Country Retreat

Idyllic Chipping Norton

Ana B. Remos

Just an hour and a half away from the center of London, Chipping Norton is the ideal country retreat for the British aristocracy.

While London attracts much of the media coverage in England, close by there are quaint enclaves very deserving of our attention. One example is Chipping Norton, always a subject of conversation at the dinner tables of England’s high society.

Located an hour and a half northeast of London, following the M40 Highway, and with easy access from the neighborhood of Notting Hill, the area around Chipping Norton is home to illustrious Brits, like Prime Minister David Cameron (as well as the parents of his wife, Samantha), Lady Astor and Viscount Astor, former newspaper editor Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie (a friend of the Prime Minister), Elisabeth Murdoch and her husband Matthew Freud, Sir Ben Kingsley, and writer Jemina Khan.

They are known as the “Chipping Norton Set”, and when they want to socialize, they usually gather at the Kingham Plough dining pub, a favorite of the Prime Minister, or at the rustic kitchens of their farmhouses. For a little pampering, many choose Daylesford Organic, where they enjoy Pilates, meditation and all kinds of massages.

Chipping Norton, also known as “Chippy” by the locals, is frequented by England’s elite. Many residents live in London, and although they may not be passionate about country life, the town makes the perfect weekend retreat. Here hey can relax around the farmers and miners, who also call Chippy their home. They, however, don´t always wish to mix with city dwellers, and dislike the attention they bring to their town. With Oxford University only twenty miles away, the vibe of this village is rather intellectual since many of the university’s alumni have settled here. Most have established their own independent fortunes.

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