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It's starry,starry nights for Hollywood's brightest
Award-winning actress Keira Knightley has spent some of her Hollywood millions buying a French holiday villa near the medieval town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. The Teddington-born beauty chose this chic area after vainly searching the nearby Luberon “discovered” by bestselling author Peter Mayle. Next week she opens in the West End in Molière’s comedy The Misanthrope, playing a promiscuous Hollywood actress opposite Damian Lewis.
And even better news: her pal Sienna Miller is coming home after receiving dire reviews for her lead role in After Miss Julie on Broadway. Saint-Rémy is best known as the spot where Vincent Van Gogh spent a very productive 1889 painting sunflowers, irises and wheatfields. He was held in a lunatic asylum there after cutting off part of his left ear.
Now you can vote yourself into the X Factor house. The most famous property in Golders Green remains home this week to show finalists Joseph McElderry, Stacey Solomon and Olly Murs but after a winner is picked at the weekend it can be yours for £5.57 million through Quintessentially.
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The six-bedroom house in West Heath Avenue, with its magnificent glass roof over a triple-height atrium and stunning polished concrete and glass staircase, also comes with state-of-the-art technology. International designers Fox Linton have installed 63in HD plasma TV screens, Viabizzuno architectural mood lighting and a breathtakingly gadgety Boffi kitchen.
Sotheby’s International Realty is selling American actress Brooke Shields’s former ski chalet in Sun Valley, Idaho, for $6,150,000 (£3,711,000). The open-plan, six-bedroom property has outstanding views of the two best ski-runs from the terrace picture-windows, and a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace.
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The former It-girl and child model, best known for her films Pretty Baby, The Blue Lagoon and Endless Love, now lives in Manhattan with her TV scriptwriter husband and two daughters. Sun Valley is reputedly America’s oldest ski resort and the home of the world’s first chairlift. Regular skiers there include Clint Eastwood, George Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Donna Karan.
The vagaries of super-chefdom prompted The Berkeley hotel’s Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing to invest off-plan in a Barratt buy-to-let property in Stockwell eight years ago. “It has proved to be a marvellous investment, doubling in value and providing a good income,” he tells me.
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The Southport fruit and veg wholesaler’s son reckons his own home, a six-bedroom, five-storey Victorian Wandsworth semi which he bought in 2004, is now worth £2 million. It lies across the Common from the home of TV chef Gordon Ramsay, with whom Wareing has had a long-running feud. “I pass Gordon’s house twice a day and make a salute,” he laughs.