Home Food and drink A spa hotel serious about wine: The Vineyard Newbury

A stay at The Vineyard Newbury

The Vineyard Newbury is a hotel serious about wine and the perfect choice for wine-lovers and food-lovers alike.

With 14 wines and some first-class cooking, dinner at The Vineyard was one of the most memorable meals I’ve enjoyed in more than 200 hotel reviews, quite an achievement considering the competition.

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The Vineyard Newbury is a hotel which takes its wine very seriously

Vineyard hotel Newbury exterior and garden

The Vineyard Newbury is a five star hotel in Berkshire known for its excellent food and comprehensive wine cellar

Privately owned by the Michael family, which also owns the highly-regarded Peter Michael Winery in California – it has an award-winning cellar (with a mere 30,000 bottles), offers 100 wines by the glass in its restaurant, hosts wine-tastings and wine courses and even wine-themed treatments at its spa (including its Red Grape pampering body wrap).

entrance to the Vineyard Newbury

The reception to the hotel shows off its wines – beyond the two-storey cellar is a painting celebrating the original Judgement of Paris tasting

The Vineyard Newbury restaurant

Guests at The Vineyard are assured of a memorable dining experience. The food was excellent, as you’d expect from a restaurant previously headed by Daniel Galmiche and now by Robby Jenks, formerly of Amberley Castle.

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St James’s Hotel and Club, central London
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And Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Knightsbridge

The Vineyard, Newbury

The restaurant, later the scene of much sniffing, slurping and head-scratching over the different mystery wines

Each course was perfectly laid out on beautiful plates and served with extremely knowledgeable and efficient staff: the rump of Cornish lamb and the line-caught turbot with shallots were stand-out items but the whole evening was a gastronomic and oenologic (if that is actually a real word) delight.

For those who prefer something lighter, the restaurant offers four and five-course menus too and with 100 wines by the glass, you can set up a tasting of your own.

Judgement of Paris experience

However it really stood out for its epic ‘Judgement of Paris’ wine-tasting dinner which aims to replicate the notorious (for wine buffs) event in 1974 when Californian wines went up against French wines in a blind tasting.

To the shock of the French, and indeed much of the wine world, the Californian wines won the day, and oenophile Sir Peter Michael recreated the experience at his hotel. [Note: The Vineyard is sadly no longer offering the Judgement of Paris wine experience but you are still able to enjoy some amazing food and wine at the hotel restaurant].

The Vineyard, Newbury

The food from chef Daniel Galmiche was superb and immaculately paired with the wines

Every delicious course is accompanied with not one but two glasses of wine: one from California and one from France. The grape variety was the same – so you’d get two sauvignon blancs to try, or two pinot noirs – and it would be up to you to work out which was from the Old World and which came from the New World.

Our table soon filled up with glasses: Sancerre from the Loire Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonama, Montrachet from Burgundy and with the desert… no, that would be a spoiler. But it was all incredibly delicious and great fun.

Book The Vineyard at Booking.com

Visit The Vineyard on Tripadvisor

The Vineyard, Newbury bedroom

Our bedroom was a deluxe suite, overlooking the fountains at the front of the hotel had a separate lounge and bedroom

The Vineyard hotel spa

The next day we were too full for breakfast – a first – so I went off to have a Darphin hydrating facial treatment.

The therapist tutted at my lack of skin-care regime ‘You mean you don’t exfoliate?’ and dry skin (‘I had 14 glasses of wine last night’ I bleat pathetically) but she proceeded to plump and hydrate my skin so thoroughly that the following day my colleagues noticed immediately.

Any trace of a hangover evaporated away in the hotel spa, which has a circular swimming pool, sauna, steam room and loungers by the pool or outside, and where I tucked into a smoked salmon wrap, having finally rediscovered my appetite.

The Vineyard spa with swimming pool

The spa with pool, hydrotherapy jets and plenty of loungers should you wish to sleep off the effects of the night before

Before leaving, I was given a tour of the cellars, which are partly underground, and partly up on the third floor in a vast temperature-controlled room. I could well believe the 30,000 capacity, but, I asked my tour guide and sommelier, Oliver, what is the most expensive?

Oliver hauled down a dusty double magnum of a 1982 Petrus. ‘This one,’ he said. ‘It costs £20,000.’ And he wisely kept tight hold of it.

Hotel information and to book The Vineyard hotel Newbury

The Vineyard, Stockcross, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8JU
01635 897 617

Book The Vineyard at Booking.com

Visit The Vineyard on Tripadvisor

The Vineyard is part of Pride of Britain Hotels and  Relais & Chateaux

My summer Tasting Menu at The Vineyard, Newbury

Sweet onion velouté, foie gras, pickled red onion
Pressed rabbit and parsley terrine, Heritage carrot, apricot, mustard
Cornish cod, peas, broad beans, pancetta, pecorino fondue
Line-caught halibut, tomato, shallots, aioli
Saddle of Cornish marsh lamb, carrot, mangetout, asparagus
Confit apple, bergamot sorbet, arlette
Chocolate, salted caramel, cacao nibs, fromage blanc sorbet

Seven courses £89, eight courses (with cheese)  £99

Judgement of Paris wine pairing: £95 extra

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in May 2015 but has been edited and updated for accuracy and relevance

Check out these other great reviews of Pride of Britain Hotels properties: Drama and country house charm at Kilworth House, Leicestershire; Maison Talbooth: a memorable stay at a lovely Essex country house hotel; A relaxing stay at Stapleford Park hotel, golf and spa in Leicestershire; Whatley Manor hotel and spa, a true Cotswolds gem;

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