Homes gossip

Building work has already started on the Chelsea mansion that pharmaceuticals heiress Samantha Sackler recently bought for £26m from Jemima Khan.
Jemima Khan
© Getty Images
Jemima Khan

Jemima's £2m makeover isn't good enough


No sooner has pharmaceuticals heiress Samantha Sackler bought a pristine Grade II-listed Chelsea mansion designed by cult Thirties architect Oliver Hill from Jemima Khan for £26 million, than the scaffolding is back up again. This, despite Bovril heiress Khan having spent an estimated £2 million on a two-year makeover nearly doubling its size.

“Samantha is a fanatical Art Deco fan and is determined to restore all its original features both inside and out,” explains a neighbour. She and her husband, entrepreneur John Hunt, have four children —Tara, Jasper, Dylan and Hugo — who will enjoy the vast secluded garden. Samantha’s late father was American philanthropist and honorary knight Dr Mortimer Sackler, whose fortune was derived from laxatives, ear-wax removers and antiseptics.


Alice Eve
© AJM
Alice Eve
With her Marilyn Monroe-meets-Brigitte Bardot looks, actress Alice Eve is one of Notting Hill’s most glam adornments. But she recently left her Ladbroke Grove flat and joined the acting drain to Los Angeles, hoping to land major Hollywood roles.

With her boyfriend, pin-up poet Adam O’Riordan, the Bedales- and Oxford-educated actress has rented “a small beach house” close to the crashing waves of Venice Beach, where neighbours include Julia Roberts, Kate Beckinsale and Anjelica Huston.

“I’m a Londoner really,” she explains. “It would be nice if we made more films there.” Chiswick-born Alice, whose previous loves include actors Rafe Spall and Rufus Sewell, is the daughter of Waking The Dead star Trevor Eve and Gold Blend ads actress Sharon Maughan. She co-stars in the upcoming Sex And The City 2.


Bobby Davro
© Kieron McCarron
Bobby Davro
TV entertainer Bobby Davro can heave a sigh of relief after selling his 8,000sq ft Surrey mansion for £4.2 million through Curchods. On the market since last autumn, it follows a sad period during which his marriage to former Page 3 girl Trudi Jameson (mother of his three daughters, Brittany, Tierney and Marnie) collapsed and he suffered a nervous breakdown.

The Staines-raised, Olympic runner’s son personally designed the six-bedroom neo-classical property on the Burwood Park estate near Walton-on-Thames. Last January he was one of the wobbliest contestants in ITV1’s Dancing On Ice.


Royal portrait painter Nicky Philipps is selling her South Kensington artist’s studio and home for £2.5 million through Savills. The three-bedroom corner property, rebuilt after Second World War bomb damage, was formerly owned by a relation, the Communist artist Wogan Philipps and his wife, Bloomsbury Set novelist Rosamond Lehmann.

Prince William and Prince Harry visited Nicky’s Clareville Grove studio five times to pose for a double portrait in military uniform that was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery last January.

“Nicky is only moving because she needs a larger purpose-built studio and she’s so busy with new commissions,” explains a neighbour. The lively Welsh singleton is descended from an illustrious line of landowners and artists, whose family seat is medieval Picton Castle in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

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