The former residence of Countess Raine Spencer, a 5th floor apartment at 47 Grosvenor Square providing 2,145 sqft (199.24 sqm) of living space, currently a “blank canvas” in need of substantial refurbishment and modernisation, provides the potential to create a magnificent apartment overlooking London’s No.1 garden square: for sale via sole selling agent Wetherell.
Countess Raine Spencer (1929 – 2016) was the daughter of romantic novelist Dame Barbara Cartland and the stepmother of Diana, Princess of Wales. Raine married three titled aristocrats, her first husband was the Hon. Gerald Legge, later the 9th Earl of Dartmouth (m 1948, div 1976), her second John Spencer, the 8th Earl Spencer (m 1976, d 1992), and finally Count Jean-Francois Pineton de Chambrun (m 1993, div 1995).
A magisterial recent biography of Raine Spencer entitled Three Times A Countess (2022) by author Tina Gaudoin reviews Raine’s remarkable life and times. In 1948 Raine married the Hon. Gerald Legge, the heir to the Dartmouth Earldom, and the couple had use of two homes in Mayfair, the two bedroom apartment at 47 Grosvenor Square and a townhouse at 12 Chester Street, with interiors done by then up-and-coming designer David Hicks.
The couple had five staff to help run their lives in Mayfair and Raine gave Gerald two sons, William in 1949 and Rupert in 1951. Raine adored entertaining and illustrious guests at their dinner parties included Viscount Furness, Lady Pamela Mountbatten, Mrs Reginald Vanderbilt and the Marchioness of Douro.
The couple also had high profile neighbours, the most famous being the owners of the gigantic 1st floor apartment at 47 Grosvenor Square socialite Artemis Onassis, the sister of billionaire Aristotle Onassis, and her husband Theodore Garoufalidis, the President of Olympic Airways.
When Raine became a Westminster City Councillor in 1955 the two Mayfair properties were invaluable with the 47 Grosvenor Square apartment useful as her office and political base, whilst the Chester Street townhouse served as the main family home.
In October 1962 Gerald succeeded to the Dartmouth Earldom and Raine became a Countess, with the Chester Street townhouse replaced by a new grander Mayfair family house on Hill Street, again with interiors designed and dressed by David Hicks.
Raine eventually divorced Gerald but Mayfair remained her home. When she married her second husband John Spencer in 1976 one of her first acts was to persuade her new husband to buy a first floor apartment in adjacent 48 Grosvenor Square, a purchase organised by Peter Wetherell, and after the death of Earl Spencer Raine moved first to a home on Farm Street in Mayfair, then to furnished suites at 35-37 Grosvenor Square, and finally to a townhouse off Chelsea green.
From her childhood home at 28 South Street (Dame Barbara Cartland’s Grade II listed mansion currently for sale for £35 million via Wetherell) through to her time in Grosvenor Square, Raine Spencer kept a home in Mayfair for virtually her entire life.
Now the apartment at 47 Grosvenor Square where Raine lived during her Countess Dartmouth years is for sale. Despite its illustrious history, the property is currently an empty shell.
To give buyers an understanding of how the interiors could be transformed into a magnificent new residence Wetherell commissioned Casa e Progetti, the award-winning luxury design studio which specialises in state-of-the-art virtual staging and cutting-edge computer-generated imagery, to create an artworked floorplan and portfolio of stunning CGI interior images to show buyers how the apartment could look once refurbished and modernised.
Using the signature techniques of Raine Spencer’s favourite interior designer David Hicks as inspiration – Hicks was noted for using bold colours, modern furnishings and contemporary artwork – Casa e Progetti have used CGI technology to create a series of stunning rooms and dressed interior concepts for the new apartment.
Offering two bedroom suites, both with dressing areas and luxurious ensuite bathrooms, the remodelled apartment would have a triple reception room, spanning the entire width of the apartment, with four tall sash windows offering views over Grosvenor Square.
Accessed by a spacious entrance lobby with bespoke-design parquet flooring the triple reception room provides two separate living areas, and a large 6-8 seat dining area with a built-in cocktail bar. The bold green and orange colours of the dining area a homage to the adjacent garden square and David Hicks.
To the rear of the apartment are the two stylish bedroom suites. The principal bedroom suite has a curved bay window with living area and a dressing/make up area behind the main bedroom. The principal suite includes a walk-in dressing room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom. The second bedroom suite is lined with wardrobes incorporating a built-in dressing/make up area and has a ensuite bathroom.
The spacious family kitchen/breakfast room has a separate pantry/utility room. From the kitchen there is a separate back-of-house staff corridor which connects the kitchen to the entrance lobby to assist staff circulation and hospitality provision.
Wetherell and Casa e Progetti calculate that the apartment, for sale for £8.5 million, could cost up to £1.5 million to refurbish, modernise and dress, with the completed dressed apartment being worth up to £10.5 million.
Peter Wetherell, Founder & Executive Chairman of Wetherell says: “With its iconic address and garden square views this Mayfair apartment at 47 Grosvenor Square provides a discerning buyer with a unique opportunity to buy a blank canvas shell unit and refurbish and modernise the property to create a beautiful new residence.
Once refurbished and interior designed, the apartment would serve as an excellent long-term investment and London residence. Casa e Progetti is available to assist the buyer with floorplan concepts, CGI visualisation, specification and interior design.”
Wetherell highlight that Grosvenor Square is currently undergoing a luxury makeover. The former Canadian Embassy and US Naval Building have been transformed into luxury apartment buildings and the former US Embassy currently being refurbished into a 5-star Rosewood Hotel with cafes and luxury boutiques.
The central garden square is also set to be transformed with a new landscaping scheme and enhanced public realm, with the formerly closed area in front of the US Embassy being transformed into a magnificent public piazza fronting onto the new Rosewood Hotel.
The 5th floor apartment at 47 Grosvenor Square is for sale for £8,500,000 (freehold interest). Viewing is strictly by appointment, contact sole selling agent Wetherell on Tel: 020 7529 5566 or visit www.wetherell.co.uk
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