SELLER: Tamara Ecclestone
LOCATION: London (Chelsea), UK
SIZE: 6,245 square feet, 4-7 bedrooms, 4 full and 3 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The notoriously pampered and supremely profligate 20-something year old Ecclestone sisters Petra and Tamara—heiresses to the multi-billion dollar Formula One racing fortune of their diminutive, mop haired daddy Bernie—have been like catnip to all us international property gossips over the last few years due to their frequent hoovering up of mind-numbingly expensive real estate in both London and Los Angeles.
Twenty three year old, newly married and currently preggers Petra garnered oodles of attention for her 2010 purchase of an historic $90,000,000 (or so) mansion in London’s natty Chelsea area and even more over the summer of 2011 for her $85,000,000 acquisition of The Manor, Candy and Aaron Spelling’s (in)famous 56,000 square foot architectural monstrosity on 1.3 landscaped acres in the hoity-toity Holmby Hills are of Los Angeles.
Twenty eight year old and newly single Tamara, however, is not to be outdone by her younger sister in the personal residence department. In Los Angeles, rumor has it the older Ecclestone sister has secured a short term lease Fleur de Lys, the decidedly immoderate chateau style pile in Bel Air owned by couture-clad divorcée Suzanne Saperstein. In London, Tamara either has already or soon will move into a newly refurbished and expanded mega-mansion tucked behind the heavily guarded gates of the ultra-exclusive Kensington Palace Gardens (K.P.G.) that she scooped up in late 2010 for about £45,000,000, or about $73,000,000 to all us Americanos.
According to a friendly source in London whom we’ll call Paulina Propertypornlover, the upcoming completion of the rehab and redo of her new pad in K.P.G.—said to cost young Miss E. an additional £15-20,000,000—probably explains why her current residence, a red brick and limestone contemporary on a quiet street just a block or so from the Thames in the Chelsea area, has popped up on the open market with a sky high but probably not unrealistic asking price of £19,750,000. A few quick calculations on Your Mama’s currency conversion contraption and we determine that’s 31,902,800 U.S. dollars at today’s rates.
Paulina reminded Your Mama that in addition to the purchase price, home buyers in the U.K. are required to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax. In the case of Miss Ecclestone’s residence that would be 7% of the purchase price. That means if some Richie Rich comes along and agrees to pay full price he (or she or they) will have to cough up an additional £1,382,500—$2,233,190—in Stamp Tax, an amount that is an up front cost to the buyer and can not—as far as we know, anyways—be rolled into the mortgage.
Miss Ecclestone bought her house in Chelsea sometime in 2007 for about £10,750,000 and current marketing materials show the four floor main house was built in 2005, measures 6,245 square feet and includes a total of 4-6 bedrooms depending on use, four full and three half bathrooms and two full kitchens plus a wet bar/kitchenette. A separate, detached structure across the motor court is idea for housing a staff person and adds another 518 square feet with a narrow living room, and even more narrow bedroom plus a puny kitchenette and a windowless bathroom.
The house sits well out of view of the street at the tail end of a long, gated tunnel driveway that passes through a small street-side apartment house at the ground level and opens into an tight, four-car motor court expensively equipped with a motorized turntable that conveniently turns Miss Ecclestone’s fleet of high performance cars around with little more effort than the touch of a button.
The front door opens into an airy entry (above, top left) with powder room and is defined by vast, art filled walls and a glass railed staircase that twists and double-backs in on itself to connect the upper and lower levels. A quick perusal of the floor plan (above) shows the elevated main floor encompasses a framed photograph filled, 33-plus foot long living/dining room (above, top right and lower center) with high ceiling, marble-faced fireplace over-mounted with a giant flat screen t.v., extra wide plank oak floors and four floor to ceiling windows that peer into the not quite lap length sky-lit indoor swimming pool plus more windows that overlook the motor court.
The sky-lit, galley-style eat-in kitchen (above, top) stretches 28 feet long with marble floors, shiny white cabinetry and top grade appliances that include a washer and dryer. A sky-lit breakfast area at the far end (above, bottom) has floor to ceiling windows with a view of the indoor swimming pool. Don’t be fooled, children, by the wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling bookcases filled with books because that’s merely an optical illusion created with wallpaper meant to look like book filled book cases. Call Your Mama old fashioned—and Lowerd knows we’ve been called much worse—but we’d rather by far have actual bookshelves filled with actual books.
Back down on the ground floor there are two fairly petite but adequate guest bedrooms with built-in wardrobes, private bathrooms and itty-bitty windows (above). Miss Ecclestone custom converted a third and larger guest bedroom on the ground floor—at the tail end of a wide, zig-zagging corridor with eye level windows that look into the swimming pool—into a boutique like dressing room with custom wood wardrobes for storing her extensive collection of designer clothing, sky-high shoes, punishingly pricey handbags and statement jewelry.
Marketing materials indicate the shower/tub was removed in the attached bathroom and replaced with a hair and make-up station, a real must have for a high-maintenance young heiress like Miss Ecclestone who—no doubt—keeps a squadron of hairdressers, nail polishers and make-up appliers on retainer. While we totally get that a high maintenance conspicuous consumer/clothes horse like Miss Ecclestone would install extensive storage facilities for her exorbitantly expensive habiliments but does it strike anyone besides Your Mama a bit bothersome that her dressing room is two long flights of stairs and a zig-zagging hallway away from her top floor master bedroom?
A potential fourth bedroom, also on the ground floor, was custom fitted as a compact, oak floored gym with a recumbent bicycle, a scary looking, state-of-the-art tanning bed, a few free-weights for bicep toning, an attached bathroom and an adjoining spiral staircase that ascends to the indoor swimming pool area.
Miss Ecclestone’s master suite isn’t humongous but it is lavishly appointed and occupies the entire top floor of the residence. The large bedroom (above, top) is fitted with a wall full of mirrored wardrobes, delicious wall-to-wall seal gray silk carpeting and a pair of matching fainting couches, one of which is jammed full of stuffed animals. Seriously? Stuffed animals? Tamara, gurrrl, you are 28 damn years old with artwork by the likes of Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst and a small collection of stuffed animals in your bedroom? Hunny, pleeze. No. Absolutely not. That is not cute and it certainly ain’t chic. All the children surely know by now that Rule No. 5 in Your Mama’s Big Book of Decoratin’ Dos and Don’ts emphatically declares: “Under no circumstances are stuffed animals to be used as day-core except in the bedrooms of children under 10, maybe up to 12 if the child is an immature twelve.” Capisce? Anyhoo, the attached master bathroom (above, bottom left) is slathered in beige marble with twin, caved marble sinks, a soaking tub and an over-sized shower fitted with every sort of shower head a rich girl’s decorator can buy. (The above photo on the lower right is Miss E.’s previously discussed custom fitted dressing room on the ground floor.)
The master bedroom opens to a large, barely furnished terrace with a high planted parapet that promotes privacy (above, top right). A catwalk connects the terraces to a spiral staircase the corkscrews down to a smaller terrace (above, top left) tucked between the main living/dining room and the indoor swimming pool (above, bottom).
Double doors at the bottom of the stairs on the subterranean lower ground floor open into a nearly 20-foot square dining room with temperature controlled wine cellar, a teeny-tiny but no doubt grossly expensive chandelier and a colorful grid of gorgeous abstract prints by Mumbai-born and London-based artist Anish Kapoor. Glass sliders open to a small terrace and a second set of solit walnut double doors open into a particularly louche cinema/screening room with extra deep silk-velvet upholstered sofas, plush royal blue wall-to-wall carpeting and hidden sound and television systems.
Also located on the basement level are a small study with attached bathroom, a separate powder room, a kitchenette/wet bar just outside the cinema, a fully equipped serving kitchen with in and out doors for the hired servers, laundry facilities and a custom fitted luggage room wall papered with with Louis Vuitton monogrammed wall covering that matches Miss E.’s vast collection of Louis Vuitton luggage.
As mentioned above, Miss Ecclestone—along with her five dogs Alvin, Puggle, Socky, Buster, Hob Nob and Duke but without her philandering former live-in man-friend Omar Khyami—will decamp Chelsea for the gated and heavily fortified Kensington Palace Gardens (above) where she’ll settle into a newly refurbished and expanded mega-mansion that at least one report in the British tabs says has 55 rooms in about 55,000 square feet.
Miss E.’s new mega-manse stands more than three floors above ground and at least two floors below and plans called for the installation of a single lane bowling alley, a nightclub, an indoor (and underground) swimming pool complex, fitness center, beauty salon and spa with massage treatment rooms, a media room and a doggie spa with cabinets for storing all their accoutrement.
The master suite, so various reports reveal, encompasses the entire second floor and will feature large bedroom chamber, separate lounge with cocktail and champagne bars, a no longer necessary “his” dressing room with leather lined cabinets and a behemoth bathroom with a £1 million bathtub carved from a single piece of Amazonian crystal, Miss E.’s 600-plus square foot boutique-style dressing room was designed with silk lined lingerie drawers, Hermès leather lined cabinets for sunglasses and jewelry, motorized racks for shoes, hats and handbags and an island storage cabinet with a pop up television that can be watch from a super-sized built-in window seat.
A number of the sumptuous mansions along Kensington Palace Gardens are maintained as official embassies (Lebanon, Russia and Israel and Romania to name a few) while others are owned by high-flying bajillionaires like real estate mogul Jonathan Hunt, the Sultan of Brunei, Russian-American industrialist Leonard Blavatnik and Russian tycoon and prodigious trophy property collector Roman Abramovich.
Half a dozen doors up from Miss Ecclestone’s residential beast is the even bigger ‘Taj Mittal’ owned by Indian steel magnate Laksmki Mittal who bought it in 2004 for £57,000,000 from—hold on to your britches—Miss Ecclestone’s father Bernie. Mister Mittal is said to have spent at least two other mansions on the block, one in 2004 for £70,000,000 for his daughter Vanisha and the other in 2008 for a record breaking £117,000,000 for his son Aditya.
Directly across the tree-lined street from Miss Ecclestone is Kensington Palace where Prince William and with-child Duchess Catherine will soon settle into a spacious four floor townhouse type apartment that is said to have upwards of 20 rooms and was inhabited by Princess Margaret and Lord Snowden until her death in 2002.