BUYER: George and Amal (Alamuddin) Clooney
LOCATION: Sonning-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, U.K.
SIZE: 8,949 square feet, 10 bedrooms, 8 full and 2 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Lickety-split on the heels of their low-key if decidedly deluxe Venice nuptials, which the people at People gushed was an “(epically) romantic occasion,” the international celebrity real estate scene has gone bat shit cray-cray and rife with rumors that silver-haired Hollywood hotshot (and hottie) George Clooney and his equally beautiful brunette bride, human rights attorney Amal Alamuddin, are the buyers of a multi-million dollar manor house in England.
But, children, these newlyweds, these indisputably synergistically attractive pair did not just pop out and for an elegant and ludicrously expensive townhouse in one of London’s swankier ‘hoods nor did they acquire a drafty old pile on a 1,000 acres in the bucolically swank and celeb-saturated county of Surrey. Rather, iffin indeed the rumors are true, they opted for the so-called “Aberdash House,” a stately but friendly seeming and fully updated, Grade II-listed 17th-century Georgian mansion on a private, 5.5-acre island in the sleepy village of Sonning-on-Thames, a few miles east of Reading and about 37 miles due west of central London. That’s right, puppies, an entire island. It may be a relatively small islet in the stream but, still…
The asking price for the private island, accessible via watercraft or by short wooden bridge set behind electronically operated and camera surveilled gates, wasn’t included on official digital marketing materials this property gossip peeped and perused. However, a brief pictorial discussion of the property in The Wall Street Journal in June, 2014, pegged the price at £7.5 million, a figure Your Mama’s handy-dandy currency conversion contraption shows is equal to 12,124,900 U.S. dollars and 9,524,540 euros, at today’s rates.
The private island was sold, so the reportage goes, by a banker named Omar Bayoumi who purchased the island in the late 1990s for an unknown amount. It was Mister Bayoumi who gave the place its most recent, thorough and unquestionably pricey restoration and modernization that seamlessly amalgamated scads of original architectural features like heavy-duty moldings and mahogany parquet floors with a slew new-fangled conveniences and luxuries such as a state-of-the-art home automation system and a camera-equipped security scheme.
Four stout and proud Doric columns stand sentry at the front door that opens to a cross-shaped entrance gallery and stair hall with groin vaulted ceilings and white marble floors inlaid with black rectangular outlines. The quartet of reception rooms off the main gallery — each with a fireplace — includes a drawing room with bowed bay window, a book shelf encircled library, a formal dining room capable of accommodating 20 or more, and a family room where the manse’s projection system and drop down screen may or may not be located. The center island kitchen strikes a very and somewhat surprisingly contemporary chord with sleek wood cabinetry, marble counter tops and a sunshine yellow range. A freestanding fireplace divides the kitchen from a breakfast room with terrace access through French doors. At the rear of the main floor, across the hall from the kitchen and breakfast room, a compact fitness complex includes a gym, caldarium, shower space and steam room.
The second floor, accessible from front and rear staircases, has a roomy sitting room with hidden wet bar and five en suite guest/family bedrooms plus a master suite with fireplace, sitting area, fitted dressing room and a minimalist bathroom slathered with match-booked marble on the floors and ceiling. A third floor provides another four bedrooms, two that share a hall bathroom and two that share a larger Jack ‘n’ Jill style bathroom
An oddly shaped annex of 2,049 square feet contains, per floor plans included with digital marketing materials, garage parking for three or more vehicles and two self-contained apartments for guest and/or caretakers. The smaller one bedroom and one bathroom unit has a combination living/dining/kitchen plus a small separate sitting room while the larger comprises a lofty, L-shaped open-plan living/dining/kitchen space that stretches to 32 feet in the living area as well as a five-piece facility — two sinks, one tub, a shower and a crapper — and a mezzanine loft/bedroom.
Stone terraces off the south facing rooms cascade down wide stone steps to a flat, soccer pitch sized lawn sprinkled with and surrounded by mature specimen trees — Redwoods, Pines, Walnut, Willows and Magnolias, according to listing details. The lawn and gardens are fully lit and irrigated with a comprehensive automated system and the property additionally includes a raised vegetable garden, a double greenhouse with automated ventilation. There’s also, our research indicates, a circular, brick-built structure for yoga (or whatever) and, along with multiple other mooring opportunities, a private boat house.
Stateside Mister Clooney has long owned gated compound tucked deep and privately at the back of a Studio City (CA) canyon that property records show includes a 7,354-square-foot main house with half a dozen bedrooms and as many bathrooms. In addition to his most recent acquisition in the U.K., globe-trotting Mister Clooney’s international property portfolio includes a contemporary, beachside confection in Cabo San Lucus — Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber own the spread next door — and, most famously, Villa Oleandra, a historic, lakeside villa on the jet setter-approved and brutally pricey shore of Italy’s divinely scenic Lake Como where, in case you didn’t know and because famous folk tend to run together, John Krasinki and Emily Blunt were married in 2010.