Looking for the perfect getaway that’s only an hour and five out of London? The Carnarvon Arms in Newbury is the place for you.
We drove up late afternoon and checked in to the delightful Carnarvon Arms Hotel set just outside of Newbury. We booked one of their boutique rooms and the soft white pillows and cosy vibes were a welcome sight after a long week; every room is named after a race horse and is set away from the main pub building so pub noise wasn’t an issue at all.
We settled in, checked out the amazing midnight snack drawer before making our way to the restaurant for a well earned dinner and a gin. The food was delicious, lot’s of the produce is sourced locally and there are some fantastic vegetarian and vegan options.
After a very good nights sleep, although if you aren’t used to the sounds of speeding cars you may need some ear plugs we had breakfast – would highly recommend the vegetarian full English and started our day of adventuring.
The Mr and I recently become English Heritage members so I was delighted that Donnington Castle was just a 20 minute drive from where we were staying. It’s a twin-towered gatehouse of 14th century, both Henry VII and Elizabeth I are thought to have visited here. It’s the perfect place to visit on your way somewhere else, take a little wander round the ruins and then a stroll up the hill to look at across the fields. We then drove into Newbury town center for a bite to eat, hidden in plain sight right by the town car park looking very unassuming is The Teashop. The queue was out the door so we knew it was going to be good and I can confirm the brownie was delightful as was the view of the canal.
Bombay Sapphire Distillery
Our main item on the itinerary for the day was to have a tour of the Bombay Sapphire Distillery which is housed in a gorgeous historic paper mill. The tour takes about 1 hour 30 and goes through the history of the site, the company as well as showing you where they distill the gin and about the botanical’s that go into it. After you’ve learned all about it, you can then drink a complimentary cocktail by the river.
You can also book into a cocktail masterclass which had we not been driving we definitely would have done as it looked fantastic.
If you are a fan of Downton Abbey then Highclere Castle is right next door to The Caranarvon Arms, there are also a number of National Trust Properties and other historical sites for you to visit. The hotel and the places we visited definitely require a car as it’s not close to a train station and is set back from a main road!