Short break - De Vere Beaumont Estate, Windsor
PUBLISHED: 00:00 15 March 2020
Sarah Rodi enjoyed a modern yet elegant spring break in the historic setting of the De Vere Beaumont Estate
Situated in Old Windsor, within walking distance of the Magna Carta, De Vere Beaumont Estate has a rich history dating back to the 14th Century, and was home to a Catholic boarding college for over a century. But it has recently undergone a £12 million refurbishment and now promises a modern and elegant escape - and we couldn't wait to visit for the weekend.
As we made the ascent up the driveway on a Friday afternoon and took in the sprawling estate and beautiful parkland, we realised it was going to be an adventure exploring this vast and picturesque place. It made a great first impression.
We were efficiently checked in to our interconnecting bedrooms in The Old School building, despite a conference taking place, and the girls were delighted with their own private space and bathroom. They unpacked right away, feeling instantly at home, while nibbling on the complementary biscuits and playing with the little fox soft toys decorating the bed. What a lovely welcome!
The 'best of British' rooms had tall sash windows offering views over the hotel's new outdoor dining courtyard and paintings of wild stag heads. We were treated to a Windsor & Eton Brewery beer, some Windsor Farm Shop Strawberry Preserve and chocolate, as well as the usual English breakfast tea and coffee.
We just had time for a little walk around to get our bearings before dinner and soon discovered there are four areas: The White House, The Conference Village, The Old School and The Chapel. The White House has a grand Georgian facade and stately white pillars, but I fell in love with the beautifully restored Grade II listed Chapel with its stained- glass windows and painted barrel ceiling. If I were to have a re-run of my wedding, I'd love to pick this as my venue.
We headed back to our rooms for a quick change before making our way to the 1705 Restaurant. Passing through the plush bar en route, with its warm tones and velvet seating, there was a party going on and a great atmosphere. You get the feeling there is something going on in every area of this hotel as it's buzzing.
We loved the decor in the restaurant -there were indoor trees lit up with fairy lights, banquette seating with hanging cushions and funky green herringbone tiles on the walls that complemented the hanging brass lighting. The menu didn't disappoint either; it had something for all tastes, from burgers to fish and chips, pasta and pizza to more traditional dinners. The girls were delighted to see garlic bread, pizza and ice cream on the menu. I had the creamy garlic mushrooms while my husband had the spicy chicken wings to start, followed by the chicken (of course!) for me, and Chris had the burger. It was all delicious. Our waitress was friendly, and although it's a classy place, we still felt comfortable with the children.
We fell into our enormous beds that night and had a good night's sleep, ready to check out the heated pool before breakfast the next morning. And we were lucky as we had it all to ourselves.
Breakfast was served back in 1705 Restaurant, and there was a choice of a full-English, pastries, cereals - you name it - all laid out beautifully on the buffet counter. We tucked in heartily, which set us up for the day before we headed off for a walk along the Thames at Runnymede.
De Vere Beaumont Estate is a stunning retreat - ideal for weddings, conferences or time out for busy families. It did us all the world of good.
Burfield Rd, Old Windsor, Windsor SL4 2JJ