Holland Park is one of the most romantic and peaceful parks of central London
There is a rumour going around that a Malaysian Minister bought an £8.5 million home in the Holland Park, London area. At an exchange rate of 4.78 Malaysian Ringgit per Sterling Pound, that comes up to RM40.63 million.
For that kind of money, no Malaysian Minister can afford such a home based on Minister's salary and allowances. For that Minister to buy such a home, it has to come from sources other than his paycheck. One can only imagine his/her wealth.
The rumour told to this blogger came with a name but there will be no name mentioned. It will be more fun to smoke this Minister out of his foxhole. This means 'spreading this rumour' and watching out for initial reactions.
Let's give our own local bred sleuth solver and mystery hound a crack at figuring out the Minister. Using the available clue, one can start asking question. Move on from there.
First and foremost, let's understand the part of London called Holland Park. Below is an extract from Wikipedia and a suitable map of Holland Park.
Holland Park is a district and a public park in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in west central London in England. It covers an area of about 22 hectares (54.36 acres) and is considered one of the most romantic and peaceful parks of central London.To understand the architecture and types of property of this upmarket area, we refer to an extract of the history of Holland Park and accompanying pictures from Wikipedia below:
Holland Park has a reputation as an affluent and fashionable area, known for attractive large Victorian townhouses, and high-class shopping and restaurants. There are many popular shopping destinations located around Holland Park such as High Street Kensington, Notting Hill, Holland Park Avenue, Portobello Market, Westbourne Grove, Clarendon Cross, and Ledbury Road.
Though there are no official boundaries, they are roughly Kensington High Street to the south, Holland Road to the west, Holland Park Avenue to the north and Kensington Church Street to the east. Holland Park Avenue is at the boundaries of four CAS wards: Norland, Holland, Pembridge, and Campden.
Holland House in 1812
The district was rural until the 19th century. Most of it was formerly the grounds of a Jacobean mansion called Holland House. In the later decades of that century the owners of the house sold off the more outlying parts of its grounds for residential development, and the district which evolved took its name from the house.Why is our Malaysian Minister so keen on being in the same neighbourhood with Brian May or Simon Cowell?
It also included some small areas around the fringes which had never been part of the grounds of Holland House, notably the Phillimore Estate (there are at least four roads with the word Phillimore in their name) and the Campden Hill Square area.
In the late 19th century a number of notable artists (including Frederic Leighton, P.R.A. and Val Prinsep) and art collectors lived in the area. The group were collectively known as "The Holland Park Circle". Holland Park was in most part very comfortably upper middle class when originally developed and in recent decades has gone further upmarket.Royal Crescent in October 2009
Of the 19th century residential developments of the area one of the most architecturally interesting is The Royal Crescent designed in 1839.
Clearly inspired by its older namesake in Bath, it differs from the Bath crescent in that it is not a true crescent at all but two quadrant terraces each terminated by a circular bow in the Regency style which rises as a tower, a feature which would not have been found in the earlier classically inspired architecture of the 18th century which the design of the crescent seeks to emulate.
The design of the Royal Crescent by the planner Robert Cantwell in two halves was dictated by the location of the newly fashionable underground sewers rather than any consideration for architectural aesthetics.
The stucco fronted "crescent" is painted white, in the style of the many Nash terraces which can be elsewhere in London's smarter residential areas. Today many of these four storey houses have been converted to apartments, a few remain as private houses. The Royal crescent is a listed Grade 2.
Holland Park is now one of the most expensive residential districts in London or anywhere in the world, with large houses regularly listed for sale at over ten million pounds sterling.
A number of countries maintain embassies here. Simon Cowell lives in Holland Park when he is in London. As does the actress Anita Dobson and her husband Brain May the Queen lead guitarist.
That gives a clue of his psyche. Our Malaysian Minister need to flaunt his wealth instead of lying low with his allegedly ill gotten gain.
Unless some financially strapped Sir, Lord, or celebrity had to sell their second or third home at fire sale price, our Malaysian Minister did not buy a large house for £8.5 million.
Then, what will £8.5 million get you in Holland Park area?
We browsed on the website SunSplash Homes. Below are samples available:
Go to the website and it will lead to details of the properties.
Who have been buying and selling £8.5 million property?
For that, we goggled "£8.5 million Holland Park" and picked up snippet of gossips from past Evening Standards:
The Italian fashion designer Valentino is moving to London.--------
He is spending £8.5 million on an eight-bedroom house in Holland Park close to Sir Richard Branson's home. The classic white-stucco mansion is in need of some refurbishment, according to local agents. Valentino, who dresses stars like Claudia Schiffer (right), Elizabeth Hurley and Naomi Campbell, has his London showroom in Sloane Street. He also has homes in Rome and New York.April 18th, 2001
SIR RICHARD BRANSON has put his Holland Park home on the market for an estimated £17.5 million.Looks like our Malaysian Minister can't have the adventurous entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson as neighbour.
The Virgin boss paid £5 million for the Grade II listed detached, white-stuccoed Italianate villa in 1992.
The house, built in 1860 by the Radford brothers to the specifications of the local landowner Lord Holland, was originally bought as an investment and for Virgin's foreign-based staff to use when in London for training.May 31, 2006
Oh ... what a pity.