Let’s raise a toast to the UK’s most delicious wine hotel, The Vineyard Stockcross
February 12, 2018
When your partner, who runs his own successful wine company and is an ex chef, tells you he has wanted to visit The Vineyard Hotel in Stockcross for almost a decade you take note, as it must be special! Cue a surprise Birthday weekend to Berkshire to experience the ‘UK’s wine hotel’…
The 49-room Vineyard, with 32 suites and 17 bedrooms, is easily accessible from the M4 or Newbury train station making it an enviable choice for a weekend away from the big smoke. Part of the prestigious Relais & Château group of estates, and owned by the highly regarded Peter Michael Winery in California, the property houses 30,000 bottles in its cellars and serves 100 wines by the glass, making it a wine-lover’s paradise.
Following a warm welcome at check in, and complimentary glasses of sparkling wine, we were shown to our Atrium Suite and noticing on route that all rooms had been named after iconic wines from around the world. The hallway is decorated with a wealth of art by Henry Martin, Ronald Searle, Boris Smirnoff and Doris Zinkeisen. Our spacious room was on a split level and luxuriously furnished with modern fabrics and a contemporary design. Our suite was stocked with all the amenities you would expect at a 5* hotel; including a wide screen LCD TV, balcony, Nespresso machine, and bathroom basket full of REN products. A large bubble bath was the perfect start to a cosy Friday night in, especially when outside temperatures were below zero.
We were invited to enjoy the Discover Tasting Menu (5 dishes £75.00) curated by the Head Sommelier and Robby Jenks, the hotel’s rising star chef who oversees the 3 AA Rosette restaurant, and I must say it was an absolute delight – extremely decadent but delicious. My partner opted for the below pairings and I just switched the meat for fish options.
Loch Duart salmon, cucumber, English wasabi and dill
Gusbourne, Reserve, Brut, Kent, England, 2009
A beautifully fresh sparkling wine made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier that cut through the salmon but match the freshness of the cucumber
Pan- fried Label Rouge foie gras, preserved plums, parsnip and basil
Alsace Grand Cru Riesling, Domaine Schlumberger, Kitterlé, Alsace, France
This great Riesling is actually dry but has a beautiful oily texture to match the richness of the Foie Gras
Fillet of halibut, parsley, mussels and sea herbs
Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Azienda Agricola Cos, Sicily, Italy
This light red wine is mainly made from Nero d’Avola and has a very aromatic nose but a delicate texture on the palate that goes amazingly well with the meatiness of the halibut
Saddle of venison, red cabbage, blackberry and chervil root
Justin Vineyards, Justification, Cabernet Franc/Merlot, Paso Robles, CA, 2012
This wine is made more as a Saint Emilion style, the powerful nose of ripe dark fruit goes greatly with the blackberries of course but also with the gaminess of the venison
Earl grey parfait, lemon bergamot, cubebe pepper
Tokaji, Sauska, 5 Puttonyos, Tokaj, Hungary, 2003
An amazing Tokaj, this wine isn’t too sweet so it doesn’t overpower this delicious dessert but the slightly honeyed notes pair very well with the earl grey parfait.
The next morning we took a leisurely tour of the wine cellar with the Head Sommelier, a lovely gesture that is open to all guests. The Vineyard recently unveiled a #GrapePricedWine (Grape Priced Wine) campaign to introduce wines from around the world to a wider audience, showcasing accessible wines at great prices, with tips on how to choose the right wine for the drinkers budget. Following this, we attempted to burn and sweat out the indulgence from the night before in award-winning spa – just wait until you see the size of the swimming pool with its glorious garden views.
If you fancy a stay at this luxurious hotel that promises top quality food and wine, and delightful and peaceful surroundings, then visitwww.the-vineyard.co.uk or call 01635 897589. Accommodation and breakfast is priced from £255 based on two guests. Throughout the year, The Vineyard also hosts regular wine dinners, showcasing wines from around the world paired perfectly with seasonal dishes.
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Lara Buckle
(photo credits: The Vineyard Hotel)