Set within the aspirational setting of Ascot, the Macdonald Berystede Hotel & Spa is a four-star establishment with an AA Rosette restaurant, fully loaded Vital Spa and over 120 stylish bedrooms for guests to enjoy! Should you be looking for a hotel which combines spa facilities with superb dining, then read on… we may just have something that ticks all of your boxes!
Staying in style
We were lucky enough to reside in the Junior Suite, complete with a generous seating area set within a one of the buildings turrets! The view of the gardens below gave us a glimpse of the hotel’s beautiful grounds. Our large bathroom presented us with complimentary Elemis toiletries (a hint of our spa experience to come) and fluffy white bath robes. Superbly spacious, this was the ideal place to kick back and enjoy a relaxing coffee from the in-room Nespresso facilities.
Dining at the Acanthus Restaurant
For us, dining at the Acanthus Restaurant was the highlight of our visit. Guided to our table by maître d’ Didier, the elegance of the setting was apparent and we could see the fruits of a recent refurbishment all around us. With a modern, sleek and yet relaxed new look, the restaurant certainly was befitting of an AA Rosette establishment. As we descend into Winter, we can see warm cosy spots throughout the restaurant and bars which would make for a truly romantic setting.
The concept behind the menu is simple “good ingredients make for better-tasting food”. Chef’s at the Macdonald Berystede Hotel and Spa select only the finest Scottish Beef, British lamb, wild white fish and organic vegetables.
Two dishes perfectly summed up their approach to food and the focus on top quality produce. A jumbo prawn cocktail with Americana sauce, chiffonade of gem lettuce, avocado cream and melba toast, was bursting with freshness and packing beautiful bursts of flavour. However, one dish which blew our socks off was the Acanthus Beef Wellington (pictured below). A picture of elegance and perfection, this dish warms the soul with a deep richness of flavour and appeals visually thanks to a super stylish aesthetic. Within the pastry was a chicken mousse and duxelle mushrooms. Earthy and bold, simply stunning. The beef was perfectly matched to a glass (or two) of Cantena Malbec!
For dessert, there was also another star of the evening, the show stopping Apple Choux! This light pastry, designed to reflect the shape of an apple and adorned with gold leaf, brings combines caramel apple flavours with buttercream. Devilishly tasty and yet surprisingly light, this was a superb end to the evening.
The two private dining rooms located just off Acanthus Restaurant are perfect for more intimate gatherings that still have access to the main bar, terrace and lounge areas. The snug is ideal from groups of up to 18, set in an alcove of the main restaurant. The Library and Drawing room is ideally suited for larger parties of up to 50 guests and boasts it’s own private bar. For casual dining, you can also try the Diadem Bar or Oak Lounge, where you can enjoy a club sandwich of afternoon tea.
The one disappointment for us was breakfast. Not quite living up to the triumphs of dinner the evening before, the buffet style offering was disorganised and slightly underwhelming. As an example, we were not told by our server that we needed to speak to the chef and request cooked eggs for our breakfast, this was only discovered as we left. Plus, not all of the stations contained produce and some of the cooked elements looked like they had sat for quite some time. It’s quite surprising that this experience was so contrasting to the night before!
Unwinding at the Vital Spa
The Vital Spa is the Macdonald Berystede Hotel’s answer to relaxation and tranquillity! Claiming “some of the most indulgent spa treatments in the south of England”, we were intrigued to see how facilities lived up to their billing.
The spa and leisure club includes six treatment rooms, a thermal suite and fitness gym, as well as an external hydrotherapy pool and indoor swimming pool with views over rolling Berkshire countryside. Sitting in the hydrotherapy pool over-looking the forest like surroundings gave a feeling of isolation and utter relaxation.
Treatments are inspired by, one of our favourite pampering brands, Elemis. All Elemis treatments are tailored to enhance your skin health and the spa creates a bespoke experience for every user. We were lucky enough to enjoy an Elemis freestyle deep tissue massage (£55). My treatment was more physical for the benefits of deep lying knots and it certainly worked a trick. Both treatments were executed wonderfully and to our requirements!
Make your booking here.
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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