Here is a short history of Freddie’s Garden Lodge. Freddie saw and fell in love with Garden Lodge in 1979. He bought it in early 1980 for half a million pounds, in cash. He then spent 5 years and a lot of money in restoring it to its original Edwardian splendour, including the musician’s gallery in the drawing room, and adding a new dining room. Freddie’s bedroom was the most special room in the house. He had three of the eight bedrooms knocked into one, for himself. It was ready for occupation in 1985 and due to a clause in the insurance policy; it had to be lived in. It was decided I would live there while Freddie went on tour with Joe Fanelli to look after him (Magic Tour). When the tour finished, Freddie sent Oscar and Tiffany to me in Garden Lodge from his flat in Stafford Terrace.
They liked it. So, Freddie went for a weekend to see how it felt, he loved it and never moved out. Along with Freddie came Jim Hutton and Joe Fanelli. We were the 4 people who lived there. Obviously there were many people who visited and stayed for a time, but it was mainly the four of us with me living in the mews once that had been renovated. He filled the mansion with handmade furniture from Harrods and priceless Japanese carvings and paintings from Tokyo. Outside. an army of gardeners carved out a country retreat in the grounds. The Edwardian mansion would become Freddie’s sanctuary especially towards the end of his life.
*”Every person who makes a lot of money has a dream he wants to carry out and I achieved that dream with this wonderful house. – Whenever I watched Hollywood movies set in plush homes with lavish decor. I wanted that for my-self and now I’ve got it But to me it was much more important to get the damn thing than to actually go and live in it Maybe the challenge has worn off now. I’m very much like that-once I get something I’m not that keen on it any more. I still love the house but the real enjoyment is that I’ve achieved it.”
*Freddie Mercury interview about his lavish home from an interview in 1985