As volatile Charles Saatchi made his brutal announcement over the weekend that he was filing for divorce, his once-beloved wife, Nigella, was starting life afresh — moving her belongings into a stylish, if bohemian, new residence, I can reveal. Yesterday, a king-size mattress was carried into the house by two removal men, while over the weekend she ferried in various items, including an electric coffee maker and a deluxe toaster.
Nigella Lawson is renting a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house in one of the less salubrious parts of central London: there’s a nearby launderette and a red-light area a stone’s throw away. Certainly, it’s nothing like the opulent Belgravia mansion she shared for many years with Saatchi or, indeed the £12 million house in Chelsea which the couple moved to more recently.
Much to the annoyance of neighbours, Saatchi spent several years — and millions — transforming a former mannequin warehouse off the King’s Road into a seven-bedroom family home: the kitchen alone cost the art guru a reported £500,000. Like her former marital home, Nigella’s new abode has a history. It dates from the early 19th century and was once used as a school and later as offices.
But despite the rather down-at-heel surroundings, the house is worth around £4million. Although relatively small, it boasts a cinema, a wine cellar and a state-of-the-art kitchen befitting a Domestic Goddess. ‘There’s a lot of glass and a wonderful bathroom in natural stone,’ says a neighbour who watched Nigella move in. It doesn’t have a garden but there is a small, sunny, secluded patio with an outdoor shower.
And should Nigella tire of her own rich cooking, she is near two restaurants: one, specialising in Middle East dishes, says it will be happy to deliver a take-away – but not this month because of Ramadan. Let’s hope she isn’t overlooked by the neighbours — unlike her Chelsea mansion where she failed to include a door to the bathroom and, as I revealed, could be seen by prying eyes.