Flash-forward to summer

Summer is just on the horizon and we couldn’t be more excited– in fact, we’re already chilling the Champagne! With a 30,000 bottle wine cellar, immaculately landscaped front lawn, 49 luxurious bedrooms and thoroughly relaxing spa, The Vineyard is the perfect place to chill out as the weather hots up.

Why not join us this summer for one of our exciting events or for an evening of 5-star luxury?

A spot of lunch with Nina Caplan – Monday 3rd June
Nina is an award-winning travel writer and journalist whose book, The Wandering Vine, charts the incredible history of wine throughout Europe. On her travels, she has met lovers of wine, makers of wine and drinkers of wine and produced an enthralling account of her findings.

Join Nina for a three-course lunch with paired wines for just £60.00 per person and hear all about her amazing travels (she’ll even be signing books on the day!)

Attend a BBQ and Rosé Masterclass – Thursday 6th June
If you haven’t already dusted off the barbeque during the glorious Easter Weekend,you’re more than likely to this summer! Spend an evening with us to learn about(and more importantly, enjoy drinking) different varieties of rosé and how to pair them with your favourite barbeque food. You’ll be the toast of the town –or the garden at least…

The masterclass is £35 per person, but why not enjoy two courses from our delicious California Bar menu afterward for just an extra £25? Book your spot today.

Get a globally recognised wine qualification – Sunday 9th June
Impress all your friends with your knowledge of wine after completing our one day course, certified by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET). This introductory course is perfect for beginners and you’ll learn the basics of wine tasting, how wine is made and which foods pair best with different varieties of wine. There’ll be a formal, multiple-choice exam at the end of the day to officially earn your WSET Level 1 Award in Wine – you even get a badge to prove it!

The course runs 9am – 5pm, includes a three-course lunch with paired wines, refreshments, all study materials and exam fees for just £199 per person. Enrol here. 

Stay the night in a beautiful suite –anytime you like
With beautiful décor inspired by wine (what else?!), stunning marble bathrooms, spacious, cloud-like beds and more, pure luxury is all you’ll get when you stay with us. Our professional team will give you the warmest of welcomes and you can enjoy full use of our private spa throughout your stay. What a way to enjoy a summer evening!

Explore our latest offers or check availability – if you have any questions at all, our friendly Reservations Team will be happy to help: 01635 528770

Meet Dave Allen…

Dave Allen is an experienced drinks industry professional with a passion for wine. He first caught ‘the bug’ for wine when he worked in a small country hotel and restaurant and forged a strong friendship with the general manager, whose passion for wine proved to be contagious.

Dave initially joined Coe Vintners as a Stock Controller and progressed through various sales and management positions within the company, before its merger with Enotria in 2015. In 2018, Dave was promoted to Director of Sprits at Enotria & Coe, where he held responsibility for the company’s on-trade spirits portfolio.

While his day-to-day role is very varied, Dave loves building relationships with clients and is never happier than when he’s out sharing the stories of fantastic producers and wines with customers.

Dave is looking forward to continuing to build on The Vineyard Cellars’ stellar reputation for Californian wine, but is also excited by the US wine landscape in general. He will be keeping a close watch on some of the great wines coming out of Oregon, Washington and other states to make sure The Vineyard Cellars remains on the cutting-edge of the American wine scene.

When not at work, Dave enjoys films, music and has an active social life in the Oxfordshire village he calls home with his wife and three sons.

Rebecca Galland – Restaurant Manager

Rebecca has been at the helm of The Vineyard’s restaurant for over six years. Despite early ambitions of being a lawyer, she considers herself ‘very blessed’ to have embarked on her career in hospitality.

What does your day-to-day role involve?
My day-to day role involves looking after a team of approximately 18 people to make sure breakfast, lunch and dinner services run to the high standard you’d expect at The Vineyard.

I’ve been doing this role for almost six and a half years. I started as Assistant Host in 2012 and was promoted to Assistant Restaurant Manager in the May and then to Restaurant Manager in November of the same year.

What is your professional background?
I completed my A-levels and went to university in Leeds and had always intended to become a lawyer. When I left university, I wanted to take some time out to go travelling so I worked at a country pub called the Pot Kiln to fund my travels. There, I just fell in love with the industry.

When I came back from travelling, I went back to the Pot Kiln and became the Restaurant Manager there. I had always intended to go and do a conversion course to get into Law, but so many people said to me ‘you really love what you do, why would you come out of it?’ So at that point I decided that this was the career path I’d like to take and that’s when I came over to The Vineyard.

What are the most important skills in your role?
One of the most important things I think any Restaurant Manager needs to do is find a balance between guest expectations and the team expectations. I think it can be very easy to put so much focus on the guest that you forget about the people that are looking after them.

For me, it’s important that my team have a life outside of hospitality. Yes it’s important that they have the ability to develop and grow within the team, but they also need to have time for themselves as well as the company. Our guests at The Vineyard want to see happy people who are vibrant in the job roles, they want to see people who are passionate about what they do. I think in order to do that you need to look after both the guest and the staff member equally.

What do you love about your job?
I love the fact that you are constantly building relationships with people, you are constantly looking at how to make something even more special. When a guest arrives at The Vineyard, they’re not just arriving at another hotel, they’re arriving at our home. So when we are looking after our guests, it’s about getting to know them on a personal level, getting to know the reason they’ve chosen to stay here and the reason they’ve chosen to stay here now.

I want to create a hotel experience for our guests that means they want to come back because it becomes a home away from home. It’s so important to me that we build our relationships and bonds with guests as much as we do with people we work with, as much as we do with people we’ve known all of our lives. It’s good for people to return to places where they recognise faces.

What is the proudest moment in your career to date?
Winning the Caterer Award for Restaurant Manager of the Year was the proudest moment for me. It wasn’t just a reflection of the hard work I do, it was a reflection of the team around me and the property I work in. So many things have to accumulate in order to build someone up to being an award-winning restaurant manager. For me, that was my proudest moment.

What would you like to achieve in the future?
I’ve been so lucky and blessed to be able to work at The Vineyard and I have loved every moment of it. Every challenging moment is quickly followed with a rewarding moment. For me, what I want to look at now is the development of my own career. Now is the time for me to be able to develop into a higher job role. I want to become a General Manager someday and for me to do that I need to learn all of the aspects of a hotel, rather than just the food and beverage side of it.

What’s it like being a woman in hospitality?
I’m lucky enough that I don’t have to often think about the fact that I’m a woman in the industry. I most often think about the fact that I’m a head of department in the hospitality industry. There are times when potentially a guest might presume that a male colleague might be the restaurant manager, but in reality I’ve seen very little resistance about being a female head of department.

I also think we’re incredibly lucky at The Vineyard because we have so many female manager and ever since I’ve worked here we’ve been very female strong.

What do you think are the challenges for women in the industry?
One of the hardest challenges I think is trying to find the balance between career and family. For me right now, I’m not at a stage where I’m building a family, but in two, three or four years’ time that may be a possibility.

That’s where being a female Restaurant Manager can become a little tricky because you may not be able work the hours that are needed – you can’t change when lunch and dinner is. So for me that’s the biggest challenge I envision. Equally, at The Vineyard, we have many people raising families alongside their careers, so that makes me optimistic.

It may be a little harder, but there’s nothing wrong with hard.

What advice would you give to young women entering the industry?
If you have the passion and drive there is nothing stopping you. The part that you might find hardest is actually committing and telling someone that you want to go into the hospitality industry. People have got so many opinions on it – if you tell someone you want to be a doctor or a lawyer, you get a round of applause. If you tell someone that you want to be in hospitality, the reaction can often be somewhat muted.

All I can is that I come to work every day with a smile on my face and there aren’t many industries where that is the case. I come to work and I look at all of the things that I can develop and I look at all of the ways that I can develop other people in the team. Looking back at my younger self, I’ve never regretted the decision that I made. I’m blessed to do what I do.

Nicole Pearce – Events Manager

Events Manager, Nicole has worked at The Vineyard since her teenage years. She and her team look after corporate and special events at the hotel, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and the guests have the perfect experience during their time with us.

What does your day-to-day role involve?
My day-to-day role predominantly involves handling enquiries for upcoming and current bookings and ensuring that all client’s requirements are met for their functions.

What do you love about your job?
The feedback that people give when they have an incredible experience with us. The Vineyard is a beautiful property and it can work well for so many events. When you have clients that come in and they have a certain dream that you can bring to life, it’s really rewarding.

What skills are important in your role?  
Understanding the client’s needs is so important. You need to make sure you know exactly what they’re looking for because the venue is so versatile. It’s really important to get to grips with what’s important to the client so we can make sure that their dream event comes true.

How long have you been in the role?  I’ve been in this role for coming up to 5 years, but my background has always been in The Vineyard Group. I started in my teens doing a few hours on a Saturday in Housekeeping. When I left school I moved over to Reservations, which turned out to be a great foundation for events because it gave me a really good understanding of the hotel as well as experience of managing group bookings, which helped the transition to manage larger events.

What is your proudest career achievement to date?
I would say that one of my proudest achievements was securing a high-value exclusive use booking and delivering it successfully for the client in quite a short amount of time. I also get the pleasure of managing a small team and helping them grow and develop professionally, so seeing their confidence increase always makes me very proud.

What would you like to in the future?
In the future, I would love to be able to grow my role even more. I’d love at some stage to explore opportunities in sales or revenue because I really like the analytic side of things.

What’s it like being a woman in hospitality?
I personally don’t feel that I’ve ever experienced any discrimination because of my gender, which I think is really refreshing. We’re a very diverse workforce and have people from all different backgrounds and all different walks of life. For me, it’s quite inspiring to be in a workplace where you’re not battling to succeed because of your gender.

What advice would you give to young women entering the industry? Find a company that will support you and develop your skillset. I was very fortunate here because I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was at school and actually my whole career path has been made possible because of the support from the company. Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom and work your way up. Don’t be afraid to try different things. There’s so many opportunities you can get by getting experience in different areas. 

Free standing bath tub filled with bubbles with rose petals floating on the top

5 romantic things to do at The Vineyard this Valentine’s…

With the most romantic time of the year fast approaching, you’ll no doubt be planning your celebrations with the one you love. Romantic getaways have been a staple of Valentine’s Day forever, but here at The Vineyard, we offer so much more than just a room for the night…

Spa treatments for couples
Our award-winning spa is an intimate haven of tranquillity. It’s a relaxing space free of smartphones where you and your love can spend some quality time with one another, luxuriating in our warm Jacuzzi or basking in our heated circular pool. After that, enjoy a spa treatment in our couples’ room, where you can take a journey of relaxation together, enveloped by soft music, warm candlelight and of course, love.

A romantic afternoon tea
The beautiful surroundings of our five-star property makes the perfect setting for a romantic afternoon tea. Think fresh, handmade finger sandwiches, beautifully crafted cakes made by our pastry team, warm scones with homemade preserves and delicious clotted cream. Of course, no afternoon tea would be complete without a pot of hot loose-leaf tea, but why not add a glass of Champagne to make it truly special?

Drinks in the cocktail bar
What could be more romantic than getting dressed up and enjoying an evening together in the intimacy of our Cocktail Bar? Rosé, red, or even blue curacao – our Head Barman will mix up all of your favourite love potions while you spend time with that special someone, laughing and talking the night away.

A candlelit dinner for two
Perhaps the most traditional way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but a romantic dinner by flickering candlelight never really goes out of style, does it? Our exquisite Valentine’s menu is a delicious seven courses, served in the elegant ambience of our AA three-rosette restaurant. With immaculate service, fine food and the option to add paired wines to each course, Cupid’s arrow is sure to hit its mark!

The perfect Valentine’s break
We did promise that we offered so much more than just a room and our romantic break would make St Valentine himself green with envy. It’s a one-night stay in one of our beautiful Luxury Double rooms, a bottle of Champagne Taittinger, a traditional dozen red roses and a box of handmade chocolates. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll also enjoy our Valentine’s dinner for two, use of our spa and breakfast. Book in for afternoon tea and some heavenly treatments and you’ve got the whole of this list!

Magical May Days

There’s something undeniably magical about the month of May. The days are already longer, the air warmer and the promise of summer is just on the horizon. It’s an invigorating time of year when we can start packing away our winter wardrobes and cosy nights in turn into memorable evenings out.

At The Vineyard, we’re all about coupling first class service with the finest food and wine to create special memories, whatever the occasion. There’s plenty of unique reasons to visit us, from our iconic 30,000 bottle wine cellar to our tranquil 5 Bubbles rated spa, but just in case you need a touch more inspiration, we’ve put together five ways we can make your May truly magical:

Relax and rejuvenate with our Spa and Afternoon Tea offer
Enjoy full use of our heavenly spa facilities from 10am – 3pm with tea, coffee and biscuits on arrival. We’ll provide you with fluffy robes, soft towels and slippers and keep you hydrated throughout your stay with complimentary bottled water. You’ll also benefit from an exclusive 15% discount on any treatment you have during your visit. Finish the day with a delicious afternoon tea, served in the elegant surroundings of our Cocktail or California Bar.

Priced at £68.00 per person, Monday-Fridays in May, excluding Bank Holidays
Call our spa to book on 01635 589415

Our popular Charming British Escape option is 25% off throughout May
Stay the night at our stunning, five red star country retreat where each room is designed to tell a story. This opulent break includes a three course dinner with menus inspired by the freshest seasonal ingredients and an indulgent breakfast the next morning. Our stylish, luxurious rooms feature a selection of REN products, personal Nespresso coffee machine and fluffy robes; just a few added touches for your enjoyment.

Priced at £236.25 per room, per night.
Book online or call our Reservations Team on 01635 528770

Californian Wine Festival
We’ve often called ourselves a temple to Californian wine and as the ‘little brother’ property to the Peter Michael Winery in California, it isn’t hard to see why! In tribute of our proud heritage, we hold a Californian Wine Festival each year, showcasing the very best wines from the Golden State. Taking place over two days, festival goers will have the opportunity to sample fine wines alongside a sensational five course menu on 11th May and then enjoy a prestigious wine tasting on 12th May. Here’s to your very good health!

Priced at £115 per person for Wine Festival Dinner on 11th May
Priced at £30.00 per person for Wine Festival Tasting on 12th May
Call our Reservations Team to book on 01635 528770

Discover the Judgement of Pairs
In 1976, something truly amazing happened that changed the world of wine forever. The finest wine aficionados of the day gathered together to participate in a blind tasting event in which, to their own amazement and chagrin, they unanimously favoured the Californian wine over the French. This was a major turning point because up until then, French wines had been widely regarded as far superior. The Judgment of Paris is so crucial to our history that we even have a floor to ceiling painting depicting it in our California Bar. You can recreate the experience for yourself with our ultimate dining experience – a seven course tasting menu with French and Californian wine paired with each course.

Judgement of Paris Tasting Menu – £89.00 per person
For the full experience, add paired wines for an extra £95.00 per person
Call our Reservations Team to book on 01635 528770

Book a private masterclass with our Head Barman
Whether you prefer a cocktail that’s been shaken or stirred or a classic gin and tonic, let us create a bespoke, private masterclass that’s sure to make a memorable evening. Our masterclasses will last for an hour with a maximum of 12 people – you’ll be an expert mixologist in no time.

Gin Masterclass – £25.00 per person
Cocktail Masterclass – £30.00 per person
Call our Reservations Team to book on 01635 528770

So if you’re looking for immaculate service in stunning surroundings, we have everything you need to make May memorable and magical. It might only be perfect, but it’ll have to do.