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Review: The Vineyard Hotel, Berkshire
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If you relish fine wines and excellent cuisine then you will not be disappointed at the award-winning, 5-star, Relais & Châteaux Vineyard Hotel, set in the rolling green hills of Berkshire’s beautiful countryside.

Dining here is truly some of the best I’ve tasted, perfectly paired with some seriously enchanting wines from their cellar which is stocked with over 30,000 wines from the new and old world, as well as the award-winning estate wines of owner Sir Peter Michael. With incredible cuisine, welcoming staff to greet you; a spa to relax in and a wide variety of luxury rooms and suites to choose between, a stay here is a real treat for mind, body, and soul.

Wherever you decide to stay, book via our luxury travel concierge. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, and free perks at hotels, including Four Seasons, Aman, Belmond, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, InterContinental, and more. You also get your usual Marriott Bonvoy, Hyatt, Hilton, and other loyalty points and status benefits when you book with our concierge.

Location

Whilst not actually located on a vineyard, the hotel is directly connected with the owner’s vineyard, The Peter Michael Winery, which lies in the sun-kissed hills of Sonoma in northern California. The vineyard creates wines in the terroir-driven tradition of Burgundy and Bordeaux, but under the gaze of the Californian sunshine and in the rich west-coast soil.

The Vineyard Hotel itself is nestled in the historic home county of Berkshire in Southeast England, a few miles from the M4, 5 miles from Newbury Racecourse, and about 8 miles from Highclere Castle. Central London can be reached in an hour’s drive. Newbury train station lies just a 10-minute drive away, with direct trains from Paddington, meaning that Londoners can leave their desk at 5 and be sipping something smooth on the hotel terrace in around an hour. Adjacent to the hotel lies Deanwood Park Golf Course, while the North Wessex Downs AONB is right on the hotel’s doorstep, promising pretty countryside walks to work up an appetite before dinner.

Style & Character

The whole hotel embodies the spirit of California, stepping inside feels like stepping into a luxury Californian Country Club and art gallery with a touch of futuristic modern in the neon-lit wine cellar, the centerpiece of the lobby, where row upon row of wines lay temptingly illuminated behind a glass facade. Your eyes are met with works of art that adorn all the walls and beautiful chandeliers that hang from above, as well as sculptures and artwork throughout that pay homage to the owner’s passion: wine. Beyond the lobby, you are met with a slice of warming Tuscan sunshine with terracotta ceramic tiles that lead you through the hotel, past the spa, and restaurant, and onwards to the myriad of rooms and suites. Rooms and suites are luxurious and sensual with sumptuous rich fabrics and textures throughout.

Service & Facilities

This Pride of Britain hotel boasts plenty of facilities including on-site parking, complimentary Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and a spa with a circular pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and steam room/Hamman – perfect to revive you after the night before. Guests can enjoy a wide range of treatments including a heavenly head massage, an Elemental Herbology facial, and a deluxe pedicure, which are all perfectly tailored to you.

While The Vineyard Hotel does accept children, it is more focused on delivering gourmet cuisine, fine wines, and some indulgent adult relaxation.

Rooms

Guests can choose between comfortable Luxury Doubles, Atrium Suites, Deluxe Suites, Luxury Suites, and the Grand Suite. The room designs are clean and simple with lovely luxury touches and impressionist artwork on the walls. We stayed in a refined 67 m² Luxury Suite on the first floor with elegantly textured wallpaper, rich textures, and luxury linens throughout. The suite overlooked the central courtyard and terrace from several Juliet balconies and featured a cloakroom; a large separate lounge area with a work desk and TV; a bedroom with a very comfortable king-size bed, dressing table, large wardrobe, TV, and armchair; and a spacious marble bathroom. Suite amenities include a Nespresso coffee machine, complimentary Wi-Fi, fluffy bathrobes and slippers, a selection of Elemental Herbology toiletries, safe, a hair dryer, and air conditioning.

Food & Drink

This is where The Vineyard Hotel truly sets itself apart from the rest in its three AA Rosette Restaurant. Their stunning, both in flavor and appearance, gourmet dishes, which use the finest locally sourced ingredients, are expertly created by Executive Chef, Tom Scade. Tom blends old-world tastes with new-world approaches and techniques to create dishes that take your breath away. The menus reflect the hotel’s Californian heritage, with Tom mixing wines and olive oil from the Peter Michael Winery into many of the dishes. Imagine tiny taste explosions on your tongue perfectly paired with fine wines from around the globe, expertly chosen by the ever-friendly and knowledgeable, award-winning Head Sommelier, Romain Bourger.

The restaurant is very luxurious yet welcoming and relaxed. As you enter there is an impressive domed ceiling surrounded by double-height windows with seating on two levels. The moment you arrive in the restaurant, you can instantly tell this is somewhere you can relax, take your time, and savor your food, wine, and most importantly good company.

We enjoyed a sumptuous three-course dinner. To start, we chose the Burrata with artichoke, hazelnut, and truffle which was just something else, and the melt-in-the-mouth Berkshire trout with caviar, cucumber, and horseradish delicately garnished with carefully placed leaves and drops of caviar, quite possibly the prettiest dish on the menu! For the main, I chose the perfectly cooked roast partridge which was served at the table and then artistically drizzled with delectable truffle sauce alongside a beautiful pumpkin crescent – the flavor combinations in this dish were mouth-watering. We also tried the highly popular Hereford rib eye steak which was equally delicious too. To finish we enjoyed the stunning Yuzu namesake, see the photos, created with salted caramel, sesame, sorbet, and a to-die-for rich and indulgent Tiramisu. All of these dishes were accompanied by the Vineyard’s infamous wine tree experience, where the Head Sommelier matches wines to suit your tastes and your chosen dishes as well as giving you one extra blackened glass which contains a wine for you to guess the color, grape, and region, which was both surprisingly difficult, but great fun too! It’s unsurprising that The Vineyard Hotel has been awarded the AA Wine Award England & Overall 2022-23.

The service in the restaurant was excellent. All the dishes flowed smoothly, one after another, a perfect dining experience and the staff were highly attentive without being at all intrusive. Whilst in the restaurant we had the chance to meet the brand new General Manager, Chris Smith, who was very welcoming, friendly, and knowledgeable and is clearly ready to take the hotel to the next level.

The following morning, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast. There is a continental spread on offer as well as popular cooked favorites including scrambled eggs and smoked salmon (which was incredible!) and pancakes, bacon, and maple syrup. Everything you need to nurse any sore heads from the night before.

For those that have dined here before, you will be pleased to learn that the seven-course tasting menus paired with fabulous wines are set to return in the near future too, so watch this space.

Conclusion

The Vineyard Hotel is the perfect retreat for those epicureans amongst us, but also for those that are simply culinary curious. With world-class cuisine and a highly impressive wine list to match, it’s a destination where your passion for wine can be both shared and indulged in a stylish setting that offers true enjoyment. We can’t wait to return!

Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.

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