Last night I stayed in one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed in.Ã‚Â The Vineyard at Stockcross is, as you know, a particular favourite of mine as it is where I got engaged and married to my current husband (good to keep him on his toes).Ã‚Â I gave him an awful time when he tried to propose to me as I was so sure that he was going to ask me that I didn’t give him a chance to get the words out.Ã‚Â I am sure many of you find this hard to believe as I am genuinely a shy retiring type.Ã‚Â However Tony is a wise man as he took me to the Vineyard and knew I would be blown away.
I stayed without Tony as I wanted to work on my book which is based around the Vineyard and I wanted the whole experience which is what I got.Ã‚Â From the moment you arrive to see the beautiful water and fire sculpture outside the front you get that feeling of luxury.Ã‚Â The tables outside were filled with jolly people enjoying Pimms in the sunshine.Ã‚Â My luggage was whisked up to my room with me following behind.
Oh my, what a room.Ã‚Â This picture does not do it justice as it is too dark. It was classy without being brash, lovely muted mushroomy colours, in both the sitting room and the bedroom.Ã‚Â The bed was amazing, seriously high thread count on the sheets, I could have just dived in but I had work to do.Ã‚Â I had to get on with the novel.Ã‚Â Whilst I have got some way in I have got stuck, didn’t even have a name for it but for now I am calling it The Vineyard Affair.
Back to the suite.Ã‚Â I wish I had taken a photo of the ceiling of the fourposter as it was seriously beautiful in a crazy way.
The bathroom was fabulous, a claw footed bath, toilet, bidet, fab toiletries, really thick towels and robes and a rain water head shower (there is probably a proper name for this but I don’t know it as I am not a plumber).
I set up my pc in the sitting room and wrote two chapters without stopping.Ã‚Â This is amazing, if only I had known that all I need to write creatively is to stay in a 5 star hotel I would have done something much earlier!!Ã‚Â Finding myself a wealthy sponsor would have been a great option.
Eventually it was too much and I was lured downstairs by the laughter of the people enjoying the day of summer that we had that day.Ã‚Â I sat outside and enjoyed a Long Island Iced Tea with some complimentary and very tasty olives and spiced almonds.Ã‚Â After chatting to a couple of other people for a while, there are a huge range of clients from regular and wealthy to people who save up for special occasions and the people I talked to were friendly.Ã‚Â However I was there to work, if you can call experiencing The Vineyard work.Ã‚Â Next on the list was the spa.Ã‚Â I couldn’t justify buying treatments although there were a wide range on offer but I had a very pleasant swim in the pool and saw some people on sun loungers outside enjoying the summer.
Back to the room and a lovely bath to get ready for dinner.Ã‚Â I dressed for dinner, not sure that I needed to but I wanted to.Ã‚Â I knew the food would be marvellous and was praying that Daniel Galmiche’s mushroom risotto was on the menu.Ã‚Â Luckily, as I sat in the bar and read the menu I spotted the risotto lurking at the bottom of the menu.Ã‚Â Oh yes!Ã‚Â I chose 5 dishes from the pick your own tasting menu and went through to the restaurant to begin my pleasure fest.
I was offered a selection of breads and chose the rosemary and potato bread, pleasantly salty and airy.
The scallops were delicious, large and juicy served with Iberico ham, broad beans and their flowers.Ã‚Â The saltiness of the ham worked perfectly with the scallops, the broad beans gave a soft crunch to add to the texture of the whole dish.
The cod was absolutely delicious, it fell into thick flakes and was served with pasta and wild garlic.Ã‚Â At this point I was offered more bread and chose the farmhouse and yes I did use a little piece to mop up the juices.
Oh hello my best friend, Daniel’s mushroom risotto.Ã‚Â Slightly chewy mushrooms, I counted at least 6 different types, creamy not stodgy with a taste of herbs coming through pleasantly.Ã‚Â I don’t think I am ever going to bother making this at home, it will never be as good.Ã‚Â I wonder if I could just kidnap Daniel and keep him in a cupboard for a while, maybe no one would notice.Ã‚Â I was offered more bread, this time sourdough which was also good.
Rib eye of Scottish beef, quinoa, carrot, baby onion was a joy to eat, the little onions were perfect with the rib eye and the quinoa soaked up the delicious juices from the rare beef.
Gariguette strawberry, mini babas, cider sorbet – I dont normally have puddings but hey, I was at The Vineyard and it may be a while until I get back so I was making the most of it.Ã‚Â The babas were so sweet and the plate was a vision of loveliness so I am pleased I went for it.
I was also given some petit four despite not having coffee and they were brought up to my suite.Ã‚Â What service.Ã‚Â I had a wonderful nights sleep and the most glorious breakfast the next day, more of that another time.