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Newbury, Berks area recommendations

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Planning a visit to Highclere Castle south of Newbury this summer for a group of up to 12. Looking for recommendations for either hotel or pub or restuarant with rooms with (obviously) great food and ambience?
Any ideas?
Thanks

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  1. The "Vineyard at Stockcross".

    2 Replies
    1. re: PhilD

      Not sure how much you are looking to spend. The Vineyard is rather pricey, about £80 per person for dinner and about £250-£300 for a room.
      http://www.tasterater.com/restaurantg...

      1. re: zelda1zelda2

        Three courses for £70 which seems reasonably good value.

        Tasting menu is £97 which doesnt seem good value.

    2. The Crab at Chieveley or The Carnarvon Arms

      1. Thank you all. Vineyard is completely beyond budget in terms of rooms, but will look at the Crab and also the Carnarvon Arms.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Snufflehound

          Also the Pot Kiln is the sister restaurant of the revered Harwood Arms. Completely in the sticks but worth trying to find it. The birthplace of the venison scotch egg.

          1. re: daisyK

            Couldn't agree more about The Pot Kiln, it is my favourite restaurant in the whole UK.

            Chef, Mike Robinson will be out hunting regularly now and the results will be on the menu. You can sample wonderful dishes like Roe Deer T-Bone. We are also, I think, coming into the short pheasant egg season and they often served these.

            A must try plsce and not terribly expensive

            S

            1. re: Simon Majumdar

              Thanks Simon - not sure about short pheasant eggs, but on the other hand to paraphrase you "it's only a bloody rabbit" ... happy days!

        2. Gosh! You're bring back memories. I used to live in East Woodhay, not a million miles from either Newbury or Highclere Castle.
          Is was long enough ago that I'm sure my old favorites are long gone. We used to like The Dundas Arms at Kintbury.
          Anyway, you've brought back some happy memories.

          1. Crab at Chievely - follow-up

            We plumped for The Crab in the end ..... I can only assume that everyone who raved about it was visiting on an expense account? The service was perfunctory at best and I have to say overpriced, especially in the wine department. Great list but seriously overpriced, and in the end we reverted to pouring our own wine as clearly the waiting staff had given up.

            Our group enjoyed their meal on the whole. I was rather taken aback by the menu describing the crab as 'Action Crab'. Forgive me being such a charalatan, but I'd never heard this description before, and as I asked the maitre'd about it I had the Captain Scarlet theme tune running around my head. (For those of you equally plebian, this describes a crab in whichthe meat has been dressed inside the shell, but not extracated from the claws etc.) Needless to say I couldn't resist and was presented with the biggest crab I've seen this side of Bergen or Alaska.

            Basically to return to my usual chant - if you're going to be pretentious and overcharge then you have to get all the details absolutely right. I'm not suggesting for one minute that the Crab was aiming at silver service standard, but you've just got to do better than this for the prices you charge?

            If staying avoid themed rooms! They're no-way as cool as you think!