Martha’s last-minute move to Marylebone
Can we soon expect wedding bells from Lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox and Chris Gorell Barnes, her beau for the past five years? She has just spent an estimated £9 million on a six-bedroom Grade II-listed Georgian family home in Montagu Square, Marylebone.
Previously, following her near-fatal car crash five years ago while on holiday in Essaouira, Morocco, the dynamic daughter of an Oxford history don lived in a specially adapted Mayfair flat, described by one visitor as “huge, modern and elegantly understated”.
“Martha has bought a cracking property, which has every mod-con imaginable,” reports an friend.
Lane Fox, whose grandfather Jimmy Lane Fox founded the eponymous estate agents, earned £13 million from the £577 million sale of Lastminute.com in 2005.
She recently founded Lucky Voice, a chain of Tokyo-inspired karaoke clubs, and Antigone, her own charitable foundation.
Aaron Simpson, chairman of Quintessentially, the concierge firm, has spent an estimated £4.24 million buying a six-bedroom 400-year-old converted finca on Ibiza. His exquisite but remote Balearic bolt-hole is set in an acre of olive, orange and lemon groves and overlooks Formentera.
© Joe Kohen
“We’re re-building the interior, making it lighter and adding four bedrooms, plus an infinity pool outside,” says the Essex-born former film producer. “We’re using only British builders because they’re the most reliable.”
He and his wife, Johannesburg beauty Leanne, had looked at 50 villas on Ibiza using property finders Quintessentally Estates (natch). They flit between homes in Islington, New York and Cape Town. Simpson co-founded Quintessentially in 2000 with former London club-owner Ben Elliot, nephew of the Duchess of Cornwall. They boast that they can “fix anything from a last-minute circus for your 50th birthday party to an insiders’ weekend in New York”.
Chelsea football star Andriy Shevchenko is selling Mount House, his five-bedroom Wentworth Estate home, for £10 million through Knight Frank. The Regency-style property, set in three-and-a-half acres, has a swimming pool, tennis court, gym, wine cellar, sauna and staff flat.
© Yui Mok/PA
“Andriy recently won planning permission to extend the 10,000sq ft property by a further 5,000sq ft,” explains an insider.
The charismatic Ukranian striker and former AC Milan player is married to international model Kristen Pazik by whom he has two sons. Jordan, the eldest, is named after Shevchenko’s idol, US basketball champ Michael Jordan, and his godfather is Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi.
The 1,750-acre Wentworth Estate near Windsor has become something of a closely guarded ghetto for celebs such as Bruce Forsyth, Eddie Jordan, Cliff Richard and “Prince” Naseem Hamed.
Dedicated Obamaniacs should consider buying the Old Turnip House, a four-bedroom Nottinghamshire barn-conversion in Sutton-in-Ashfield, for sale at £430,000 through local agents Frank Innes.
Genealogists recently traced President Barack Obama’s family, through his mother Ann, to an Edward Fitzrandolph, who was baptised at St Mary’s Church there in 1607.
Shortly after the Pilgrim Fathers’s 1620 arrival he settled in Massachusetts. Aside from the house, this Domesday Book village’s most notable feature is the largest sundial in Europe.