I think it’s fair to say that the listing of the Forbury Hotel in a directory of the world’s elite luxury boutique hotels kind of sets the tone for what your likely to experience at one of England’s finest. Or so you would think! The reality was that a brief stay at the Forbury rather exceeded my already lofty expectations and here’s why:
The traditionally grand frontage to the hotel belies a sympathetic, but ultra modern interior. Eclectic fabrics, wallpapers and furniture, work in way that could only have been concocted by an interior designer of some merit. Thankfully, very little of the ubiquitous (show home) beige and cream here… The decor is offset by an opulent mix of contemporary commissioned sculptures and artwork.
All guest cars are valet parked, which is particularly handy if your wife brings a bag as big as Bournemouth. Fortunately for the porter, our short stay merited only a small piece of luggage!
Our room for the night was as sumptuous as it was luxurious. Small touches such as combed cotton satin sheets, state of the art Bang and Olufsen audio visual system and a comprehensive mini bar set the tone.
However, the real centrepiece of the room was a stunning copper bateau bath, flanked by an open fire. Soaking in luxury bath oils, whilst channel hopping the Bang Olufsen was a particular highlight. If only I had requested the chilled Dom Perignon.
Each room contains a Forbury Welcome Bag which includes stationery, slippers, a noduled back massaging implement and a rubber duck amongst other things.
Hors d’oeuvre’s delivered to our room were a delightful prelude to the hotel’s Cerise restaurant which is described as:
“Offering fresh innovative dishes from ingredients sourced from as afar afield as Brixham and the Outer Hebrides.”
However, the real strength of the menu comes from the majority of quality, local suppliers who have been selected by head chef Mike Lecouteur. This brings an authentic seasonality to the menu.
During my stay, I was lucky enough to enjoy some excellent clay pigeon shooting at the Royal Berkshire Shooting school, but the hotel’s strategic location in Reading City centre also offers a wide range of other luxury excursions which include: Sunday lunch at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, horse racing, golf, riding and fishing to name but a few.
Alternatively, you can simply enjoy the Forbury’s 30 seat, in house cinema which offers a mixture of classic, arthouse, pre release and general release films.
The essence of a comfortable stay has clearly been thought out here – right down to the smallest details. It’s something that hasn’t been lost on previous guests such as Twiggy, Franz Ferdinand, The Klaxons and rising star Alana Estrella.
Celebrity cachet aside, the Forbury merits a visit on a number of levels – whether it be, quality food, sumptuous rooms or even a memorable copper bateau bath!
For further information, please visit the Forbury Hotel web site.
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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