice, although exactly what Willis sees in the 29-year-old lingerie model he's dating we just can't work out.

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Wed
05
Mar

The Mirror reports on Kate Moss's interior design makeover, which is said to include life-sized skeletons in the missionary position (and not this missionary position, apparently). [Note to personal assistant... order three skeletons first thing tomorrow, one of them a transsexual. Anything she can do, The Rat and Mouse offices can do better.]

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Thu
28
Feb

Forty million pounds of it, according to this. The property's in Holland Park, it was once the Burmese Embassy, it's been a home for the blind, by the end of 2008 it's likely to be one of the UK's most talked about trophy homes. Cowell is the latest celeb - after everybody's favourite estate agent - to extend downwards. Plans include an underground swimming pool and car park, and will comprise 21,000 sq ft.

Going underground [September 18, 2007]

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Thu
21
Feb
"I’m still living in an hotel. We have looked at houses and it’s a lot more expensive than it is up north."

Millionaire Spurs star Jonathan Woodgate balks at London property "stupid money". More here.

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Thu
14
Feb

I've scoured the Sotheby's website but to no avail, so if anybody else can lay their mouse on the particulars, I'd be keen to hear from them. The story is that Sotheby's are marketing the Green Street (Mayfair) top floor flat rented for the Beatles by Brian Epstein in the autumn of '63, shortly after She Love You. It's the only property the Beatles stayed in together, and it's featured on the cover of The Beatles Book ('63 edition). Guide price: £1.75m.

UPDATE - THANKS TO MARK IN THE COMMENTS... A LINK.

If these walls could talk... Naked Chef edition (February 8, 2008]

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Fri
08
Feb

It's the Chequer Street house made famous by Jamie Oliver in his very first TV series. It's over three floors and has been expensively modernised with five plasmas and fibre optics, and comes with a garage. The famous spiral staircase remains, but my memory of The Naked Chef isn't good enough for me to be able to tell whether the kitchen's changed. It's with Stirling Ackroyd and it's POA (of course, if somebody would like to apply and let us know, we'd be all ears). Particulars here.

20080208Oliver

If these walls could talk... George Bernard Shaw edition [January 30, 2008]
If these walls could talk... Peter Pan edition [January 15, 2008]

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Thu
07
Feb

The Telegraph takes a tour of celebrity cake meister Eric Lanlard's modern Battersea home. Lanlard's the man behind Madonna's wedding cake and Brooklyn Beckham's first birthday cake. The apartment, all glass and steel and timber, packs a white grand piano, a specially made deep purple carpet and a hot tub. Go here, for the details, and pictures.

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Tue
05
Feb

Thanks to the Rat and Mouse reader who alerted me to this cracking tale of right honourable greed. Tory man-and-wife MPs Sir Nicholas Winterton and Ann Winterton have managed to get their trotters on £165,000 of Commons expenses for a £700,000 second home with zero mortgage. How've they managed that? They've taken the home out of their own name and into a "family trust", benefiting twice... avoiding any future inheritance tax when the property would have been left to their kids, and claiming £30,000 a year in "rental", tax money paid into the family trust to benefit their kids. Clearly, there's nothing illegal about this. But is it right? Sir Nicholas - challenged by the Standard - can't see why not:

He said: "I am not dishonest. We don't own the flat, because once it is handed over, it becomes the property of the beneficiaries of the trust [his children].
"I see nothing unethical or wrong in it. It was agreed by the Commons Fees office – I happen to rent a property that I bought outright."

Let's hear that again, Sir Nicholas:

"I happen to rent a property that I bought outright."

One of two things is happening here. He's either being disingenuous. He can see the problem, but chooses to pursue self-interest at the expense of ethics. Or, he really can't see why buying a house and paying his own family rent from the public purse is a problem. Either way, is this a man suited to making law?

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Mon
04
Feb

The rumours were that Prince Andrew had been forced to give Sunninghill Park in Ascot away at a bargain price of under £6m. But the Sunday Times have had a look at newly released Land Registry figures and discovered that the Prince somehow managed to secure no less than £15m, in a sale to a Kazakhstani business man. The property was a present from his mum on the occasion of his wedding. Beats a toaster. Since then he's managed to see his ex-wife off for just £300,000 and lives rent-free in Royal Lodge in the Windsor Great Park. Which all just goes to show... not so useless after all.

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Mon
21
Jan

It's all - according to the Daily Mail - about education:

I'm moving to Britain because it has the best education system in the world – who knows? My son may end up at Eton. At the moment I'm living between Somerset and California, but next year we'll move to London permanently because the British teaching system is second to none.

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Thu
17
Jan

According to this, Gwen Stefani's London-bound, to support husband Gavin Rossdale as he does a bit of UK career promotion.

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Wed
16
Jan

According to the Daily Mail (and everything that means) Kate Moss managed to alienate her new St Johns Wood neighbours even before "a fleet of pantechnicons arrived with her belongings, including a mattress, lampshades and an outdoor setting", by indulging in a certain amount of raucousness at a friend's pad, just down the road. The Mail goes on to chat with a number of Moss's new neighbours, and learns that angry local residents have already contacted their MP and the police. Blimey.

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Mon
14
Jan

According to this trip around 61/2 Redington Road in Hampstead, it's had half the Arsenal team sniffing around its fingerprint entry system, floor-to-ceiling glazing and Ralph Lauren bed. It's a remarkable place... four bedrooms, John McAslan and Partners design, double garage... with Quintessentially Estates, guide price £6m (although I can't find any sign of it on their website... if you want pictures, go here for the Telegraph slideshow). It's apparently not so remarkable it hasn't been on the market for a while, though. Here's a piece from June, and the Times, welcoming the property to the market.

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New England manager Fabio Capello is, apparently, house-hunting; and if rumours are true he's taken a shine to Sven Goran Eriksson's old Regent's Park mansion. Don't do it, say the fans. That place is cursed!

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Fri
21
Dec

It's Keira Knightley... opting for the quiet life.

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Thu
20
Dec

Don't burn your house down this Christmas [FinancialAdvice.co.uk]
China continues to bail out Western banks [Reuters]
Detroit suburb in foreclosure battle [World Socialist Web Site]
Orlando Bloom annoys neighbours, paints house black [The London News]
First-time buyers to prop up market [Telegraph]

The Rat and Mouse - because Londoners think about property every three seconds

Wednesday afternoon linkage - Rabbit fails to apear from hat [December 19, 2007]

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Fri
07
Dec

He's over here promoting BEE MOVIE, and - according to this - he's thinking about staying:

"Since I've been here I've been talking of a lot of people about it. I think it's a great idea. I'm going to definitely look into it. The audiences here are great and I haven't been here for a long time. I think it might be fun."

Serious, or just polite? The Rat and Mouse remains skeptical.

That's it from me until Monday. Do something different this weekend.

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Tue
04
Dec

It was the venue for a high-profile drug overdose and police raid, but it's recently been empty while Winehouse stays in Bow and her husband stays in jail. Now - according to this - she's bought in the East and the Camden pad will hit the market.

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Fri
30
Nov

Excited agent ends every sentence with an exclamation mark! Melissa Etheridge's "country English estate"... in California, $4.995m [link to particulars]
Olsen Twins to sell New York five-bedroom penthouse, $11.9m [New York Observer]
Bruce Willis spends $4.26m on New York apartment, takes out $3.408m mortgage [New York Observer]
Sold. Beverley Hills home to Burt Bacharach in the 1970s, listed at $3.495m... [Berg's Big Time Listings]
Ugly Betty's Michael Urie pays $749,000 for Hollywood condo down the corridor from Tara Reid [Berg's Big Time Listings]
Is it something he said? Tara Reid's leaving [The Real Estalker]
Richard Dreyfuss's other life as a property developer [LA Times]

The Rat and Mouse - because Londoners think about property every three seconds

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Thu
29
Nov

20071129Love

"Ideally, I'd like a house on the green, near the theatre. It's just such an awesome place to hang out."

The rumour is that she's planning a permanent move to London, and that she's fixated on Richmond. The Rat and Mouse has made some tentative enquiries on her behalf, and finds that the options are very limited. She could just choose any house, grab the owners by the hair and hurl them howling into the night. A more conventional route, via Knight Frank, reveals this, not too far away from the awesomeness of The Green. It's currently three apartments, but it could easily be returned to its original and grand period shape. It's listed at £5m. Otherwise... agents... the ball's in your court.

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Mon
19
Nov

Only in London:

The price of £18m may seem a lot for a maisonette, but it is a third less than an equivalent home would cost on Chester or Belgrave Squares.

It's the Sunday Times on the subject of Bayswater. Jimmy Choos in. Claudia Schiffer in. Ilaria Bulgari in. Sally Croker-Poole, who? The point of the piece is that Bayswater prices have risen 40% since January - which would have made for some happy hookers if they didn't all rent - and estate agents concur that what we're seeing is a long-awaited gentrification. It is - in the words of search agent Robert Bailey - "becoming sexy".

20071119Bayswater

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Wed
14
Nov

20071113Love-1
The answer, if rumours are to be believed, is Kate Moss-messy. The story goes that Love failed to make an offer on Moss's north London home because the house was just too much of a tip... scratched wooden floors, depressing colours, old plugs. The Rat and Mouse never understands this mentality... you're buying a house not a life. Buy, then redecorate. But Love apparently didn't think it was worth the effort or the money, even after Moss offered to throw in a valuable painting of Sid Vicious hanging in the bathroom. What's she been doing in there?

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Mon
12
Nov

Rumours that Johnny Depp was about to buy in Norfolk proved to be pretty much off the mark, with news that he's forked out for a Victorian hunting lodge in...er... Somerset. The home cost £1.3m, but he's apparently spending a further £2.5m in improvements... the swimming pool, tennis courts, helipad type of improvements.

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Fri
09
Nov

Beat it! Michael Jackson's Neverland in Santa Barbara foreclosure report [Implode-o-Meter]
Martin Scorcese spends $12.5m on Upper East Side [Berg's Celebrity Real Estate Blog]
Meanwhile, on the Upper West Side, Bruce Willis drops $4.26m [Berg's Celebrity Real Estate Blog]
There's oil under Tom Ford's house [AP]
What does £150m buy you on Madison Avenue? Leonard Blavatnik knows [The Real Estalker]
Here was there. Now he's gone. And £1.5m richer. Kanye West in Beverley Hills [The Real Estalker]

The Rat and Mouse - hungry for house news

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Mon
29
Oct

The Sunday Times congratulates Labour minister Barbara Follett on her good fortune... a millionaire novelist husband, £120,000 in public money to keep an essential London home and a nice little buy-to-let London earner, a stone's throw from the Commons.

20071028Socialism

The Folletts' property is equitably distributed between London, Hertfordshire, Cape Town and Antigua. More here.

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Wed
24
Oct

20071024Grammar

Scary Spice tells husband what she wants, what she really really wants [London News]
Malibu Castle - familiar to fans of Rockford Files everywhere - casualty of California fires [Luxist]
Kelsey Grammar's Bridgehampton home - "epitome of traditional luxury" - epitome of $16.1m [illustrated above, link to Sotheby's listing]
Lost's Terry O'Quinn's "impreccable celebrity retreat" - yours for $2.75m [link to particulars]
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Trump Tower apartment, listed at $22.5m [Berg's Big Time Listings]
Noah Whylie pays $1.8m for four-bedroom house in Solvang, California [Berg's Big Time Listings]
What kind of two-bedroom home costs $6.35m? The kind Leonardo DiCaprio buys [Radar Online]
"African fantasy penthouse meets a Las Vegas high roller suite"... Lenny Kravitz tries to squeeze $19.5m out of Crosby St. condo [the Real Estalker]
If these walls could talk... Marilyn Manson's "suburban dreamhouse"... for sale, yours for $1.1m [illustrated below, the Real Estalker]

20071024Manson

The Rat and Mouse - because Londoners think about property every three seconds

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Tue
23
Oct

It's vanished, gone from Knight Frank's listings, with just this ghostly hint at what was, on Nestoria:

20071023Moss-1

But when you click it, you get nowhere...

Lucky the RealEstalker got the scoop here.

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Fri
12
Oct

Rumours of a certain rankling over at Connaught Street are currently focussing on the always-edgy subject of parking. Apparently, fellow residents have received a letter asking how they'd feel about giving up a nine-metre stretch of prime parking real estate for Blair-only use.

Blairs need to learn neighbourly diplomacy [July 23, 2007]
Blairs' Connaught Square neighbours start to feel the heat [July 16, 2007]
Connaught Square's message to the Blairs: You're not welcome 'round here [June 25, 2007]

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Thu
11
Oct

20071011Garland
20071011Garland220071011Garland3

Pitt, Jolie house-hunting in Manhattan [New York Post]
They might have to gazump Jessica Simpson [TMZ.com]
Ex-Judy Garland (1940s), ex-Sammy Davis Jr (1960s) Hollywood Hills home, sells for whisker under $3m [illustrated, Berg's Big Time Listings]
Kanye West, reported window-shopping [Real Estalker]
Billy Joel redefines "minted" by buying $13m neighbouring home after recently spending $17m on current pad [Berg's Big Time Listings]
Christina Aguilera paid $11.5m for The Osbournes venue [Berg's Big Time Listings]
One Madison Park... now home to Naomi Watts, Liev Schrieber, Susan Sarandan, Tim Robbins... [link to particulars]
Gisele Bundchen's two-bed NY condo... $10.9m [link to particulars]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about their house

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Wed
10
Oct
My home is very colourful. I have added vinyl strips to the floors – a cheap solution, as we had taken out the carpet and were at a loss as to how to cover it without any money. Also there is a lot of industrial tape on the walls in striped patterns that acts as wallpaper. The telephone is covered in masking tape. It looked horrible before.

Right on... the Blue Peter approach to interior design, as practiced by fashion legend Julie Verhoeven in her south London flat.

The loo is one of my favourite rooms... I covered the walls in black-and-white photocopies of pictures, mostly from the 1970s, and fashion prints and music pictures, and then I added fluorescent pink. I have unusual art pieces in my house. Some white crutches I made for an exhibition rest against the fireplace in the sitting room, and there is a bear holding a huge industrial whisk in the hallway. And I have a massive trainer from an exhibition at the bottom of the stairs.

Okay, now you're weirding me out. Haven't you heard of Ikea? Two hundred quid and a lift from a friend with an estate car and you could have a normal flat.

On the subject of interior design and sticky-back plastic, have you seen this Blue Peter guide to re-creating the Simpsons' lounge out of cardboard boxes, cotton wool, straws and felt? Marvellous, But what do you do with it afterwards?

20071010Simpsons

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Mon
08
Oct

It's Winslow Hall, in Winslow, Buckinghamshaw, and it's thought to be the work of Sir Christopher Wren. It was described, earlier in the year, as the ultimate trophy house and the Rolls Royce of English domestic architecture, in the Times. The agent has described it as a property of national importance. It was clearly under offer back in June. The latest is that Savills have confirmed they've shown the Blairs around. No offer, though, as yet. Winslow Hall is on the market at £3m.

20071008Winslow

Blairs need to learn neighbourly diplomacy [July 23, 2007]
Blairs Connaught Street neighbours start to feel the heat [July 16, 2007]

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Wed
03
Oct

The New York Times takes a peek at New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's three-storey Cadogan Square apartment. Apparently, it's kitted out by designer Jamie Drake and contains original works by Warhol, Jasper Johns and Henry Moore. Bloomberg apparently bought the apartment back in 1997, for £2.8m, with a 26 year lease. Earlier this year, he paid a further £3.5m to extend the lease until 2113. It sounds to me like he's got himself a bit of a deal.

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Thu
13
Sep

20070913Biba
Once home to Biba creator Barbara Hulanicki, this 4-story townhouse in Kensington Park Road still features the odd nod to the fashion icon, even though she hasn't lived there since the 1980s. Check out the kitchen units... hmm. It's with Foxtons and it ain't cheap... this big house (with a garden and conservatory) is listed at £3.4m, here. Click through to the particulars for a cornucopia of photografia.

If these walls could talk... Derek Jarman edition [September 6, 2007]

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Mon
10
Sep

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Foxtons founder Jon Hunt has started spending his £390m, by drawing up plans for an eccentric extension to his Kensington Palace Gardens home. Eccentric? Like Mole, he's extending in a downward direction. Plans for his giant multi-storey extension - 50 feet below his lawn - include a giant sports hall, swimming pool, sauna and classic car museum. The cost will, they say, amount to tens of millions of pounds. What's strange is that a perusal of the plans lodged with the council reveals they've been around since 2005. Go there now for a host of entertaining drawing and floorplans, including what appears to be a "car lift" to the museum (very Thunderbirds); a "Security Room" (very sensible) and two men with their underpants lowered to their thighs staring at each other (very Tales of the City). In all seriousness, the Rat and Mouse congratulates Hunt on a daring and fascinating proposal. And who wouldn't want to be around to see what's uncovered by the diggers if/when they begin work at such a historically significant address?

20070910Gothegayway

[via the Sunday Telegraph]

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Fri
07
Sep

20070907Usher
Steffi Graf's Miami home, listed at $3.5m [link to particulars]
Hulk Hogan sells Miami Bearch mansion to director Michael Bay [Miami Herald]
Faye Dunaway's your landlady, her little West Hollywood retreat [The Real Estalker]
Marie Osmond (ask your parents) lists Utah home for $1.2m [link to particulars]
YOU can rent Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' Beverley Hills mansion from October... if you've $100,000 a month to spare [Celebrity Houses Blog]
Christine Brinkley's Bridgehampton mansion, back on the market, price tag: $30m [New York Post]
Peace up! A town down! Usher's Atlanta palace, yours for $1.95m [illustrated, The Real Estalker]

20070907Usher2
The Rat and Mouse - occasionally London's not enough

International celebrity property round-up - James Cameron, Paris Hilton, Gisele Bundchen, Ricky Martin, Nicky Hilton, Johnny Depp, Ellen Degeneres, Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise [August 1, 2007]

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Thu
06
Sep

20070906Phoenix
A fourth-floor studio apartment on Charing Cross Road, charing the building with the Phoenix Theatre, and home - through much of the 1980s and 90s - to writer-director Derek Jarman. There are rumours, too, that the flat was once occupied by Christine Keeler. Unfortunately... no hint they ever lived there at the same time, but imagine the parties. 19 Phoenix House is remembered in Jarman's diaries, as a creative hothouse where he wrote and produced much of his work. It's with Chesterton, at £325,000. Particulars here.
20070906Phoenix2

If these walls could talk... Carry On edition [July 19, 2007]
If these walls could talk... Elton John edition [July 16, 2007]

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Mon
03
Sep

She's been working in London, and according to this she's already started house-hunting. Whereabouts, we don't know. If you think you've the scoop, send it our way.

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Fri
24
Aug

The rumours are that Britney's planning on fleeing LA for London... some kind of tactical move in her custody battle.

[via tmz.com]

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Wed
01
Aug

20070731Parishiltons
Nicholas Cage buys Bath castle [Sunday Times]
James Cameron's titanic, 730 acre Malibu ranch, listed at $25m [Celebrity Houses Blog]
Four bedrooms, four bathrooms, one Paris Hilton (not included), $4.25m, viewers screened [illustrated, link to particulars]
Want Gisele Bundchen as your landlady? Stump up $30,000 a month [Celebrity Houses Blog]
Ricky Martin's Miami Beach "mediterranean masterpiece": $16.9m [link to particulars]
Nicky Hilton buys $3m Hollywood Hills mansion [Celebrity Houses Blog]
Johnny Depp moves to downtown LA - or helps publicise downtown development? [The Real Estalker]
Ellen Degeneres' Hollywood home: $1.995m [link to particulars]
Celebrity handover: Rob Lowe to Tom Cruise [Celebrity Babylon]

The Rat and Mouse - selling property crack on the streets

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Tue
31
Jul

2007073125P
Mr Cent... I know exactly where you're coming from. Except I'd have to add the tubes are a cxxt. Apparently, 50 Cent is hot to become 25 Pence and find a place in Marylebone.

I have a top guy searching for the perfect house for me right now beside the Landmark Hotel, where I always stay. I love the Marylebone area, it's great around there.

Right on, 25. Here you go, mate:

Marylebone - property for sale
Nestoria - UK Property Search Engine

[via SoundGenerator]

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Over 50 celebrity homes, over 70 film locations, over 20 musical landmarks... it's the London Star Map.

20070730Starmap

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... which you can find here.

She owns a smallish landlocked house at the end of xxxxx xxxx in St John's Wood but rents a flat locally if she's having any work done in her house. The number of the house is xA so perhaps that's why it seems that it is an apartment.

I can tell you a couple of intriguing particulars about the house if that's what she's selling and if it's of any interest as I have been there a few times.

I don't blame her for moving on from there, it's easy for anyone to track down her address and she lives at the end of a t-road. Her only escape is through the front door and gate as the site is blocked in at all sides. I can't imagine why she'd bother with the hassle of selling it, she could just buy another house locally and leave her assistant there.

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Thu
26
Jul

Doesn't it bring it home to you? I mean... it hardly seems real until it effects somebody off the telly. If you thought hundreds of thousands of people without drinking water sounds bad, yesterday it was TV chef Anthony Worral-Thompson who was worrying about his farm near the Thames in Henley, and Virgin chief Richard Branson's Kidlington estate was partially submerged. More here.

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Wed
25
Jul

In brief... because I'm about to leave for meetings... it's Kate Moss - and who can blame her? She's apparently selling her flat and looking for somewhere, in St John's Wood, that's more private. A link to particulars, as always, welcome.

[via ShowBizSpy]

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Mon
23
Jul

He's likely to be moving in with girlfriend Kirsten Dunst now that his Camden home has... er... collapsed.

A main wall inside his home in Camden, North London, had collapsed leaving the place looking like a "bombsite". Johnny is said to be so fed-up, he wants rid of the place altogether. He and 25-year-old Spider-Man star Kirsten already have their eye on a £5million townhouse nearby.

[via the Mirror]

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Apparently, the Blairs' new Connaught Square neighbours haven't exactly had their concerns laid to rest since the couple moved in.

One of Blair's neighbours Dr Shella Arora was approached by a cop with his gun pointing at her while she was parking her car outside her apartment.

Dr Arora is a 72-year-old ex-GP. The policeman apparently asked her why she was parking her car outside the apartment. She explained that it was because she lived there. The policeman couldn't think of any more questions. There's been more gun-pointing, too... enough for residents to be concerned that one of them might be shot by accident. Blimey, if this was a council estate in Manchester they'd be looking at serving the Blairs with an ASBO.

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Thu
19
Jul

20070719Carryoninthegarden
It's a five-bedroom home in Harrow-on-the-Hill, listed with Savills at £1.75m, and it comes with a double-hit of celebrity. The current vendor is Kay Burley - of Sky News fame. It was previously owned by Kenneth Connor, of Carry on Matron (and a whole belly-laugh of other Carry On films).

[via Daily Telegraph]

If these walls could talk... Welsh edition [July 17, 2007]
If these walls could talk... Elton John edition [July 16, 2007]

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Tue
17
Jul

20070717Monkeys

We're not afraid of living in London.

Good for you. The Rat and Mouse might be a bit alarmed about moving to Sheffield.

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Dylan Thomas's former home, Sea View, in Laugharne in Carmarthenshire, was picked up for £232,000 at an auction last week. The new owner, architect Graham Milsom, plans to restore the house to the way it was when Thomas entertained TS Elliot and Arthur Miller there in the last years of the 1930s. More here.

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Mon
16
Jul

20070716Elton
A two-bedroom, two-bathroom let, on Pembroke Road between Kensington High Street and Cromwell Road... apparently rented by Sir Elton John and David Furnish during 2005 when their usual Holland Park pad was being refitted. It's 2,450 sq ft, and rents for £2,000 a week. For more details, go here.

If these walls could talk... 17th Century hooker edition [June14, 2007]

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They knew it was never going to be easy. But, perhaps, the Blairs' new Connaught Street neighbours were hoping there'd at least be a little settling in time to soften the blow, before the ex-Prime Minister's presence started to impinge on their everyday lives. Well, he's been in his new home just over week, and they've apparently had their parking bays suspended.

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Wed
11
Jul

The story is that she's tired of Hollywood and her boyfriend - Essex model Paul - is tired of having to jump through hoops to find parts for his pimped out white Astra - so what's stopping a move to London?

[via Fametastic]

Incoming celebrity alert - P Diddy yo! [July 9, 2007]

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Mon
09
Jul

And why does it matter? Because the Telegraph reports that on March 19 he transferred ownership of the property (valued by a local estate agent at £700,000) into his wife's name. Tories point out that - should he decide to rent the flat out - the change in title will save the Browns up to £7,000 a year in income tax... (Mrs Brown is "resting", Mr Brown would pay tax at the higher rate). It's all legal, of course, and entirely sensible. But it still has the potential to leave the Rat and Mouse feeling a little queasy.

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Pssst. Mr Peerless... a tip:

I’m looking to buy a place in London at the moment. I just love this city, and I seem to be spending so much time here that it seems like the logical thing to do. Ideally I’d like to live in Soho, although I guess it might be a little noisy.

Thank me later...

[via this]

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Mon
02
Jul

The Daily Mail have done the research and put together a fascinating history of the Blairs' new Connaught Street home, including interviews with previous owners.

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Mon
25
Jun

20070625Fame
According to Tracy Kellett, of BDI Home Finders, fame costs homebuyers, in particular. In her previous role as an estate agent she claims to have watched a "well-known daytime TV presenter" pay at least £200,000 more than they should purely because the vendor recognised their face and assumed they could afford it. Now a search agent, she's working as the buffer between the vendor and the celebrity. No doubt she's scrupulously discreet... but we'll start working on her shortly nevertheless.

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20070625Mad
Remember, back in March, we reported on this Great Cumberland Place house: ten bedrooms, four bathrooms, five reception rooms, a balcony and a party wall shared with Madonna? It was on the market for £5.75m, and the vendor was property developer Paul Davies. The news is... it's been sold... to Madonna. We can't - as yet - speculate on the price; but Davies is the ultimate shrewd operator, and Madonna is said to have spent eight months negotioting with him and fighting off interest from Mario Testino and Jennifer Saunders (separately... they're not, as far as we know, a couple). Whether Madonna intends to "knock through" or turn landlady isn't clear.
20070625Mad2.

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On Friday, we reported that Blair will be allowed to move into Chequers, at the taxpayers' expense, while the builders finish off at Connaught Street. Apparently, it'll only be a couple of days. (Haven't we all head that before?) Today it turns out that it's not just the Prime Minister but the Deputy Prime Minister, too, who's reluctant to give up some of the residential perks that go along with the job. It was controversial enough that John Prescott kept his Admiralty House home even after he stopped running a government department. Now - it turns out - he gets to keep it, even though he's no longer Deputy Prime Minister. Read it here.

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An extraordinary petition has been sent to Westminster Council, signed by the residents of Connaught Square, suggesting that the Blairs shouldn't count on a warm welcome when they (finally) move into their new home. The Daily Mail appears to have got hold of the text:

Headed tersely: "The Blair Family In Connaught Square", it highlights residents' anger that they will be at risk and have been told nothing about the proposed security measures which could cause chaos in the secluded Square.

The petition reads: "It has been suggested that to protect the Blairs it may be necessary to:

• Prevent vehicles and unauthorised pedestrians entering the west side of the Square, where the Blairs live.

• Turn part of the Square into a gated community, policed by armed guards.

• Prune or cut down some of our magnificent old plane trees for Prevention of Terrorism reasons.

• Have a police helicopter hovering above the Square."

The letter goes on to state that they feel they are being put at unreasonable risk and inconvenience simply to make room for one family, and so the Blairs shouldn't move in. The Blairs - still - apparently plan to attend the Connaught Square garden party. Should be a riot. Literally.

[via the Daily Mail]

More Connaught Square news

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Fri
22
Jun

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker wasn't amongst those getting all damp-eyed at the prospect of Tony Blair's farewells, yesterday. Baker's eyes were on the Blair's country residence prize... apparently, the builder's are, ahem, behind schedule readying Blair's Connaught Square home, and it's somehow been agreed that Blair will move into Chequers at the taxpayers' expense (of £1,738 a day). According to the government it will only be for "a couple of days" (£3, 476). And that forecast is from where? Presumably, the builders... and if Blair's colleagues are really that naive, no wonder the PM's managed to run riot for a decade. The house remains sheathed in scaffolding.

[via the Daily Mirror]

Blairs win Connaught Square planning permission [May 4, 2007]

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Wed
20
Jun

Ex-LA Lakers cheeleader, ex-choreographer, ex-singer Paula Abdul might become an ex-American. After hanging out with her American Idol pal Simon Cowell, she's apparently professed a liking for a little London living. More (or less) here.

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Wed
13
Jun

20070613Jfk-2
It's a Buckingham Place, Westminster townhouse... eight bedrooms, a terrace and a garden (note to non-Londoners: gardens in this neighbourhood are rare as travelers' teeth), and it's weighing in at a hefty £4.85m. It also comes with an elegant bit of history. It was previously owned by JFK's sister-in-law, the superbly named Princess Radziwill, and was Kennedy's London martini-pad of choice during his presidential years. Particulars, courtesy of Knight Frank, here.
20070613Jfkhall-2

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Wed
06
Jun

It's an amazing place - an old farmhouse, apparently, with three acres - in... wait for it... Highgate. Okay, it's a little kitsch:

In the bathroom downstairs we have a Marilyn Monroe doll that sings " Happy Birthday". Actually I think she looks rather like Princess Diana. They said when they were clearing out her stuff they discovered she had an Erasure CD, which I was touched to hear. I am quite into Fifties movie idols, we also have a black and white screen in the sitting room – Audrey Hepburn on one side and Marilyn Monroe on the other – to suit your mood.

But the house - painted in Frida Kahlo-inspired tones - sounds remarkable. Read it here. More about Erasure here.

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Mon
04
Jun

They say Irina Abramovich is considering blowing £35m of it on a 20-bedroom home in Belgravia Square. But check out the divorcee bitterness comment underneath the story:

Goodness me, Roman Abramovitch (£8bn+) must have had a good lawyer. I wish that he/she had worked on my behalf during my divorce.

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Thu
31
May
While I love handbags and shoes, I think it's more important to have a place to call home.


More news and thought, on her blog.

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Wed
30
May

20070530Dolphinsquare
It's a ninth floor, three-bedroom apartment in Pimlico's Dolphin Square and, according to this, he already knows who his neighbours will be:

Members of the prince's police protection team will take residence in neighboring apartments.

Apparently, Dolphin Square residents were informed of the Prince's imminent arrival via an announcement in their residents' newsletter.

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Fri
25
May

20070525Fiftyc1
Notorious Farmington, Connecticut mansion, once owned by Mike Tyson, now sold by 50 Cent [illustrated, link to particulars]
Stunning SoHo (NY) penthouse, sold, $7.95m to Mike Myers [link to particulars]
Rent Tommy Hilfiger's East Hampton oceanfront [link to particulars]
Denis Leary buys three-bedroom SoHo (NY) apartment: $3.95m [New York Observer]
Jamie Foxx buys HUGE villa in Thousand Oaks, $10.5m [LA Times]
Rumour - The Osbournes house (yeah, that one) back on the market [The Real Estalker]

The Rat and Mouse - ears to the ground

20070525Fiftyc2

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Tue
22
May

20070522WilliamsAccording to this, from Australia, Williams is considering leaving LA to move in with his best friend and former housemate actor Jonathan Wilkes, plus Wilkes' wife and son. Apparently, Wilkes has been spotted house-hunting in Chiswick.

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Tue
08
May

Looks like a new trend. Now, it's gone upscale, from a modest house in the north east of England, to Annie Lennox and film producer Uri Fruchtman's £2.75m London home. The common factors?

MySpace - both teenage parties were advertised on MySpace, leading to extreme gatecrashing.

Teenagers - lots of them.

Absent parents - two of them.

Alcohol - loads of it.

Graffiti - applied liberally to walls.

Urine - sprayed liberally over carpets and clothes.

According to this, the Lennox-Fruchtman home has been completely destroyed.

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The money, that is, from a successful short-term flip on a New York apartment... they've spent it on the adjoining property to their Belsize Park home, apparently. This kind of property expansion... it's clearly a trend. We need to think of a good name for it immediately.

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Fri
04
May

It's permission to connect their Connaught Square house with an adjoining mews house in Archery Close, to install solar panels and CCTV cameras and create a roof terrace. Bizarrely, neighbour objections appear to have focussed on the roof terrace, which they claimed would be "noisy and smelly". Were they complaining it would be noisy and smelly on the roof terrace? A problem they could presumably avoid by not accepting invitations. Or were they complaining it would be noisy and smelly because of the roof terrace? In which case... isn't that a bit rude? More here.

Latest Blair property news [March 26, 2007]

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Thu
03
May

20070502Cage
Pamela and Tommy Lee go property shopping in Dubai [London News]
Nicolas Cage buys $3.5m mansion in New Orleans French Quarter [pictured, Berg Properties Big Time Listings]
Paltrow and Martin sell NY condo, double their money in two years [New York Post]
Jenna Jameson buys Jack Albertson's old Hollywood Hills home, $2.7m [Berg Properties Big Time Listings]
Bionic Woman sells west coast condo for $649,000 [LA Times]
Sopranos' Michael Imperioli (Christopher) buys $2.4m Canal Street four-story walk-up [Berg Properties Big Time Listings]

The Rat and Mouse - London's not enough

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Wed
02
May

The Independent hosts a tour around Jeremy Hackett's detached Victorian house by the man himself. It's a medley of contradictions... Nantucket-style interior, but very English... with Scandinavian furniture... but it sounds very nice indeed: a house that's good to live in. Read it, here.

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Thu
26
Apr

Way back when the Rat and Mouse was just a little start-up, long before we even had premises and a receptionist, let alone valet parking, we drew readers' attention to the irony that Bob the Builder creator Keith Chapman was having something of a hard time getting his builders to finish work on his four-story house in Putney. Chapman had invited the Telegraph over to survey the damage. Well... today, they're back, and the house is on the market for £2.25m.

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Remember the celebrity-endorsed Save Sloane Square campaign? Well, looks like it's been saved.

[via Londonist]

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Mon
23
Apr

Remember this?

Dec has bought a £1.9 million house just 150 yards away from Ant in Chiswick. It's a mock-Tudor mansion, which style-icon Dec intends to demolish as soon as possible and replace with a mock-Edwardian mansion, identical in every way to Ant's home. And to achieve this, he will be employing Ant's architect, Stuart Hemingway.


Looks like his neighbours have spoken...

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Tue
17
Apr

What's that? Something about inflation? Something about the dollar? Anyway, news is that Jordan's house-hunting in LA. (First we learn we're losing Posh and Becks, now Jordan and Peter... what are we going to do for entertainment during the dark days of 13% interest rates?) Quoted here, Jordan's typically discreet:

"We're not like Kelly Brook or Rachel Stevens who say they're going to break the States and then don't. We're not mucking about. I think they'll see that we're real," she said.

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Fri
13
Apr

This one originated, apparently, in yesterday's Daily Mirror. The story is that Bad Girls actress Antonia Okonma tried to pull a fast one when offered something in the region of £800 and a bit of publicity to appear on the hideous in every way Through The Keyhole... a TV quiz in which the camera snoops around a minor celebrity's home and you have to guess whose it is and what they're misguidedly trying to say about themselves by what they've artfully left lying around. Except in this instance, Okonma left somebody else's apartment lying around. Ambitious to look like a person with a career, she had contacted an estate agent friend, who left her the keys to a trendier apartment, knowing the real owners was away. Okonma went through the apartment, scattering scripts and plastic Oscars... but a friend of the actual owners spotted the apartment on television. Okonma was told to clear off twice... first by the owners of the flat, and then by the BBC:

A spokesman for the BBC, which airs the show, said the broadcaster was "very disappointed that she behaved like this and, in doing so, spoiled a very popular show."

More here.

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Wed
04
Apr

We're expecting the DCLG to announced plans, today, to reduce red tape surrounding microgeneration installations and (according to Miliband) "make it as easy to install a wind turbine as a satellite dish". The new rules are expected to come into force from October, too late for Cameron.

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Wed
28
Mar

She's jewellery designer to the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Kylie Minogue, she likes fairies, crystals programmed by Buddhists, things from Java, and she is environmentally-friendly enough to not fill up the bath, even though:

I have a day-bed in the sitting-room that I got shipped over from Bali - it actually cost more to ship than it did to buy... My friends and I like to chill out on it, listening to music.

The Independent visits.

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Mon
26
Mar

The Sunday Times has got its hands on planning documents lodged with Westminster Council that outline the Blairs' plans for their Connaught Street home. Apparently, they can look forward to enjoying a rooftop sun terrace (with four solar panels and views towards Hyde Park) and a giant ground floor kitchen. The plans also include details of how they intend to knock the main house and the mews house into one, and locations for two new CCTV cameras. More here.

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Lord Patten - Margaret Thatcher's housing minister - is, according to the Independent on Sunday, harassing ministers to force the closure of the homeless people's soup kitchens inconveniently close to his Ashley Gardens flat.

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Thu
15
Mar

According to the Daily Mirror, she's already received £50m in property, including the family's £18m Sussex estate and two Belgravia apartments totaling £19m. She doesn't get Chelsea, though.

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... or her entourage:

"It's just so much easier to have all my clothes and my stylist next to me. Plus my nanny, my manager, my trainer. It's a whole team of people."

Tell me about it...

[via PR Inside]

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Fri
09
Mar

20070309Dell
More property porn from the property porn specialists at Forbes. See where Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Lakshmi Mittal, Paul Allen, Michael Dell and co. live... here. Actually, Buffett, with a net worth of $52 billion, still lives in the modest Omaha home he bought in 1958 for $31,500. I don't know why that makes me like him more. (The illustration is Dell's pad in Austin, Texas.)

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Thu
08
Mar

20070307Chilli2
Red Hot Chilli Peppers' Anthony Kiedis LA mansion for sale [illustrations, link to special website]
Nicolas Cage spends $8.5m on Las Vegas mansion [Berg Properties blog]
Elvis Presley's late 70s Nashville hideway, auctioned on Ebay [via Luxist]
Jane Seymour's Malibu mansion, for sale, $12.995m, previously used by Stacey Keach, previously used by US coastguard [The Real Estalker]

20070407Chilli

The Rat and Mouse - sometimes London is not enough

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Wed
07
Mar
There's a massive Louis Vuitton trunk in the hall beside the front door and next to it is a Chanel surfboard - I saw it in a shop in St Tropez and had to have it for the hall. As you walk up the stairs you pass a pink fluorescent light that spells out "bollocks" in curly writing.

Not exactly a "welcome!" mat, is it? Venture up the stairs to find an Acqua di Parma-themed bathroom, with celebrity photos and a celebrity guest book, a black bedroom with skull wallpaper and an Edward Hopper knock-off painted by a Thailand beach artist. Oh yeah, her interior design service is available here or here.

[via the Independent]

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Thu
01
Mar

20070301Mad
It's on Great Cumberland Place, it's a Grade 2-listed house with ten bedrooms, four bathrooms, five reception rooms and a balcony, it needs complete renovation after being used as a clinic for a number of years, it's priced at £5.75m and... oh yeah... it shares a party wall with Madonna. Particulars here.
20070301Mad2

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Tue
27
Feb

Apparently, she's looking for a gaff in or near Knightsbridge. She's £8 million to spend, and it "must have high ceilings so that I can practice my vocals".

[via CCTV.com]

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Fri
23
Feb

Apparently, Dustin Hoffman's having a clear-out at his London home (in Kensington we believe). Forty-two antiques from the property will go on sale at Christie's on March 7.

Celebrity Rat and Mouse - Dustin Hoffman incoming [January 11, 2005]

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Thu
22
Feb

Well, the suggestion is that he made a few statements at a pre-Oscar party suggesting that, indeed, he is. Any further information is, of course, welcome.

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Wed
21
Feb

It's a known fact that having a celebrity vendor can be a double-edged sword for an estate agent. Yes... the property will probably get more attention and maybe appear in a newspaper. Yes... they'll risk a steady troop of W.O.F.T. viewers (if you saw this, you'll understand; if you didn't, you've the afternoon to work it out before I explain in the comments, below) who don't want to buy the house, they just want to sniff the pillows or steal something. So it's with some surprise that the Rat and Mouse finds actor Treat Williams and family shamelessly exploiting their celebrity with a series of fabulously unposed photographs in the particulars to their $4.75m Upper West Side apartment.

20070221Tw1

20070221Tw2

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Damon Dash's Benedict Canyon villa, $3.795m [The Real Estalker]
LA vendors snigger at Beckhams' poor taste [The Real Estalker]
Sopranos' Lorraine Bracco sells Snedens Landing (on the Hudson) cottage: $3.2m [link to particulars]
Britney Spears' Beverley Hills villa, back on the market already: $7.495m [link to particulars]
Bette Davis's final home, West Hollywood, $2.295m [pictured, link to particulars]

20070221Davislounge

The Rat and Mouse - sometimes London's not enough

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Fri
16
Feb

20070216Coward2It's a bit of a triumph for unconventional estate agency franchise Re/Max... 17 Gerald Road in Belgravia was home to Noel Coward between 1930 and 1956, and the venue for some truly star-studded parties. It features a double-height reception room (extra clearance for all those egos), four bedrooms, a library and roof terrace. It also comes with 1 Burton Mews, which adds another two bedrooms, a garage and off-street parking (and was used, at the time, as an office by Coward's secretary). It's on the market with a guide price of £4 million. Too, too glamorous. Particulars, here.
20070216Coward

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Tue
13
Feb

Lindsay Lohan rumoured to have bought Marilyn Monroe's West Hollywood apartment [Curbed LA]
Fred Durst sells Hollywood home for $1.4 million [LA Times]
Shock jock Howard Stern's (ex-)summer house: $7.6m [The Real Estalker]
Scarlett Johansson wins - yes, wins - free one year lease on Miami beachfront condo [Luxist]
Photograher David LaChapelle's New York (East Village) apartment: $1.95m [link to particulars]
Tom Jones to sell "spare" Bel Air mansion: $3.95m [pictured, The Real Estalker]

20070213Tomjones

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20070213Sloanesquare
Broadcaster Sue Lawley, singer Brian Ferry and actor Rupert Everett are all said to be backing the Save Sloane Square campaign, which is challenging Kensington & Chelsea Council's proposals to build a four-lane road through the square, splitting it into two piazzas... or squares. It looks like a stand-off.

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Tue
06
Feb

They've left London - and who can blame them? - for a seven-bedroom, £3.5 million house in Surrey, with plasma TV in the bathroom. Hell yes.

[via Now Magazine]

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Mon
05
Feb

Hugh Grant and Jemima Khan are apparently shopping for £8 million homes in the Richmond Hill area. So what of the £18 million Chelsea home the pair were reported to have purchased in May last year?

Hugh Grant - "property mad" [April 25, 2006]

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No wonder his heart's flopping around in there like a trout on dry land... the police are after him, Brown's after him, and now he might have mortgage debts of up to £5 million, making him, er, more sensitive than most to interest rate fluctuations. The Telegraph asked Charcol how much Tony and Cherie should be able to borrow, based on their combined income, and they replied £1.3 million.

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Wed
31
Jan

Dec has bought a £1.9 million house just 150 yards away from Ant in Chiswick. It's a mock-Tudor mansion, which style-icon Dec intends to demolish as soon as possible and replace with a mock-Edwardian mansion, identical in every way to Ant's home. And to achieve this, he will be employing Ant's architect, Stuart Hemingway. It appears the neighbours are less than delighted. Is it me, or has this just crossed the boundary into weird?

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Fri
26
Jan

20070126Kanye
Kanye West's midtown New York plans "coolest thing we have ever seen" [above, Curbed]
Foo Fighter Dave Grohl pays $3.8 million for third home in Oxnard, California [link to particulars]
Lorraine Bracco (The Soprano's Dr Melfi) lists Bridgehampton summer home for $3.25 million [link to particulars]
The apartment's the star: triplex in New York's Y-Building, scene of Ugly Betty pilot, on market at $8.95 million [link to particulars]
Suzanne Vega's new seven-room uptown NY apartment, snapped up for $1.587 million [NY Observer]
Queer Eye's Ted Allen sells five-room Chelsea (NY) loft for $2.75 million [NY Observer]
Shaquille O'Neal's Miami Beach home: yours for $35 million [link to particulars]

The Rat and Mouse - all the property news that matters

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Fri
19
Jan

The clearest explanation we've seen, courtesy of This Is London: he exercises his right-to-buy on a council flat in Hammersmith, spending £75,000. After three years, he applies to the Land Registry to have the property transferred into his son's name. The property's sold in September 2004 for £228,000 and, with the assets, his son buys a semi in Greenford for £280,000. Apparently, shortly afterwards, the assets are returned to Hamza.

Hamza's prison property deals [October 12, 2006]
Hammersmith estate agents... own up, which one of you acted for Abu Hamza? [February 10, 2006]

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Monmouthshire - the new Chelsea [IC Wales]
Bobby Gillespie in spat with Newington Green's Alma Pub [NME]
Inflation outlook - scary [Times]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

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Somehow this one must have passed me by when it happened... because it's all news to me. Apparently, Girls Aloud's Nadine Coyle hired an overzealous estate agent who - ultra-keen to secure a sale - handed her keys to a gang of drug dealers a fortnight before she was due to move out. The first she knew about a viewing was when she unexpectedly met them in her hallway. Fortunately, they "left quickly" after she threatened to sing.

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Wed
17
Jan

20070117Aultmore

We knew he was leaving London for Scotland, now here's the Times with details of his new 25-acre Edwardian mansion. Aultmore House was up-until-recently an expensive holiday retreat (and a set for Monarch of the Glen). Apparently, Dylan and his brother bought the pad via Savills for £2.2 million.

Despite his celebrity there is no guarantee that the singer, a keen golfer who recently confessed to having a handicap of 17, will be able to join the local Abernethy club. “Mr Dylan will have to apply in writing just like everyone else and be vetted by the committee,” Jack McCool, the club treasurer, said.

I bet. But - come on - what earthly reason could McCool and the gang find for not letting Mr Zimmerman join their little golf club? Hmmm.

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Tue
16
Jan

The LA Times on David and Victoria Beckham's move to LA.

The Beckhams moving here is like Princeton getting Einstein, if Einstein were really attractive and not so good at physics. So really, much better than getting Einstein.

Quote of the day - the value of a man (or woman) [January 15, 2007]

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Fri
12
Jan

Cher, property developer. Bought, 2004, $650,000. Listed, 2007, $2.495 million. [link to particulars]
Jay-Z's Time Warner Building rented apartment now up for sale - Jay-Z, you are evicted, you must now... [New York Post]
American Felt Building - East Village's most rock'n'roll home [New York Observer]
Beckhams house-hunt, LA-style [This Is London]
Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie property shop on Virgin Islands [Post Chronicle]

The Rat and Mouse - because Londoners think about property every three seconds

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Wed
10
Jan

Intercontinental chef Theo Randall takes the Independent around his Chalk Farm Victorian and they end up, inevitably, in the kitchen... where stainless steel (good for wiping) and Smeg (good for crackling) come out of it well. Randall likes to cook in his garden too. In fact, in the summer months, there's nothing he likes more than to pop outside and spit roast a chicken.

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Mon
08
Jan

In an extraordinary turn of events, it's being reported that, in a period of record property value rises, the Blairs have managed to not lose money on a house. With assistance from a frenzied central London market, the Blairs' big fat Connaught Square mansion might have gained as much as £1 million in book value by the time the Prime Minister retires to consider a job well done. You see? It's that kind of foresight and astute financial management that makes him Prime Minister, and us, well, not.

The Blairs' property portfolio - like government policy... [January 11, 2006]
Blairs' house - all round bad weekend [June 27, 2005]
Blairs savaged in buy-to-let market [March 7, 2005]

According to the Sunday Times, the Emir of Qatar is selling Beechwood, his 11-acre estate off Hampstead Heath. However, there's no website, no particulars, few details... although the articles mentions £65 million as a likely guide price. And apparently, it's a little bit 1980s inside. Interestingly, the Emir isn't leaving London, he's just moving more central, and has paid £37.5 million for an office building, which he will convert into a colossal family home.

Fri
22
Dec

20061222Spears
Matthew McConaughey's Sunset Strip hideaway, for sale at $3.3 million [LA Times]
Rumour: has Britney Spears bought this Beverley Hills villa [pictured] [Star Magazine]
Naomi Campbell finally offloads value-shedding New York apartment [NY Post]
Gwen Stefani's new Beverley Hills pad leaves everybody in awe [Sun]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about their house

Fri
08
Dec

121208Simpsons
The Simpsons writers' beautiful (and I mean beautiful) Bel-Air home: $11.5 million [link to website, pic above]
Twenty acres of southern Californian ranch owned by Gap Band's Charlie Wilson: $5.275 million [link to particulars]
Linda Fiorentino's NY one-bedroom apartment: $1.225 million [link to particulars]
Ashlee Simpson's Endocino home with insanely big bedroom: sold for $5.7 million [LA Times]
Conan O'Brien: moving on up [Curbed]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about their house

Thu
07
Dec

She was staying at the Dorchester while filming "His Dark Materials" when she spotted it - a little £12 million townhouse around the back of the Mayfair hotel - and, well, you know, just had to have it.

(In case you didn't know, Paltrow was caught making some disparaging remarks about her homeland.)

But here's a news flash for you and the rest of your expatriate friends from the Hollywood community: The days of our unconditional love for all things celebrity are over. We ordinary Americans have the power to make or break a movie, a song, a TV show, an actor, a singer, a TV journalist, a radio announcer...

Holy shit. This really redefines stupid. Oh, he hasn't finished.

... and even a blogger.

Okay. It's "an open letter" to Paltrow, penned by Fox's Mike Straka, and I'm sure she likes America even more now. Read the whole ugly thing here.

Tue
05
Dec

But I bet it's Tom Cruise who feels hunted.

So, apparently, the story is that Johnny Depp is shooting at Pinewood (SWEENEY TODD). So is Vince Vaughn (FRED CLAUS). Vaughn bagged the south west London house that Depp had wanted to rent during the shoot. Which made him upset. So - he thought he'd show that a Depp doesn't come in second place to no Vaughn, by consulting his chum Keith Richards (presumably the only man who could be relied upon to offer really bad, really expensive advice) on the interior design of his trailer. Step up the £20,000 trailer... fitted out in Moorish chic, including "the best quality drapes" money can buy, pipes and a selection of flavoured tobacco. Oh yeah, and a coffee machine "that isn't complicated to use".

20061205Depp2 20061205Vince2

Mon
04
Dec

Of course, Rat and Mouse readers know that American celebs come, American celebs talk a bunch of guff about the real London, American celebs get sick of the crap weather and angry people and go home again. But the Independent thinks London's on the verge of becoming the must-have property destination for the Hollywood set, with this round-up of residences, including Tom Cruise, Brangelina, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gillian Anderson, Kevin Spacey, Neve Campbell and others.

This is a mystery to me. Where's Bob Hoskins' s house anyway? Is it even for sale? According to this, ex-rocker Courtney Love has seen it, likes it, wants it. She apparently fell for London during her recent book tour.

Wed
29
Nov

bad muthafuckasApparently, the graffiti problem outside Arsenal turncoat Ashley Cole's "north London mansion block" has become so bad, he's decided to sell his place and move. Anybody know where Cole lives? Anybody care to send us a pic?

[via Entertainmentwise]

Mon
27
Nov

Last Tuesday, inspired by a piece in the Guardian - we asked How - exactly - does the Mandelson do it? On Saturday, ThisIsLondon tried to answer that literally, with an almost forensic scrutiny of Mandelson's property finances. But there's still an awful lot of money to be accounted for... £768,000, to be precise, which he managed to get his hands on to make up the £1.65 million deposit he laid down for the (can I have that in peach?) Primrose Hill home, below.

20061127Primpeach

Tue
21
Nov

By "the Mandelson", I don't just mean Peter Mandelson, I mean all those of his ilk... lacking obvious talent, lacking obvious charm, subject to frequent career reversals, and yet consistently landing on their feet, holidaying on yachts, living in multi-million pound homes... never seemingly having to worry about money or even having to worry about worrying about money. Acting - in fact - as if a financially secure and luxurious lifestyle is owed them... an inevitability. Anybody else wondered the same... how does the Mandelson breed do it? Well, Jeremy Langmead - writing in the Guardian on the subject of Mandelson's new £2.4 million Regent's Park home - has been wondering exactly that, and comparing it to his own fortunes on the property ladder.

Mandelson seems to know something I don't. Admittedly, he has no school fees to pay and receives a £21,000 annual housing allowance in his Brussels post, but he isn't exactly a penny pincher. He always seems well attired (even if he was pictured at a conference last year without any socks on), eats regularly at the River Cafe and enjoys the odd holiday or two aboard a yacht.

What, exactly, is it that the Mandelson knows? Answers on an email (or in the comments) please.

Mon
06
Nov

Thanks to a Rat and Mouse reader for pointing me in the direction of this piece - which suggests that 7, Cavendish Avenue, the St John's Wood home owned (but not occupied) by Paul McCartney ever since the mid-60s, is on the market for £4.15 million. So far - however - online particulars evade me. In the meantime, if there's anything else (and I mean anything) you want to know about Macca and NW8, go here.

Rat and Mouse readers - we love you! [November 2, 2006]
John Lennon's home for sale. Where? [October 12, 2006]

Wed
25
Oct

Man of the people, George Galloway.

... hardliner is selling this five-bedroom detached Streatham home for £825,000? Clues? Note the bust of Lenin overlooking the plush wooden floors and expensive furnishings, the Islamic art scattered throughout the grand and spacious living quarters... Answer revealed later today.

25Oct06Quiz1 25Oct06Quiz2

25Oct06Quiz3 25Oct06Quiz4

Mon
16
Oct

what happens when you draw a face on a rugby ball

He's been spotted around town recently, and now the rumour reaches us that Liza Minnelli's ex-punchbag, David Gest, is going to buy a London property in the next six months.

Thu
12
Oct

According to this, working class hero John Lennon's London home is on the market for $11.1 million. They say, it's 24 miles south west of town... am I the only person who doesn't know where it is? Apparently, it has six bedrooms, five receptions rooms, a playroom, a sauna and a swimming pool. If anybody can find some particulars...

Rat and Mouse readers with long memories might remember our appeal, back in February, for the estate agent who might have acted on behalf of Abu Hamza, regarding the sale of his Hammersmith property. A Mr Justice Hughes was wondering where the money went... looking for funds to offset the massive trial costs. It now appears he's discovered where the money went. On a semi in Greenford, according to the papers. Hamza even managed to buy the property from jail... an achievement which grants the man in my eyes (and I'm sure in the eyes of other Rat and Mouse readers experienced in the tribulations of London property purchases) a whole new level of respect. It doesn't impress the Sun, though.

Bradshaw, Hutton and Hamza - nabes [December 14, 2005]
Hammersmith estate agents... own up, which one of you acted for Abu Hamza? [February 10]
Hamza still terrorizing house prices [March 10]

Wed
11
Oct

The Sun looks inside (actually, looks over the particulars) Ricky Gervais's new £2.5 million Hampstead home. See the pictures here. And enjoy some classic tabloid writing...

Roomy ... but will the North London pad have space for an Office?

Blimey, more like that and you might get your own prime time comedy drama.

Thu
05
Oct

Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx and Playboy's Donna D'Errico's 40 acre mansion, a snip under 3 million dollars [link to particulars]
Cameron Diaz shops for New York rental, 20,000 dollars a month budget [New York Post]
Susan Sontag's Chelsea home, sold to interior designer William Diamond [New York Observer]
One of Arnie's old LA properties, listed at almost 27 million dollars [link to particulars]
Kirk Hammett, Metallica guitarist, sells lovely San Fran Pacific Heights home. Beautiful. [link to particulars, and pictured below]

4Oct06metallica.jpg

The Rat and Mouse - and the celebrity property rock'n'roll sandwich

Wed
27
Sep

If you're Sven Goran Eriksson and you're still being paid £13,000 a day by the FA to keep your hands of doom off the English game, then you can afford a holiday villa on the island of Koh Samui. According to the Sun, Eriksson (who still hasn't managed to sell his London home), bought off-plan, and the property will benefit from views of the South China Sea.

Mon
18
Sep

Apparently:

When jewellery designer Pippa Small and her sister Alex first moved into their bijoux flat in Fulham it was a Sloaney London pad.

But not anymore. Now it's packed with trinkets and mementoes from their Third World travels, and there's nothing "Sloaney" about that.

Tue
12
Sep

It's not London, I know, but the slightly distasteful feeding frenzy developing around the late Syd Barrett's Cambridge home is an interesting detail in the ongoing what-adds-and-what-detracts-value debate. Estate agent Cheffins (and what a fabulous name for a Cambridge estate agency!) reports "many offers" above the guide price. More here.

Real estate stigma [August 7]
"If a celebrity dies in your house, that's a landmark..." [May 16]

Mon
11
Sep

Prince Harry's girlfriend Chelsy Davy is flat-shopping in London, with the aid of Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton. Apparently, she's staking her claim on the royal "soldier" now, in case somebody else moves in on him while she's studying in South Africa. Nice.

Wed
16
Aug

16Aug06grace.jpgA bizarre question - maybe - but one that's resulted in a writ, issued by her former landlords. She's been accused of willfully damaging a £1.5 million Chelsea Crescent apartment. She's said to have caused £10,000 worth of damage (including - and this is truly weird - some "blackened spoons") and is said to owe almost £6,000 in rent. More here.

Mon
07
Aug

7Aug06cruz.jpgPenelope Cruz, planning to buy in Belsize Park, next year.

Jeweller Fiona Knapp shows the Daily Mail around her nice west London triplex, and things get personal:

Fiona's jewel-coloured underwear is housed in a 1960s Lucite and glass dressing table.

Good job it was a female journalist. Everybody wants to know this kind of detail, but coming from a male journo it could have seemed a little creepy. Me, I keep my "Foxtons, but no mini"-logo underpants in a similar piece of furniture. Read the whole article, and learn how to get the look, here.

Wed
02
Aug
One of the few drawbacks of this flat is the dust that comes in through the window from industrial sites. I have to wipe down the kitchen three times a day... Because it is a factory building, it doesn't work that well for heating or ventilation. There is a huge ceiling window in the living room, which at this time of year allows in too much heat. In the winter it can be freezing... I have two huge freezers stuffed with dead animals in my studio, everything from mice and small birds to rats and foxes. Also I have taken up most of the deep freeze in the kitchen with my animals.

Taxidermist and artist Polly Morgan striking out on an original approach to writing particulars. Actually, her east London ex-factory home sounds fascinating, and the whole piece, in the Independent, is a sad story of what's going to go, to make way for the Olympics.

Tue
18
Jul

18July06anderson.jpgForbes - the place where people with money read about people with money - is hosting a kind of stalkers' slideshow of properties belonging to US celebs in the UK. Homeowners include Madonna, Jerry Hall, Terry Gilliam, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gillian Anderson, Tim Burton and Kevin Spacey. It also poses the question... why?. Apparently, it's all about status (pronounced as in splat - us):

"U.S. celebrities get kudos in their social circles for owning a London property," says Tom Tangney, associate at property agent Knight Frank.

There's an odd end to the feature. The writer is clearly under the impression that Notting Hill's "rise" from multi-cultural stop-off to hangout of the rich and arty has happened in the years since the Richard Curtis movie:

Seven years ago, the film Notting Hill spurred interest in London's more diverse quarters. In one scene Hugh Grant, as a bumbling poor bookstore owner, tries to break up with movie star Julia Roberts with the explanation: "I live in Notting Hill, you live in Beverly Hills." It was a metaphor for the difference in house prices, class and status that each neighborhood represented...

Go here to read more and enjoy the slideshow.

Mon
17
Jul

They're saying he's just spent £6 million on a riverside property in Chelsea - a place to stay when he's in town with (to quote the Daily Mail) "his 6ft 4in girlfriend". (Is this a special case, or a new trend in which journalists are to specify height?, asks 6ft 1in Ben Brandt.)

Wed
12
Jul

Lederer refreshingly admits to having tidied up the pants before opening her home to the Independent. How many of these pieces do you read, and then come away wondering... do rich, arty people really live like this? Even though they have kids? Perhaps that's why I'm not as rich and arty as they are? Perhaps if I turned my home into a casual interpretation of the British museum - flotsam from my many trips across the subcontinent scattered with zero thought at all for my own image - and added whatever contemporary design trends will turn my place into a stomach-churning middle-class cliche within five years - then I could be richer and artier too. But Lederer's a refreshing change:

There's a lot of fake stuff - even a "Dufy" painted by my friend Brenda! We laid fake York stone on the terrace, and even the facade is fake.

Read it here.

The battle for Cameron's chimney, won by Cameron.

David Cameron and the battle for wind [March 6]

Mon
10
Jul

The Daily Mail takes an indepth look at how Jemima French (one half of Frost French, the label she runs with Sadie Frost) went from Bali beachbum single mother to Primrose Hill princess:

When she began looking for a bigger space for her now four children, boyfriend Francis, who runs his own celebrity management company, and two cats, Jemima stumbled upon a five-storey, six-bedroom Victorian townhouse just a stone's throw from Regents Park. Even better, it didn't need any major work, just paint and some TLC for the original floorboards.

It's amazing what you can just stumble across when you try. Let that be a lesson, whining ftbs. Anyway, here's the link. Do with it what you will.

Wed
05
Jul

In the Telegraph, Jonny Beardsall tracks Kirstie Allsopp down to... Devon! That's right, the bird has flown. Read the extended interview here.

Tue
04
Jul

4July06reeve.jpg

Music industry honcho Tommy Mottola lists very lovely North Salem (NY) estate for 21 million dollars [link to particulars]
Is it a mansion? Is it a Westchester mansion? Yes, and it's Christopher Reeve's old pad, on the market for 2.95 million dollars [pictured, link to particulars]
Colin Farrell keeps it real in his new 4.3 million dollar Hollywood Hills villa [Miami Herald]
Denise Richards, Charlie Sheen, Heather Locklear, a house, a Bon Jovi guitarist and a big sordid story [LA Times]
Ricky Martin puts Time Warner Centre condo on the market - 9.95 million dollars [New York Observer]

The Rat and Mouse - London is not enough

Rat and Mouse international celebrity property round-up - Robert de Niro's waiting, talking 49 million [June 15]

Thu
15
Jun

14June06triplex.jpg

Mick Jagger likes Mustique so much, he buys the neighbours' house too [PR-Inside]
Move next door to Britney Spears, buy Mel Gibson's Malibu gaff [Hollywood.com]
Martin Scorcese's Upper East Side townhouse, for sale at 6.7 million dollars [pictured, link to particulars]
Robert de Niro spotted viewing this Park Avenue triplex, a snap at 49 million dollars [link to particulars]
Montgomery Clift's New York townhouse and last home for sale [link to particulars]

The Rat and Mouse - on expensive bricks

Wed
07
Jun

7June06Fairbanks.jpg

Martha Stewart's Connecticut farmhouse - Turkey Hill Farm - for sale, nine million dollars [link to particulars]
Cool ex-Douglas Fairbanks/Mary Pickfords house for sale, 2.6 million dollars [pictured, link to particulars]
Naomi Campbell offers six-room Park Avenue duplex, 5.25 million dollars [link to particulars]
New Hollywood Hills home for Paris Hilton - plus pet palace [Luxist]
Dracula Castle returned to rightful owner - a New York architect [CNN]
Andy Warhol estate - now 10 million dollars cheaper [New York Post]
Cheers! Kelsey Grammer's killer property deal [LA Times]

The Rat and Mouse - by and for property obsessives

Rat and Mouse international celebrity property round-up - if these walls could talk [May 8]

Fri
02
Jun

Back when I was growing up in Manchester, I lived just around the corner from Lou Macari. One day I ran my Chopper into the back of one of his parked Audis and broke a rear light. I knocked on the door, and asked for his autograph. That was when footballers lived in modest semis, among the people who wore scarves in their team colours. And you could buy three packs of football stickers for ten pence, and still have change for a bubbly. (Christ, here I go again.) Anyway, the point is that I doubt whether Macari's presence had much impact on the value of my parents' home. How things have changed. Today's Times reveals how footballers are propping up property values.

Wed
31
May

31May06Lohanpuzzled.jpgThey say she's eyeing up property so she can be close to her new boyfriend, posh-rocker and ex-Kate Moss love interest Jamie Burke. We say - the girl's a sun-worshipper - we seriously doubt it.

Thu
25
May

This isn't the first time we've heard rumours that Michael Jackson might be considering a London move (almost a year to the day, isn't that strange)... now the story comes from a Mirror reporter, who was told (by Jackson himself) that a London home is a likelihood, and a Scottish or Irish Neverland-style ranch a distinct possibility. A good day for the Welsh, then. More here.

Tue
23
May

23May2006puffy.jpg

There's a rumour that P Diddy's got his eyes on the above little bolthole next door to Richard Branson in Holland Park. The situation's summed up nicely by a Gawker reader:

That pool should be perfect for moisturizing his situation and maintaining his sexy.

Reckon it would work for me.

[via Real Estate Newsblog]

Mon
22
May

22May2006jowell.jpg

Apparently, you'll be pleased by the "quality of finishing to the general fabric". It's on Raveley Street, it's listed at £950,000, has four bedrooms, a landscaped rear garden and a set of particulars written by somebody struggling with the English language (sounds suspiciously Italian to us). Honestly, the particulars are almost as strange as the house's history.

UPDATE - I've had a number of emails asking why I didn't publish a link to the particulars. The answer is... I forgot. Here you go.

The Rat and Mouse - now you can comment [May 22]
Den of thieves [March 7]
Tessagate - funnier and funnier [March 3]
They're calling them Mr & Mrs Mortgage [March 2].

Mon
08
May

May8Guccione.jpgScarlett Johansson has eye on Goldeneye [Telegraph]
Tom Cruise's Beverly Hills home - haunted [ChinaDaily]
Do Britney Spears a favour, have her apartment [Curbed]
Naomi Campbell's shopping for Manhattan townhouse - with secure room for maid [New York Post]
Bob Guccione's mansion for sale: 45 million dollars, but if those walls (pictured) could talk... [link to particulars]
Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn buy nice little Illinois mansion [Daily Mirror]
Johnny Depp files lawsuit over neighbour's building plans [LA Times]
Pamela Anderson to sell Malibu home... you can buy her furniture too [link to particulars]
Peter Andre spends £3.5 million on pink palace for Jordan [DigitalSpy]
Elvis home on Ebay... six days left [Ebay]

The Rat and Mouse - property central

Wed
03
May

It was only a few days ago that Hugh Grant was complaining he had London properties coming out of his ears, and now a City financier tells the Evening Standard that he's just sold his Chelsea home to Grant and Jemima Khan for a reported £18 million - making the property the most expensive per square foot in London. We don't have an address (which makes sending our moving in card difficult). But apparently it's in a square off the King's Road, has three garages and nine bedrooms, and a quarter of an acre of garden. Oh yeah, and it looks like this.

Fri
28
Apr

According to this morning's Sun, Kylie Minogue's chucking £1 million at her three-bedroom Chelsea flat...

And they are now busy transforming it into a palace fit for a pop princess.

April28kylie.jpg(See? That's how to write for a tabloid.) Apparently, the flat's been stripped to its shell, and brass tiles (£55 each) are going in, along with an Italian stone floor and underfloor heating. In the bathroom: solid silver taps (£1,500), which will run both cold and hot water, plus £10,000 of marble. More of this tackiness (the journalism, not Kylie's flat) here. Meanwhile, out of curiosity, I've been trying to find brass tiles that cost £55 each, and I'm having problems. If anybody knows what a £55 brass tile looks like, I'd love to see one.

Wed
26
Apr

The Telegraph brings news that the Bishops Avenue house recently inhabited by the crew of braggers, blaggers, big-heads and bastards that make up this year's The Apprentice has been rented out at £5,750 a week.

Fri
21
Apr

April21sven.jpg

He's going. He's so going he's selling his house. It's Grade II-listed, in the lovely Park Village East near Regent's Park, it has three bedrooms, two reception rooms and two bathrooms, and a very landscaped 120ft garden. And it's yours for just £3.1 million. Eriksson apparently bought the place for £2.55 million back in 2001 - which gives him (allowing for stamp duty) just over 20% in five years. Here's more on the story, courtesy of the BBC. More importantly, here's a link to what I think are the particulars.

Thu
20
Apr
I have gone property mad. I keep buying places then deciding they are not very nice and then buying other places. I now own about 17 houses in London, all of them horrible and badly decorated.

See, and you think you have problems.

[via Luxist]

April20burroughs.jpg

Help Stephen Baldwin pay his taxes; buy his house [link to particulars]
Gazillionaire David H Koch to sell Park Avenue apartment, once home to Jackie O [NYTimes]
Simon Cowell destroys J-Lo's old Beverley Hills pad [Mirror]
Fries with that? MacDonalds heiress home for sale [link to particulars]
William Burroughs' Lone Star Cabin listed on ebay [ebay listing]
Al Capone's summer home for sale; make an offer they can't refuse [link to particulars]
Sharon Stone's new Beverley Hills mansion [Forbes]

The Rat and Mouse - dropping mad property knowledge

International celebrity property round-up - don't rent to Prince [March 27]

Thu
13
Apr

April13meades.jpg

Broadcaster Jonathan Meades is fleeing London. But first he has to sell his very lovely London Bridge penthouse. You can read Meades' own story of the apartment here, and then head over here for the particulars, and press this for a virtual tour.

Mon
27
Mar

Bailiffs move in on Don Johnson's Colorado ranch [News Journal]
Prince - bad tenant [SmokingGun]
Michelle Pfeiffer and writer-producer David E. Kelley's Oahu beach home - 12.9 million dollars [link to particulars]
Pamela Anderson purchases penthouse - not the magazine - in Las Vegas [People Magazine]
Patti LaBelle's Pennsylvania home, yours for one and half million dollars [link to particulars]
Brad & Jen's house - sold at a discount for 22.5 million dollars [LA Curbed]

The Rat and Mouse - an unhealthy obsession

International celebrity property round-up - homes by Martha [March 13]

Mon
13
Mar

How much is a pasture in Hertfordshire worth? A lot more, if it borders on Beckhingham Palace.

The first Martha Stewart-branded homes [Homes By Martha]
Doris Day's Berverley Hills home - yours for 5.25 million dollars [link to particulars]
Avril Lavigne offers Toronto home [Toronto Star]
Britney Spears' new 5 million dollar Hawaii home [National Ledger]
Bob Newhart's old Bel-Air home, yours for 22 million new dollars [LA Times]
Tom Ford's Santa Fe self-build - watch him build it [WebCam]

The Rat and Mouse - London's not big enough

Celebrity special [February 22]
International celebrity property round-up [February 7]

Fri
10
Mar

Tory MP Philip Davies has tabled a question asking exactly when tax-payers can expect ex-minister David Blunkett to leave his rent-free £3 million South Eaton Place home. It's four months since the Independent began questioning Blunkett's unusual domestic arrangements. The MP has since been the subject of widespread criticism, but he's clung on to the Belgravia pad tenaciously (although rumours that he'd had the locks changed in the dead of night turned out to be entirely false). More here. Perhaps Blunkett should contemplate moving into the Fulwood Walk residence (Southfields), which he's currently renting out for (apparently) in excess of £1,000 a month.

Blunkett: the blind misleading the blind? [October 12]
Government's freebie housing round-up [May 9]
Blunkett - man of means [January 24, 2005]

Mon
06
Mar

March6wind.jpgI'm not finding it hard to take sides on this one. How can David Cameron's new Notting Hill neighbours really call his proposed wind turbine a "blight" on the locale? I look at these things, compare them to the stained brickwork surrounding people's gas boiler outlets and the car smog hanging in the early morning air, and - although they might seem a bit out of place now - wind turbines and solar panels just look like a better future. They cheer me up. Why not attack Cameron for a proper reason... like the cynical song and dance he's making about his green credentials? Or the way everything he says seems designed by focus group? Or the way he looks a bit like a second hand car dealer in Acton who once tried to sell me a dodgy Astra?

David Cameron's tasty property deal [October 31]

Fri
24
Feb

He has homes in London and in Hampshire, a part share in a Languedoc holiday home, part share in a home in Greece, and then he's landlord for a further five properties: a house and two flats in London, and a house and a flat in Oxford. Clearly, he needs more. This, from his leadership campaign manifesto:

"Housing has become the Cinderella of the Government's social policy. Too few affordable homes are being built, particularly in the South and in existing urban areas rather than greenfield sites."
Wed
22
Feb

Feb22Moby.jpg

Fancy a peek inside Moby's hilltop home, 50 miles outside of Manhattan, as featured on MTV Cribs and yours for three and a half million dollars? Oh, go on then. Click here for a guided tour [warning: irritating ambient music].

International celebrity property round-up [February 7]

Tue
07
Feb

Feb7spooky.jpg

American Pie's Thomas Ian Nicholas lists Beverley Hills home for 650,000 dollars [link to particulars]
Halloween (the movie) house for sale at 1.4 million dollars [link to particulars, pictured above]
Ian Fleming's Goat Island retreat - for sale, 8 million dollars [link to particulars]
Heath Ledger's Sydney home - for sale, 7 million Australian dollars [link to particulars]
Val Kilmer sells chunk of New Mexico [link to particulars]

The Rat and Mouse - global edition

Mon
06
Feb

That's Sarah Jessica Parker's idea of London, anyway. May we suggest a house-swap. There's bound to be some Londoner considering a move to Manhattan. Perhaps to escape traffic noise. More, here.

Thu
02
Feb

Confusion reigns, regarding Jolie and Pitt's property ambitions. The latest? Jolie's sold her Buckinghamshire mansion (the figure being thrown around is £21 million). Yes, she's looking to buy in London (somewhere near Madonna apparently, so that there's somebody to pop in and water the plants while she's saving the Third World). But she's planning to live in LA. More, here.

Wed
01
Feb

Or rather, their people are flathunting... for a London pad which they can use as stop-off between the airport and the Buckinghamshire mansion. during their many trips abroad collecting babies. More, here.

Fri
27
Jan

News is breaking that Madonna has spent £900,000 on the house next door to her Mayfair terrace... for her staff. More, here.

Fri
20
Jan

The Rat and Mouse - little pink ears to the ground

Julianne Moore buys small Manhattan studio [link to particulars]
Woody Allen buys UES Manhattan townhouse [Curbed]
MIchelle Pfeiffer sells Brentwood estate for 19 million dollars [LA Times]
Former Affleck-Lopez lovenest back on the market for 4.9 million dollars [Defamer]
Ellen DeGeneres - buying and selling everything [Defamer]

Fri
13
Jan

When London's too small for the Rat and Mouse...

Anthony Quinn's Rhode Island estate sold to lawyer for measly three and a quarter million dollars [Providence Journal]
Vampire author Anne Rice's California home - going furnished, eleven and half million dollars [link to particulars]
Simpson/Lachy's "Newlyweds" home sold to "Malcolm in the Middle" actor Justin Berfield [ABC]
Goldie Hawn's Vancouver mansion - yours for five and half million Canadian dollars [link to particulars]
"No bids" on Courtney Love's Washington bungalow [Mercury News]
Matthew Perry buys Elton John's Beverly Hills condo [ContactMusic]

jan13ghostbusters.jpgThe ongoing saga of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's haunted Belsize Park home has taken a further turn for the ridiculous with this revelation that the ghost is a musical ghost... called Adolphus White... who taught at the Royal College of Music and lived in the house until his death in 1902... and who won't leave until Martin can explain what this means. We suggest moving.


Wed
11
Jan

Jan11kirstie.jpgPregnant - that's the first piece of news. And, apparently, her mother "had to be peeled off the ceiling" (although she fails to mention whether the ceiling had any period features). The second piece of news is moving. Her west London flat will go on the market (more details as we get them), and she'll be moving in with her property developer boyfriend Ben Andersen, who plans to convert two Notting Hill apartments into a large family home. We've been told Kirstie looks at the Rat and Mouse now and again, so may we take this opportunity to say "congratulations". More here.

Kirstie - seriously angry... and sexist... and pursued by Prescott [November 9]
Kirstie Allsop - too sexy for her flat [June 14]

... Confusion reigns. Yesterday the news was that the Blairs' property curse reached his Sedgefield constituency last year, turning it into (according to Nationwide figures) one of the big property losers with an average fall in values of 10%. That could have wiped £40,000 from the value of the Prime Minister's constituency home. But today's Guardian takes a more considered view... factoring in the information that he paid only £30,000 for the property (way back in 1983). The Guardian also points out that the same survey gives Westminster a massive 10.8% rise in the year which, if applied to his much-derided Connaught Square investment, would make the Prime Minster enough profit in a year to buy his Sedgefield home in cash. But it's more complicated than that. Many believe that the Blairs paid to much for Connaught Square, and we all know that house price figures are micro-regional... one road will do much better than another. Read more, here.

Mon
09
Jan

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

Nicole Appleton's Primrose Hill home - coming to a screen near you, soon [DigitalSpy]
Hounslow's estate agents - not worried [ThisIsLocalLondon]
Estate agents promise to be good now [FT]

Jan9Galloway.jpgThe residents of Bethnal Green and Bow invite you to help them encourage George Galloway back to work. (A word of explanation for our foreign readers - George Galloway is the elected representative of an east London constituency, and earns almost £62,000 of tax payers' money to represent his [generally low-income]] constituents. Except he's decided to devote the coming weeks to his real job [media whore] and loaf around the Celebrity Big Brother house instead - a situation most would see as a serious lack of respect.)

Wed
28
Dec

Did Rat and Mouse readers desert us over Christmas? Not at all. In fact, it's slightly scary how many London property fanatics visited us over the holiday period. Special thanks, though, to the Rat and Mouse reader who emailed us late on Friday with this link to pictures of Keira Knightley doing a bit of London house-hunting.

Fri
16
Dec

Dec16bloombosworth.jpg

Thanks to the kind Rat and Mouse reader who pointed this one out to us. Expect to find Orlando Bloom's Battersea apartment on the market soon... the story is that he's already property hunting with girlfriend Kate Bosworth.

Mon
05
Dec

News reaches the Rat and Mouse that, somewhere in Fulham, there's a five-bedroom house (with roof terrace), priced at £875,000 that's owned by tennis star Pat Cash, and has been since 1986. He apparently spends so little time here, he might as well let the property go. If you think know the agent, address... let us know.

Mon
14
Nov

Nov14anastacia.jpgAccording to the Mirror, she's having such a good time here she's looking for a London property. More (although not much more), here.

Wed
09
Nov

It sounds as if Colin and Justin have had easier clients. Drafted in to revamp the Hamiltons' Battersea flat, and provide the couple with an excuse to show their faces on Channel 5, they were met with resistance. Christine insulted their clothes. They called her "an old bitch". She called them "absolutely vile". They called her "a heat-seeking missile in slingbacks". And then it all went downhill. You can watch the results tomorrow... Colin and Justin's How Not To Decorate, C5, 8pm.

Wed
02
Nov

Nov2gg.jpg

Thanks to a Rat and Mouse reader for alerting us to our inexplicable failure to pick up this one... a 6-bedroom arts & crafts house on Golders Green Crescent. It's special because of its impressive garden, its three-owners-since-1908-new lineage and the fact that it's being sold by The Antiques Roadshow's Ian Harris, whom, it's safe to assume, has looked after it. It's on the market at £875,000; and the Times' Katrina Burroughs writes in depth about the property, here.

Fri
28
Oct

Oct27stella.jpgA new survey by Post Office Home Insurance purports to suggest that while we love reading about celebrity cribs in the Rat and Mouse we wouldn't want to live right next door to one. But the figures aren't so clear. Almost half (46%) of the ordinary, boring, non-celebrities who gave up their time to be polled said they would, in fact, like to live next to a celebrity, and their celebrity of choice would be highly dependent on their gender. Men apparently quite like the idea of "popping next door" to see Jordan. Women prefer Beckham. And it looks like these respondents were old enough to know better, because there's a separate sub-result for women under the age of 24 in which Brad beats Beckham. Men of any age apparently still prefer Jordan. Meanwhile the over-55s - in an act so cliched I can't help suspecting purposeful obfuscation - nominated Cliff Richard. And the celebrity neighbour we'd like least? Gordon Ramsay. What's interesting about the poll is the [warning: sound file] Stella Street fantasy the idea of a celebrity neighbour seems to encourage... like, Ramsay will really be bellowing obscenities all day, Jordan's bound to be posing in a bikini, Cliff Richard will be humming wholesome hymns, Beckham will be reading Beano in his boxers. Okay, that last one might have the ring of truth... But from the emails we receive, having a celebrity neighbour is more like having no neighbour at all. More, here.

Thu
27
Oct
While Lucas doesn't flaunt his newfound wealth - he lives quietly in North London with his long-term boyfriend - Walliams is a regular on the party scene, guzzling champagne and revelling in his extravagant lifestyle. He snapped up Oasis star Noel Gallagher's old pad, Supernova Heights - a £3million mansion in fashionable Primrose Hill, North-West London - and is often spotted cruising around in his vintage Mercedes.

Oct27littlebritain.jpgThat's the Mirror, indulging in some old-fashioned Little British journalism there. The piece breaks down their merchandising campaign (in shops near you very soon), to show how they'll soon by loaded to the tune of £11 million each.

Fri
21
Oct

Apparently, the streets are dirty, the customer service shabby, the weather rainy... and her survival advice for Americans thinking of visiting is...

... bring a little cashmere sweater or a pashmina...

Gwyneth Paltrow... the Ray Mears of Belsize Park. More comment, here.

Tue
27
Sep

Ioan Gruffudd and Matthew Rhys, they're leaving for good. We're sorry, but it's true; and we know because their three-bedroom flat on Kingsgate Road, has just joined the market for £400,000.

Mon
26
Sep

Sept26legend.jpgIt's a veritable celebrity orgy of London loving right now, isn't it? Although we suspect fans might be getting a bit ahead of themselves with this one. The man's just won a MOBO, he's bound to be in a good mood.

Thu
22
Sep

Sept22rourke.jpgCelebrity pap time... Mickey Rourke is said to have enjoyed punching London fans and ogling London policewomen so much that he's planning to move over here, permanently, in the next couple of months. The only problem?

"It's a lot of fun and I'm having a great time but, man, you don't get much bang for your buck here, do you?"

Too bloody right you don't, Mickey my son.

Mariah Carey's London hit list revealed [September 20]
Incoming celebrities - Justin Timberlake, Cameron Diaz to move to London [September 13]

Tue
20
Sep

Sept20mariahcarey.jpgThe Daily Mirror's 3am Girls (think... this year's Big Brother housemates, but without the depth and profundity) have apparently spoken to "a source close to" Mariah Carey and come up with a potential hit list of London neighbourhoods suitable for a future home. The Mariah Carey space station is said to be beaming detailed layouts of Ladbroke Grove, Old Street, Kensington and Marylebone back to Carey HQ, where Mariah and her luxurious pussy survey projected maps, and cackle... " I love the way they speak - the cockney accent, so I'm gonna learn it."

Tue
13
Sep

Sept13just.jpg Sept13miller.jpg

At least for the summer of 2006. Timberlake, who wrote this lyric:

There's no getting around it/Or in between/You're out of this world/Except you're not green

... has been offered a role (by Kevin Spacey) in Arthur Miller's Resurrection Blues, at the Old Vic. Robert Altman will, apparently, direct. Diaz, who according to instinct can do absolutely no wrong in this world, has film commitments that will also bring her to London. More, here.

Fri
02
Sep

First of all - they're not a couple, okay. But Big Brother's Anthony and Craig will be buying a house together, in West Hampstead, where they will live. More, here.

Tue
30
Aug

Aug30craig.jpgIt cost £12,000 - according to this piece of time-wasting gossip. The important parts of the story are that it's a six-seater, it includes a champagne bucket, he wants it on his London roof terrace, but he might not get planning permission. We want to know... would you object to the sight of Craig David and lovelies soaking and splashing? Answers on an email, please.

Fri
26
Aug

Channel 4 News's sorely-missed ex-political editor Elinor Goodman gets her knuckles rapped in the Telegraph, today? Why? As the new chairman of the Affordable Rural Homes Commission, she's investigating a possible ban on second homes in rural areas. Rural areas like Oare in Wiltshire, where Goodman has her house, as opposed to her flat in SW1. I guess this is the kind of thing that happens when poacher turns gamekeeper.

Aug26kanye.jpg

Now you're talking. US music magazine Blender (and one of my old employers before I became a bricks-and-mortar-stalker) have been chatting to epic religio-rapper Kanye West, and it seems the man is considering a move to London:

Future plans: "I think I'm gonna move to London," "Get a fake-ass British accent like Madonna."

I don't know why I'm so excited. But what's with the Madonna reference? Does Madonna's accent really sound British to American ears? More fun, here.

Tue
16
Aug

To stay grounded. Obviously.

Mon
08
Aug

We've driven another one out. News broke over the weekend that Liam Gallagher and Nicole Appleton have had enough of the constant prying and intrusion that comes with north London celebrity life. They're clearing off - for the time being, to a mansion in Great Dunmow, Essex, owned by Nicole's sister Natalie and the Prodigy's Liam Howlett.

Wed
03
Aug

Aug3alcopop.jpgCamden Council is under fire from the borough's celebrities, who are objecting to the potential sound of untalented people drinking late into the night, once licensing hours are extended. Amongst the protesters... pianist Alfred Brendel, who lives in Well Walk, Hampstead, is concerned about the Wells Tavern; Amanda Platell is battling with the Roebuck, in Hampstead's Pond Street; Jon Snow (whom the Rat and Mouse supports as a matter of principle on any issue whatsoever) takes a dim view of late-night drinking at the Torriano in Kentish Town; and Joan Bakewell is worried about lude, drunken shenanigans concerning the Princess of Wales (the pub) in Primrose Hill.

Tanya Same - founder of the Ghost label - opens her Ladbroke Grove home to Charlotte Crips in today's Independent. As you'd imagine, it sounds hip - a homely and unstudied ragtag of 20th Century design, found objects and bits of Ghost. Hey, it also has a bar - so what do we know? And just in case anybody hadn't read the Ladbroke Grove bit, and was in any doubt we're talking about west London:

There's a spiral staircase here that leads up to an attic bedroom at the top of the house, where I do yoga every morning with my yoga teacher. I've just learnt to stand on my head.
Fri
29
Jul

July29waltons.jpgWhichever way you look at it, this is a weird one. Insurers Norwich Union have suddenly decided a temporary obsession with the idea of a "happy home" is going to make them seem caring, so they've launched a survey seeking to establish which celebrities have - in the eyes of the public - the happiest homes, plus a competition to find the key to home happiness. Now, I know what you're thinking. This isn't proper social science. And you'd be so right. For what it's worth, Jonathan Ross and Jane Goldman have the happiest home, with Jamie and Jools Oliver's home coming in a jocund, merry second. Norwich Union even comes up with a few handy tips to make your own home happier. Want to waste your valuable time by reading them?

Ensure you get on with you neighbours. Allow each member of the family their own space. Make your house a clutter-free zone. Allow plenty of sunlight into your home. Kitchens and lounges should be warm, spacious and inviting. Make time for each other. Ensure your home is secure and adequately insured.

If you think you can do better, and fancy the chance of winning an £8,000 prize and thus making your home so happy it squeals, go here.

July29siphons.jpgA bar in the lounge, obviously. According to an interiors piece in today's Times, the home cocktail bar is back, with the trend led by Madonna, who hired David Collins to recreate the Berkeley Hotel's Blue Bar in her own New York pad.

"People are increasingly entertaining at home," says Alex Michelin, director of the property developers Finchatton. "And they want to do so in a relaxed yet sophisticated way. Having people over for cocktails is fast replacing the labour-intensive dinner-party scenario."

Right. But does that mean you really need somewhere to lean your elbow? It all sounds like the kind of kitsch silliness that you look back on with embarrassment when it crops up in the corner of old photos. What do you think?

Fri
08
Jul

According to this, she's taken a £10,000 kicking on the sale of her three-storey Georgian house in Hammersmith. If this is truly a story, it's that the house was bought - for £10,000 more than the £680,000 she's said to have accepted - way back in 2001. It originally joined the market with an asking price of £775,900.

Mon
27
Jun
Later in the conversation, she criticised the Blairs' new London home as "horrible", saying: "I said to them, guys, we're not going to get into this conversation because I'll only depress you. Suffice to say, I think you are nuts!"

First off, that's Carole Caplan - fitness guru, taste-maker, sister of discretion - talking to a News of the World reporter posing as an Arab "sheikh" (and we dread to think what, exactly, that consisted of). Read the full article to appreciate why slagging off Connaught Street is the least of Tony Blair's worries. (She also calls him a fat man who likes a drink.) Meanwhile, the Sunday Mirror has been running alongside the Connaught Street house, watching it haemorrhage money and devalue faster than a government promise:

Tony and Cherie Blair's dream home has crashed in value by £700,000 in just seven months. The couple paid £3.65million for the five-bedroomed Regency townhouse in West London in October. But estate agents say it is now worth less than £3million - even though, nationally, house prices have risen by 10 per cent in the last year.

The article goes on to point out that the Blairs' tenant is paying £5,000 a month less than the mortgage repayments. Jeez, sometimes it's nice not to be Prime Minister.

For sale: be the Blairs' neighbour for £2.75 million [June 20]
Blairs' property jinx reaches Bristol [June 17]
Blairs' Connaught Square rental deal leaks out - gradually [March 31]

According to FemaleFirst, she's selling the Primrose Hill house she famously shared with actor Jude Law, and moving to the country. She will, however, be looking for a little crash pad in the £1.5 million category. Phil and Kirstie - stand by, it's a big one...

Fri
17
Jun

Hardly worth rubbing shoulders with dodgy Peter Foster now, was it? According to Bristol estate agents, the state of play on the two investments that led straight to the "Cheriegate" affair is that, should the Blairs decide to sell up in the near future, they could lose as much as £60,000. Ah, so that's why they didn't (as they'd suggested they were going to) liquidate the properties to offset their expensive Connaught Square investment. More, here.

Blairs' Connaught Square rental deal leaks out - gradually [March 31]
Blairs savaged in buy-to-let market [March 7]

Fri
10
Jun

It's a five-storey Georgian home in Regent's Park's Conway Street, it cost £1.6 million and Madonna's giving it to the Kabbalah organisation to use as a hotel/drop-in for Kabbalists. Well, we say Kabbalists, but the prospect of any 18th century Eastern European freethinking mystical geniuses popping in is fairly remote. Britney Spears or Demi Moore on the other hand... More, here.

Tue
07
Jun
It's no surprise Madonna is spending time away from her London home and in New York. Reportedly the first single from the new album is a song called "I Love New York."

But what do they know?

Incoming celebrity alert - Beyonce [June 6]

Mon
06
Jun

June6beyonce.jpgThat's right - according to the Mail on Sunday, and now surfacing on the Internet, here. The story goes that she's fallen for a five-storey, five-bedroom property in Chelsea, with a 30ft double reception room and 32ft split level garden. The story also goes that it's with Knight Frank estate agents, and she's made an offer of £2.6 million (which, if it's accepted, suggests to the Rat and Mouse she's bagging a bargain). We can't find anything on the Knight Frank website that fits the description and comes in anywhere near that figure.


 


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