A Californian hotel hidden on the rural outskirts of Newbury, The Vineyard is the picture of luxury and a wine aficionados’ heaven.
Founded by the Californian vineyard owner Sir Peter Michael, the hotel combines tradition with contemporary touches. The interior is relaxed yet stylish, with bold colours, elegant furnishing and eye catching artwork, which adorns nearly every wall.
When we stayed we had the ‘The Judgement of Paris’ menu, named after the wine tasting competition in 1976 which saw Californian wine picked above French wine in a blind tasting. You can taste your way through the hotel’s extensive wine cellar and you might just discover an unexpected love of Californian wine. You can also take a tour of the impressive space, which holds around 30,000 bottles. Wine lovers will enjoy walking over the glass floor above the temperature-controlled cellars, and spying the very expensive vintage bottles.
Back in the restaurant, a selection of carefully crafted courses are matched with each wine, and the knowledgeable and passionate staff are always on hand to explain the origin of the wine or why it was chosen to compliment a particular course. It’s worth noting that although the wine is without doubt the star of the show, the food is really very good too. Think hand dived Orkney scallops with baby artichoke, aubergine and polenta or corn fed chicken with endive, toasted cauliflower and collonata. Yum.
We all know the saying ‘Hair of the dog’, but at the Vineyard this takes on a whole new meaning. Who knew the best way to shake off the wine from the night before is being wrapped head to toe in a red grape wrap? The Vineyard’s boutique spa also boasts a bar, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and circular swimming pool if treatments aren’t you cup of tea.
With luxurious bedrooms, a boutique spa and an impressive art collection, including Sir Peter Michael’s commissioned rendition of The Judgement of Paris, this hotel really demands a visit. Once you’re settled in an armchair by the fire, a glass of California’s best in your hand, we promise you’ll find it quite hard to leave…
Rooms start at £480 a night
The Vineyard, Stockcross, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8JU. Tel: 01635 899513
Ellie Walker-Arnott is a regular contributor to Heart Home. You can also find her over at London lifestyle blog http://filterldn.co.uk/