The Vineyard at Stockcross,
23 miles West of Reading
Spa & Leisure
Unusually the spa at The Vineyard is a circular, glass space looking out onto the hotel grounds. The circular pool complete with water jets is 15-metres in diameter and also features a current machine so if you want to work out you certainly can – or just go with the flow. Changing rooms are downstairs alongside the steam room, sauna and four treatment rooms including a treatment room for couples all of which feature candles, mood lighting and heated treatment beds.
Ultimately, the name of the game here is a bespoke experience – temperatures, treatments and quality time tailored to the individual – and it is all done to perfection. When it comes to treatments equally careful attention has been paid: using Darphin, Elemental Herbology and the venue’s own bespoke Red Grape products, therapists are highly trained and all treatments have been carefully selected for maximum effect.
Hotel & Accommodation
Part of the Relais & Chateaux collection – known for their epicurean excellence – this five-star country hotel owned by the Michael family is a former 18th Century hunting lodge remodelled as an homage to the produce of the family vineyard in California. Throughout the 49 rooms (all named after different wines) interiors are spacious and sumptuous despite the juxtaposing modernity of 16 contemporary rooms that have been added to the main house.
In the five star, triple AA Rosette awarded restaurant, Chef Robby Jenks oversees one of the finest lunch and evening menus in Berkshire ranging from informal lunches to the more formal dining space overlooking the gardens. Pastry chef Anthony Millon is also something of a star attraction for his French inspiration, and wine is, naturally, key with a cellar holding 30,000 bottles (yes, you can take tours) and a shortlist is available for those who are a little bemused by the variety at dinner time.