27 May 2022 | 3 mins

Toorak mansion’s ‘James Bond-style’ hidden garage, art gallery is licensed to thrill - Herald Sun

Toorak mansion’s ‘James Bond-style’ hidden garage, art gallery is licensed to thrill - Herald Sun

An iconic Toorak mansion with a “James Bond-style” secret garage and art gallery is leaving potential buyers shaken and stirred.

A hidden remote-controlled panel allows those with appropriate clearance to drive straight into a six-car basement beneath the classy forecourt.

The property is for (ultra) private sale with $12-$12.8m price hopes.


The garage and art gallery in one.

After parking, users of the concealed contraption at 7 Ottawa Rd can enjoy a martini in a cellar adjoining the garage where paintings hang on the wall.

Forbes Global Properties director Robert Fletcher said he last sold the three-bedroom house in 2019 for $11.1m.

“I think the property is very much a true icon in Toorak, a lot of people recognise the house and not just because of the owners it has had, but by virtue of the property itself,” he said.

“I believe it had the first cantilever driveway-style system in Toorak.

“The left-hand side of the whole front yard lifts up out of the ground and then you can drive down and underneath.”

He described the hidden entry as having “a sense of theatre”.

“It brings a real sort of luxury arrival moment into what is one of the most recognised Toorak properties with a beautiful facade,” Mr Fletcher added.


Inside the impressive house which has 3.5m high ceilings.

The French-inspired house was built by renowned caterer Peter Rowland whose long-running catering company services some of Melbourne’s biggest events including the Melbourne Cup Carnival, Formula 1 and Motorcycle Grand Prix, Melbourne Fashion Festival and Australian International Airshow.

Mr Rowland sold the house to the owners of St Kilda’s famous Stokehouse restaurant, Frank and Sharon van Handel.


The pool is set in manicured grounds.


Perfect for entertaining.

The Handels hired well-known interior designer Fiona Lynch to update the property’s interiors before selling in 2019.

Mr Fletcher said the current owner did not use the house as his main residence.

Expressions of interest will close 5pm June 20.