COTE DE TEXAS

HARRY & MEGHAN’S NEW HOUSE - pssst I found it, I think??! Wait, no, I didn’t, WAIT….!!!

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The press written about the British Royal Family is very strange.  I probably shouldn’t steal the phrase “fake news” but it does seem that the way the Royals are covered in the press, it is definitely "fake news.”


Meghan looking fabulous at Ascot


Take for instance the newly married couple, the Duke & Duchess of Sussex, who are said to be going on a long honeymoon later this summer – probably to Africa.   The Royal Press claimed that Meghan & Harry took a few days off after their wedding and went to Ireland.  Unless you are reading another tabloid that claims the couple went to Canada for a few days after their wedding.  I actually read one story that stated they went to Ireland, and then further down in the SAME story, they claimed the couple went to Canada. 

Grrr.

I’m a little addicted to the Fab Four – the Cambridges and the Sussexes (is THAT how you spell it in plural??)  Kate has the cutest children ever and Meghan is proving to be quite the stylish one.  She reminds me of Diana – each outfit is cuter than the next one.  I’ll admit it, I’m more than just a little obsessed.


Meghan at Harry’s cousin’s wedding.


The next topic the Royal Press tackled was whether Meghan would now follow royal protocol and would no longer wear sleeveless dresses to royal functions.   They quickly had their answer when Meghan was the ONLY royal to show her bare arms and shoulders at the Queen's official birthday party - The Trooping of the Colors:


Major no-no:  showing shoulders and arms at royal functions.

Obviously the Queen was OK with it all.  A few days later, Meghan and the Queen spent the night together, alone on the Royal Train and the next day, they spent it smiling and laughing.  Wow! 


The new BFFs!!


One more photo of the two – just for fun.  Meghan has taken over the title of Best Dressed in the Windsor Family – bar none.  I LOVED this dress!!

While the Royal Press can't get it straight where the Sussex spent their mini-honeymoon, the topic of their new house is a bit more exciting.  It’s a shame the press really can’t get that story straight!


We know that while in London, they currently live at the charming but tiny, rose-covered Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.  Some tabloids claim the Sussexes are moving to Apt.1, next door to the Cambridges’ Apt.1A. 

                                                                                                                 Apt. 1 is where the elder Duke and Duchess of Gloucester have lived forever.  The Gloucesters are going to move out to allow the Sussexes to move in – or so the Royal Press says.

Proof of work on Apartment #1 was given as this:


A giant white tarp covers the entire Apt. 1 & the tall Clock Tower.  The tarp was in place before the couple was even engaged.  The tarp was removed when the engagement was announced and presumably, the apartment is being renovated right now.  Apartment #1A is where William & Kate now live.  Notice all access to the front of their apartments is now closed off by walls and bushes.  Before, anyone walking in front of Apt. 1 & 1A could look over at their apartments.  Now, there will no longer be any foot traffic on the path in front of Apt 1 & Apt 1A.


You can see the brick on the chimneys of Apt. #1 have been repointed.



Here’s an aerial photo of Apt. 1 and Apt. 1A (where William & Kate live.)  These two apartments were once just one apartment but were divided years ago into two.  The Duke & Duchess of Gloucester have lived there for years – the Duke grew up in the apartment and now they are reportedly moving out for Harry & Meghan.  As you can see, Apt. 1 has a wonderful walled garden out back, perfect for children.


There are only a few photos of Apt. 1.  Here is one from decades ago at the Gloucester’s engagement.  You can see the French doors and in the main hall – a shell niche, just like its twin apartment #1A where William & Kate live.


A later view of the Gloucesters in the main hall with the shell niche, now painted peach – hey, that rhymes!  Beautiful crystal door handles – does this look like Meghan’s style?  Hmmm – not really, but I love   it.


Apt #1’s back door opens to the garden.   Here is the Dowager Duchess who passed away sometime ago.  These Gloucester children seen here are now all married with children of their own.

It does look like the perfect house for the Sussexes to bring up their own children in – it is right next door to their cousins, George, Charlotte and Louis.

While this house is getting its own renovation, where will the couple live during all the turmoil?  Of course they will need a country house.  The Cambridges have Anmer Hall which they spent years fixing up:


Photographs of Anmer House are few and far between. The tiled roof is new, as are the windows and in the back – a kitchen and glass roofed conservatory were added.  The future king lives very, very well.  It will be interesting to see if the Sussexes will live quite as nice.

As for Harry & Meghan’s country house…

The rumors have been rampant.  Almost every week the Fake Royal Press comes out with a new country house that Harry & Meghan have either bought or rented.    It was claimed early in 2018 that Harry had chosen Cotswold for his country house, nearby where his father’s Highgrove estate is.  His aunt Anne and his married cousin & close friend Zara also live in  Cotswold.


Highgrove

But, was Prince Charles really the appeal of Cotswold???

Nah…who wants to live near Daddy and his step-mom anyway?


There were reports that the couple had purchased this house, Luckington Court, in Cotswold and even I wrote about it HERE!

But this house is going to another unknown couple.


A round of rumors that Harry had looked at country houses in Cotswold before he was even engaged were mostly ignored.  But those reports appear to have been somewhat true.

While he WAS looking in Cotswold, it wasn’t the appeal of daddy and the step mom.   Harry was looking at a different area of Cotswold than where his father lives.

The appeal of Harry’s Cotswold is, in fact, the Soho Farmhouse and the Soho House gang, as well.


Chipping Norton

The actual area where Harry & Meghan are said to be living is called Chipping Norton where nearby is a huge 4000 acre farm called Great Tew. 


Harry’s favored area at the Great Tew estate is about an hour from his father’s Highgrove estate.


The Great Tew Estate, 4000 acres in Cotswold near Chipping Norton.

Great Tew was once ancient Roman land, where after the Normans conquered the area, William I gave this land to his half brother Odo.  Its history is long and rich.


Today, the large Great Tew estate is owned by Nicholas Johnston, an Etonian.  Johnston has been busy revitalizing his farm which once filled with derelict outbuildings - he has been creating romantic dwellings out of these that he either sells or rents out.


The Great Tew’s Falkland Arms where tourists and locals come for ale and food.


While the Great Tew was once the main attraction of the area, today it’s the Soho Farmhouse which is drawing a certain set of celebrities and royals to this area of Cotswold. 

Soho House is the famous “members only” club started by Nick Jones and found in premiere locales around the globe from Los Angeles to Istanbul.  One of the newest clubs, Soho Farmhouse, landed in Great Tew, a short 90 minutes from London.

Several years ago, Soho House and Johnston teamed up and 100 acres were carved out of Great Tew for the new Soho Farmhouse, a cross between a private country club and a hotel.  They built over 40 wooden cabins along the river’s edge for clients to sleep in.  There’s an indoor/outdoor pool, a gym and a spa and great food – everything you could want – an everyone who is anyone apparently loves the farm.

Meghan and Harry are both devotees of the Soho Farmhouse as are many of the best friends.


Meghan-Millie-Soho-Farmhouse

Before she was even known to be dating Harry, Meghan instagramed herself and friend, actress Millie Macintosh, at the Soho Farmhouse – riding bicycles, since the farm is car-free.

Meghan’s good friend is Markus Anderson whom she met when they both lived in Toronto.  Anderson is Soho House’s Nick Jones right  hand man in charge of membership. It is thought that Markus introduced Harry and Meghan.


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Markus Anderson at Meghan’s Toronto apartment with her dogs.  Her ties to the Soho House group are close.  No wonder she wants to live close to the farmhouse as opposed to close to her inlaws – her best friends are close by.


And here all dressed up,  Markus with Izzy May at the Royal Wedding last month!

The Matchmaker!!!

Meghan had her Hen Do at the farmhouse (spinster party to us Americans) and she and Harry are often seen there with friends.    In late 2017, Harry was said to be looking at a house close to David and Victoria Beckham’s farmhouse which is also on the Great Tew estate. 

So what exactly IS the Soho Farmhouse?


The site plan for the Soho Farmhouse, the private club and hotel located on 100 acres on Great Tew.   There are forty guest cabins located along the rivers.


The barns made of the local stone hold different areas of the club.


Above is the main “barn” where guests congregate for drinks and mingling.

Soho Farmhouse is a cross between a rustic farm and a sophisticated country club.  It’s private, but people without membership can rent out one of the 40plus cabins or tents.  The only issue is getting a room in the summer – it’s often sold out.  When the farm opened a few years ago, the once lazy, quiet bucolic neighborhood became a star-filled destination where they raced around the one car lanes at dangerous speeds, riling up the locals.


Another view of a barn from the upstairs loft.


The decor is a mix of English Country Manor and early Restoration Hardware.


Love the decor!


In the summer there is horseback riding and in the winter, there is ice skating. Old fashioned milk trucks (called floats for some reason) drive around the farm, ferrying guests from one side to the other which comes in handy since the farm is “car-free.”  Other milk floats carry drinks and food to guests so they don’t have to wait for long for room service.  What a great idea!!!  

Guests are issued “wellies” when they arrive, along with cute vintage teal-painted Foffa bicycles – with wicker baskets, natch. 



The  Cowshed – beauty at its finest.


Spa tub out by the river.


The farm’s movie theatre.  I love the tables with lights between the seats!  No more having a stranger invading your personal space.


Here is the outdoor and indoor swimming pool on the river.    Children have to be “junior members” to use the pool which has caused great dissent among patrons!


The heated indoor swimming pool that opens to the outdoor pool, seen above.

Guests wear brown fluffy robes from the spa to the pool to the hot tub.   Yoga sessions are done on surfboards attached in the water.  A Japanese grill serves fresh fish and sushi while the bar stays open all night.


Dine by the river in the Japanese Grill.


Outdoor fire keeps guests warm.  I love those sofas!


Each cabin’s decor is cuter than the next.  They have metal bathtubs and Le Creuset cookware.  Their kitchenettes are naturally stocked with fancy foods.


The bicycles rest by the back porch.


Inside one cabin.  Wow!  LOVE that sofa!!!  The farm has the greatest collection of upholstered furniture!!


The kitchen behind the sofa.  The rooms have the cutest tiny farm sinks.


Could not be any more romantic.

 

Another guest cabin at Soho Farmhouse.


This cabin is in the trendy gray tones.  I’m not sure how much cooking the guests do, but their kitchens are very functional.


A gray toned cabin bedroom.  Love the old fashioned phones.


The outdoor bathtub.


Cabins around the river.


Soho Farmhouse has become a very popular locale for weddings and social events.


Besides the 40 cabins there are a few original farmhouses available for rent.  


The living room inside the farmhouse seen above.  Love the fabrics. 


On the other side of the fireplace is the dining area and kitchen with its duck egg blue cabinetry and black countertops.  Brick walls painted white add texture, as do the brick floors.  So English!!



But, the anchor of the Soho Farmhouse is the original honey stoned house, turned into one large hotel room.   It was this house that Meghan rented out for her spinster party.  Love the blue trimmed house with its gravel walk lined with purple flowers. 


Old fashioned outdoor furniture.


The teal green bikes issued to hotel guests are everywhere – since the farmhouse is car-free.


The farmhouse’s living room with the blue fabric walls and red accents.  To die for!!!  LOVE!!!!

I want to live here!!!  Can I?????

This is one decorative combination we don’t see a lot of here in the U.S. – light blue with red.   It’s so English and here you can see how great the two colors are together.   


Another room with blue velvet sofa and candy striped settee.


The dining room in the farmhouse.  The kitchen is on the other side of the fireplace. 


One of the bedrooms – love the walls.


Close up of the tub with the Soho Farmhouse issued robes.


Another bedroom, with yet another wonderful wallcovering. 

How fun would it be to have a family reunion and rent the house out?!?! 


The Soho Farmhouse has become the social center of this area of Cotswold.  And with David & Victoria Beckham building their farm, right next to the Soho Farmhouse and on the Great Tew, it further solidifies this as a hot spot in English country house land.


The gates to the Great Tew estate.


The bucolic countryside of the Great Tew, exactly how you picture the Cotswold landscape.



The stately house on the Great Tew.  The house has been abandoned, but it is now being restored with funds gained from business endeavors that Great Tew owner Nick Johnston has undertaken.  Johnston has restored over 30 houses found on his estate that he now rents out.  It was the funds from these houses that he uses to pay for the restoration of the grand manor.


Work has begun as you can see with the tarp placed where the roof is being restored.


Inside the house, the grand staircase.


The great library.  This will be so beautiful when restored!


A large window with an incredible ceiling.


Closeup of the window. 

The Daily Mail is the main source of all the rumors of where the Sussexes are going to live in the Cotswold.  They are definitely planning to live on the Great Tew – according to the Fake News Daily Mail.

The Daily Mail first stated last January that the couple were looking at buying or renting the “Round House.” 

The Daily Mail claimed the Round House was 4 bedrooms, tucked down a private driveway on a walled private estate (presumably the Great Tew.)

Later the fake Royal news claimed they came back from their honeymoon and are renting a barn from friend David Cameron.

Again, this 18th century barn was on the Great Tew. This barn has a split-level kitchen and sitting room in what used to be stables.

The language about their rented barn grew more flowery as each magazine and newspaper around the world picked up the story of where the newlyweds were reporedly living.

But, where on or around Great Tew are the couple actually living???


The Church at Great Tew estate.

The Chipping Norton area where the Great Tew estate and the Soho Farmhouse lie are hot, hot, hot news.  People with country homes in the area are called members of the “Chipping Norton Set” – which includes many well known English notables.   One major draw in Chipping Norton used to be Daylesford, an organic and very expensive luxury food farm. But while Daylesford was the magnet in the area for years, today it is the Soho Farmhouse.  And, while not all of the Chipping Norton Set are members of the Soho Farmhouse set, the two groups definitely mingle.    


One attraction at Great Tew are the Beckhams.   Where else can you drive pass Victoria and David Beckham’s country manse while checking into your hotel?  The Bechkam’s farm is located right by the entrance to the Soho Farmhouse. 

And where the Beckhams go these days, the Sussexes are not far behind.


The Beckhams are obviously very close to the Fab Four.  First, they attended William & Kate’s wedding (left) and then, the couple showed up at the Sussexes nuptials (right.)  Victoria did not smile at either event.  She looked pretty at both events, but David looks outstanding when he wears his morning suit.  He did make a major faux pas with his OBE – Order of the British Empire - that he was awarded by the Queen.  He had the ribbon on his right lapel but later, inside the church, he switched lapels – probably told by a friend of his huge mistake!  Love the award though. 



The Becks bought this gorgeous white $31 million townhouse in a very pricey area of West London, Holland Park.  They hired the fabulous designer Rose Uniache to design it, but photos are very scarce. Mostly, everything we have seen inside the house is from Instagram.  Read my story on Rose’s house, which tells the origin of it.   HERE.   The Beckhams spent three years and $10 million on their renovation.  Rose does not come cheap.   The house has four floors, courtyards, a gym, wine cellar, cinema, indoor pool,  a catwalk  style runway, triple garage and two acres of an apple orchard in London.  WOW!  


A foot accident gave us this view of their stone staircase and marble flooring.

In another Instragram photo there are glimpses of gorgeous wide plank gray oak floors and a crystal chandelier, the kind that Rose likes in her own home.

But it’s the Beckham’s farm on Great Tew that garners all the attention these days.


Here is the Beckhams’ proposed renovations to the set of three barns they purchased on the Great Tew estate.  They are adding a row of bushes to provide some privacy from the traffic of guests going to and from the Soho Farmhouse.


An aerial photograph of the Beckhams’ renovated barns.  There are  three barns – and a garage with an extra outbuilding.


The barns were bought in 2016 for 6.15 million pounds from Nicholas Johnston, owner of the Great Tew.  Once the barns are completed, they will have all new interiors and the family will the added security of being inside the gates of the Great Tew estate.


A close up of one of the renovated barns.  Tall shutters and double height windows.


When Posh put this photo of her daughter’s new treehouse on Instagram, her neighbors were irate.  The treehouse wasn’t approved by the area’s committee.


But, it obviously was worked out – the rustic treehouse still stands.


The question now is – are Harry & Meghan are living nearby?



I looked at Google Earth and found the Beckham’s farm.  You can see how close the Beckhams are to all the action on the Great Tew.  Their farm is #1 and the Soho Farmhouse is #4.

Guess who is rumored to live in both #2 and  #3?


A few weeks ago, the Fake Royal Press added to rumors.  The Daily Mail wrote that while Harry & Meghan are renting a barn in Great Tew for two years they are in a holding pattern until they could move into York Cottage on Sandringham – a wedding gift from the Queen.   Sandringham is where the Queen’s Winter mansion is and where the Cambridges live in their fabulous redone house.  But, the Cambridges have a different “set” of friends.   Many of William & Kate’s friends have houses near Sandringham and they certainly are not the Beckhams. 

Harry seems much more socially inclined than William.  He is in charge of the Invictus Games and has to do lots of fund raising and social awareness for the games.  His new wife is Hollywood.   She came with her own elite friends including Markus Anderson, who works for Soho House.  They don’t seem as suited for Sandringham as William & Kate are.

The Norfolk landowners who make up the Cambridges’ friends are called the “turnip toffs” – a nickname which doesn’t sound like something Victoria and David Beckham would be called.  Why would Harry & Meghan want to live at York Cottage on Sandringham, located on the cold, windy North Sea?

Sandringham Estate – York Cottage.   The “Bachelor Cottage” on the estate.  In 1883, it was given to Prince George (later King George V) as a wedding present.  George and Mary lived here for 33 years until Queen Alexandra died – at which time they moved into the big house on Sandringham.  Today, York Cottage is used as the Sandringham Office and the visitor path leads right in front of York Cottage offering no privacy.    There seems little chance that the Sussexes will be moving to the cold, windy estate, even though William and Kate’s country house Anmer Hall is just a few miles away.

While the Daily Mail insisted that the couple have been given York Cottage by the Queen as a wedding present – there has been no official announcement.     A Royal blogger visited Sandringham and talked to a security guide who said No Way were the Sussexes moving to Sandringham.    

After all, if you could live in Cotswold, why would you live at dreary Sandringham - unless your Grandmother gave you a multi million dollar mansion, I guess. 

Regardless, a week later the Daily Mail changed their story, yet again, about where Harry & Meghan were living.


Is this the house that Harry & Meghan rented? Besides the Round House, this house became “the one.”

BEACONSFIELD  FARM:   This house was first said to be what Harry was looking at last November before he was even engaged.  The fake Royal news, the Daily Mail, again claimed just this month that this was the house the Sussexes were renting for two years.  Others claimed the lease was actually for five years,  which justified its long renovation. 

But why would they rent a place, instead of buying it, when it would take years to renovate?  That made no sense.


The back side of Beaconsfield Farm, with its large pond.


But there are so many mud filled barns like this on the property.  And it doesn’t look like this property is ready to be rented. 

Perhaps this is what Harry & Meghan bought and are restoring?

After a few hours of searching the map, I finally located this house – right next to Beckham’s newly renovated barn.  But, I just couldn’t believe this was the house they were either buying or renting.   So many mud filled barns to deal with.  And knowing the English – you can’t just tear down a barn or two because you don’t like it.  All the buildings are graded and listed and any change has to be approved by a committee.

During 2018, Daily Mail who is the leading source for all things Royal, listed a host of houses that the newlyweds were going to rent – never buy.   But they eventually returned back the mudfilled barn estate of Beaconsfield Farm.

   

AND there it is - Beaconsfield Farm is #3 – right between the Soho Farmhouse and the Beckhams.

BUT, is Beaconsfield Farm the same farm as Westfield Large, yet ANOTHER 18th century barn the Sussexes were renting??

AND don’t forget Round House, which is reportedly what they are renting while they wait to move into their “real” house.

OY!!!

This week was the worst of all the rumors.  The Fake Royal News, the Daily Mail, saw an ad that was placed in Country Life magazine, last month:

Last month this ad ran for a house to be renovated into a fabulous new country house, in walking distance to the Soho Farmhouse. 

The house – called “Beggars Lodge” is for sale.  If the Sussexes bought it as the Royal Fake News aka The Daily Mail claims, why would they run an ad to sell it – 1/2 year later??

Image result for House

This is an artist representation of how the house will look after it is rebuilt.


From the front.

The online planning commission shows the floor plans and elevations.  There will be a family room, a high tech media room, a large closet, and additional property for security, drivers and nannies.  The Daily Mail said this means the Sussexes are the owners.


And an aerial view of the property as it will look with the newly rebuilt house on it.

The Palaces refuses to confirm or deny this is owned by the couple.  The fake Royal News says the house was sold to the couple last November – so WHY was the property advertised in the magazine just this month?  Makes no sense!

The plans say the house will take a year to build – and if Harry & Meghan did buy this house – they are renting somewhere else while waiting.


AND there is their NEW house – #2.   Amazing!!

Is there ANY OTHER house in this corner of the world Harry & Meghan could rent or buy???

                                                                               

House #2 – to be rebuilt as Beggars Lodge, supposedly bought by the newlyweds.

So…are the Sussexes moving to a rented house while they renovate the muddy barns of Beaconsfields Farm or are they waiting while they build Beggars Lodge, even though it was advertised for sale just this past month?  OR are they moving to York Cottage on Sandringham?

Someone needs to tell our President that if he thinks WE have Fake News in the U.S. – he needs to look to England’s Royal Fake News to see how it really is done!!!

Keep posted for next week when we will be getting another house the couple are renting or buying.

And while waiting for the news this summer, why not visit the Soho Farmhouse?? 

To visit the Soho Farmhouse, go to their website for more information.  Remember, you do not have to be a member to rent a cottage!!   HERE


And, if you do go and you see either Harry or Meghan, be sure you ask them “Where ARE you living?!?!?!?”