Heimoff buys Hugh Johnson’s English cottage
Yes, it’s true. I’ve admired Hugh Johnson‘s country shack for years, ever since he invited me to stay there while attending Prince Andrew’s and Fergie’s wedding, back in 1986. Hugh and I go way back, to when we joint published Vintage: The Story of Wine. So when he decided to put Saling Hall up for sale, for the ridiculously giveaway price of only 2.8 million pounds sterling, I couldn’t say no.
For the time being, I’ll divide my time between my Oakland home,
my villa on Mustique,
and my Paris Pied-a-terre, which I bought in the 1980s with my first profits from wine writing.
I think I still own a condo in Abu Dahbi
but it’s been so long since I stayed there, I can’t remember. [Memo to self: check on status of Abu Dahbi condo.]
I never dreamed wine writing could be so rewarding when I first started. To tell you the truth, I didn’t set out to be rich. No, I started writing about wine because I loved (a) wine and (b) writing, so I decided to put the two together. I didn’t care at all about making money as long as I could pursue my dream career.
It’s funny, though, how sometimes, you get things you’re not even looking for! Here I am, all these years later, with homes all over the world, luxury cars,
and Hollywood starlets throwing themselves at me.
Little did I dream of all this wealth and happiness, but there you are. No wonder so many of these young bloggers want to succeed as a wine writer, the way I have. They yearn for the life I lead!
Once I move into Saling Hall I’m going to have to make it feel like my place, not Hugh’s. I was thinking of buying this little hat from Queen Elizabeth
and wearing it when I’m home. When I was over in London for Kate and Will’s nuptials, Liz told me I could have it for a mere 10.5 million pounds. (I think she and Phillip are a little short on cash following that expensive wedding.) I don’t have that much in my checking account, but I’ll just sell off a few of my older bottles of Romanée-Conti and Lafite to the Chinese. Which reminds me: I seem to recall buying this house in Beijing
with the royalties from my first wine book. Did I really, or am I just dreaming? [Memo to self: Look into Chinese real estate holdings.]