Lenny Henry & Dawn French’s House For Sale

And very lovely it is too: a Grade II Listed Georgian farmhouse with six bedrooms, three receptions, a very classy conservatory and 6.54 acres of gardens and paddocks.

Strangely, the couple are struggling to sell it, and the Telegraph reports that the price has been slashed from £3m to OIEO £2.25m. Nothing funny about that.

Strutt & Parker (Tel: 0843 2823 346)






November 4, 2009 at 1:19 PM 1 comment

Zoopla creates the mega property portal

proud to power

After many months, weekends and long nights since our acquisition of the PropertyFinder Group, our immensely talented Development and Tech team, led by CTO Simon Kain, successfully integrated all of our sites on to a single, world-class technology platform at precisely 04.00hrs  yesterday (3 November).

It’s likely that if your reading this blog you may have come via PropertyFinder.com, HotProperty.co.uk, ThinkProperty.com or Zoopla.co.uk. All these brands will continue but are now ‘powered by’ the Zoopla.co.uk technology platform.

We’ve done this to combine the expertise of both businesses to create a market-leading proposition for our member agents and for the millions of home owners using our websites month-in-month out.

Our agent members will benefit from being able to upload to a single platform and automatically gain exposure to the enlarged audience of sites now powered by Zoopla.co.uk, including leading UK websites MSN, Yahoo, Virgin and Guardian.

Homeowners, buyers, sellers and renters will now have access to a broader range of features via Zoopla.co.uk including overseas property listings, a flat share service and email alerts.

All users will now have access to the unique features of Zoopla.co.uk including its unique appraisal leads service (AskAnAgent) and community tools that help homeowners, buyers and sellers engage with agents directly to discover local information via AskMe! Q&A.

We’d love to hear your feedback, so why not leave a comment below, talk to us on twitter or become a fan on our facebook page.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

November 4, 2009 at 9:42 AM 3 comments

Halcyon Days Hotel

If walls had ears, this property would have heard some of the juiciest gossip of the last two decades. And if they could write, it’d probably have penned a hefty kiss-and-tell bestseller.

Alas, since walls can do neither, we’ll just have to imagine the crazy antics that took place inside this cornerstone of pop culture history.


For this ordinary looking property once housed the Halcyon Hotel, which, in its ’90s / early ’00s heyday, provided sanctuary – and no doubt a lot more besides – to a veritable Who’s Who of the stars of the time.

The intrepid Hound over at London Brickwork informs us that the hotel’s illustrious clientele included Liam Gallagher, post split with Patsy Kensit; Geri Halliwell, post-split with the Spice Girls; and Michael Hutchence and Paula Yates, post her split with Sir Bob.

Having closed its doors several years ago, the Halcyon has since been converted into exceptionally plush apartments, one of which is currently on the market with Foxtons.

Unfortunately, at £3.5 million, you’ll need a rock star’s salary to be in with a shout.





(Via London Brickwork)

November 3, 2009 at 4:21 PM 6 comments

Pyrotechnic Property Values

With Bonfire night round the corner, we’ve compiled a list of hot areas where the fireworks have already gone off.

Here are the top ten areas where property values have rocketed over the last 6 months. The question is, will these areas sustain these gains, or will these gunpowder propelled property prices fall back down to earth?

We also took this opportunity to showcase our extensive and explosive fireworks knowledge (thank you Wikipedia).

Do you know your hummer from your horsetail or your dahlia from your diadem?

1. Mines in Midlothian – 10.49%

A mine is a ground firework that expels stars into the sky. Shot from a mortar like a shell, a mine consists of a canister with the lift charge on the bottom with the effects placed on top.

Property for sale in Midlothian

2. Horsetails in Hereford – 9.60%

Called Horsetails due to the shape of its break, this shell features heavy long-burning tailed stars that only travel a short distance from the shell burst before free-falling to the ground.

Property for sale in Hereford

3. Dahlias in Devon – 8.66%

A Dahlia is Peony shell, but with fewer and larger stars. These stars travel a longer-than-usual distance from the shell break before burning out.

Property for sale in Devon

4. Spiders in Suffolk – 7.84%


Spiders contain a fast burning tailed or charcoal star that is burst very hard so that the stars travel in a straight and flat trajectory before burning out.

Property for sale in Suffolk

5. Chrysanthemums in Cardiff – 7.43%

A spherical break of colored stars, similar to a peony, but with stars that leave a visible trail of sparks.

Property for sale in Cardiff

6. Bees in Buckinghamshire – 7.30%

The effect caused by stars swarming around.

Property for sale in Buckinghamshire

7. Sparklers in Stirling – 6.57%

A handheld stick like firework that burns over a long period of time (up to a minute) and produces a brilliant shower of sparks!

Property for sale in Stirling

9. Catherine Wheels in Cumbria – 6.38%

It consists of a powder-filled spiral tube, or an angled rocket mounted with a pin through its centre. When ignited, it rotates quickly, producing a display of sparks and coloured flame.

Property for sale in Cumbria

10. Hummers in Hertfordshire – 6.25%

Tiny tube fireworks that are ejected into the air spinning with such force that they shred their outer coating, in doing so they whizz and hum.

Property for sale in Hertfordshire

Have a great Bonfire Night and here’s some good safety advice.

November 3, 2009 at 2:25 PM Leave a comment

Pub With Love: Brighton Pub gets conversion to Townhouse

Here’s a property I came across the other day – a quirky pub conversion in Brighton.


The upside, obviously, is that staying in can become the new going out. When time is called, you just stumble up the stairs and pour yourself into bed.

The downside, though, is that the exterior still looks like a pub so there’s always the prospect of drunken idiots banging on the door at 2am demanding pints of absinthe and pork scratchings.

There are some nice period details here, including the original double doors from the pub, and the whole thing has been very well done.

So while  I’m sad to see a good old Victorian boozer shut down, I’ll happily raise a glass to the current owners for making a fine job of a building that’s been variously used as a pub, a bookshop and a corkscrew factory.

Cubbit & West (Tel: 0843 3635 462)






November 2, 2009 at 5:05 PM Leave a comment

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