Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Don't panic: the Aston's thrown in

Properties with unusual extras

This morning an email pinged into my inbox from Jacqueline Branston, of whose concierge business I wrote last Friday. A wealthy Chinese client had tasked her to find a Central London rental for him and his family for the Olympics late last week. His only requirement: a panic room. This morning, in her message, Branston revealed that not only had she found one with such a feature but that the same house also had a bedroom lined with bulletproof materials. The delighted client, she also revealed, is to pay £40,000 a week for the privilege of staying in this off-market residence in Belgravia.

A scene from the 2002 film Panic Room directed by David Fincher and starring Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart and Forest Whitaker

Another option for a security conscious individual seeking a home with a panic room is the £2,750,000 Thankerton House in Woolton Park in Liverpool. The panic room at this 5-bedroom 1930s detached house has a steel reinforced door and wall panels and other security features include a CCTV system, two sets of automated remotely controlled gates and laminated ground floor windows. With 17 television points throughout the building, Big Brother can watch from every angle.

Thankerton House, 59 Woolton Hill Road, Woolton Park, Liverpool, Merseyside, L25 6HU comes complete with a panic room

In Mayfair, residents of the penthouses at The Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeriah Living get another kind of extra. Not only do they get the use of an executive boardroom, gym and spa but also the services of a butler and access to a self-drive Aston Martin Rapide house car. Ranging in size from 450 square feet to 5,550 square feet, some of the apartments can be merged to create larger spaces and in certain cases an entire floor could be taken making them ideal for visiting tycoons, diplomats and Arab royals. A 4-bedroom penthouse is listed at £21,000 a week through the North Audley Street office of Savills.

Various views of the penthouses at The Grosvenor House Apartments, Park Lane, London, W1K 7TN that come complete with access to a self-drive Aston Martin Rapide

Previously I’ve seen houses for sale that have come complete with equally unusual extras thrown in. At the lower end of the scale, such things as fully stocked wine cellars, ducks and sheep often are passed to buyers but last November the owner of a 5-bedroom house named Kerrywood in South Ascot included his black Rolls-Royce and a Hyundai people carrier in the £3,700,000 asking price. Commenting at the time, agent Ed Shaw of Knight Frank stated:

"The owner is relocating to Singapore and doesn't want the hassle of shipping the car. It is just a little sweetener. It might turn some people on to have a good turn-key package and the car is in wonderful condition. It is a bit of fun, and it might titivate people a little bit."

Kerrywood, Horsegate Ride, South Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 9LS was marketed complete with a Rolls-Royce and a Hyundai people carrier

Jackie Branston has indeed proven that she can find her clients just what they require without panic but equally others are increasingly turning to inventive angles to make the properties they sell or let more appealing to an affluent international audience. Goodness knows what we’ll see thrown in next.

For more information on Jacqueline Branston’s concierge service, email her at: Follow Jacqueline Branston on Twitter at:

For more information on the penthouses at The Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeirah Living, contact +44 (0)20 7518 4444. More details can be viewed at:

For more information on Thankerton House, contact the Wilmslow office of Savills on: +44 (0) 1625 460462. More details can be viewed at:


Alan said...

How much do these panic rooms cost?

Christina said...

Goodness. You do know of some paranoid people, Jackie!

Glenda said...

Jackie Roffe is always making things happen. Wherever she goes, she brings joy and happiness.

Brett said...

I'd just rather live in the Aston. Trouble is with the state of the UK, you'd be set-on fire.