Last weekend for Theo’s birthday we headed down to South Buckinghamshire for a weekend retreat at the gorgeous De Vere Wokefield Estate. Located just outside of Reading and the M25, De Vere Wokefield Estate is a stunning hotel with multiple buildings set across an expanse of grounds, with a recent £20 million restoration, swimming pool, 87 guest rooms, 12 suites, event spaces, lake, gym and spa (opening in 2019). This place is huge – so it’s the perfect hotel for a weekend retreat with the family.
THE HISTORY OF DE VERE WOKEFIELD ESTATE
Dating back to the 1720s, the mansion house that stands at the heart of Wokefield Estate was built by Charles Parry in a similar design to that of Kinlet Hall in Shropshire. Having spent most of the 20th-century as a St Benedict’s Approved School, the mansion house was grade II* listed in 1967 before starting to take guests in 1984 when it was converted to a hotel, across all three buildings: Wokefield Place, Wellington Lodge and Mansion House.
Inside Wokefield Place where you check-in you can find a vast expansive space with welcoming reception, nook shelves, areas to sit with family and friends, a restaurant, bar and the groups signature coffee shop Burr & Co. The further to venture in to Wokefield Place the more cosy corners you will find, and places to grab a drink or something to eat. At the far end of the main reception space you will find The View restaurant offering up theatre-style dining with lots of choice on the menu.
READ MORE: How to spend a weekend in The Cotswolds
The heart of the estate, the historic Mansion House has had a complete makeover and now offers 87 guestrooms, including 12 luxury suites (one of which we stayed in!), along with the restoration of a number of event spaces including the pillared Terrace Suite. The bedrooms in Mansion House were amazing, inspired by British heritage design, the new collection of bedrooms are traditionally British with maps of the local countryside on the walls, tweed fabrics, modern bathrooms with his and hers sinks and tall wooden wardrobes.
To complete the look, the bedrooms have also been modernised with stylish lighting, Dolce Gusto coffee machines and stat-of-the-art TV’s mounted to the walls. I loved our suite for the night, and after dinner we headed back to the room to relax, popped on the TV and watched a film together as a family in our massive bed.
READ MORE: De Vere Cotswolds Water Park
OUR DINNER AT 1560 RESTAURANT
Also located in Mansion House is where we ate dinner that evening, the iconic 1560 Restaurant & Bar. We dined in here and took full advantage of the wonderful British inspired menu, serving hearty dishes along with comfort food classics on the bar menu. To start Theo had Calamari which was deep fried served with a lemon and parsley mayonnaise, whilst I opted for the Ham hock & pea terrine with pea purée, onion and fig spiced chutney, and toasted croutes. Both were amazing dishes, and were perfectly presented!
For mains I opted for the Roasted lamb rack with butternut squash puree, baby vegetables and red wine glaze. Whilst Theo went for the fish dish: Pan fried sea bass fillet with dill baby potatoes, wilted asparagus and cherry vine tomatoes. Both dishes again were exceptional and we both loved our dishes – it was clear a lot of love had been put in to our meal. After our meal we then headed next door to the Whiskey Lounge for some drinks.
The 1560 Restaurant also serves Afternoon Tea in the day, throughout the year and on the terrace in the summer at Wokefield Mansion House. And you are in great company, with Queen Victoria famously taking tea under the large Cypress tree standing in the estate grounds! If it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me….
*I was invited to visit De Vere Wokefield Estate however as always opinions are my own.