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Last month my friend and I drove from London to Berkshire, to the 5 star luxury spa hotel, The Vineyard. It was the best place to take (a much welcomed) break for my foodie friend Rosie and I, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Whether you love expensive rare wines or even just a bottle that’s on offer at Waitrose you’re guaranteed to have a great time here. Ultimately, good wine is at the heart of everything they do here and so a lot of the hotel is geared around the enjoyment of a glass (or bottle). Admittedly, both Rosie and I have a passion for all things wine right down to the different regions and what to do there. So when we were greeted with an enormous wine vault holding 30,000 bottles of wine on arrival at The Vineyard, we knew we were in for a treat! Berkshire was sure delivering so far…
“Satisfying hints of old world outrage” – (The Vineyard, Berkshire)
Rooms & Spa
The rooms aren’t too far from the main area. Handy then, considering we had a 7 course tasting menu with wine pairing booked(£89 pp food plus £75 pp wine). Each of the rooms are equally bright, modern and beautifully decorated. They ooze sophistication and comfort. They’re a great mix of elegance and class.
From the quality of the bedding right through to the toiletries (all REN), even the robes and slippers that were supplied for the spa, everything felt luxurious without being pretentious. Also, you’re able to walk around the hotel in robes.
The Vineyard is renowned for its five star dining with its 3 AA Rosette restaurant. It is a onegastronomic experience and a half! From the moment you go down to be seated you feel at easy and ready for food and great wine. We started off with a delicious sparkling wine and prepared ourself for the main event.
On The Menu
Oak-smoked Loch Duart salmon, beetroots, walnut, wasabi
Soy and treacle tuna, avocado, coriander and ginger
Pan-fried foie gras, grape, hazelnut and pain d’épices
Cod, cauliflower, curry and coconut
Lamb loin, pressed shoulder, peas and black garlic
Lime, coconut, pineapple and basil
Dark chocolate, passionfruit and mango, warm caramel
Each course came presented with a wine pairing which had been expertly chosen to compliment the dish. We both had our favourites at the end of the meal and (thankfully) took the names of them. Trust me, after 7 tasting wines we both felt a little tipsy!
Head chef Tom Scade joined The Vineyard from The Ritz Hotel in London where he was sous chef to John Williams. He had trained initially under Williams before going off and running his own business as chef/GM at The Mariners Rock in Cornwall.He was also the head chef for two Michelin star chef, Martin Blunos in Bath, and then opened The Crab and Boar in Chieveley as head chef. Scade returned to The Ritz Hotel as Sous Chef in 2016 and was an integral part of the team that gained the Ritz’s first ever Michelin star that year.
Take a virtual tour of the wine vault, restaurant and bars here.
As a guest at The Vineyard, we could enjoy a little pick me up in the 5 star spa. Both residents and day visitors can have full access to all spa facilities including the:
- Circular pool with swan massage jets and current machine
- Steam room and sauna
- Relaxation area around the pool where you can enjoy lunch and refreshments
There are also some wonderful treatments available using one of my favourite skincare brands, Darphin. So whether you need a quick 25 minute Darphin facial (prices from £45) which completely hydrates and nourishes a dried out complexion, or you fancy yourself a luxurious massage, this is the place to go.
Rest outdoors & enjoy the tranquility of this area of Berkshire
There are 32 suites and 17 bedrooms all named after iconic wines from around the world at The Vineyard
Award-winning “5 Bubbles” spa
Privately owned by the Michael family since 1996, who also own the highly regarded Peter Michael Winery in California
Impressive private art collection including the Judgement of Paris
Exclusivity is a speciality.