Homes gossip: Petra Ecclestone

Petra Ecclestone's Formula One boss father Bernie has just bought her America’s most expensive house for £92 million
Petra Ecclestone
© Getty Images

Petra’s petrolhead palace


What is a girl with an eight-bedroom £66 million Grade II-listed mansion in the heart of Chelsea to do? Get an even bigger pile in California, of course. Such is the mantra of Petra Ecclestone, 22, whose Formula One boss father Bernie has just bought her America’s most expensive house, for £92 million.

The fashion designer’s new Los Angeles spread has more than 100 rooms including 14 bedrooms, 27 bathrooms, a barber’s shop, a wine-tasting salon, several gift-wrapping rooms and a flower-cutting centre. Past guests include Prince Charles, who has a suite there named after him.

The house previously belonged to American author and socialite Candy Spelling, widow of TV producer Aaron Spelling, the man behind Dallas. It will be Petra’s main base outside London with her fiancé, the entrepreneur James Stunt.


David Walliams
© Graham Jepson

A place on the celebrity strip


A property on Hove’s celebrity strip is on the market for £1.8 million. The four-bedroom, three-bathroom beach-side house at Western Esplanade is surrounded by the famous and infamous — including David Walliams (pictured), Fat Boy Slim, Heather Mills and Nick Berry.

Sited directly on Shoreham Beach, the magnificent newly rebuilt detached home makes the most of the stunning sea views with a large first-floor open-plan living area and balcony overlooking the shoreline. Full-height windows also face the sea in the master bedroom.

Guests are sure to call and there is a suite of rooms just for them with access to the marble terrace and its swimming pool. Call Hamptons International (01273 230230).


Luca Pisaroni and wife Catherine

Hit the high notes in Sussex


Opera star Luca Pisaroni is making the most of his time in the UK by renting a countryside barn. The bass-baritone, who is set to perform at Glyndebourne Festival and the BBC Proms this summer, is renting an East Sussex retreat to share with his wife, Catherine. With tall ceilings and a large sitting room, it is ideal for unwinding after a performance.

But the couple, who own properties in Vienna and New York, have their much-loved dogs, Lenny and Tristan, in mind. The spoilt canines already feel quite at home on the barn’s outdoor terrace, and in their beautifully maintained kennels.


Cranworth House

Me, six dogs, seven cats, a cob and donkeys Annie and Dec


TV host — and Britain’s first female horse racing presenter — Lesley Graham, is selling her nine-bedroom Norfolk home for just shy of £1.4 million. The Grade II-listed Regency rectory is also home to her teenage children, six dogs, seven cats, a 27-year-old cob and two donkeys — Annie and Dec.

“We moved here as it had great schools and fantastic access to all the racecourses — Fakenham, Newmarket and Huntingdon,” she tells me. It is a traditional house, she says, except, perhaps, for the gothic ceiling in the master bedroom. There is a self-contained annexe and 12 acres of land to jog around, plus a tennis court and paddock. Through Bedfords (01284 769999).

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