The Vineyard at Stockcross 22

Stockcross , Newbury, RG20 8JU

11 reviews

98 Modern European Berkshire

SquareMeal Review of The Vineyard at Stockcross

SquareMeal award hall of fame 1999-2018 logo badgeA magnet for wine-lovers, the über-luxurious Vineyard hotel, spa and restaurant is aptly named after owner Sir Peter Michael’s Californian winery. Inside, ‘The Judgement of Paris’ (a 1976 tasting that put American wine on the world stage) is referenced in a vast painting in the lobby’s all-glass wine cave and also on the indulgent ‘Judgement’ menu, where dishes such as tartare of Longhorn beef with sorrel granita, lime and pickled shallots or halibut fillet with Brixham crab, samphire and orange bisque are paired with French and US wines from the 3000-bin list. Otherwise, the carte offers similar creations ranging from roast veal sweetbread with chestnut purée and girolle sauce to textures of plum with candied walnuts and liquorice ice cream. Knowledgeable staff give guidance, and the glamorous dining room provides a fitting backdrop to proceedings. Appealingly priced lunch menus keep prices in check; alternatively, blow the budget on one of the luxurious rooms and some Napa Valley fizz in the terrace-side California Bar.

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Full afternoon tea £31.50 per person

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Discovery’ Afternoon tea at £38

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3-course lunch £29

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Full Afternoon tea with a glass of Taittinger Rose, £47.00 per person

There is a 12.5% discretionary service charge.

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Sunday lunch menu - 3 courses £39 per person

There is a 12.5% discretionary service charge.

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Newbury Station 3km

Newbury Racecourse Station 4km

Address

Address: Stockcross , Newbury RG20 8JU

Opening times

Mon-Sun 12N-2pm 7-10pm

Nearby Landmarks

Deanwood Park Golf Club 570m

Parasampia Golf & Country Club 1km

Details

Telephone: 01635 528770

Website:

Cuisine: Modern European

Lunch: £29 (3 courses)

Private Dining: 60

6.1

Food & Drink: 7.1

Service: 5.9

Atmosphere: 6.4

Value: 5.5

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Paul A. platinum reviewer 19 August 2015

The Vineyard at Stockcross 15/08/2015 We first dined at the Vineyard in 2009 when it had two Michelin stars. We had a meal marked by inadequate service, an incapable wine waiter and a frankly rude sommelier and sub-standard vanilla-ridden cooking. Normally we would not have returned, but when it justifiably lost the two stars and a new kitchen regime was installed with a new chef who had held a star for some 22 years before being recruited to The Vineyard, we decided to give it another try. Since then we have enjoyed a number of top-quality meals there, with Daniel Galmiche at the helm for whom the sourcing of ingredients, the sympathetic and imaginative combination of these ingredients and their preparation and cooking with flair in the modern Anglo-French style are paramount. For some reason, though, the chef has never again received the due reward his talent deserves. Our party of five had different ideas about what they might permit themselves to eat for lunch, so the good value mix and match menu was the ideal vehicle for everyone to be satisfied. The same went for the three wine pairings at different prices. We were fortunate enough to have the services of three sommeliers to explain the various wine matches, but unfortunately they were not served at table and the name collars we had had on the glasses on previous occasions had not been delivered by the suppliers. However, Romain Bourger, the head sommelier, very kindly obliged with a full breakdown. With the number of dishes consumed a full description of each one would be overdoing it, so perhaps brief mention of the highlights will suffice. The advantage of the menu formula is that if you fancy three of the first courses you can pass on the main course and just take a dessert, or in fact any combination as long as you have a dessert, and it doesn't matter what the rest of your party orders. We particularly appreciated: the sweet onion velouté full of creamy flavour with crunchy caramelised shallot, truffle and red onion; the spectacular plate of super pressed rabbit and parsley terrine, a cute confit carrot, mustard and rye bread toast; the roasted kohlrabi, quinoa, coriander and smoked potato emulsion, which made the rest of us jealous when it was judged the best thing ever by the one person in our party to indulge in this masterpiece; the excellent chicken with its buckwheat sauce and toasted cauliflower; the almost salty marsh lamb with a terrific balance of carrot, mangetout and asparagus; and, finally, the signature dessert of top-quality dark chocolate, trendy salted caramel and outstanding fromage blanc sorbet. Hats off to Daniel Galmiche who keeps on producing the goods.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 0.0

matthew h. 04 May 2014

6 people booked for dinner at 8.30. Some arrived at 8.00, ordered drinks, got them others arrived at 8.15 no one came to take drink orders, and had to request someone at 8.40. Menus did not arrive having again requested them having been told they were all being used. Eventually they arrived and ordered food. Demanded to go to table at 9.15 having consumed another bottle of champagne. No water served at table, in fact no one came to the table. No bread. At 10.20 the first course came, no one cleared. 10.45 the second course.no one cleared. Complained to two managers then 5 mins later table was cleared. Main course arrived at 11.10, desert at 11.30. Food very average, mostly overcooked and unseasoned. Big thing was no management on the floor, no one paying attention, worse service I have had having eaten in most of the top restaurants expensive and very average. Real pity

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Foodess platinum reviewer 23 April 2014

Easter 2014 I love the idea of being able to choose 4 – 5 courses rather than adhering to a tasting menu. We perused the interesting sounding menu over drinks and simple canapé served in the bar, and once we’d chosen our dishes, having explained our favoured wine styles, they then made suggestions. Having understood our preferences very well, our food began to arrive after we were given a liquid amuse bouche of Thai white for me and a red for the other half which suitably woke up our taste buds. Guineafowl terrine with blood orange, crisp chicory leaves and crushed slightly sweet brittle almonds was unexpectedly wonderful. Pork was good and soft sea bass with a cream or emulsion which I think was chestnut and truffle scented was delicious. Rave reviews of the Confit duck breast with butternut squash and wild rice came from the other side of the table whilst I was having my terrine and then I had the duck after my sea bass, whilst the other half had smoked oxtail with fillet of beef. The duck was an outstanding dish, but when I tasted the beef, I wished I had included this somewhere in my choices – next time. The opening dish of Wild Garlic Veloute was too powerful and I could taste no hint of parmesan. Happily, the Californian Riesling was just what was needed to cut through the pungency of the starter, otherwise I would have struggled to finish it. This was the only negative as the food just got better and better from then on. My US west coast wines were gorgeous. The white was fragrant yet slightly rich tasting which pleased me no end. The Pinot Noir which followed was one of the best from anywhere in the world (in my book) and so I have noted these as it is also possible to source wines from the Vineyard Cellars. With 100 wines on offer by the glass, the sommelier will be able to deliver something to suit if you properly describe what you like. Service was impeccable and completely unobtrusive. It was refreshing to be asked whether we wanted dishes to be described to us or not. The option to have a reminder should be the diner's option after-all. Easter Monday evening meal really showed the chef's skill to the full making the close of our holiday a bit special. It is a unanimous decision to re-book soon. Chef Change (Nov 09) Being a bit of a John Campbell disciple, I was curious to find out how Daniel Galmiche would fit into his shoes. He’d had a month to settle in so lunch was booked. Everything else seemed to be as it was before, décor styles leaving one slightly confused, but somehow mood was good. The new team performed well, and not only they were very accommodating, but the chef was also. A rather precise piece of cooking resulted in ubiquitous belly pork prepped a little differently with delicious accompaniments. An added punch of lime lifted flavours and proved a perfect foil for pork fat. Out of 4 courses, the only let down was the cheese which is rather needless given the fabulous indigenous ones that can easily be sourced. The inherited wine list, weighted towards US west coast on account of the owner having vineyards there, encourages a Californian choice. We asked Sommelier for one in our desired style and he delivered. All cooked courses pleased as a deft effort, I’m guessing heads for one star. (May 09) Last night we were in a side room purely for an evening of indulgence with 40 or so others. Each course was matched with Californian wine, some of which I would most certainly not have wanted to miss. The meal began with a joyously rich and creamy mushroom cup topped with a succulent morel, more powerful than the cauliflower risotto served in a giant glass eye-bath which came next. Sadly, the cauli’ risotto failed to cope with the chunk of acidic jelly on top. Then spiced salmon and lentils, as described by SqM, was so blissful that I wanted to snatch it from the plates of others; the foie gras was highly rateable but each seemed so complete that they could have been two separate courses, especially with a tram-width gap between. I, and others, marvelled at the baby pig terrine which had been artistically crafted and presented in precise fashion with pea shoots and vibrant pickled bits doing an elegant tango on the plate and in the mouth. Toothsome beef cheek was served with mash and trimmings which were all worthy of a notably braised bit of meat. Desserts I found pleasantly fruity in theme but unremarkable as was the cheese – all blue and all foreign. Refined petit-fours helped to perk things up again. We felt contented enough to be glad we went, but I tend to agree with Jonesey that it’s scarcely avant-garde. As always, service is as one would expect. However, the hotel strives to be a classy joint which somehow can’t quite hack it.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

AforkfulofLondon 09 November 2011

One fine Sunday morning, together with my inlaws and husband, we ventured out of London and into the picturesque countryside, our destination: The Vineyard Hotel at Stockcross, near Newbury in Berkshire. Their website promised a “Gastronomic affair” and what a fine affair it was! The welcome we received upon arrival was warm and inviting and the service remained exceptional from the Apéritifs right through to the Petit fours, it was faultless. To start with my husband had the salmon sushi – this was anything but your conventional Japanese seaweed wrapped salmon! Accompanied by a cucumber jelly & served upon a slate tile, this starter was simply amazing, as were the others. Our main courses were all works of art – I had the Roast Lamb, served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding & Mediterranean vegetables. Although the chef was a little shy with his gravy boat, the lamb was cooked to perfection & every forkful melted in my mouth. And then came the desserts… Coffee and clementine soufflé marbled with bitter chocolate and served with clementine sorbet. It was sinful, to say the least! Talk about a journey through flavours… My palate was thoroughly sated and suitably satisfied! Can't wait to go back.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Nick Y. 17 May 2011

Upon arrival at The Vineyard Restaurant & Spa Stockcross, my companion and I were greeted warmly by friendly and enthusiastic reception staff who gave us a short tour of the hotel and personally escorted us to our room. The exterior of the vineyard is grand and impressive, with a beautiful water feature named Fire and Water designed by sculptor William Pye situated at the entrance to the hotel. Come evening time flames alight on the surface of the water sculpture, adding to the enchanting ambience and relaxing energy. Inside the building, it is clear that design is highlyvalued by The Vineyard owner Sir Peter Michael; visibly demonstrated in his personal collection of art work named The Michael Collection . Numerous bottles of wine encased behind interwoven vine ballustrades line the corridors and border the outskirts of the restaurant, remindind guests of the famously extensive wine selection on offer. Our deluxe suite was very pleasing: spacious, traditional and tastefully decorated. The inclusion of two flat-screened televisions, one in the bedroom and one in the lounge area, eliminated any arguments over the remote control! Other features included a walk-in wardrobe, an over-sized bath with power shower, a bidet and a selection of sweet-smelling Molton Brown bath products presented in attractive glass bottles. Spa facilities were charming and tranquil. The atmosphere was calm and gave the impression of being somewhere exotic with palm trees and a glass domed roof allowing streams of light to reflect off the surface of the circular pool. A relaxing dip in the jacuzzi and a few rounds in the shallow pool sparked our appetites and anticipation grew for the meal that lay ahead. Pre-dinner drinks were enjoyed in a small lounge area adjacent to the restaurant. Service was prompt and efficient, with the swift presentation of canape’s and an enticing and varied menu, Once seated, a selection of tantalising breads were offered to us, with options such as sour bread, rosemary and potato bread and country loaf. The waiter seemed very knowledgeable of the menu and answered any questions we had with interest and precision… The starters and appetizers were a delight. I chose a rich and creamy Pumkin veloute’ encasing smooth Sainte Maure goats cheese to start. My companion enjoyed her pan roasted Scottish scallops, confit leek, seaweed and ginger scented light shellfish broth. The option of Duck liver foies gras, apple and jelly chutney and tasted brioche was also considered. The appetizers that followed consisted of beetroot, avacado, goats cheese and pistachio nut were polished off in an instant. The Executive Chef Daniel Galmiche describes his menu as a showcase of ” French classical cuisine in a lighter and more modern style”. My dining companion found our choices rather interesting and not quite for our palate. My companion chose Pan fried Brill with spiced bread crust, baby carrot, citrus scented potato and crab with chicken jus as her main course. Presentation was spot on. My main course of slow cooked rack of Free range Veal, braised shin and sweetbread with swiss chard and smoked mash potato was beautifully presented. The sweetbread though delicious was a bit overwhelming. For dessert I chose Chocolate Millefeuille with caramal mousse and passion fruit jelly, white chocolate crisp and caramal ice cream. The caramal ice cream was quite possibly the best I have ever tasted; deliciously sweet but at the same time underlyingly salty. My companion chose an elegantly presented cheeseboard with a glass of Argentinian Malbec . Around this time of 8.15 the restaurant began to fill up, but the atmosphere remained calm and serene. The waiting staff were exceptionally pleasant and attentive throughout the entire evening, adding to the overall enjoyable dining experience. Our meal was chosen from the a’ la carte and was priced at £72 for 3 courses. A seasonal menu costing £49 for 3 courses was also on offer and a £99 9 – course tasting menu with an optional accompanying wine selection, cost an extra £69 or £95 depending on the list . A magnificent assortment of wines are available from the original wine list. Harpers Wine and Spirit Weekly state that “the list is to die for – probably the best list of Californian Wines in Europe”. Needless to say, the only possible issue that could occur in this area is actually deciding on a wine Our visit to The Vineyard was excellent, the staff were delightful, the luxurious spa facilities and our suite made for a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable stay. Review by Katherine Yon & Nicholas Yon

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 0.0

John H. bronze reviewer 28 April 2011

A Five Star Country Hotel with a lauded 2 Michelin Restaurant for a luxury break – What could possibly go wrong? – Well plenty if it’s The Vineyard at Stockcross near Newbury, Berks. We knew when we booked that it wasn’t an Olde Worlde gem like Le Manoir, but were still a bit surprised that the interior looks like a slightly tired Essex Conference Centre built in the heyday of TV series Dallas .. Very low ambience The Room (‘suite’) and bathroom was of a decent size, only spoilt at first entry by a grubby spotty carpet and glass rings on a side console. However, a more lengthy experience revealed an air conditioning system that only pumped out hot or very warm air. On a great Spring evening this resulted in a sleepless sweaty night (being on the ground floor with patio doors, opening a window wasn’t an option. The plumbing in the bathroom was dysfunctional and badly maintained Service was poor, the housekeeper who turned down the bed while we were at Dinner left the upturned empty freebie champagne bottle in the cooler and the two used glasses. The advertised room WiFi didn’t work. The TV was not tuned properly .. Many stations like C4 were unviewable, everything else had a distorted picture. The service at Dinner in the low atmosphere high ceilinged restaurant was similarly poor, we had to ask for bread and water after we’d been sitting in the restaurant for over 10 minutes, and then had to subsequently request water top ups. The amuse-bouche of a worm of piped soft cheese/herbs in a narrow glass with beetroot spaghetti required the skill of a keyhole surgeon to extract and eat without decorating everything in purple. The food (apart from the small portions) I can only describe as sub the average gastro pub in taste, and looked a lot better than they tasted.. Overpriced and lacking taste. There was only one dish (venison) out of the six we had between us that could be described as of One Michelin Star quality, let alone up to the standards of proper Two Star establishments like Marcus Wareing or The Square .. A major let down, the only offset was a great wine I choose myself from a great (but high mark-up) wine list. The breakfast continued the sad themes of the evening before. The Full English was tired like an all day buffet, the worst dish being Eggs Benedict with the normal toasted half an English Muffin being replaced by a doughy untoasted wodge of something indiscernible that waddled round the mouth.. A horrible travesty of what is normally a great breakfast dish. Two Michelin Stars? Five Star standards? .. I don’t think the hotel or restaurant were anywhere near

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 2.0

Andrew H. bronze reviewer 26 December 2010

The Stockcross was a big disappointment. The building itself looks and feels more like a Travelodge than a luxury resort. Service was well meaning but hopeless – it seemed mainly due to the manager who was constantly micro managing the staff but giving bad direction. The sommelier however seemed to be ignoring the manager and was excellent, we particularly enjoyed the totally blind tasting from a black wine glass. The food was mixed. Classic dishes were executed perfectly and were absolutely faultless. However, it went wrong when the chef started experimenting as we found his selections to have poor combinations of flavours. A great shame as the effort and skill in preparation was excellent.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 0.0

Simon L. 23 September 2009

A firm thumbs-down for the Vineyard after a weekend Gastronomic Break that was ruined by tired and threadbare accommodation and shoddy service all topped off by “bill shock”. Foodwise, the Vineyard didn't do much wrong. My wife and I found the A La Carte menu on Friday night as impressive as it gets outside London, while the tasting menu on Saturday was up there with the very best. Highly imaginative and skillfully executed modern eclectic fare that draws proudly from the very best local produce. But if ever an entire establishment was “carried” by the Chef, then this it it. Our catalogue of discontent included being charged nearly £70 for a meal we never ordered; charged for post-dinner drinks we never had; charged £36 for a bottle of Bandol La Suf when what we actually received was one glass of Califonian Rose; charged for chocolate selection that we never received; a cream tea we we assured was included in the weekend package… and on and on it goes. It is clear that the one thing the Vineyard does with aplomb is charge, and it does that very well indeed. It charges like a wounded buffalo. Attention to detail was woefully lacking. We were seated for breakfast and endured a 25-minute wait without tea, coffee or anything else at all before I was forced to aproach the restaurant manager requesting service. Even a humble club soda is beyond the grasp of the Vineyard. An explanation to our waitress as exactly how to prepare this drink was met with a blank expression, followed by a flat refusal by the bar to mix the drink. On night two, my wife's request for a Bailey’s coffee was met by blank faces and another blunt refusal, even though a bottle of Baileys stood in plain view behind the bar. Correspondence further to our disastrous weekend resulted in the Vineyard's management team offering us 50% off our next visit. Now why would I spend further money at The Vineyard so it can prove to me that it can do its job properly? Good food, but an experience that leaves a sour taste in the mouth. Not to be recommended.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Henry J bronze reviewer 16 March 2009

I came to this two-star Michelin legend with high hopes of a grand meal, but I left feeling somewhat deflated. John Campbell’s kitchen certainly delivers excellent food, thoughtful dishes and perfect execution throughout, yet there was something lacking. There was no wow-factor. As John Campbell is renowned for his inventive and scientific approach to cooking, I suppose that I was expecting something a bit different. The dining room looks like an elitist post-colonial hotel from the 1940s, with its grand, curved staircase and central chandelier; somewhere you might find Ian Fleming’s Bond having a gluttonous meal of lobster and caviar. Service is what you would expect from a restaurant of this calibre, but on this particular night the sommelier had left his smile locked away in a dungeon somewhere. The food itself was perfect but it didn’t push any boundaries, at least not that I could tell. The scallops for my starter were huge and plump, packed with flavour and complimented by a pleasing veloute. My main course of slow-cooked beef was incredibly tender, rich and delightful. One can appreciate all the hard work that is going on behind the scenes in the kitchen to produce dishes of such fine quality and flavour, but portions were small and I was left wanting more. Perhaps I am being unfair, but as one of the UK’s finest restaurants I guess that I was expecting more sparks from the kitchen. In all it was a most enjoyable meal and I can’t really fault it, other than saying the portions were a tad small and if you are looking for inventive cooking that pushes the boundaries of expectation, you will find it elsewhere. However, if you are looking for solid haute cuisine, executed with finesse, this is somewhere you should visit.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

JKP 02 December 2008

I've just read the below review, and am shocked as my experience couldn't have been more different! I was there just a few weeks ago for a spa break, and found the staff to be friendly throughout our stay. Nothing was too much trouble, and they were very attentive to us and our needs (in particular to my mother, who has very serious food allergy!) We had the tasting menu on our second night there, which definitely earnt its two michelin stars! All of the courses were delicious and service was speedy. We'd love to go back

Special offers

Full afternoon tea £31.50 per person

From: 09 April 2018

To: 31 December 2030

Max: 0

Discovery’ Afternoon tea at £38

From: 05 April 2018

To: 01 January 2020

Max: 0

3-course lunch £29

From: 05 April 2018

To: 01 January 2020

Max: 6

Full Afternoon tea with a glass of Taittinger Rose, £47.00 per person

From: 05 April 2018

To: 31 December 2030

Max: 0

Sunday lunch menu - 3 courses £39 per person

From: 05 April 2018

To: 31 December 2030

Max: 0

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