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.

wine bottles

Grape Priced Wines

At The Vineyard we Eat. Sleep. And Drink wine.

We want you to enjoy great wine too, so did you know that great wines are available at affordable prices?

We are dedicated to providing each guest with an unforgettable wine experience. Our team are passionate about sharing their love and knowledge of wine and over the forthcoming months we are going to showcase accessible wines at great prices, with top tips on how to choose the right wine for your budget.

Our Head Sommelier, Romain Bourger, has chosen his Top 6 wines under £20… these are available from top supermarkets or our very own extensive wine list.

Blanquette de Limoux, 1531, Languedoc-Roussillon, France, 2015 

Tesco, £9.00

A delicious sparkling wine made from a local varietal called Mauzac. It is fresh and ripe with a delicate intensity, fine bubbles and a lively finish. It is historically the oldest sparkling wine ever made, dating back to 1531.

Pessac-Léognan, Château Tour Léognan, Bordeaux, France, 2014 

Waitrose, £14.99

To my opinion, this is a great example of white Bordeaux (and from a top producer, the Perrin family also producing Château Carbonnieux). It is a classic blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon with a touch of oak which brings a delicate texture to the wine. It is dry, fresh but with a creamy mouth feel and intense aromas of boxwood, pink grapefruit and lime

Colinas de Uruguay, Albariño, Uruguay, 2016 

Sainsbury’s, £8.00

A classic Spanish varietal, very fresh, lively and crisp. It definitely is a summer wine and a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio

Cintila, Fernao Pires, Península de Setúbal, Portugal, 2015 

The Vineyard, £19.00

Delicate, light and fruity, this is a perfect Rose wine to enjoy on a hot day. It has a lovely texture that makes it very food friendly

Opal Ridge, Gewürztraminer/Verdelho, South Eastern Australia, Australia , 2015

The Vineyard, £19.00

An aromatic blend that has the tropical notes of Gewürztraminer but with the added freshness and citrus tones of Verdelho. The wine is dry with a lovely texture and a touch of rose petal and orange blossom

Viña Edmara, Pinot Noir, Valle Central, Chile, 2015

The Vineyard, £19.00

Light, juicy and mouth watering, this is a great example of Pinot Noir from Chile. It has a lovely spiciness and depth of aromas but remains very well balanced.

We hope to see you soon for a glass of wine or two!

Recipe: Spring Broth

Our Head Chef Robby Jenks is a fan of seasonal produce and believes diners can easily prepare a good spring recipe at home. This month Robby shares his recipe for a spring broth which showcases fresh, delicate and crisp flavours.


  • 200g morel mushrooms
  • 100g fresh peas
  • 100g fresh broad beans
  • 20g chopped wild garlic
  • 10 sprigs of green asparagus
  • 50g of finely sliced shallot
  • 50ml white wine
  • 300ml of light white chicken stock
  • 150g unsalted butter


  • Sweat the shallot in 20g of the butter for 5 minute saving the other butter for later
  • Separately very lightly blanch the green vegetables in lightly salted water for approximately 1-2 minutes or until soft place into ice water and allow to cool, when cool take out the asparagus and cut into any desired shape – suggest around 1cm baton – preserve this and the green vegetables until later Add the morel mushroom to the cooked onion and continue to sweat for 2 minutes
  • Add your white wine and gently reduce by half
  • Add the light chicken stock and gently warm through
  • Now whisk in the remaining butter slowly until all is emulsified – do not get to hot!
  • Add the cooked green vegetables and heat through for approximately 1 minute
  • Just before serving add your chopped wild garlic and pour all ingredients into a bowl Optional – add a little olive oil and serve with a piece of bread and butter

Wine Pairing

This dish pairs perfectly with a good quality Entre-Deux-Mers.  This sub-region of Bordeaux produces bight clean lively Sauvignon Blanc based whites that are generally easy on the wallet.

If you are lucky enough to have our very own Peter Michael wine we would recommend Peter Michael “L’Après-Midi” Estate Sauvignon Blanc Knights Valley 2012 for a classic paring keying off of the delicate aspects of the  broth and designed to add “lift” with the wine’s acidity. For a slightly richer alternative we would recommend Peter Michael “Ma Belle-Fille” Estate Chardonnay Knights Valley 2011.


Rhubarb detail shot

Recipe: Rhubarb Jelly

With forced Yorkshire Rhubarb coming into season our Head Chef, Robby Jenks shares  is recipe for rhubarb jelly. This jelly is the perfect accompaniment to cheese and crackers.

Stage 1 Ingredients

  • 1kg x diced Rhubarb
  • 1 kg x water
  • 100g x white wine
  • 70g x sugar
  • 1 head of celery cut small
  • 1 stick of lemongrass
  • Salt and pepper

Stage 2 Ingredients

  • 500g x diced rhubarb
  • 100ml x white wine
  • 100g x sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Stage 3 Ingredients

  • 1x Stick of lemon grass


  1. Begin by adding the diced rhubarb to a pan. Add 100ml of white wine to the pan and reduce down to a third.
  2. Once reduced, add the remaining ingredients from stage one and bring to the boil, skim and reduce to a simmer.
  3. Once the rhubarb is completely soft, remove from the heat and strain into a bowl
  4. Place all of the stage 2 ingredients into a bowl, cover with cling film and simmer over a Bain Marie for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain into a bowl and leave to one side.
  5. Combine stage one and two ingredients together in a pan and add 1 stick of lemon grass. Bring to the boil and leave to cool.
  6. Finally strain the mixture and decant into jars.

Recipe: Duck Sauce

This sauces pairs perfectly with a pan fried duck breast and pak choi.


Duck bones x 1kg

Veal stock x 175ml

Chicken stock x 750ml

Onions  x2 onions

Garlic x 4 cloves of garlic

Sherry vinegar x 150ml

Thyme 3 sprigs

Cream x 50ml

Star anise x 1

Fennel seeds x 2 grams

Honey x 100ml

Juice and peel of two oranges

Ginger x 15grams

Red wine x 125ml


  1. Turn oven on to 160 degrees and insert a roasting tray to warm
  2. Chop the duck bones into small pieces and roast until golden brown
  3. Pour the honey into a pan and bring to the boil, ensuring it doesn’t burn
  4. Add the 150ml of sherry vinegar, juice and peel of oranges and reduce back to a honey consistency
  5. Once the bones have roasted until they are golden brown, remove from oven and add to the onion, garlic and thyme and cook until lightly wilted with no colour
  6. Add the wine to the pan and cook until reduced
  7. Then add the remaining ingredients to the pan and cook for at least 1 hour
  8. Once cooked sieve the sauce so you are left with a rich , smooth sauce


Mulled wine

Recipe: Mulled Wine Recipe


  • 750ml red wine wine
  • 1 whole orange sliced
  • ½ a lemon sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 berries of all spice
  • 4g coriander
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 3 black pepper berries
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150g dark brown sugar


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a pan
  2. Gently warm on the stove, but do not boil
  3. Remove from the hob and strain the liquid into heat proof glasses and serve
  4. Enjoy with a mince pie or two!
Fillet of halibut, Jerusalem artichokes with mushroom purée

Recipe: Fillet of halibut, Jerusalem artichokes with mushroom purée

This month Head Chef, Robby Jenks combines delicate halibut with artichoke to create this wonderful autumnal dish for you to enjoy at home.


Halibut fillet

Artichoke Sauce

  • 125g shallots
  • 1kg of artichoke
  • 1 litre of chicken stock

Mushroom Purée

  • 500g of mixed mushrooms
  • 100g shallots
  • 100ml cream

Artichoke Crisp

  • Thinly sliced artichoke


  1. Begin by making your artichoke sauce by thinly slicing the shallots and artichoke. Put some of your sliced artichoke aside for the artichoke crisp. Melt some butter in the pan and sweat your shallots until soft.
  2. Once soft add the sliced artichoke and cook on a low heat for a further 10 minutes.
  3. Add the 1 litre of chicken stock and cook for a further 20 minutes. Once cooked, blend until smooth and season to taste.
  4. Once the mushrooms are soft, add the 100ml of cream and cook for a further 5 minutes. Once cooked, blend your mixture until smooth and season to taste.
  5. Lightly season the halibut and pan fry until cooked
  6. To make your artichoke crisps, deep fry your sliced artichoke in oil until crisp
  7. To serve your dish, place your halibut on the plate and arrange the mushroom purée and artichoke cream on top the fish.
  8. Finally garnish with the artichoke crisps


Wine Pairing

This dish pairs perfectly with a White Burgundy with some fatness like Puligny-Montrachet or Meursault. For those who enjoy their reds a light young Cabernet Franc based wine from the Loire Valley such as Chinon or Bourgueil.

If you are lucky enough to have our very own Peter Michael wine we would recommend Peter Michael “L’Après-Midi” Estate Sauvignon Blanc Knights Valley 2014 for a brighter fresher presentation or “La Carrière” Estate Chardonnay Knights Valley 2011 for a richer, more hedonistic presentation

Devonshire cod with cauliflower and spiced coconut cream

Recipe: Devonshire Cod with Cauliflower and Spiced Coconut Cream

This month Head Chef Robby Jenks, brings you a taste of the ocean.


  • Cod Loin
  • 200g shallot sliced thin
  • 40g curry powder
  • 175g Unsalted Butter
  • 500ml White wine
  • 500ml Fish stock
  • 500ml Coconut cream
  • 1 Cauliflower
  • 600ml olive oil
  • 400ml lemon juice
  • I sprig of thyme
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. To start creating your dish, lightly salt the cod loin and leave to rest in the fridge for eight hours.
  2. Whilst the fish is resting begin making your coconut cream sauce by sweating your shallots in 50g of butter ensuring that no colour is added during this process. Add a pinch of salt and your curry powder and cook for a further 2 minutes. Into the pan add your fish stock and reduce until it is halved.
  3. Reduce the white wine in a second pan by a third and then add back into the reduced stock.
  4. Once mixed add the coconut cream and bring to the boil and reduce the sauce to your preferred consistency before pass through a sieve and adding the remaining 25g of butter and seasoning to taste whilst whisking.
  5. For the cauliflower purée blanch your half of a cauliflower until soft, drain and place in a blender and blitz until smooth. Then return the mix to the pan adding 100g of butter and cook on a high heat until caramelised. To create velvety smoothness in the purée blend for a second time and pass through a sieve.
  6. To dress the remaining of the cauliflower create blend using 600ml of olive oil, 400ml of lemon juice, 1 sprig of thyme and a diced bulb of garlic.
  7. Cut three quarters of the cauliflower left into florets and mix with some of the dressing over a low heat. Using the last quarter of raw cauliflower finely shave into the dressing a leaving to lightly pickle while to cooking the fish.
  8. Once the fish has rested for eight hours pan fry in a little oil until golden brown and place into the oven for 2 minutes then turn over and cook for a further approximately another 2 minutes until cooked.
  9. To serve your dish place the roasted cauliflower mix and puree in a bowl with the cod on top then add your raw cauliflower and sauce to finish.


Wine Pairing

This dish pairs perfectly with a light, crisp and dry white wine that has some minerality such as a Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé (Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley)

If you are lucky enough to have our very own Peter Michael wine we would recommend Peter Michael “L’Après-Midi” Estate Sauvignon Blanc Knights Valley 2014 for a brighter fresher presentation or  “La Carrière” Estate Chardonnay Knights Valley 2011 for a richer, more hedonistic presentation


Judgement of Paris : 1976, The Year Californian Wines Made History

This May , we are celebrating 40 years since the seminal occasion of the Judgement of Paris. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Judgement of Paris tasting in 1976 we’ve created an infographic that tells the wine tasting story.

Organised by Steven Spurrier, the blind wine tasting of French and Californian wines changed the future of wine making and the perceptions of wine producing countries. Unknown Californian wines such as Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons were chosen over some of France’s finest by some of France’s top wine aficionados.

The blind tasting established Californian as a major player in the wine industry and to date it is the fourth biggest wine producer in the world.

Judgement of Paris key facts

Learn more about the JOP

Recommended reading for the full story: The judgement of pairs book “Judgement of Paris, California vs. France, The historic 1976 Paris tasting that revolutionised wine” by George M. Taber, published by Scribner and available at reception.

Recommended viewing: Bottle Shock (2008) is a comedy drama film based on the Judgement of Paris, directed by Randall Miller and starring Alan Rickman (as Steven Spurrier), also available at reception.

Local Events this March

There is a lot happening this March, with Mother’s Day, the Easter Bank Holiday weekend as well as the clocks changing forward to British Summer Time. We’ve put together a round-up of the most exciting happenings in the local area this March.

Local Events This March

Romeo and Juliet

25th February – 2nd April
Opening Times: Times Vary
Call: 01635 523726
Tickets from £15
The Watermill Theatre, Newbury

An unforgettable production of this much-loved Shakespeare classic tale of an all-consuming love. Featuring live music and an outstanding new group of actors, this is the table of a young couple defy their feuding families and find love on the streets of Verona.

“I ne’er saw true beauty till this night”

Talking History – The English Civil War

24th February – 23rd March
Opening Times: times Vary
Call: 01635 519562
Tickets: £5
West Berkshire Museum, Newbury, RG14 5AS

This is a series of illustrated talks about history, heritage and culture surrounding the English Civil War. Presented by local historian’s David Stubbs and Dr. David Peacock, military historian Alan Turton and West Berkshire Council’s Archaeological Officer, Alex Godden.

Tuesday 1st March – Lord Falkland: his life, times, death and memorial, 6.30pm to 7.45pm

David Stubbs presents the story of how a sensitive, educated academic found himself catapulted into politics, and died in a cavalry charge during the First Battle of Newbury.

Wednesday 9th March – The Social History of the English Civil War Soldier, 6.45pm to8pm

Military historian Alan Turton tells the story of the ordinary soldier during the Civil War, told using actual artefacts and replica objects relating to daily life.

Wednesday 16th March – Donnington Castle, 6.45pm-8pm

Dr. David Peacock tells the story of this castle built by a knight who fought alongside the Black Prince, defended by the Royalists during a Civil War siege and left with only the gatehouse still standing.

Wednesday 23rd March – The Archaeology of the Civil War, 6.30pm to 7.45pm

Archaeological Officer Alex Godden presents the fascinating local archaeological and historical sites that have become associated with the Civil War across the District.

Mother’s Day Lunch

Sunday 6th March
Opening Times: 12pm to 2pm
Call: 01635 589407
£65 per person; £35 for under £12’s
The Vineyard at Stockcross

Treat your Mum to an elegant and memorable Mother’s Day with our delicious three-course lunch, glass of Champagne as aperitif and a relaxing, long catch-up in the stylish surroundings of our restaurant.

Simon Weston: My Life, My Story

19th March
Opening Times: from 7:45pm
Call: 0845 5218218
Tickets: full price £17.50, concessions price £15.50

This is a truly inspirational show about one man’s journey from the front line of war, on the edge of death, to today a happy and contented father, grandfather and national treasure.

The conflict of a generation started on the second of April 1982 when Argentina invaded the Falklands Islands with the aim of recapturing them. With the UK government quick to defend both the islands and its inhabitants the area became a battleground of a generation and in one of the most horrific moments of the conflict the RFA Sir Galahad was bombed by two Argentine planes, aboard at the time was Simon.

Please note this show does contain media which some may find upsetting.

Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race

25th March – 28th March
Opening Hours: from 6.30am
Call: 0118 966 5912
Kennet & Avon Canal

Held annually over the Easter Weekend since 1948, this race is a real spectacle and atmospheric occasion, with a severe test of skill and stamina for the participants. Being 125 miles long with 77 portages it ends in the tidal section of the River Thames. Boats will pass through Hungerford on Saturday 26th from around 2pm onwards.

Easter Sunday Lunch

Sunday 27th March
Opening Times: 12pm to 2pm
Call 01635 589407
Tickets £59 for three courses; £35 for under 12’s
The Vineyard at Stockcross

Make Easter Sunday something special by joining us at The Vineyard for our three course Easter luncheon as you gather together with family and friends.

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt

25th March – 28th March
Opening Times: 10am to 5pm
Call: 0118 984 3040
Tickets: The trail costs £3. Normal admission charges apply.
Basildon Park, Berkshire, RG8 9NR
The ultimate Chocolatey Easter adventure. Hunt for eggs in the house and win yourself a Cadbury chocolate egghead prize by solving the Easter Egg trail in the garden. With clues for the children hidden around the grounds, the trail is self directed and can be completed at any point during the visit with no time limit applied.