Delicious food from a Michelin-starred chef, heavenly rooms and Instagram-worthy interiors in gorgeous surroundings awaits you at Hurley House Hotel in Berkshire.
I love when a new venue seems to tick all the boxes: delicious food, excellent location, exquisite interior and that is exactly what my experience was on a recent trip to Hurley House Hotel. The hotel is located in the heart of Berkshire in South East England and is easily accessible from Henley-on-Thames, Maidenhead and Marlow and offers quick access to the M4 and Central London.
A chat with the owners revealed that they only opened in August 2016, with the rooms opening in October of that year. The venue was originally an 18th century rundown pub that had stood empty for 2 years, a stylish renovation has transformed it into a boutique hotel with a traditional English pub and destination restaurant. Unsurprisingly, all 10 of their en-suite bedrooms were in use when we visited so we couldn’t take a peak, but from the photos on their website they look elegant and luxurious which, based on the rest of this hotel, is exactly what I would expect.
Bar & Restaurant
Inside, a bar awaits with several seating areas, one space is slightly set apart which would be ideal when you want some privacy with a family group but don’t quite have the need to hire a function room. There is also a beautiful private dining room for 14 and the main restaurant itself. The mood is glamourous rustic, with contemporary finishes; personally, I loved the flower arrangements throughout and the lighting – especially the huge wooden chandelier that greets you upon entry. Pub food and bar snacks are available in the bar area. The restaurant, which has space for 46 covers, is headed up by Michelin-starred Chef, Michael Chapman, formerly of the Royal Oak at Paley Street, near Maidenhead, who ensures that the menus feature fresh and locally-sourced ingredients from the best producers in the area; the fish and seafood are brought in daily from Brixham’s fishing boats.
Food & Drink
The food was delectable; beautifully presented and extremely satisfying. The menu is interesting but without being too pretentious. I went for the “Duck Liver Parfait, Yorkshire Rhubarb, Brioche” starter and my husband the “Heritage Beetroot Salad, Innes Goats Curd, Hazelnuts”, both were as tasty as they sounded and looked, and were very reasonable portion sizes too. We both couldn’t resist the “Cotswold White Chicken, Cauliflower, Calcots, Foraged Mushrooms, Truffle” for our main courses and were definitely not disappointed with our choice; the meat was tender, the sauces rich and tasty and the range of vegetables varied and interesting. Slightly naughty perhaps, but the side of chips that we shared were amazing, the best we’ve had in a long time! Although there is no actual children’s menu, children are well catered for; they can provide a range of child-friendly meals and my two enjoyed their sausage & chips and chicken goujons & mash, as well as most of the complimentary bread basket! We were all pretty full by the time dessert came around but managed to share the “Dark Chocolate Fondant, Chocolate Mousse, Milk Ice Cream” and thank goodness that we did, it was absolutely delicious. The accompanying wine list is well selected and comprehensive and there are several beers available by the bottle or on draught. I didn’t try them (well it was a family lunch after all!) but the cocktails sounded fab too.
The service throughout was truly exceptional, all the staff that we encountered were warm, friendly, professional and very efficient. They all seemed genuinely happy to be there which gave the entire place a lovely, relaxed atmosphere. We had our two small children with us and were slightly concerned whether they would be ok sitting in the restaurant, well we need not have worried; this is one of those places where everyone is made to feel very welcome and there’s not a hint of stuffiness.
The only real drawback of our visit was that the English weather did its usual (to be fair it was February!) but I managed a quick wander of the gardens before the heavens opened and in the summer the outside spaces would be just wonderful. As well as plenty of outdoor seating on the dining terraces, they have a large lawn space, outdoor toilets and a kitchen/ bar area where they can cook bar snacks or a BBQ as you require. There is also ample private parking. It would be the perfect venue for weddings (indeed, check out the aerial shots on their website, it looks amazing) and the owner informed me that they have already taken several bookings for summer 2017.
This would be the perfect venue for a special family lunch or a romantic meal just the two of you, why not book a room too and make it that bit more memorable.
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