George Clooney and fiancé Amal Alamuddin are busy making wedding plans. And while they’ve pretty much decided to walk down the aisle in September, the one year anniversary of when they met, they were still looking for on the perfect venue.
As MailOnline reported earlier this week, Clooney flew to London and whisked his fiancé away for a surprise mini holiday in the English Countryside.
And one of George’s romantic destinations was Highclere, because he knows that while his lady love isn’t a big TV fan, she adores Downton Abbey.
"George became close friends with Hugh Bonneville, who plays Lord Robert Crawley, when they did Monuments Men together last year," says a source.
"And they really hit it off. He contacted Hugh and asked him to arrange a private tour of the castle. Amal was blown away."
"When he saw his bride-to-be’s reaction to the spectacular Victorian castle, set on 1,000 acres of parkland, he began making some discrete inquires about having their wedding performed there."
"And he was told they would be most happy to accommodate them!"
Highclere has been the residence of the Carnarvon family since 1679. And it’s currently inhabited by the 8th Lord and Lady Carnarvon and their family. The castle does allow weddings, and prices to hire parts of the castle alone, begin at about $23,000 for one night.
Couples can marry in the Saloon, with the bride descending the sweeping oak staircase featured on the series. That room can hold about 120 guests, but the dining room can accommodate up to 400 people. They will also provide Marquees on the grounds where guests can dine, dance and celebrate.
The castle boasts an award winning chef in Paul Brooke Taylor, who prepares some of the Carnarvon families favorites, as well as vegetarian and vegan fare. They also specialise in authentic Victorian foods and they offer an extensive wine list.
"Amal’s Middle Eastern relatives would most certainly enjoy the exhibition, and the tour would make for a most memorable wedding," adds the source.
And while many of Amal’s family members live in Dubai, and Lebanon, her mother lives in London.
"Amal grew up in London, and attended school in Buckinghamshire," says another source. "And she went to University at Oxford."
She currently works in London so she has many close British friends. Her mother Baria has also been living in London for years, since the 1980s, and is the respected editor of a London – based Arab newspaper.
Her father, Ramzi returned to Lebanon in the early 1990s, but he often visits London and can easily travel there.
Source: Daily Mail