Lady Susan Renouf's Toorak trophy home sold post-auction

Lady Susan Renouf's Toorak trophy home sold post-auction
Lady Susan Renouf's Toorak trophy home sold post-auction

"Houses are my joy," the late Sydney socialite Lady Susan Renouf once said.

And the final chapter in her voluminous property tome was written after $5 million plus negotiations secured the weekend sale of her Toorak home.

It came an hour after being passed in on the one bid of $4.55 million. It didn't sell to the Chinese highest bidders, but another bidder who did not bid.  

Her Melbourne home, which was bought for $1.85 million from the Grimwade establishment family, reflected her return to family from her heady days in Sydney society.

Her many prior homes especially in Sydney and also across the world, along with various husbands, had catalpulted her into the headlines for many decades.

Foremost was The Nunnery, a 400-year-old mansion on the island tax haven, the Isle of Man, her home with the racehorse tycoon Robert Sangster.

They then bought at Point Piper, an 1930s home which she named Toison d'Or. She had the right to live in the house until she died or remarried.

That saw her next husband, Sir Frank Renouf secure the harbour front property, and he changed the name of the house to Paradis Sur Mer. 

After Frank and Susan divorced in 1988, she had Villa Balena, Whale Beach and then Darling Point. She's also owned the renowned English country garden Kennerton Green at Mittagong, in the Southern Highlands.

She once advised she was going to stay in Sydney "you play quite of lot of bridge and golf in Melbourne, and I'm not much good at either" but relocated back to Melbourne in the late 1990s, returning home to her daughters and grandchildren, who were among the 100 strong Kay & Burton auction crowd.

At one stage she calculated she'd lived in 10 houses since Point Piper, but still thought about that house every day.

Renouf was so synonymous with homes that one year in the late 1980s, the good sport that she was, she opened the Sydney Home Show.

This article first appeared in the Sunday Telegraph.


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