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The Vineyard Hotel & Spa
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Reviews (2,002)
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All reviewsfood and winemichelin starby the glassmatching winesspecial occasioncourse menubirthday celebrationfrom start to finishdining experiencefine diningafternoon teatreatment roomsmain restaurantwhole experienceattentive stafffantastic stayrelaxing break
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Reviewed 15 March 2009

What a huge disappointment for a 2 Michelin star restaurant.
I had organised a family Sunday lunch and the whole experience was such a disaster so please take note of this review if you don’t want to waste your money on a 3rd class experience pretending 1st class..
Pre-ordering of our lunch choices: I couldn’t understand why we had to pre-order our food before the day – my family thought I was taking them somewhere else as opposed to a fine dining Michelin star rated place.
Reception upon arrival: as we were a party of 11, we had been liaising with our event planner only to find out they had no clue who we were upon arrival on the actual day. It was almost like self service – certainly wouldn’t describe it as 1st class. Also the reception wasn’t grand and lacked fresh flowers very unusual as even our local restaurants have lilies in tall vases.
Aperitif: After waiting patiently for good 10 minutes, one of my guest had to go and call the waiter to take our orders as we had had a long journey travelling from London and also conscious of time and we got bored seeing all the check outs as we were so close to the front desk. After another few minutes, we were presented with one menu amongst our group. When the drinks were finally served (almost after 40 minutes of us arriving), the cocktails lacked imagination and the presentation was flat and lifeless very much like the cocktails itself and at £10.50 or so a shot I was expecting some creativity. We had all of 10 minutes to finish before we were going to be shown to our table. When going to our table, much to our shock, we had to carry the glasses. By this time I was getting so embarrassed at making such a recommendation/reservation and saw the look of disappointment on EVERYONE’s face. Also the sommelier asked us what we were ordering for the wines despite my request in the emails with the event planner to make the relevant choices to the set budget. So there was either a complete lack of communications or an attempt to up sell and over go my pre set budget - either way this is unacceptable.
Lunch it self: The table arrangement were ok – one fancy vase with a coloured lily was better than an empty table – again nothing special. The food started to arrive immediately which also coincided with my niece suddenly becoming ill. My only applaud goes to our waitress who understood what customer service is all about and made arrangement for my niece to be in a separate room where she could rest. She also took her pre-ordered meal just in case. It is a shame she was the trainee as she could have taught the rest of the team about good service .The Restaurant Manger never enquired about her well being or how the group was doing.
Our meals were of extremely poor standards considering the fact they were pre-ordered a day before. In my opinion, the chef John Campbell or his stand ins appeared to have used ordinary supermarket (value range) ingredients and dishes were either too salty, or cold or lacked in fancy presentation – nothing like what one sees in Master Chef /Saturday Kitchen – the worst dining experience in our records. I thought I could have done a better job doing it at home and I am no master chef trained.
The choice for vegetarian was limited to only one main dish of potatoes and Vegetables” this dish is actually a potato gnocchi with roasted root vegetables and a cauliflower cheese. Can somebody please tell me what Michelin star content of this recipe to be as I really fail to see and how some of the reviews rate it as 1st class is beyond me – what must they be comparing it to as even the food from the fast food chains is 100% better than what was served to us.
Finishing: As we come towards the end of our meal and as the restaurant closes at 14.45pm, we decided to indulge in coffees and cognacs which again was a disappointment. We weren’t offered to retire in the comfortable lounge style seating and the chocolate which came with the coffee was in my opinion a lump of sugar blob sprinkled with coco that lacked creativity and taste. There were no formal goodbyes and thank yous as the staff were too busy tidying up with the exception of our lady waitress. After the initial brief encounter with the Restaurant manager upon our arrival, we never saw him during any part of our meal.
Tip/Service charge: I sadly still left them a service charge/tip as I was too embarrassed and uncomfortable to say anything. They certainly didn’t earn it in any area and now wish I hadn’t but instead should have given that money to Comic relief! I know I didn’t but you certainly can by avoiding going there in the first instance. Perhaps they might start taking corrective actions based on feedback.
After the event: The event planner hasn’t been in touch for our feedback or comments or thank yous. As I didn’t see her on the day, I took the liberty of emailing her my feedback hoping that corrective actions would start taking place, but as yet I have received any reply even an acknowledgement. I can only guess it got filed in the bin like the rest of the feedback and it is clearly obvious that there is no desire for after event care. I know it has only been a week, but in today’s time even a week is too long. I know I would be doing injustice by sitting there and doing nothing - hence the long feedback, and I only ask you to seriously read these comments and help yourselves to this independent and real review and if your experiences are similar please take that extra time to write them so others can benefit too.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Real_Person_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2009

I have been to The Vineyard twice - one for a business training weekend and the other with girlfriends. Both stays were really pleasant.

Food: Overall very good, i would say a good although not exceptional 2 Michelin star and depending on what you have ordered, you may or may not come out with a WOW feeling. The turbot with langoustine and pork belly was divine though

Service : very attentive, we told the staff of my friend's nut allergies and they made sure the dishes were ok for her and they even brought fresh slices of bread (which were not sitting next to walnut bread that my friend is allergic to)

I don't find any of the dishes salty at all (just to comment on previous review). One of our hot breakfasts were cold and they apologised and brought new hot dish and even brought us a box of chocolates to make up for it .

I think the service there at the hotel including the restaurant was one of the best. Attentive, friendly, funny at times, and generous with tea/coffee/chocolates/biscuits/water One small complaint would be that some waiting stafff (who bring tea/coffee to the table )can barely understand English so it took us some time to ask for what we wanted.

Overall, I think the place was built around the fact that the restaurant is a 2 star restaurant so there is not much around the place to walk around outside the hotel. I think it is definitely not far from London to go there for a birthday/anniversary weekend but don't expect you can do much other than eating and drinking ...but sometimes that could be the best weekend one would like to have.

Also. the price is not as expensive as Raymond Blanc. A comparable place to go to is Clivedon which is set in a huge beautiful garden and rooms are a bit more period and charming(English, not modern like the Vineyard) but the restaurant is not as good as The Vineyard (but cheaper too).

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank AllyChow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2009

Have wanted to try this restaurant for some time due to its 2 Michelin star standing. Booked the hotel for my honeymoon weekend as they were having an attractive discount rate of £125 for their deluxe suite (room only). The suite is quite modern and is quite nice. It was a nice touch to have small plate of complementary figs, berries and chocolates delivered to our room. The TV is quite small for a suite but it was fine. There is not too much of a view from the window but overall was quite happy with the room and the small amenities were a nice touch. We wandered to their spa. The pool and the surrounding area is nice but the pool is a bit small for real exercise. It is circular, pretty to look at and good for a dip but not for real swimming. Had a pre-dinner drink at the bar before going to the restaurant for dinner. We booked the tasting menu. Here is where our biggest disappointment occured. The best thing about the meal was the bread. We have dined in numerous Michelin star restaurants and have had tasting menus from many fine dining establishment. Never have we had a 10 course tasting menu and still feel hungry afterwards. Each course was very salty and there are some really "strange" (not tasty) combination. The organic salmon had this weird tasting "peri-peri" spice and the combination of the parsley root in the artichoke veloute was not pleasing. There was nothing memorable in the entire tasting menu except for the extreme saltiness of the food. There is no comparison to similar 2 Michelin Star restaurants such as Manoire Aux Quatre Saisaon, as the Vineyard at Stockcross is just not on the same level. It is such a disappointment and I cannot see how it would get its star rating. The service, although pleasant, is also not on the same level as other Michelin restaurant. I left to go to the toilet and when I returned, my napkin was still on my chair. In other establishment, my napkin would have been folded. Yes, this is a small point but when you are paying £95 per head for just food, you come to expect a certain standard. The next morning, we booked the breakfast and again, all the cooked item was salty. Overall my experience was acceptable (except for dinner) a 5 star hotel and especially with the discounted rate. However, the hotel does not merit the normal price tag that it charges. It is just too expensive for what you can get for your money.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank XP-Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2009

We booked this hotel for a romantic getaway somewhere within easy driving distance of London.

Service: The service was absolutely impeccable from the moment we made our reservation and throughout our stay. The staff are very friendly, courteous and efficient. This is a level of service I have experienced in few hotels in the UK.

Welcome: The welcome on arrival at the hotel was excellent. Our spa and dinner bookings were confirmed and our luggage was whisked up to our room while we checked-in.

Room: Our room was a pleasure. The decor was great and the artwork displayed on the walls was very interesting. Our room had a separate sitting area as well as a balcony overlooking part of the golf course. In fact it was the perfect spot to unwind after a stressful week in the city.

Food: We booked a meal in the Vineyard restaurant for Saturday evening. What can I say - the food was totally sublime and surpassed all of our expectations. The quail starter was brilliant by any standard as were our main courses of Turbot and Venison. Once again the level of service was just perfect - attentive without being at all intrusive.

Breakfast the next morning was also extremely good - the black pudding is some of the best I have tasted.

I can highly recommend this hotel - my wife and I will definitely be visiting again in the future.

Stayed: January 2009
1  Thank Holiday_Stan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2009

Like some other people who've stayed here, we were tempted to stay due to an excellent "winter offer" which offered the rooms for a very reduced rate (we paid £125 for the night, not including any meals). We had stayed here before, as a friend had hosted their wedding reception here, but I can't recall too much about that stay (surely not due to an excess of champagne?!)

We decided to book in for the Sunday lunch here, which is priced at £35/head, and then maybe see whether we needed anything to eat in the evening and maybe forego the really expensive evening meal (see other reviewers comments). We arrived a bit before our lunch booking, and the reception was very helpful. Someone took our coats and offered to get our bags out of the car and take them to our room, so we could go straight through to the bar for pre-lunch drinks. We had a couple of drinks and a bowl of the plumpest olives I've seen marinaded in lots of garlic - excellent.

The set lunch is fantastic. There is not much food served, but what I had was very rich and more than adequate and beautifully cooked and presented. The restaurant has 2 Michelin stars, and I would say that the food is fabulous, but the service is not up to some of the other restaurants I've been to. The staff are fairly young, and they seem in a rush to deal with service - if you compare this to somewhere like Le Manoir, the service seems to be invisible - everything is taken care of as the staff seem to anticipate what you'll need before you even know yourself, and they blend into the background so that you are aware that people are there, but it's not that sort of feeling where the staff are hovering around you. The service at the Vineyard is not as good - the staff are very friendly and attentive, but you get the feeling that they are rushed and hassled, and it does not make for such a nice ambience as we've experienced elsewhere.

We had coffee in the lounge and so, as a guide to prices - we had the set lunch (2 x £35) + coffee (2 x £5) and we had a pre-lunch drink and we each had a glass of wine with our meal, and that came to £110 without service charge.

We visited the spa in the early evening and it was the ideal time to go - we had the place to ourselves. The pool in the spa is circular, and so if you are trying to work off your very rich lunch, it's not the place to plough up and down burning calories! The gym is upstairs and very small, although the air conditioning is set to the max, so you could work up a sweat in there! There's a six seater jacuzzi and so we used that, and also the steam room downstairs (near the changing rooms). If I had gone to the hotel as a spa break I would be disappointed, as although everything that's there is fine, it's not really "special" enough if you were to compare it to somewhere like Pennyhill Park.

We decided not to eat in the restaurant in the evening, but we were a bit peckish, and so we went down to the bar and had some drinks and a sandwich from the bar menu. The food was lovely, and the staff weren't snooty at us choosing not to eat in the restaurant, but having a cheaper option instead. The only criticism I have is that the waiter attempted to clear our plates before we'd finished eating!

Our room was lovely, and overall we had a fabulous stay. It's very luxurious, and it was exactly what we were looking for, for night away. Even with the "cheap" rate, it was an expensive night away, but I still think that it was worth doing for the relaxing impact it had!

When we had stayed after the wedding, we had breakfast the following morning with some of the wedding party, and we weren't that impressed, and so we decided to forego breakfast here and eat out somewhere else - much better value, and much less formal too.

Overall - come here for a relaxing time, fabulous food and the chance to have the spa all to yourself if you time your visit right. Save up your money if you want to eat every meal here, or do as we did and have the same experience and enjoy the fine dining on a bit more of a budget!

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Ghostie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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