Pippa Middleton buys farm to transform into children's play barn

TALK OF THE TOWN: Will making millions turn out to be child’s play for Pippa Middleton, 38, after she and financier husband James Matthews, 46, purchased a Berkshire barn to transform into a kid-friendly tourist hotspot?

The Duchess of Cambridge’s parents famously made millions from a mail-order business selling hats, balloons and decorations for children’s parties.

Now Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton and her financier husband James Matthews are following in their footsteps by developing their own child-friendly tourist attraction just a stone’s throw from the Middleton family home in Berkshire.

Pippa Middleton and her financier husband James Matthews are developing their own child-friendly tourist attraction just a stone’s throw from the Middleton family home in Berkshire

James and his business partners plan to splash out £800,000 transforming a rundown petting zoo and deer park called Bucklebury Farm into an indoor play barn for children and expanding an existing barn to include a cafe and farm shop with outdoor seating.

The couple may already have come up with their name for the new venture. In November I revealed they had registered a company called Pippa’s Playground.

James, 46, who runs Mayfair investment firm Eden Rock, bought Bucklebury Farm last March and is the joint owner with his partner, James Murray. 

Pippa, 38, can be regularly spotted in a wax jacket and wellies overseeing things at the farm.

Plans outlining their vision say visitor numbers will be capped at 400 a day, and that the venture will inject £2.3 million into the local economy. 

James and his business partners plan to splash out £800,000 transforming a rundown petting zoo and deer park called Bucklebury Farm into an indoor play barn for children and expanding an existing barn to include a cafe and farm shop with outdoor seating

Murray and the farm’s manager, Oliver Shute, have presented the plans to parish councillors and permission is expected to be granted soon.

Pippa’s mother Carole set up Party Pieces from her kitchen table in 1987 while pregnant with her third child, James. 

She started out preparing party bags for Kate’s school friends and it grew into a multi-million-pound business.

Kate and Pippa’s brother James has been courageously candid about his battles with depression, admitting he suffers from January blues.

But I hear whispers that the 34-year-old hopes the year ahead could bring happy news for him and his French bride Alizee, 32. 

Kate and Pippa’s brother James Middleton, 34, has been courageously candid about his battles with depression, admitting he suffers from January blues. He is pictured with his French bride Alizee, 32

Sources say the couple, who married last summer, are hoping that 2022 is the year they start a family

Sources say the couple, who married last summer, are hoping that 2022 is the year they start a family.

James posted this picture, left, of him and Alizee, who works in financial technology, during a misty trip to the Highlands. 

Here’s hoping for brighter times…

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