The new belle of Brooklyn
When Agent Provocateur model Daisy Lowe moved to New York recently you might have expected her to settle in the Meatpacking District, NoHO, or some other edgy Manhattan locale. Instead, she joined the fashionista exodus to Brooklyn, where two-bedroom loft apartments rent for $3,500 a month.
The Marc Jacobs muse and love child of pop singer Gavin Rossdale has rented her two-bedroom Primrose Hill flat near where she grew up with her rock-chick mother Pearl Lowe (best friend of supermodel Kate Moss) and stepfather, drummer Danny Goffey.
“My parents didn’t have loads of money,” she recalls. “I’ve been looking after myself, paying my own way, since I was 17.”
Doe-eyed Daisy is engaged to Will Cameron Jnr, former lead singer of British indie rock band Blondelle.
Rory Keegan, the self-styled Proust of the London nightclub world, has swapped the delights of Chelsea for la citta bella, Florence. In 1998 he co-founded Chinawhite, a favourite Soho haunt of Princes William and Harry, supermodels and football studs.
“We’re all very jealous of Rory,” says John Stephen, Keegan’s business partner. “He’s moved from Redcliffe Place off Fulham Road and settled in Florence, where the people are nicer, the food and wine are great and there isn’t this idiotic government.”
Chinawhite closed before Christmas because of a major redevelopment of its Air Street basement site. “But we’re reopening this September in larger premises off Oxford Street that used to be the Wax Bar,” adds Stephen.
Twice-married Keegan, a former West End impresario, restaurateur and microlight pilot, chose nightclubs because of the opportunity to seduce girls. “Life is all about trying to get their knickers off,” he boasts.
After 120 years in his family, Robin Loder is reluctantly selling Leonardslee, his Grade-1 listed West Sussex garden, for £5 million through Savills.
© Luke MacGregor
The six-bedroom Lower Beeding property, set in 225 acres of lakes and woodland, is the victim of sibling inertia. Neither his son Christopher nor twins Tom and Mary are prepared to take over this classic azalea and rhododendron garden, first opened to the public in 1907.
The estate comes with one exotic extra, a herd of 50 wallabies. “We use them as mowing machines,” adds Robin. “They don’t need wages, petrol or pensions and they never go on strike.”
Normally unshockable Belgravia estate agents are amazed that Ebury Lodge, a five-bedroom double mews house put on the market at £12 million last year, has sold for only £5.5 million through Wellbelove Quested. Yet it was designed and built by the Queen’s cabinetmaker nephew Viscount Linley, who briefly lived there with his heiress wife Serena Stanhope.
© Denis Jones
“It’s a funny market in which vendors must be realistic,” says an insider. “Clearly the property was overvalued. It also looks very unassuming from outside, even though it’s spectacular inside with a great drawing-room.”
Another factor is the growing popularity of the nearby Thomas Cubitt pub, “which used to be quiet and is now terribly trendy.”