The truth is the Wellington Arms is simply one of the, well, for want of a better word, nicest, country escapes in its price bracket that I have ever stayed in.
The building itself is a fine late 18th-century former hunting lodge on the edge of the Duke of Wellington’s Stratfield Saye estate on the border between Hampshire and Berkshire about an hour’s drive from London. Owners Jason King and Simon Page picked it up in 2005, boarded up after an unhappy spell as an unloved local, then called the New Inn.
Now, the first impressions are good even before you open the handsome Farrow & Ball painted (“Lichen” in case you are wondering) front door. The entrance is surrounded by a defensive line of solid lead planters bursting with hellebores and miniature greengage trees.
Inside the buzzy bar and restaurant the floral theme continues, but with real flowers, not chintz. Dreamily fragrant hyacinths adorn every table, with lilies and tulips on the bar.
London Evening Standard
Published: 24 April 2013
JONATHAN PRYNN, CONSUMER BUSINESS EDITOR.
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