Cliveden House Hotel
This Grade I-listed stately home is just 18 minutes away from the centre of Windsor and makes a great base for a weekend in the Thameside town. Built in 1666, the house itself is filled with antiques and is surrounded by 376 acres of National Trust parkland. Away from its stylish suites and four-bedroom Spring Cottage, there’s Andre Garret’s award-winning restaurant, boat trips on the property’s flotilla of vintage vessels and a new spa, complete with outdoor pool. Corgis (and other pooches) are able to stay over too, for an additional £35.
Cliveden Road, Taplow, SL6 0JF
Part of the same hotel group that looks after The Dorchester, 45 Park Lane and Le Meurice in Paris, you can guarantee that a weekend at this five-star hotel will be special. Another retreat that’s just over 15 minutes away from Windsor, the hotel is surrounded by a wildflower meadow, which will be in full bloom this May. Mixing the traditional features of the house with modern touches, we’re a big fan of the Dower House, which can host up to six guests and has its own private garden, butler and chef. Elsewhere, afternoon tea in the Drawing Room is a must.
Blacknest Rd, Sunningdale, Ascot, SL5 7SE
Sir Christopher Wren
Smack-bang in the centre of Windsor, this four-star hotel is located right on the river. Comprised of several characterful buildings, the property is located on historic cobbled street by Eton Bridge. For stayovers, there are 133 historic and contemporary bedrooms available, as well as seven larger apartments. Hotel guests also get access to the Wren’s Club health club and spa. Come summer, its terrace is transformed as guests can dine while watching swans and boats glide past, and on Sundays its brasserie presents jazz alongside a roast.
Thames St, Windsor, SL4 1PX
The Fat Duck
One to book in advance, Heston Blumenthal’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant is just a 13-minute drive from Windsor. At The Fat Duck, Heston and his team have advanced the craft of cooking at all levels, from basic technique to the most elaborate dishes, creating an experience that sparks playful memories filled with curiosity, discovery and adventure. Elsewhere in Bray, Heston also owns The Hind’s Head and The Crown at Bray – both easier to book and more affordable, but with the same Blumenthal brilliance.
High St, Bray, SL6 2AQ
Gilbey’s Bar & Restaurant
Over the bridge in Eton, this acclaimed restaurant and wine bar was originally a butcher’s shop – and we love that it’s kept the original shop front. Within, diners can choose between the Conservatory Restaurant or the new Townhouse dining area. New for summer 2018, there will be an additional private dining room (The Gallery), three new bedrooms and more availability in the garden. Expect a modern British menu with a French twist, and a cracking wine list.
82-83 High St, Eton, Windsor, SL4 6AF
The Waterside Inn
Another three-Michelin-starred eatery on the periphery of Windsor, the Waterside Inn is owned and operated by the Roux family. With a spot on the banks of the Thames, in the 16th-century village of Bray, this famous 'restaurant with rooms' has been serving inspirational French cuisine since 1972. Menus change with the seasons to reflect the freshest product available – over the summer months expect the likes of whole braised Dover sole, served with lobster mousseline, asparagus tips, champagne and chive sauce, and pan ̵fried fillet of Angus beef with ox tongue, stewed einkorn and broad beans, with a beer sauce.
Ferry Rd, Bray, Maidenhead, SL6 2AT
The Oxford Blue
Located in Old Windsor, this traditional inn offers a refined take on pub grub: think pigs trotter with black pudding and apple followed by cod with brown shrimp butter, pickled mussels and fregola. Of all the spaces, we like the sound of the Wine Attic, a private room that hosts nose-to-tail menus and serves the best of the Loire valley while overlooking the countryside.
10 Crimp Hill, Old Windsor, Windsor, SL4 2QY
It’s hard to miss this striking pub. Dating back to 1709, the building has been an inn since 1792 – and is now well known for its flower-covered exterior. On a quiet corner on one of Windsor’s oldest streets, this tiny pub (it only has nine tables inside) is a cracking spot to sip a pint of local ale or fine wine. On sunny days, guests can pile onto the outdoor benches.
34 Park St, Windsor, SL4 1LB
GoGos Waterfront Restaurant
Located on the Racecourse Marina, this family-run restaurant serves South African food with flair. Away from its main restaurant, its Shebeen Bar is a sought-after spot for cocktails and bar snacks. In the winter a fireplace keeps things cosy, while the summer months see the decking area, which overlooks the marina, come into its own. We like the sound of the Port Elizabeth Rum Runner.
Maidenhead Rd, Windsor, SL4 5HT
The Queen Charlotte
There’s one very good reason to visit this particular bar: it has its very own gin. Named after the cobbled street on which the historic pub is located, Guildhall Island Gin is made just for the Queen Charlotte (and it’s also created its own ‘Ginger’ gin in honour of the royal wedding). They serve it alongside a slice of grapefruit and Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic.
6 Church Ln, Windsor, SL4 1PA
On selected Friday afternoons from May to September, visitors to Windsor can book in on a 1.5-hour tour of the country’s most famous public school. Visitors can expect to see the school yard, college chapel, upper and lowers schools and the Museum of Eton Life, where they’ll explore the school routines undertaken by Princes William and Harry. The College’s three museums are open to the public on Sunday afternoons.
Windsor, SL4 6DW
The Queen’s favourite weekend home, Windsor Castle is the oldest and most-occupied castle in the world. It’s also set to be the centre of attention come 19th May, when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will tie the knot in St George’s Chapel within its grounds. Visitors can take a peek inside, watch the Changing of the Guard and view the State Apartments as part of a tour.
Windsor, SL4 1NJ
Great Windsor Park
You can’t go to Windsor and not check out this 5,000-acre parkland. A former 13th-century deer park and royal hunting grounds, today the park is open to the public from dawn to dusk and offers one of the best views of the castle. One of its highlights is Savill Garden, which was built over the 1930s and 40s. Today, it features a huge collection of trees and flowers from around the world.
Windsor, TW20 OUJ
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