The rich and famous sometimes like to do things a little differently but, just like the rest of us, they need a roof over their heads. If you’re keen to buy a property with provenance, cachet and even a sprinkling of stardust, start by taking a look at this selection for sale. All have been owned by well-known names, from historic literary greats to showbiz legends and royal dynasties.
1. Nan Les Pins, Provence, France, £3.495m Euros (approx. £2,945,287)
Previously Eric Clapton’s summer residence, this beautifully renovated farmhouse lies in 10 acres of landscaped grounds surrounded by forest, and is about an hour’s drive from Marseilles and Aix en Provence. The main house has eight bedrooms, seven bathrooms, an open plan kitchen/dining room and a vast, vaulted living room leading out to the terrace and garden via wide sliding doors. There’s also a two-bedroom, two-bathroom annex/guest house, a tennis court, boules pitch, gym, swimming pool and a fully sound-proofed cinema room so you can turn up the volume as loud as you like. On the market through via Home Hunts.
2. Combe Florey, Taunton, Somerset, £4.5m
Evelyn Waugh – regarded as one of the great 20th century novelists – bought Combe Florey House in 1956 and his family lived there until 2008 when it was acquired by the present owners. Dating back to the 18th century and grade II listed, it’s entered through an elegant reception hall and includes 12 bedrooms, seven bedrooms, a three-bedroom cottage, a summerhouse/party barn and nearly 35 acres of land. TA ground floor orangery acts as the central hub, connecting the informal rooms – kitchen/breakfast room, study, family and sitting rooms - with a trio of formal reception rooms. These comprise a drawing room, a dining room and - no surprises here - a library. For sale by Strutt & Parker.
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3. Guia, Algarve, Portugal, 5.9m Euros (approx. £4,966,926)
Congratulations will be in order to the purchaser of this private estate, as it’s currently owned by Sir Cliff Richard. He’s been coming to the Algarve since the 1960s and bought the property in the 90s but is selling as it’s too big for his needs and is hunting for somewhere smaller. Only 35 minutes from Faro International airport, it features a main farmhouse with six ensuite bedrooms, a three-bedroom cottage, a two-bedroom apartment, a heated outdoor pool, a tennis court, a gym, Jacuzzi, and tons of indoor and outdoor entertaining space. On top of all this, it comes with a 300 year old windmill and its own vineyard which produces grapes that supply a local winery. Get in touch with Fine & Country Algarve.
4. Theoule-sur-Mer, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France, 5.95m Euros (approx. £5,021,866)
Sweet dreams are made of this secluded and very spacious waterfront villa, which was owned by Eurythmics stars Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart from 1988 to 2001. Situated on the French Riviera just outside Cannes, it has private access to the Mediterranean sea, a jetty for docking your own boat, sunbathing and dining terraces, and amazing views from almost every angle. Inside you’ll find five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a living room, dining room, two kitchens and a fitness suite, with air-conditioning throughout. Available through Carlton International.
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5. Ottery St Mary, Devon, £5.95m
The Chanters House is the former home of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who was born there in 1772 and wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan. However, it dates from the 14th century and Oliver Cromwell is believed to have declared civil war while staying there in 1645. In recent years, the 22,000 square foot house has been rewired, replumbed and painstakingly restored with new sash windows, a new roof and an indoor swimming pool, while retaining all the period features in keeping with its grade II* listing. It incorporates 10 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a billiards room, palm house, a party room with a bar and DJ booth in the chapel, and most magnificent of all, a 70 foot long library containing 22,000 books. Contact Strutt & Parker.
6. Hampstead Garden Suburb, London NW11, £12.5m
Michael McIntyre and Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan are near neighbours of Fairwood, a grade II listed mansion that was designed by esteemed architect Sir Edward Lutyens for the McKenna Midland Bank dynasty who lived there from 1935 until the early 1960s. After being sold to the Saudi Royal Family, who owned it until 2002, in 2006 it was rebuilt behind the original façade, making it fit for 21st century living while keeping the layout loyal to Lutyens’ designs. The house boasts a triple height galleried entrance hall, three reception rooms, a library, family room, kitchen/breakfast room, study, eight ensuite bedrooms, a cinema/games room, gym and double garage, and backs on to ancient woodland and a bird sanctuary. Available via Aston Chase and Arlington Residential.