Your Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wedding - December/January 2023/2024 (Issue 104)

This privately owned, four-star property that’s family run, perched within picturesque grounds in the Berkshire countryside, is the perfect pick for a pre-wedding pamper, exchanging vows or a romantic mini-moon in the region. BEAUTY SLEEP It houses 111 spacious suites and bedrooms where guests can sleep in style, some with outdoor terraces positioned to admire the manicured grounds. For a home-from-home for the night, the hotel’s best offering for newlyweds includes the four wow-factor suites decorated in cool calming colours and furnished with vibrant pops of colour and arty touches. A FOODIE HEAVEN At the heart of this stylish hotel is the two AA Rosette WinePress Restaurant where guests can experience a hearty breakfast, lunch or dinner in the relaxed dining room. On the tasty extensive menu are classic British dishes created with seasonal, fresh ingredients. I tucked into the delicious plant-based wild mushrooms on brioche to start followed by the mouth-watering pea risotto with chilli, courgettes and crispy kale. A highlight is the Ultimate Sunday Lunch enjoyed to the sounds of jazz music – make it a bottomless lunch for £44.50 per person. An after-dinner tipple from the award-winning wine list can be enjoyed upstairs on the cosy mezzanine level. The best seat in the house during the summer months is at The Hangout, an al fresco dining area, with an outdoor pizza oven, that commands a tranquil spot overlooking the sprawling grounds of this back-to-nature bolthole. RELAX AND REJUVENATE The wellness journey starts the moment you enter the tranquil award-winning facilities in the four-star spa, gym and health club that take centre stage at this health-focused hotel, complimentary for resident guests. The spa boasts an 18-metre swimming pool, a steam room, a sauna, an aromatherapy room, a calming relaxation lounge and a spa terrace that enjoys views of the lush green grounds, perfect for al fresco lunches. The healthy bento boxes that can be enjoyed poolside are not to be missed! Spend lazy days enjoying a Half Spa Day which includes use of the facilities and a 25-minute treatment, or a Full Spa Day indulging in a 55-minute treatment. A variety of treatments are available using products from the beauty brand Germaine De Capuccini - I tried the excellent Timexpert Rides Neo-Age Collagen Boost facial after which I felt years younger! Get the glow with a Signature Spa Break that includes a revitalising day spent in the spa with a 25-minute treatment, a £30 dinner allowance, an overnight stay in a Classic or Executive room and breakfast. New for spring 2024 is the Sunny D break, available from the 1st of January until the 31st of March. It includes an overnight stay and breakfast with spa access, a vitamin-rich smoothie, a 25-minute aqua sun treatment, a 45-minute LED facial, a bento box for lunch plus a spa gift. ON THE BALL If you can tear yourself away from the spa, the 18-hole golf course, overlooked by the Grade II listed Victorian clubhouse offers golf days and breaks. WEDDING BELLES This versatile venue offers a choice of stylish function rooms licensed for ceremonies. The Cromwell Suite is the main offering for larger weddings with a private bar while the Green Suite is ideal for smaller, intimate celebrations with panoramic windows that flood the room with natural daylight. Doors open to reveal a sunny terrace with access to a small bridge over a carp fish pond where the botanical green surroundings make for wonderful wedding snaps - a red carpet entrance can also be arranged. Alternatively, The Post, an oak barn located within the grounds of the estate with its own Californian vineyard offers a quintessential countryside wedding ceremony, dining and dancing all under one roof. Donnington Valley provides guest accommodation along with its sister property The Vineyard at Stockcross that’s just a two-mile drive away. A warm welcome Editor Claire Ridley was invited to Donnington Valley, a spa and golf hotel nestled in Newbury GET ME THERE! Prices start from £129,;; Images of the spa, bedroom, restaurant and golf course courtesy of; wedding set-ups courtesy of 25 VENUES