A chic boutique hotel in the heart of Berkshire
London can be a bit sticky. It‘s easy to stay within the city walls, and when you travel you tend to hop on a flight and hit up another city. But recharging is just as important as charging ahead, and sometimes the most salubrious place to do so is in the countryside. With that in mind we jumped on a train on a Friday evening which sped us to the heart of Berkshire, where we stayed at the wonderful Hurley House, situated within shouting distance of Henley-on-Thames, Marlow and Windsor.
The boutique hotel is an absolute joy for the overworked urbanite. If offers ten en-suite bedrooms, each with extremely comfortable Hypnos best, silky bedding and towels from Soak & Sleep, sinks from La Chappelle and smart furniture from I & JL Brown, not to mention the de rigueur coffee machines and flatscreen TVs. Each room also boasts a freestanding bathtub - ours offered soothing views across verdant green fields.
The hotel itself has been rebuilt from an 19th century pub by architecture firm Spratley Studios, which beautifully blended the building into its surrounding. Summer Williams is responsible for the design and have made sure no expense has been spared to create a rustic redoubt. The finish impresses. The hotel bar, restaurant and private dining room have exposed wooden beams and feature granite, limestone and oak materials. Outside you‘ll find a garden complete with dining terraces and an outdoor barbecue.
The main draw of the property is likely its restaurant. Michelin-starred chef Michael Chapman has created a seasonally changing menu with locally sourced ingredients from Berkshire and seafood delivered daily from Brixham boats. We enjoyed burnt leeks with foraged mushrooms to start as well as a duck liver parfait served with brioche. The fillet of stone bass and Herefordshire beef are excellent mains. We couldn‘t resist the sticky toffee dessert with salted caramel sauce. In the morning we revisited the pub for one of the best full English breakfasts we‘ve ever had. The service throughout both meals was impeccable.
Hurley House is perfect for anyone looking for a more personalised, countrified experience in a bucolic setting. If you‘re looking to escape the concrete jungle and catch a few days of peacefulness and relaxation whilst not sacrificing the creature comforts, we strongly recommend catching a quick train out of town and unwinding at this boutique hotel.