FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Ashort drive up a pleasant country lane off the A4 near Hungerford brings you to the stunning Newbury Elcot Park Hotel. The Georgian manor stands proudly overlooking the beautiful Kennet Valley
With pheasants parading the grounds and croquet set up ready on the lawn you could almost be in an episode of Brideshead Revisted.
The entrance and reception/lobby have been very tastefully decorated, and recently too.
There are dark blue velvet sofas, aviator chairs and artwork to reflect the area’s horseracing connections.
A friendly greeting from the receptionist and we were guided to our ‘Privilege’ room, with king size bed, Nespresso coffee machine and double aspect views of the lovely grounds.
On the way for a pre-dinner G&T there was more opportunity to discover what Elcot Park has to offer. A small but beautifully formed snug, the cosy lounge and bar and even a mini gym for those guests who just can’t function without their morning workout.
Elcot is also the perfect venue if you’re looking to host a conference or business meeting. There is a plethora of different sized rooms and quiet nooks for breakout spaces. Indeed, whether a party of two or 102, Elcot provides the perfect setting and level of service for an extremely pleasant stay. Following an enjoyable gin and tonic on the terrace we took our seats for dinner in the Orangery Restaurant. It was a surprise to find the menu was more ‘pub food’ orientated rather than the usual A la Carte you would choose from in so many four-star hotels. This was more fish and chips than foie gras. A well-cooked sirloin steak and lemon tart later there were only a few sips of red wine left to finish before bed.
The following morning breakfast was served buffet-style in the restaurant. For those looking for something healthy there was plenty of fresh fruit and yoghurt or if you needed to be set up for a lengthy stroll of the Kennet and Avon Canal you could have your fill of the full English. An early October visit meant the grounds of Elcot were teaming with pheasants. The leaves on the trees were turning gold and red and as we sat on the sun terrace drink in hand, it was a serene moment as dusk fell. Later autumn and sunny days in winter will also set the scene here. No sun? It’s very cosy inside and you can still wrap up for scenic walks.
Attentive service with a smile
“Are you sure all is ok with your meal?” asked our waiter during dinner. He must have noticed some leftover steak and wanted to know that all was fine, even though he was rushed off his feet with other tables.
A superior room: lots of tradition alongside modern comforts
The dining room is light and airy