WHEN supermodel Sophie Anderton bought a penthouse in Liverpool, she thought it would be an investment to lease out.
But now the 29-year-old has become the latest young professional to be drawn to the city centre.
The ex-Gossard model, who has battled a cocaine addiction, bought a two-bedroomed flat for £330,000 in the business district's Albany building.
"The plan was to buy it as a business interest, but I keep coming up and staying there myself," she said.
The conversion of an 1850s office on Old Hall Street won this year's Liverpool Daily Post and Echo property award for best development.
Under one of two deals available to buyers, she will only pay the interest on her mortgage for two years.
"I wanted to buy a property in Liverpool for two reasons," the Bristol-born model said.
"The first was that Liverpool has been recommended to me as a brilliant city in which to invest and after winning the Capital of Culture 2008, I couldn't see how my investment wouldn't work.
"I also hosted the Childline Ball last November which reminded me how many friends and family I have up here.
"My London friends thought it was a very clever move! We're all growing up and trying to invest wisely."
She has also invested in new Liverpool spa Oasis in the City, which offers customers 10-minute non-surgical facelifts.
After inviting friends round for a housewarming, Ms Anderton is now getting to know the area's celebrity haunts.
"I usually go to the Sir Thomas Hotel and despite not drinking alcohol myself, my friends usually go down to the Newz bar."
She said she had been impressed by the style of Coleen McLoughlin and Alex Curran - Liverpool's "Scouserati", and was buying clothes at Cricket on Mathew Street.
"I think they always look great. I first met all the girls at the Childline Ball. I see them in London as well, so up here feels like home from home."
The tabloid press have recently linked Ms Anderton with Guns 'n' Roses singer Axl Rose, but the model denied they were together.
"I am just friends with Axl - the press always blow these things up," she said. "I've always been a fan of his, all girls my age are. At the moment, I am not seeing anyone."
Earlier this month, it was reported that Boodle and Dunthorne could be suing Sophie after a £26,000 diamond bracelet mysteriously went missing at her 29th birthday party.
"I was really shaken when it was stolen from my wrist," she begins.
"Boodles have been just amazing, so understanding, and the police are doing all they can to catch the culprit.
"It was one of the worst things that could have happened on my birthday."
Having had her addiction to cocaine catalogued in the press, she urged young people in Liverpool to stay away from the spiralling cocaine use in some city bars.
"Don't do it. All drugs are evil and they destroy lives. I urge all young people to stay away from them. I work hard every day to stay clean - I've learnt the hard way."