AN INSPECTOR CALLS
He pays his way... and tells it like it is
YOU won’t find any spare rooms at The Winning Post during this year’s Royal Ascot. They were all snaffled up months ago — and sold at a premium. But, at any other time of year, all 12 are up for grabs — some with their own little gardens.
‘We’ve done a lot of work in the pub, but haven’t finished smartening up the rooms,’ says the genial boss, Simon Went, as he walks us to our upstairs room behind the main building, reached via external stairs. ‘But at least there’s a new carpet.’
We like Mr Went’s lack of spin. He plays it down rather than talking it up. And we love our first sight of the 18th-century red brick building in the village of Winkfield, near Ascot.
There are white picket fences, lattice woodwork; an outside terrace, a warm glow emanating from inside. It’s a Friday evening and there’s such a jolly atmosphere, helped by the blazing wood-burner, original flagstone floors and a number of little nooks and crannies, some just big enough for one table.
The bar is faced in wood with ‘Cocktails’ painted vividly on it. It reminds me of a sunny shack in the Caribbean. There are several used bottles of Champagne which have been fashioned into candle holders — very 1970s but it works. Food is delicious; service seamless and charming with it.
‘In a place like this one can forgive certain things,’ says my wife, referring to the battered door of our room which is in bad need of a fresh coat of paint or two. And they’ve run out of brown bread in the morning — so we have white instead and it doesn’t rankle at all. It’s that sort of place.
The Winning Post Winkfield Berkshire
Tel: 01344 882242 Doubles from £94 per night HHHHI