Girls, guys… lovers… there’s a magical place that we found last week in Berkshire so very aptly (and also not at all aptly) named The Vineyard Hotel and Spa.
Whilst The Vineyard offers copious amounts of wine, along with lovely bedroom suites and a very relaxing spa… alas, it has no vineyard.
Do we even care?! Only at the embarrassment of having to answer the question “Did you see the vineyard?”.
Our night here was really special. We were not only treated to a seven-course dinner, but our experience included a Judgement of Paris wine pairing. This meant that with every course, we were given half a glass of French wine and half a glass of Californian wine, and we had to guess which was which.
The original Judgement of Paris (was a tale from Greek Mythology but in this context… ) was a competition in 1976 in Paris where the judges had to decide which wine was best from the same regions as we did with our dinner. We, and they, choose California.
I’d say definitely book for a night here on the Judgement of Paris tasting dinner. The Vineyard has a very unique and award-winning 30,000 bottle wine cellar (that you can see under your feet through its partial glass ceiling). The staff know their wines. Our sommelier Diego had all of the answers and took great delight in serving us with this boozy, friendly competition. His opening words… “Hello, I am Diego, would you like to play a game?”. Yes Diego, yes we would!
Here, you get the service that a 5-star hotel should attain to, but without the feeling that the staff are to only be seen and heard when serving you. They are very polite, very professional and courteous, but they don’t have to ditch their personalities at the door.
Huge compliments to the chef of this 3 AA Rosette restaurant. Each dish carried it’s flavours playfully through every bite with a key change at each course that made for a harmonious and romantic dinner for two. I took the most down-to-earth Yorkshireman you could ever meet and even he couldn’t get enough… apart from the “raw fish” (1. Oak-smoked Loch Duart salmon, beetroots, walnut, wasabi. 2. Soy and treacle tuna, avocado, coriander and ginger) he couldn’t get on board with that, so I ate both portions!
Relaxing in the room after dinner was a treat. All of the space, huge bed and bath made for two. We stayed in an Atrium Suite with a view over the golf course which meant we had a quiet and private morning after all of the wine at dinner the night before.
Breakfast doubled up as a hark back to childhood with dippy eggs and soldiers on the menu! How could I resist? Yorkshire lionbear was happy with his full English from the buffet. Don’t imagine a low rate breakfast buffet that suffers from being trapped in a sweaty chafing dish (even the name! Ew!), the food was fresh, perfectly cooked with fluffy eggs and juicy sausages… two very happy northerners at breakfast before heading to the spa.
Grab a dressing gown and slippers from the spa reception and head through to relaxation wonderland. Everything you need is right in this big atrium. Grab a bed, drink the bottle of water waiting for you and chill. Hop in the jacuzzi for a bit and then slink downstairs for the steam and sauna. The spa at The Vineyard was light, warm, and calm. Perfect with a head full of red wine sniffing memories and giggles.
If you get a chance, please book a 5 Elemental Aroma Facial with the girls in the 5-star spa. I’ve never felt more welcomed into a space, more relaxed during a treatment, or more grateful of the time to be mindful… not to mention actually glowing afterwards! My therapist gave me advice on my skin care routine as well as having a good old chat about the copper coil!
The Vineyard genuinely deserves it’s rating from top to bottom. When you book a weekend with friends or your partner, make sure you plan out a walk somewhere nearby beforehand because there are no grounds to wander. Other than that though, I’ll always remember my night and day at The Vineyard Hotel and Spa, and I’ll definitely be back at some point in my lifetime.