There is something to be said for an escape from London for a weekend retreat. So when The Vineyard Hotel, the UK’s wine hotel, invited me for a wine-focused night away I jumped at the chance – wine, delicious food and spa – it was hard to say no.
The Vineyard is a Victorian townhouse situated in Didsbury Park, an hour or so out of London in the rural countryside of Berkshire. This delightful eclectic hotel has approximately 30,000 bottles of wine housed in the on-site cellar and features 20 individually designed rooms and suites all named after famous wines. The property also admiringly houses over 100 pieces of art-work.
A lot of care and consideration has gone into every detail of the hotel and the attentive staffs are on hand to ensure guests receive a warm welcome and delightful stay. Throughout the property, the décor is an exercise in tasteful refinement. The calming, neutral colour palette helps guests to instantly relax. Those who love period features will adore the high ceilings, the grand staircase and the restful lounge, which beckons guests to linger.
Everything at The Vineyard Hotel is about wine. The hotel is home to over 30,000 bottles. There are no rules to a visit here, whether the guest is a wine lover or a vineyard explorer, the enigmatic staff do their best to ensure wines on offer are tasted and enjoyed in the upmost luxurious surroundings, to help every guest enjoy the wine tasting experience to the full. The hotel’s award-winning sommelier Romain Bourger won ‘UK Young Sommelier of the Year’ for 2016 and regularly selects wines to be paired with meals for those looking for some inspiration with their wine choice.
One of the hotel’s great offerings is the al la Carte menu; however, the tasting menus are definitely the je-ne-sais-quoi of a memorable stay at the Vineyard. The Discovery Dinner is an exciting and at times blinder of a menu (one of the wine parings is a blind test), allowing the taster to enjoy five exciting courses, each paired with a different wine. We enjoyed a starter of octopus, tomato and green olive sauce, fregula and sweet potato paired with a Viognier Australia 2015. Each course therein was a delicious experience paired with excellent wines from all over the world. For the more adventurous, the hotel offers a ‘Judgement of Paris’ dinner where each course is paired with two wines – one Californian and the other French.
Guests can enjoy the Discovery Tasting menu £75, the Judgement of Paris £89, all food intolerances are catered for as was mine being gluten-free.
The hotel has 49 bedrooms with suites named after iconic wines. After a drive from London, the suite with living room area and en-suite bathroom with complimentary REN cosmetics was an inviting restful space.
Relax at the vineyard
All that eating and drinking can sometimes get the better of us, so it’s a blessing that the Vineyard boasts an award-winning five bubble spa that offers a selection of wine themed spa treatments, indoor pool and sauna and steam.
This high-quality accommodation presents a relaxing retreat and the perfect opportunity to enjoy and learn more about wine. The staff are very helpful, the sommeliers very proficient and the evening meals, superb. It is all about discovery and adventure at The Vineyard. The hotel also runs WSET courses and exams across several levels, courses that allow guests to achieve a qualification in wine.
The Vineyard has even unveiled a #GrapePricedWine (Grape Priced Wine) campaign to introduce wines from around the world to a wider audience, showcasing accessible wines at great prices, with tips on how to choose the right wine within different budgets.
The hotel’s tagline is ‘eat, drink and sleep wine’….. And for that, we were happy to partake…..
Accommodation and breakfast is priced from £247 based on two guests depending on time of year and availability.