A five-bedroom house just a stone's throw from Harrods in London has been sold by Lebanon's billionaire Hariri family to a businessman for £19.75 million ($24m).
Built in 1889, the luxurious 6,504-square-foot property in Cadogan Gardens, Knightsbridge, had been owned by the Hariri family since 2014. Two members of the family — Rafik and his son Saad — served as prime ministers of Lebanon.
The mansion is one of a handful of surviving full houses in the sought-after Knightsbridge area, with many of the other original buildings converted into apartments or duplexes over the years.
Due to its corner position, it is flooded with natural light and the rooms have a bright, airy ambience, overlooking and providing direct access to the large landscaped communal gardens.
It was designed by renowned Victorian country house architect George Levey under the auspices of Lord Cadogan. The original owners were the aristocratic Anglo-Irish Plunkett family of Lord Dunsany fame.
Inspired by Penshurst Place, a historic stately home in Kent, Levey created generously large rooms, high ceilings with ornate mouldings, classical fireplaces and a sweeping main staircase, giving the property an air of grandeur and sophistication.
On buying it, the Hariri family commissioned French designer Alberto Pinto to modernise and transform it into one of the finest houses in Cadogan Gardens. Mr Pinto's signature, detailed style fuses a classic English country house look with palatial and international features.
The result is a unique London residence of uncompromising luxury, with magnificent interiors that afford each room its own style.
Located behind an elegant Grade-II listed Queen Anne Revival style facade, the grand London house has a passenger lift to all levels - lower ground, ground and three upper floors.
The lower ground floor opens on to two outside terraces and contains the family kitchen and breakfast room with utility room, a media/games room, fifth bedroom suite — which could also serve as a staff studio — and guest powder room.
The ground floor features a spacious entrance hall, dining room, sitting room, study/home office and guest powder room.
On the first floor is the impressive main drawing room, library/reception and butler’s pantry. The main bedroom suite occupies the entire second floor, with three further guest bedrooms on the top floor.
“Beauchamp Estates has sold this extremely refined London home of the Hariri family to an ultra-high-net-worth Lebanese businessman who wanted a super-luxury London home for his children to live in,” said Gary Hersham, founding director of Beauchamp Estates, which sold the property.
“London is the international capital of the world and Knightsbridge, on the doorstep of Harrods, is the place to be in the capital.
“London’s super-rich buyer market has continued to be extremely buoyant during the course of the first six months of 2022. We have seen a flurry of deals for London properties priced over £15m.”
Before moving to Cadogan Square, the Hariri family owned the high-profile 62,000-square-foot mega-mansion at 2-8a Rutland Gate, also in London's Knightsbridge.
The family commissioned Mr Pinto to refurbish and interior design the Rutland Gate mansion, creating one of London’s most magnificent private homes.
After the death of Rafik Hariri in 2005, the Rutland Gate property was gifted to Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the late crown prince of Saudi Arabia.