(Gene Chandler) The Wellington Inn – Stratfield Turgis
Another business meeting in far flung places (far flung from Essex at least) this time at The Wellington Inn, in Stratfield Turgis, operated by Hall and Woodhouse; an independent, family-run brewery from Dorset.
The Wellington Arms is so named because it’s located within the Duke of Wellington’s estate, on the A33 between Reading and Basingstoke, originally it was a 17th century farmhouse.
Check in was polite and efficient, a cosy check-in desk under the stairs that would appear familiar to anyone who has seen those old British movies.
So, we had meetings all afternoon then a working dinner, an overnight stay, breakfast and back home.
Dinner was taken in the lounge bar, which seats about forty in comfortable ‘posh country’ surroundings – wood panelling, bookcases and fireplaces.
The menu is bit trendy, with prices of ‘7¼’ (starters) or ’13½’ (mains). I ordered the ‘Pork Rillette’ starter which was tender, tasty, and served with ‘malted sourdough croutons’ that seemed a lot like melba toast, chutney and micro herbs. The micro beetroot was particularly tasty.
For my main course I ordered the ‘Duck Confit Shepherds Pie’ that was frankly delicious, if a tad dry, but a colleague requested some more gravy that remedied that.
And I simply had to smile at the thought of a ‘duck shepherd’, it brought back memories of our trips to Asia.
Dinner service throughout, by Lexi, was friendly and attentive, and we were kept well plied with well kept Hall & Woodhouse Ales; I particularly enjoyed the ‘Daring Diver’ draught beer, light and crispy, brewed to 4.7% ABV.
The hotel boasts “27 well-appointed en-suite rooms…all featuring charming wrought iron bedsteads.”. My room (26) was at the back of the hotel; it was clean, if slightly tired.
The bed was comfortable, but the room was chilly in the morning, despite my turning the radiator up to full.
One small hint for the hotel management? There are no clocks in the rooms, at least in Room 26, maybe a small clock-radio? I would certainly have found it useful when I woke at about 3:15 and had no idea what time it was.
There’s free Wi-Fi, although you have to fill in your details and are ‘encouraged’ to sign up for regular mailings. It returns just shy of 5Mb/S down and 0.2 Mb/S up.
Breakfast next morning was tasty and well cooked ‘full English’ nothing to complain about there.