My very dear friend Alan from Singapore arrived at our door last week with a suitcase packed full of spices mixes (Dancing Chef – the quick & dirty secret of all good Asian cooks), 3 pairs of pristine white house slippers poached from luxury hotels and a capsule wardrobe sponsored by Prada Sport.
Unfortunately the South Wing of our house (previously known as the carport) was still in the process of being turned into a habitable guest room, and the next morning Alan was awoken by the pleasant sounds of floor sanding and kids howling, a duet that surely must be the music of Hell’s waiting room. I tried to convince Alan that it was really posh to have to jump out of his bedroom window and walk along the garden path every time he wanted to come into the house. “Just like when you’re walking to your villa at the Four Seasons Maldives!” but it was rather tenuous.
I decided the best strategy was to distract Alan by taking him for a long drive to check out Portsea, the nipply tip of the Peninsula, summer playground of the Botox crowd, and a 30 minute sally from Chez Noisy. There are few things Singaporeans love more than a good nose around other people’s homes and I had wanted to check out this elusive Millionaire’s Walk since I read about it on Love the Pen. It was a fabulous late summers’ day and we drove all the way with the roof down chatting away like magpies on steroids.
The walk starts at the end of Lentell Avenue where we found an unmarked door on the left and set of rickety wooden steps straight ahead leading to the pier. This was a test. Signs everywhere said “Private Property”, but we were not daunted. With more than four decades of banking experience between us, we could definitely smell the filthy lucre wafting seductively through Unmarked Door #1.
Pushing it open, we found ourselves in someone’s front garden. Apparently this was the start of the 1.6 km Millionaires Walk, but it certainly has a very dodgy feel to it as most of it entails traipsing across pristine front lawns following a very very subtle poo-brown public trail which must be a thorn in several Cavalli-clad buttocks. Who wants to pay $30 million for a home when lying by the pool you could be gawked at like a zoo exhibit by any old Wang Chung? “And over here, a prime specimen of Richistanis Vulgaris sunning itself by its watering hole…” Anyway, their loss, our gain. We embraced our Chinese tourist roots and got the cameras out and went all slap happy with our trigger fingers.
Gardeners and house keepers were busy manicuring the lawns but no one seemed to be home. What a waste! You can bet your last dollar that if I had a house like that I’d be sunning myself in leopard print until my hide turned into Hermes Croc Porosus.
Imagine a front yard like this, leading to the cliff’s edge.
This was the view on the right hand side of the walk.
It felt like we were in Italy or the French Riviera at certain points.
Alan enjoyed himself tremendously and we had a great time voicing the concerns of our inner frustrated architects. “OMG if I see another Corinthian column, I might vomit in my handbag!” I cackled insincerely.
In fact, we had such a rollicking good time that I had the bright idea to continue the house gawking fun by popping over to our friend James Tutton’s house / estate to walk in his marvellous private Botanical Gardens. James very kindly took some time out from his very busy schedule of overachieving to show us around so we could ooh and ah over the garden in its full late summer glory.
I just love the amount of water James has on his property, this is one of several dams he has and it looks just magical at sunset.
A very contented Alan, sated on the reverse of Schadenfreude.
I love these Pencil Pine trees. They remind me of the gardens in Rome.
And what a funny coincidence, the very next day, James’ house was featured in the uber hipster blog The Design Files. You can see more of his stunning house and estate here. http://thedesignfiles.net/2014/02/mornington-peninsula-home-james-and-imogen-tutton-and-family/ We were there first!
Now I’m off to scrounge behind the sofa cushions for spare change to put towards the lottery ticket fund, wish me luck!