The tale of landlords seeking extraordinary rental figures during the 2012 Olympic Games
Walton Place is a smart Knightsbridge street where my good friend Marisa Masters used to host the most extraordinary parties featuring the likes of everyone from Joan Collins to Archbishop Eugenio Sbarbaro, the Vatican’s ambassador to Serbia. This is also a street where, at various times, everyone from Damian Aspinall and Donna Air to Sir Martin Sorrell have lived and where houses regularly sell for up to £20 million.
The exterior of 18 Walton Place, London, SW3 1RJ
Several years ago, a chef friend catered at an event hosted by the owners of 18 Walton Place, a particularly grand corner house opposite Harrods. On this particular occasion, I recall being told of how the owners had filled the ground floor with sand and employed bikini clad staff to reflect the beach party theme of the evening. These were hosts who didn’t hesitate to pull out the stops to make their bash go with a swing.
A sitting room at 18 Walton Place
Yesterday, I noticed the very same house for rent in a property magazine for an equally brash figure. Described as an “Olympic let,” £40,000 a week is sought for the property during the period of the games in July. A housekeeper is included and parking is possibly available as an extra but as tenants will have to stay for at least a month, they’ll still be shelling out £160,000.
The courtyard garden at 18 Walton Place with a glazed panel illuminating the space below
Normally houses in this street fetch up to £15,000 a week, so it will be interesting to see whether there’ll be any takers for this 3,800 square foot residence.
Christine Hamilton’s charming mother, “Granny” Megan Holman, once said to me:
“The Olympics… Give them to the Scots, they take everything else from us.”
These landlords, should they find a tenant, will be thinking exactly to the contrary.