THE RUMOUR mill is in full swing surrounding the sale of a £12m Berkshire hotel including gossip that Hollywood star George Clooney has a friend who has snapped up the incredible riverside venue.

The French Horn is a renowned Berkshire hotel with connections to a plethora of celebrity and Royal guests including Princess Margaret, Lady Diana and Hollywood greats Elizabeth Taylor and John Wayne.

It's picturesque position opposite the popular Mill Theatre, and being a short stroll from the charming village of Sonning has made the site a go-to venue for many locals for more than five decades.

After 50 years of ownership by the Emmanuel family, the hotel is currently on the market for £12 million through joint agents Haslams and Christie & Co. With the venue's long-running standing with celebrity visitors and neighbours it is no surprise that rumours of celebrity-linked ownership have been swirling.

A Sonning resident approached the Chronicle with news that a film director with connections to Sonning neighbour George Clooney has snapped up the hotel for £13.5 Million.

However the sellers have been quick to dispel the rumours, as according to both Christie & Co and Haslams, the firms have both been contacted several times regarding the local claims.

Steve Woodford, Executive Chairman of Haslams, said: “The French Horn was brought to market in November, for the first time in half a century, and interest in this iconic Thames-side hotel has been exceptionally strong.

"Some 20 viewings have taken place since the launch, with offers put forward for a variety of potential uses; a number of these interested parties have proposed to keep the hotel and restaurant in operation."

The agents denied any sale had been confirmed and added that offers are still being taken and considered.

Mr Woodford added: "This is the last chance to acquire this remarkable property, a much-loved dining spot of the rich and famous including Princess Margaret, Lady Diana and Hollywood greats Elizabeth Taylor and John Wayne. The French Horn offers a rare and exciting commercial opportunity for the right owner; the potential has no bounds.”

News of a farewell party for the current owners to say goodbye to friends and long-standing customers had also been circulated locally.

Current owner Michael Emmanuel also put paid to these claims of the last hurray before closure with no date yet set for doors to close for one last time.  He also confirmed that owners are open to offers for the property up to January 31.

Michael expressed his excitement over the pending sale following a heart-wrenching decision to close after decades of ownership.

He explained: “It was a very emotional decision but after 36 years, it is time to pass it on so maybe the new owners will have a chance to enjoy it for another 36 years.”