Homes gossip: Kate Winslet; David Gray; Hampstead’s Bishops Avenue; Plymouth’s Grand Hotel

British actress Kate Winslet is renting out her New York apartment for £18,900 a month. The opulent pad is in a loft building which has attracted residents such as Bjork and Alan Cumming
Kate Winslet
© Getty Images

Kate turns her back on New York and that fabulous flat from Sam

Kate Winslet is renting out her New York apartment for £18,900 a month.

The British actress acquired the opulent pad in the city’s smart Chelsea neighbourhood from her film director ex-husband Sam Mendes as part of their divorce settlement.

She has decided not to live in the four-bedroom, three-bathroom duplex, preferring to spend an increasing amount of time in London.

She has been spotted lately at Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair and Soho’s Groucho Club. Her latest film, Movie 43, will be released in February.

David Gray
© Getty Images
Church Studios, Crouch Hill

He’s out of tune with locals

David Gray wants to convert his famous London music studios into a block of flats. The Babylon singer bought Church Studios in Crouch Hill, where the likes of Bob Dylan, The Eurythmics, Elvis Costello and Radiohead have recorded, in 2003.

But now his architect, Mark Ruthven, is seeking permission to turn the building into one three-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments, with the original façade kept in place.

However, not everyone is convinced. Local residents have objected, insisting that the building is part of the area’s rich musical heritage. The decision lies in the hands of Haringey council.

The Grand Hotel, Plymouth

Follow Gladstone at the Grand

The Grade II-listed Grand Hotel, Plymouth, played host to many famous faces before it was converted into 24 luxury apartments.

Victorian Liberal prime minister William Gladstone addressed 10,000 people from one of its balconies in 1889, Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stayed at the hotel in 1923, while Laurel and Hardy and The Beatles were other high-profile guests.

A 2,200sq ft penthouse, the final flat to be carved from the building, has just gone on the market with Jackson-Stops & Staff’s Exeter office for £1.45 million (01392 214222,

Sea views and a spacious roof terrace could make it an ideal retreat for Londoners looking for a little escapism.

Heather Mills
© Rex Features
The Versailles penthouse, Hampstead

Suitable for billionaires, sultans and Heather

Called The Versailles, this penthouse in Hampstead’s ultra-pricey The Bishops Avenue, is one of the capital’s most extravagant apartments, part of Allingham Court, once the home of Heather Mills.

The flat for sale — with the price on application — comes with a master suite which has two dressing rooms, three further en suite bedrooms and a 24-hour Harrods concierge service.

Britain’s richest man Lakshmi Mittal, the steel magnate who funded the Orbit tower in the Olympic Park, owns a property nearby, as do the Sultan of Brunei and the Saudi royal family.

For sale with Glentree the dream apartment has access to a communal swimming pool, sauna and gym.

Follow us on Twitter @HomesProperty and Facebook