Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bushells Tea, Murdochs, China & Ewan Mcgregor

Altona                                              Carthona                                                    Iona
The only news that really matters in this town is property prices. One week they are up, the next down according to our scribes on the tabloids totally uninfluenced by the massive amount of advertising dollars that stream in to the dead tree press.
Naturally news today that Sydney's "most expensive house" Altona has sold for a whopping $50M plus has pulses racing. It's been snapped up by a Chinese mega millionaire 75 year old Xiuzhen Ding who also owns a splendid bay side manor in  Melbourne.

As the Shuttle has reported before, Altona in Point Piper was once owned by Rupert Murdoch's nephew Matt Handbury and his then wife Fiona. They held superb parties attended by the likes of yours truly. Fiona copped Altona in a divorce settlement, promptly sold it for a reputed $29M to publisher Deke Miskin, and then nipped off to the UK  to join the British aristocracy as Lady Dartmouth when she married William Legge the grandson of legendary romance novelist Barbara Cartland and stepbrother to the late Princess Diana.

         The Handburys                            Chris & Tracey-Ann Oxley
Just around the corner from Altona in Darling Point is a complex of 3 houses owned by one family, the Oxleys who inherited the Bushells Tea fortune. Carthona sits in the middle, a magnificent Gothic pile which Tom Cruise once tried to buy for Nicole Kidman.  On one side is Beach House and on the other is the superb new modern abode built for Christopher Oxley with, as the other two houses have, the most commanding views of Sydney Harbour that sweep from the Opera House to The Heads.

It was an appropriate location for the launch of a new LG $16K television set  launched at great expense today by LG's "ambassador", movie star Ewan McGregor. Ewan reckons this TV makes him look sensational , or as he puts it more simply :"just say that they're fucking good tellys". The tellys go on sale around the world later this year. Ewan also had some nice words to say about Baz Luhrmann who directed him in Moulin Rouge, describing his  1996 flick Romeo & Juliet as one of the "great movies of all time". Luhrmann's own house Iona, the 1880's mansion in Darlinghurst is also on the market for $15M.