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The French Horn, Sonning Eye, Reading


Situated on the beautiful banks of the River Thames, in the stunning village of Sonning in South Oxfordshire, The French Horn, has captivated admirers of riverside luxury for well over half a century. This historic gem, a former
coaching inn turned iconic restaurant, has thrived under the care of the Emmanuel family since 1972. The property’s 200-year legacy is steeped in tradition and culinary excellence. Now ready for its next chapter, the 8.6-acre plot, which comprises multiple properties, is a highly versatile and rarely available opportunity that would
suit an investor wanting to reimagine the site, offering significant upside and development potential.

Material And Deliverable Upside Opportunities - REDEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL
The property presents various redevelopment prospects, including the rejuvenation of adjacent houses, the repurposing of charming cottages, and the development of staff accommodation for additional letting space.

The expansive river frontage offers the potential for creating luxury hospitality spaces in a breathtaking setting, as well as opportunities for fishing, mooring, and more.

Location - Nestled on one of the most picturesque points along the River Thames, The French Horn enjoys a strategic location with exceptional accessibility. This iconic property is conveniently situated in close proximity to several large local towns and affluent villages, creating a broad catchment area that naturally draws a diverse and discerning clientele. Just a mere 40 miles from London, it’s well within the reach of the capital’s population and serves as a favoured retreat for those seeking a riverside escape.

Access to The French Horn is simple, thanks to its convenient proximity to the M4, one of the major arterial roads connecting London and the South West. This accessibility extends to Reading station, further enhancing the property’s connectivity to the wider region.

An Overview Of The Additional Properties Included - River and Bridge House
Currently configured as a single dwelling, featuring 4 bedrooms and 5 reception rooms, offering the potential, subject to planning, for conversion into two separate properties.

Orchard Lodge
This property is currently divided into four separate flats, including one 2-bedroom unit, two 1-bedroom units and one studio unit. An additional outbuilding serves as a supplementary kitchen and bathroom facility for staff quarters.

Furleigh Cottages
Adjacent to the main hotel, these cottages play a crucial role as overflow accommodations for the hotel. Comprising of 8 cottages they come with a charming walled garden and direct river frontage, enhancing their appeal.

Staff Accommodation
The property encompasses 17 staff accommodation chalets, housed within single-storey period buildings.

Porter Cottage
A three-storey property currently unutilised, presenting the potential for incorporation into the hotel, subject to planning approvals.

Two-Story Coach House
This structure comprises 5 rooms, offering diverse potential use options.

Timber Stable Block
Featuring a triple garage, this facility adds practicality to the property’s infrastructure.

Three Bedroom Staff House
Also included is a three bedroom staff house, located in nearby Emmer Green, less than three miles to the West of the restaurant. A useful addition to the property for staff retention.

The Restaurant - The French Horn restaurant can accommodate over 100 guests within a riverside dining room adorned with breath-taking river views, as well as an adjacent private dining space. Tradition reigns in this English institution, where ducks roast in front of an open fire. The restaurant is a versatile space that could accommodate a range of styles and uses, all whilst benefiting from the stunning river frontage. Historical trading information can be made available to seriously
interested parties.

External Details - The restaurant extends seamlessly onto a covered terrace, providing an inviting alfresco dining experience for approximately 80 guests. This picturesque terrace offers a captivating vantage point, overlooking the manicured lawns that gracefully meet the river. The surrounding gardens that envelop the restaurant are a true spectacle and have been a consistent draw for patrons for decades. Beyond the immediate restaurant vicinity, the property encompasses an expansive 5.6 acres of adjoining paddocks, offering a range of possibilities for an investor. This may include secluded lodges (STP) or an array of leisure activities, this large outdoor expanse is a treasure trove of potential. One of the property’s crowning glories is its extensive 460 meters of river frontage, a prized asset that opens avenues for varied use. From mooring opportunities to angling or the creation of additional riverside hospitality spaces, this idyllic stretch of riverfront offers unique opportunities. For the convenience of patrons, the property currently provides parking with 30 spaces in the car park opposite the restaurant. There is potential for expansion by exploring the acquisition of nearby scrub land or the utilisation of additional space behind the adjacent houses.

Planning And Development Potential - The property’s planning and development potential is vast. It includes the rejuvenation of adjacent houses, charming cottages, and staff accommodations for additional letting space. The substantial river frontage offers opportunities
for creating luxury hospitality spaces, leisure activities, and more.

Price And Offer Process - The preferred route of sale is a full disposal of the shares of ‘French Horn Hotel Limited’. The Vendors will consider all offers received in writing to: Mr S Woodford, Haslams, 159 Friar Street, Reading, RG1 1HE, steve. .
Prospective purchasers are advised to make their own enquiries as to the condition of the property, prior to submitting their offer.
Purchasers are required to provide proof of funding.
The Vendors reserve the right not to accept the highest offer or to withdraw the property from the market, or to alter the method of sale at any time without notice.

Viewing Process - Viewings
Asset tours will be carried out on a Monday or Tuesday (certain Tuesdays in December may not be available due to varied Christmas opening hours) – a tour expected to take around 90 minutes to visit all areas.
Data Room
A data room of due diligence information will be made available to seriously interested parties.


French Horn IM_V5 6.pdf

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The French Horn, Sonning Eye, Reading


Distances are straight line measurements from the centre of the postcode
  • Wargrave Station2.3 miles
  • Twyford Station2.4 miles
  • Earley Station2.5 miles
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About the agent

Haslams Estate Agents, Reading

159 Friar Street, Reading, RG1 1HE

Haslams Estate Agents
About Us

Haslams Estate Agents is an independent, multi-award-winning agent located in the centre of Reading Town. With over a lifetimes experience, Haslams has been trusted to sell and let homes around the Thames Valley for over 185 years.

Our team of industry professionals have extensive knowledge in the Reading property market and all live around the area, allowing for up-to-date, expert advice.

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Disclaimer - Property reference 32708300. The information displayed about this property comprises a property advertisement. makes no warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of the advertisement or any linked or associated information, and Rightmove has no control over the content. This property advertisement does not constitute property particulars. The information is provided and maintained by Haslams Estate Agents, Reading. Please contact the selling agent or developer directly to obtain any information which may be available under the terms of The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 or the Home Report if in relation to a residential property in Scotland.

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