Thursday, April 18, 2024

An Airhead’s Tardis – Hidden House In Knightsbridge Once Home To Donna Air For Sale For £14.5 Million

Tardis-like hidden house in Knightsbridge once home to ‘airhead’ Donna Air – who once amusingly asked The Corrs: “Where did you all meet?” – for sale for £14.5 million (or 383% more than it was ‘worth’ in 2003)

Update, Thursday 4th April 2024 – Internal images removed at insistence of Annabel Edney, associate PR, Savills.

 

The ‘cheap wing’ of one of Knightsbridge’s landmark churches, St Saviour’s, has gone on sale for a not-insubstantial sum of £14.5 million after the more ‘expensive wing’ was marketed for the very punchy sum of £55 million in 2019 and the still somewhat punchy sum of £44 million in 2020.

 

The deceptively Tardis-like Hastings House in Walton Street is a ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’ home from the pavement. It is entered through a small door to the side of a church that was reduced in size to accommodate the vast 12,102 square foot St Saviour’s House and the new-build in 1999 property of 5,261 square foot now offered by agents Savills.

 

Actress and presenter Donna Air – who once hilariously asked the siblings that formed The Corrs: “Where did you all meet?” during an interview – numbers amongst the well-known ‘names’ to have lived in the house. This likeable lady shared the property with her wealthy conservationist then partner Damian Aspinall and even operated her even more hilariously named company (since dissolved) Airhead And Money Limited from the address.

 

Occupied also variously by a fast-living, Bugatti driving oil trader named Pierre Andurand and the controversial Italian sports manager Pierandrea Semeraro, the three-storey residence is centred around a “serene” private courtyard and includes 2 reception rooms, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a rather impressive roof terrace.

 

Savills describe the freehold house as “opulent” and laud “one of the crowning jewels of the residence,” its underground pool, as a “hidden gem” in the basement; perhaps Sharon Corr and her siblings could hold a reunion there.

 

Editor’s note – Unlike as is the case in many publications, this article was NOT sponsored or supported by a third-party. Follow Matthew Steeples on Twitter at @M_Steeples and watch his current nightly show on YouTube at 8.30pm daily.

 

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James Middleton Donna Air Victoria Fisher Damian Aspinall
Actress and presenter Donna Air and conservationist Damian Aspinall with James Middleton – Air’s partner between 2013 and 2018 – and Victoria Fisher – whom Aspinall married in 2016. Aspinall and Air were an item between 2000 and 2007. Donna Air’s most famous moment on the telly box was summed up in an interview with Sharon Corr of the Celtic pop band The Corrs. Of the encounter, Corr stated: “We did a live television interview with Donna Air. Her opening question was: ‘So, where did you all meet?’ I looked at my brother and sisters and our hearts sank. If that was the opening question, it could only go downhill from there. It was clear that she knew absolutely nothing about us.”
Pierre Andurand and Pierandrea Smeraro
Oil trading tycoon Pierre Andurand and sports tycoon Pierandrea Semeraro have also both been listed at the address in Companies House records. How long each of the men lived at the property is unknown.

The Names & Numbers – Hastings House, Walton Place, Knightsbridge, London, SW3 1SA, United Kingdom

March 2024 – Offered for sale as an “ultra-cool freehold house” by William Duckworth-Chad and Alex Christian of Savills for £14.5 million ($18.3 million, €17 million or درهم67.2 million) – an asking price 123% higher than the asking price 20 years ago in March 2004 and 383% higher than the quoted worth in May 2003 – and described by Robb Report’s Abigail Montanez as a “stately London home hiding in plain sight… in the affluent Knightsbridge neighbourhood.”

 

April 2012 – Richard Compton Miller for The Standard bizarrely contradicts previous evidence and suggests Damian Aspinall and Donna Air “recently moved into [the] converted church.” It can only be assumed he was regurgitating somewhat outdated parish news.

 

April 2010 – Listed as the address of French “entrepreneur” Pierre Andurand on his appointment as a director of Andurand Events Limited company. The company ultimately was dissolved on 28th June 2011 after a compulsory strike-off.

 

Aixe-en-Provence born Mr Andurand is listed on Wikipedia as a “businessman and hedge fund manager” who was educated at the University of Oxford. This twice married “leader” of Andurand Capital has variously been listed as a “star trader,” an “oil trading wildcard” and someone who operates with “no set risk limits.” World Top Investors list this kickboxing enthusiast as “the comeback kid, the hotshot trader living the jock-bro dream, driving a Bugatti supercar, a Knightsbridge townhouse, and a trophy wife Russian model.”

 

23rd January 2007 – A planning application submitted by the Italian sports manager Pierandrea Semeraro concerning the property is approved.

 

Mr Semeraro is listed on Wikipedia as having been the president of the Sports Union Lecce from 2006 to 2010. He was subsequently banned and disqualified after an investigation into a football betting scandal.

 

November 2006 – Planning application submitted to make various alterations to Hastings House by a firm named Stanhope Gate including the addition of skylights.

 

April 2004 – Described by the Daily Mail’s Adam Helliker as being the “weekday… converted church” home where “daughter of a bus mechanic from Newcastle” who “has, by all accounts, rather taken to the life of luxury” Donna Air “busies herself with acting lessons, acupuncture, shiatsu and stints with her personal trainer.”

 

March 2004 – Featured once again by The Observer’s Ben Flanagan after going on sale for the far higher than he’d previously mentioned sum of £6.5 million ($8.2 million, €7.6 million or درهم30.1 million) through the rather ritzy realtors Aylesford.

 

Of it, Flanagan enthused:

 

“Behind a discreet doorway on an exclusive Knightsbridge street lies this 5,250 sq ft home, which the estate agent describes as ‘one of London’s hidden gems.’”

 

“You’d never guess the house was built in the 1990s as you wander through its elegant Italianate central courtyard to the neo-classical cloisters and drawing room. One clue, however, is the basement swimming pool and bar, which has a more modern – if a little Footballers’ Wives – look… ‘There’s an amazing ‘party pad’ feel to it,’ says a spokesman.”

 

May 2003 – Described by The Observer’s Ben Flanagan as worth £3 million ($3.8 million, €3.5 million or درهم13.9 million) in a feature that mentions it being the home of actress Donna Air and zoo owning tycoon Damian Aspinall.

 

28th July 2000 – Listed as the correspondence address of “presenter” Donna Air’s amusingly named “radio and television activities” company, Airhead And Money Limited. The company ultimately was dissolved on 1st March 2011 after a compulsory strike-off.

 

1999 – Completion of Hastings House and St Saviour’s House by developers The Raven Group Limited.

 

4th September 1998 – Full planning permission granted for the construction of Hastings House by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. Of the planning history of the unlisted property then to be constructed, the council noted separately: “The subject site was formerly included within the ground of the St Saviour’s Church, which is a listed building, however following planning permission which was granted in August 1997 for the erection of the subject building, the subject site has been formally renumbered in 2001 as Hastings House and is considered as a separate planning unit to St Saviours Church.”

 

Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.

9 COMMENTS

  1. It needs a visitation from my wrecking ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a dump!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought you’d learned Steeple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aussie Rod is back to teach you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As for the church BLOW IT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I like the courtyard but I do think it odd that they have a motorbike in the drawing room. Why would anyone have such a contraption leaking oil all over their flooring? Money and sense do not always go together.

  3. Penny,you hit the nail on the head. You said >> money & sense don’t always go together. Nobody could have said better or more accurately. High ^^^ to you.

    #BakaLivesMatter#AfricanParks
    #AmericaLovesCatherinePrincessOfWales
    #CatherineAmerica’sPrincessToo
    #WeAdoreYouCatherine

  4. PR people have utterly no concept of how to conduct public relations. Insisting you remove imagery that we the reader wants to see is nuts! So many I have come across in my work (restaurants) are completely useless and I have personally fired two firms in a row as they couldn’t even understand that someone who owns/manages a restaurant is not a “restauranteur” but in fact a “restaurateur”!

  5. I can see why they wanted the images removed. That house is an overpriced dump. It needs a fortune spending to eliminate the bad taste decor.

  6. Perhaps Savills should replace their PR person with…. Drum roll… Prince Andrew. I hear he’s very good at pontificating and making a prat of himself.

  7. The PR woman is now making herself the story. Is she really that moronic? What a twerp to tell you off. I know what’ll happen next… She’ll go the same way as Jonathan Davis of Nest Seekers and get herself a little expose I hope. I looked her up on Google. She went to university in pensioner-ville Bournemouth and states on her biog: “When not working, she can be found enjoying brunch with her friends or going for a long walk down by the coast.” Don’t normal people “go for a walk” “ON” the coast rather than “by” it?

  8. Annabel needs a dictionary. The tweet about her was the perfect form of revenge. A dish served cold. Very cold

  9. I loved the tweet about Annabel. You do make me giggle. Annabel needs to be sent back to school. Preferably somewhere a little better than Bournemouth this time though.

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