“ Address: High street / Goring on thames / Reading / RG8 9AW / Tel: 01491 872 829 / Rating: 5 Stars „
I first heard about this hotel in the Telegraph where they described it as one of the ten sexiest places to stay in the UK. I subsequently learnt that it had been voted this by Red magazine. I will try to take you through my experience of staying here in the hope that I won't miss out anything important! ********** WEBSITE I am often out off by company websites, ones that seem out of date or haven't got enough information on them, the Miller of Mansfield's website is just right. You can look at all of their rooms, (they have 13, all with different attributes-more on this later), they have a sample menu from both the bar and the restaurant, as well as links to what's in the area, what's in the press about the hotel and the usual maps and directions. Quite inspired by this I filed it in my mind for a rare occasion when we could both get time off work for a quick break. This time came in October, so I set about booking a couple of days here for OH and myself. ********** BOOKING This is very simple via their website, the booking page pops up in another window and has a colour coded calendar where you can see the next six weeks or so and look at the availability. At the time I booked they had a special offer whereby if you stayed on a weekend you got the Thursday free or something similar, I can't remember the exact details. One thing to be aware of is that they have minimum stays at weekends so you can't just stay for one night, you need to book both. So, as well as deciding the dates you want to stay, you also have to decide which room you would like. As I said before, there are thirteen (I think another two under construction). They have the following: Small Double Standard Double Superior Double (one of which is also a twin room) Luxury Suite These have varying levels of luxury (as well as price from £100-£200 per night depending on when you want to stay, not taking into account special offers), lines such as "The ensuite marble bathroom features a walk-in, wetroom like shower to refresh your senses with a torrent of steamy water." And "Room 3 provides luxurious accommodation with a decadent black leather sleigh bed," Really give you the impression that no time or effort has been spared with regards to the decoration and accessorising of the rooms. The pictures on the website are excellent at giving you the feel of the atmosphere of the different rooms, some are smoky and sultry, some are fresh and light, others are "boudior-esque". So, if you can decide where and when you want to stay, a credit card for authorisation is needed and the booking is made. You will get a confirmation email but if you need anything clarifying, they are also good at responding to emails which makes a nice change from some companies. ********** ARRIVING Goring on Thames is a very charming village, it is slightly out of the way, certainly travelling from the M40, however the train station is about ten min walk from the hotel so you could very easily get the train. The outside of the hotel certainly doesn't disappoint, apparently it is an 18th century coaching house and it looks absolutely lovely. There is very limited parking at the hotel which was disappointing but there is plenty of on street parking next to the church which is opposite the hotel. You walk in through the bar which had a lovely atmosphere although I didn't see any children (that makes a good atmosphere in my book!) so I'm not certain how family friendly it is. Opposite the entrance is also the restaurant (more on this later) Checking in was very easy, as an added bonus they had had a cancellation so kindly upgraded us from standard double to superior. The check in desk was also very helpful and gave us directions to the station (we were going on a pub crawl the next day so needed some transport!). ********** THE ROOM We were guided upstairs and along a couple of corridors, that really gave the place some character I think. Our room was lovely, a huge bed and a lovely colour scheme. The complimentary biscuits were lovely cookies (I'm a sucker for this!) and the bathroom had the most enormous bath with an overhead shower and luxury bubblebath and shower gel etc. All very lovely and showed some real attention to detail. Unfortunately the window opened onto the main road through Goring so the traffic was a little noisy but we're not talking about the M25 so it was bearable! ********** AROUND AND ABOUT It was a very short walk up the road to a lovely pub with no music, fruit machines, TV etc. Perfect for us. As I said, the train station is very close and trains to Oxford and Reading run regularly. There are hundreds of things to do in the area. National Trust properties, the river Thames is about 400m away, there are numerous sporting activities (shooting, fishing etc), so it's perfect for a weekend break. These are really well detailed on their website but also they have lots of leaflets etc at reception. They also recommend a number of restaurants in the area so there is something for everyone. ********** THE FOOD We had supper in the restaurant on the first night. The prices were what I expected for a hotel in this area so we didn't feel ripped off, the menu changes frequently and they have samples of it on their site. I really fancied the mussels but they were off so I had pork belly and it was delicious. The restaurant was quite busy (I had booked a table when I booked the room) and there were a number of locals in there which I took as a good sign! They also had bar snacks available for less formal dining. Breakfast was included in the room price and didn't disappoint, we were given menus with prices on which confused us slightly but when we actually read the menu, almost everything was included. Two Full English breakfasts, two pots of tea and four rounds of toast later, we were happy! ********** Our stay was lovely, we weren't pestered or pandered to but we felt happy that, had we asked for something like peanut butter on a baked potato for breakfast, they would have done their best to accommodate us. If you fancy a local stay in a lap of luxury then do have a look at this hotel, it's not cheap but it really helps you to forget what's happening in the world for a few days.