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Not registered? Register here. Until now, that is. The Berkshire village is rapidly becoming the epicentre of an expanding A-list enclave. It is a contrast to central London. Here they can say they are part of a village community. But the Cotswolds town of Chipping Norton has ly laid claim to a somewhat smarter set, boasting David Cameron, Rebekah Love in sonning and pop star turned cheese-maker Alex James among its inhabitants.
No more. Thanks to the arrival of George and Amal Clooney the Chilterns are the new Cotswolds, and Sonning is experiencing a renaissance. While the Chipping Norton set has disintegrated after being engulfed in the phone-hacking scandal weekend house parties and the loan of horses featured in the Leveson InquirySonning Society now boasts two of the main contenders for the next leader of the Conservatives — Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Theresa May — among its weekend residents.
The Clooneys bought their Grade II- listed, 17th-century manor house following their wedding but have only recently moved in and made it their permanent home after carrying out extensive renovations to the interior. This week they ran into a spot of bother when the local council rejected their proposals for a network of 18 high-tech CCTV cameras to be installed. But plans for a seater home cinema, new poolhouse, a pergola and hot-tub area have already been approved and building work is under way.
The house, which once came with a Lord of the Manor title, has a steam room, gym, library and a majestic sweeping staircase, as well as a guest cottage, boathouse and extensive formal gardens. George is now selling his much-loved Italian villa on the shores of Lake Como and his holiday home in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, so that he can focus on turning Aberlash and Sonning into his main residence.
And it seems the Clooneys are already loving the local life. They come in on their own — no entourage or anything — and seem to like it here because they get treated like everyone else. The couple have also been spotted at the nearby Two Brewers pub and The Mill at Sonning, a restored 19th-century flour mill that has been turned into a popular dinner-theatre venue. After marrying in Venice the couple hosted their British wedding reception at the luxury Danesfield House Hotel and Spa in Marlow, just 10 minutes down the road from Sonning.
Marlow has also proved to be prime territory for Clooney-spotting — the couple have been to the Michelin-starred Hand and Flowers pub run by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge. His close friends Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are now rumoured to be selling their London home in Richmond and relocating to Love in sonning for when they are next filming Love in sonning Britain.
Eton is also close by. With rumours this week that Amal is already pregnant, it seems the Sonning jet set is here to stay. ES Money.
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ES Mag. Follow us:. Password Please enter a valid password. Submit Submit. By Maxine Frith. Golf-loving George recently ed the local club, cementing his place in the local community.Love in sonning
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Inside George and Amal Clooney's 17th century mansion in Sonning Eye