FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Berkshire Life - - Hotel Review -

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

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