Well, What can I say. We'd seen this on 'The Hotel Inspector' and thought it would be fun but never booked. When we got a voucher from a friend for a nights stay at 'interesting hotels' we found it and went for it. I'm so glad we did. I read all the reviews and 99% are spot on. Andy is fantastic, funny, charming and so NON PC. Bonny didn't appear at all - she's in the kitchen and lets Andy get on with it. Bobby and Cherry serve food and drinks and are so sweet, helpful and friendly. We arrived just after 5 as we were told not to arrive earlier and were welcomed by Andy, Bobby and Cherry. There was another couple there who we got chatting to immediately. We were shown to our room, which was small but lovely and told about the toilet ritual etc. No point sitting in there as there's no telly so took a couple of mags up to the bar area to sit and have a drink and a read. Shouldn't have bothered with the mags as from that point on people arrived, did the same as us and we sat there chatting. Everyone seemed to be up for a laugh and there was a good mix from 25 years old to mid 50's (that's nearly where we are). We'd taken some posh clothes to change into for dinner, which is served at 7:30, but, like everyone else just didn't bother changing as no one seemed bothered and the evening was flowing very nicely. Dinner was great, good choice which we emailed to them a week before, I had a fantastic dish of mussels in cream garlic sauce which was completely demolished and mopped up with bread. My wife had a lovely prawn cocktail. Mains, she had Duck which she enjoyed, I had 6 huge grilled prawns on rice with salad which where, again, lovely. Desserts were good too, I had a south african pudding which was like sticky toffee pudding and can't remember what the good lady had but she liked it. The beer and prossecco where flowing nicely and where not badly priced at all... £2.80 for a pint of fosters and £20 for a bottle of prossecco... From then on the evening just flowed from one funny moment to another. Andy joined us for the evening which made it even better. There was music laughter and fun untill we all nearly fell over at about 12:30. having started at 5:30 that was that ! The bed was so comfy and the room nicely warm. A good shower and a slightly dodgy toilet but hey ho, this is a boat after all. Breakfast is at 9:00 and be there or miss it. It was of a good size and quality but the coffee was the only slight let down as it was instant. (I'm a coffee snob) We chatted with everyone for a while and then left about 10:30 having paid our bill which, considering how much was ate and drunk, wasn't too bad. We will definately be back, maybe for a weekend cruise and a 2 nighter. I think anything more than that will do me in! Don't go there if you can't socialise and want a quiet romantic evening as this place ain't for you. Go with an open mind and enjoy and have a laugh. You'll be very glad you did. Cheers Guys.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- After a rich and colourful past which includes Holland and Ireland, The African Queen has battled the Irish Sea to come to rest upon the Thames just outside Reading in an area of outstanding natural beauty and historical interest. With comfortable ensuite cabins and bar and restaurant, this is a unique opportunity to stay near Reading in special surroundings whether your visiting for business or pleasure! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- African Queen Hotel Mapledurham