Homes gossip

Walk the Line star Reese Witherspoon is a country girl at heart. Her $6.9 million ranch in Ojai, California, is a six-acre hideaway, which is also home to donkeys, pigs, chickens, horses and dogs.
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Reese Witherspoon
© AP

One heehaw too many from star’s noisy donkeys

It seems living next door to a glamorous A-list star isn’t all it’s cracked up to be — at least for Reese Witherspoon’s neighbours.

Following weeks of complaints, they have resorted to sending the Water for Elephants actress a letter asking her to take control of her pets.

Donkeys Honkey and Tonky, who live on her £4.3 million ranch in Ojai, California, haven’t been trained to keep the noise levels down and are reportedly proving quite a nuisance.

The six-acre hideaway, which served as Reese’s wedding venue to Hollywood agent Jim Toth in March, is also home to pigs, chickens, horses and dogs. It previously belonged to American homes designer Kathryn M Ireland but she was more concerned with jazzing up the interior than making space for animals.

However, the 35-year-old star has other priorities. She has kept the decor easy to maintain so that it acts as a practical family base for her seven-year-old son Deacon, and 11-year-old daughter Ava.

I guess the Walk the Line actress is a country girl at heart.

Ann Widdecombe
© Rex Features

Ann waltzes into Dartmoor for the superb views

Before investing in property, it is usual practice to approve of it, but Ann Widdecome has always liked doing things her way. The former politician, who hit the headlines with her Strictly Come Dancing stint, said: “I hated my Dartmoor house when I bought it.” So why would you purchase it? “For the breathtaking views of the moors,” she told me.

But beware, landscape seekers — stunning surroundings are a distraction. The novelist revealed: “I converted a bedroom with glorious views into a study. However, this makes me do less work as I’m forever gazing out of the window.”

Since moving in last year Ann, who is working on a BT and Action on Hearing Loss campaign, has put her own stamp on her five-bedroom home.

“I’ve always promised myself I would create a library. I created a big fireplace, floor-to-ceiling shelving, parquet flooring, and I’ve positioned a smart writing desk. It is my favourite room.”

Cherie and Tony Blair

Buy this pad and Blairs could come to dinner

If the idea of having the Blairs (right), Jennifer Saunders and Quentin Willson as neighbours appeals and you have just under £1.4 million to spend, I have found the perfect investment. A two-bedroom, two-bathroom penthouse, very close to Marble Arch is on the market with Carter Jonas.

It’s in a secure portered block on Seymour Street, and has been done up with fabulous fittings and a contemporary Poggenpohl kitchen. And with Hyde Park and Oxford Street on its doorstep, it’s so convenient. (020 7402 1552;

Leap at Mikhail’s NY mansion

When Mikhail Baryshnikov starred in Sex and the City, his character, charming artist Aleksandr Petrovsky, boasted a magnificent bachelor pad. But the Russian ballet star and actor’s real-life home is just as impressive. The five-bedroom, five-bathroom mansion, just outside New York, is now for sale through Sothebys International (sothebys for £3.4million.

His 5,800sq ft residence overlooks the Hudson River. Mikhail and his partner, elegant ballerina Lisa Rinehart, surround themselves with neutral colours and traditional furniture to go with its original features as a barn.

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