A Belgravian Yo-Yo

Nicky Haslam designed Belgravia house for sale for 33% less than in 2010 in spite of yoyo-ing up and down in price for ten years

Estate agents like to make things sound grander generally and often give a house a name rather than a number. In the case of ‘Orpheo House’ in Belgravia, they’ve done the opposite and even though technically it stands in Elizabeth Street, its listed address is the rather grander sounding ‘50a Eaton Square.’


Grosvenor Estate owned Eaton Square, developed from 1827 onwards, has variously been home to actors, politicians and statesmen. Amongst them have been Stanley Baldwin, Sean Connery, Rex Harrison, Vivien Leigh, Joachim von Ribbentrop, George Soros and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and most recently in 2019, the square was used as a location in the hit BBC drama series The Capture.


50a Eaton Square has had a curious history. In 1992, it was listed as the final address of the fourth and last Baron of Southborough on his death and subsequently, in 2009, it was sold to a “British music executive” according to Financial News. In 2010, he commissioned the renowned interior designer Nicky Haslam to turn it into a “trophy home” and the “epitome of comfortable luxury.” It now includes not only air conditioning and underfloor heating, but also has “secret drawers for DVDs” and “display cabinets for watches and sunglasses.”


“Super-stylish… [and] whimsical… with a Parisienne theme” according to the Evening Standard in 2016, the three-storey property fronts Elizabeth Street, but can also be accessed from a side door into Eaton Mews West – a cobbled street that has been home to Belgravia Garage since 1930.


Plainly, being next to the busy garage and car wash has put off buyers given that the property has yoyo-ed on and off the market at prices as high as £4.5 million since 2010. The real problem, however, is that the remaining 26-year lease is not enfranchisable.


Extending to 2,253 square feet, 50a Eaton Square features a double reception room, an Italian black lacquer kitchen and a small bedroom suite on its ground floor, a 25-foot by 24-foot reception on its first floor whilst a “generous” bedroom suite with dressing room, bathroom and west facing roof terrace takes up the entire second floor. A spiral wine cellar is located on the lower ground floor and a parking space within the mews is also included.


Agents Rokstone now seek the very much reduced sum of £3 million for the property.


The Names & Numbers – Orpheo House, 50a Eaton Square, Belgravia, London, SW1W 9BE


March 2020 – Reduced in price to £3 million ($3.5 million, €3.3 million or درهم12.9 million) and still available through agents Rokstone.


November 2019 – Listed for sale on Zoopla.com for £3.45 million ($4 million, €3.7 million or درهم14.8 million).


June 2018 – Listed for sale in Square Mile magazine for £4.25 million ($5 million, €4.6 million or درهم18.3 million).


October 2016 – Featured in the Evening Standard’s ‘Homes & Property’ section at a price of £4.25 million ($5 million, €4.6 million or درهم18.3 million) with agents Rokstone.


July 2011 – Listed as the ‘House of the Day’ on the Financial News website at a price of £3.95 million ($4.6 million, €4.3 million or درهم17 million) through agents Savills.


January 2010 – Listed for sale in Square Mile magazine for £4.5 million ($5.3 million, €4.9 million or درهم19.4 million) with agents Aylesford.


2009 – Sold to a “British music executive” according to Financial News. They state: “He moved out last year while [Nicky] Haslam completely gutted the house, taking it back to bare brick and changing the ceiling heights.”


June 1992 – Described as the last address of Francis Michael Hopwood, Lord Southborough, whom died on 15th June 1992 (born 1922). Given the fourth Baron of Southborough had no offspring, the title (which was created in 1917 by King George V) then became extinct.


June 1955 – Featured in The Gazette as the address of Ambrose Dasent, an engineer and relative of the Sir George Webbe Dasent (1817 – 1896), the renowned translator of Scandinavian literature and mythology.


February 1936 – Featured in The Times as having “been sold by Messrs.’ George Trollope and Sons before auction.


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The designer of the interior of 50a Eaton Square, Nicky Haslam (pictured with fellow socialite Paris Hilton).
The entrance hall and staircase.
The main reception room.
Viewed from another angle.
The room includes a bar and is opulent in its styling.
A second reception room, on the ground floor, features a sitting area within a bay window.
It is has a division.
With a dining area beyond.
The kitchen features a central island.
The main bedroom suite.
Another view of that suite’s bathroom.
The suite comes with its own roof terrace.
The second bedroom is situated on the ground floor.
A floor plan of the property.
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  1. It’s not sold for one reason – it’s a pokey DUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it is next to a fume emitting garage!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Knock it down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wrecking ball urgently required!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get it gone —- and as for that interior —– Nicky Haslam should have gone to Specsavers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. It needs redesigning. The layout is weak. It should have three bedrooms really. Can nothing be done about the lease? If it could be extended by any means, that would help improve its attractiveness and if the garage could close down, all the better.

    • Doesn’t appear to have its own garage, which is ironic considering its next door neighbour. Strangely designed (mind you, cute outdoor balcony to enjoy the sun and petrol fumes). Think I’ll pass.

      • The balcony is at the rear so away from the garage. The design is probably, as Roger points out below, ready for a refresh and the layout could be changed. The problem is most definitely the lease – which cannot be extended. As for the garage, having lived near it for several years until recently, it is not as big a problem as some might think. It is well run and they do not sell petrol.

  3. Could become a great bachelor pad but I bet given how long it has been for sale for that it needs completely redoing. I have walked past there recently and I do recall the paintwork is in very poor order. I am guessing it is empty – which only suggests there will be more problems with it.

  4. As a property professional, this one’s passed across my desk numerous times. It has a lot of flaws sadly – the ceiling heights are disproportionate, the rooms are odd shapes and there simply aren’t enough bedrooms. It’s effectively a glorified one bedroom house as is and it needs completely reconfiguring. Given the proximity to the fumes of those queuing for the garage and car wash and the short-lease, this sum is still way too ambitious.


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