Dellal, a film and theater director by profession, was thrilled to take on the project and get to work with enthusiasm, commuting back and forth between London and the location while Miller, who was born in the US and raised in the UK, was put off. in New York during lockdown. “The beautiful thing is that she just trusted me, and we made an agreement whereby she was not allowed there for six months until she completed the project,” Dalal says. – Harriet Kwik
Country house for arts and crafts
With its chimneys streaking into the sky, the half-timbered brick facade and vast expanses of leaded glass, the stately structure epitomizes the moment when the tradition of the English country house met the wealth of the Industrial Revolution and the aesthetics of the Arts and Crafts movement. It’s not hard to imagine swirls of cigar smoke rising to the rafters in the vast main hall, brandy being served by pedestrians. In fact, the property was once owned by famous tobacco maker Alfred Dunhill, founder of the luxury empire that still bears his name.
Decades later, the scene in Old Barn, as it is affectionately known, was even more tumultuous when it belonged to music producer Robert Stigwood, director of Cream and the Bee Gees. “The house was the stage for legendary parties,” says current owner Angelo Moratti. “It’s where George Harrison and Eric Clapton’s wife began their romance. Elton John has stayed a lot. Practically everyone who was important to the music industry in the ’70s was a guest here. There are so many great stories.”
Stigwood sold the place to Moratti’s father, Gian Marco, in 1976, shortly before moving to Bermuda. Gian Marco Moratti, like his father before him, was the head of one of the largest oil companies in Italy – where Angelo Moratti himself works today. (The family has also been involved for a long time with the Inter Milan football team.)
“My father immediately hired Renzo Mongiardino, who designed our house in Milan,” says Moratti, referring to the legendary 20th-century Italian interior and interior designer. Set on 43 acres, with two lakes, the property is just a 40-minute drive from central London, making it the perfect family getaway. “I used to go to boarding school only about half an hour away and would go home on the weekends. My family had an office in London too, so they were there often, and I still used it a lot when I was in my twenties and thirties.”