Real Estate

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Gogglebox’s Steph and Dom bid farewell to their £5million dream pad 

They shot to fame on the Gogglebox sofa at The Salutation, the seaside hotel and family home they spent five years renovating.

But now Steph and Dom Parker are saying goodbye to their £5 million dream property.

I can reveal that the wine-swilling Channel 4 stars have accepted an offer on their 17-bedroom Queen Anne mansion.

Steph and Dom Parker are saying goodbye to their £5 million dream property, The Salutation, the seaside hotel and family home they spent five years renovating

‘We just fell in love with the place,’ says Dom, 57, who paid £2.6 million for the house and 3.5-acre walled garden on a whim in 2004. ‘It was like finding gold in a river. We just thought, “Oh my God. We must have it”’

‘We just fell in love with the place,’ says Dom, 57, who paid £2.6 million for the house and 3.5-acre walled garden on a whim in 2004. ‘It was like finding gold in a river. We just thought, ‘Oh my God. We must have it’

Dom and Steph, 54, spent several million pounds restoring the Sir Edwin Lutyens-designed Grade I-listed property and Gertrude Jekyll gardens in Sandwich, Kent, to their former glory, before leasing it to John and Dorothy Fothergill in 2017 to run as The Salutation hotel

Dom and Steph, 54, spent several million pounds restoring the Sir Edwin Lutyens-designed Grade I-listed property and Gertrude Jekyll gardens in Sandwich, Kent, to their former glory, before leasing it to John and Dorothy Fothergill in 2017 to run as The Salutation hotel

‘We just fell in love with the place,’ says Dom, 57, who paid £2.6 million for the house and 3.5-acre walled garden on a whim in 2004. ‘It was like finding gold in a river. We just thought, ‘Oh my God. We must have it.’ ‘

   

More from Richard Eden for The Daily Mail…

Dom and Steph, 54, spent several million pounds restoring the Sir Edwin Lutyens-designed Grade I-listed property and Gertrude Jekyll gardens in Sandwich, Kent, to their former glory, before leasing it to John and Dorothy Fothergill in 2017 to run as The Salutation hotel.

Guests included Nigel Farage, Hollywood star Emily Blunt and Prince Andrew. 

The hotel’s restaurant was run by Michelin-starred chef Shane Hughes, and its team of gardeners won gold at the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show. 

But the hotel closed before the pandemic hit, after the Fothergills amassed debts of £1.8 million.

These debts included £1.4 million owed to ‘investors’, £88,000 to the taxman, £114,000 in staff wages and the rest owed to dozens of creditors for supplying the hotel with food, drink and services.

‘I knew things were not going well when they defaulted on the rent,’ Dom tells me from their holiday home in Spain’s Canary Islands. ‘They owed us some £40,000.’

The Parkers, who left Gogglebox in 2016, have now taken back the keys.

Dom laments: ‘Our lives have changed and moved on considerably and we are not in a position to move permanently back to Sandwich.’

Dubai ruler sheikh-ing up Scottish countryside

Dubai’s ruler is at the centre of a major scandal after the High Court found he was behind an illegal British phone hacking racket. But Sheikh Mohammed clearly doesn’t feel the need to keep a low profile.

While the man himself is understood to have been away, I hear that hundreds of guests descended on his Scottish estate last week to enjoy country pursuits such as deer stalking. 

‘There were 209 of them,’ claims neighbour Roddy Macleod, 74. 

‘There were helicopters flying around, taking them to the hill to shoot. There were so many people. They had to bus some in from Inverness, where they were staying.’

The sheikh’s retreat is set to get even larger soon to accommodate his numerous relations — he has had more than 20 children by six wives — and a large entourage of bodyguards and servants.

Queen’s cousin: ‘I’m not gay enough!’

The Queen’s distant cousin Lord Ivar Mountbatten became the first member of the extended Royal Family to marry someone of the same sex in 2018, but, according to his daughter, he’s ‘not gay enough’.

‘As a good gay dad, I took my daughter to the Attitude Awards,’ he says of the gay magazine’s bash this week, where he was accompanied by Alix, 23.

‘She was determined to make the most of the evening and made me do things I don’t normally do.’

Lord Ivar, 58, who starred in the TV series Treasure Island With Bear Grylls in 2019, wore a flamboyant blazer to the event.

He adds: ‘Apparently, I am not gay enough and was the biggest fish out of water.’

The Queen’s distant cousin Lord Ivar Mountbatten became the first member of the extended Royal Family to marry someone of the same sex in 2018, but, according to his daughter, he’s ‘not gay enough’

The Queen’s distant cousin Lord Ivar Mountbatten became the first member of the extended Royal Family to marry someone of the same sex in 2018, but, according to his daughter, he’s ‘not gay enough’

Bond star Lea ‘had to be seductive’ to win roles

Lea Seydoux, who captures James Bond’s heart in No Time To Die, felt forced into being oversexualised at the start of her career in order to win parts, she claims. 

‘As an actress, when I started I had to be seductive and always play with sexuality,’ declares the granddaughter of Jerome Seydoux, owner of French film giant Pathe. 

‘I was asked to do that when I started. But me, as a person, it’s something that I’ve never really liked, playing that game.’ 

Lea Seydoux, who captures James Bond’s heart in No Time To Die, felt forced into being oversexualised at the start of her career in order to win parts, she claims

Lea Seydoux, who captures James Bond’s heart in No Time To Die, felt forced into being oversexualised at the start of her career in order to win parts, she claims

Seydoux, 36, who is the first Bond girl to appear significantly in a second 007 film, made her breakthrough in the sexually explicit French film Blue Is The Warmest Colour. 

She adds: ‘I have always felt very uncomfortable with the fact that a woman had to be good-looking and fit and sexy and whatever. 

‘It was something I felt in a tacit way, and it was a game I had to play.’ 

The Office star Ricky Gervais, who has made an estimated fortune of more than £100 million, says he was motivated to become wealthy by the irritation caused by other people. 

‘I had to get rich enough to buy a detached house,’ the comedian says. 

‘That was my aim. All I want is peace. When I stay in a hotel, the reason I have the penthouse suite is not because I’m showing off or I think I deserve it, it’s because there’s no one above me.’

Netflix hit The Crown has sunk the first on-screen collaboration between Old Etonians Damian Lewis and Dominic West. 

I hear the actors signed up to star in A Spy Among Friends, about defector Kim Philby’s relationship with Nicholas Elliott, the MI6 officer who defended his friend from claims of betrayal. 

Then Netflix offered West the role of Prince Charles in seasons five and six of The Crown, which will cover the Windsors’ 1990s tribulations and Diana’s death. 

With filming of Britbox’s A Spy Among Friends beginning in London this week, West, who was due to play Philby, has been replaced by Australian actor Guy Pearce.

Dalmeny’s girl saves the day

Sotheby’s boss Harry Dalmeny is used to the exchange of valuable goods, but when his ex-wife’s prized possession fell into the wrong hands, it was their teenage daughter who came to the rescue.

The Land Rover Discovery belonging to property developer Caroline was stolen from outside her Chelsea home. 

‘I was heartbroken,’ she tells me at the launch party for historian Andrew Roberts’s book George III at the Mandarin Oriental hotel.

Her girl Celeste, 17, managed to find it abandoned half a mile away.

‘I’m so glad I’ve got the car back,’ Caroline says.

Her girl Celeste, 17, managed to find it abandoned half a mile away after it was stolen

Her girl Celeste, 17, managed to find it abandoned half a mile away after it was stolen


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