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Hugh and Jemima smitten with Lerins island pad

February 21, 2005
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Hugh Grant and Jemima Khan have been keenly eyeing an exclusive island property just off France's posh Cote d'Azur. The lavish estate is the only private residence on the picturesque island of Sainte-Marguerite facing the city of Cannes - an enclave of A-listers all year round - and is valued at a cool £35 million.

The 44-year-old star of Bridget Jones' Diary and his girlfriend Jemima have already viewed the secluded island property twice - and are said to be quite taken with it. The plush pad would make for a spectacular getaway for the two should Hugh ask the 31-year-old heiress to marry him.

The isle forms part of the Lerins islands chain and is home to the famous fortress, the Fort Royal, whose most infamous prisoner was the 'man in the iron mask', immortalised in Alexandre Dumas' 1846 classic novel.

In recent times it has become one of the most exclusive and secluded parts of the south of France. Though there are no roads and cars have been banned, tourists still flock to visit the fort and converge on the restaurants and cafes that surround the port on the north of the island.

The estate lies on the south side of the island, is surrounded by a sprawling forest and is virtually deserted. In addition to a series of lush gardens full of rare flowers, the property boasts all the accoutrements for jet-setters - swimming pools, tennis court, and a private beach complete with fantastic vistas of the Mediterranean.

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Hugh and Jemima have been looking at a sprawling property on beautiful Sainte-Marguerite Island - the largest of the Lerins Islands, a mere 30-minute boat ride from busy Cannes
The island is pedestrian only and is a paradise for hiking thanks to a network of paths and trails that snake around it

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