Please wait, the site is loading...

Travel

Staycation: The Crown & Garter Inn, Berkshire

by Helena Lang
Staycation: The Crown & Garter Inn, Berkshire
The Crown & Garter

Hearty walks and fascinating history in the surrounding area make this a great weekend destination, says Helena Lang...

It’s a bleak, blustery day as we climb the steep chalky path to Combe Gibbet. It’s an atmospheric spot with views far across both Berkshire and neighbouring Hampshire and, although the tall wooden pole is a reconstruction, it’s eerily sinister as a reminder of the double hanging of George Bromham and Dorothy Newman. Both were found guilty of the murder of George’s wife Martha and their son Robert back in 1676. On this windy day a ‘rainbow flag’ is flapping at the top of the wooden pole, the perfect illustration of just how far we’ve come since public execution was considered justifiable punishment.

But it’s interesting to note that the bodies of George and Dorothy were taken down and laid out in the nearby barn at the back of the Crown & Garter Inn, our home for the night.

The ‘stylishly decorated’ bedroom
The ‘stylishly decorated’ bedroom

I’m pleased to report that nowadays the Crown & Garter has shed any remnants of its rather gory past and is now a smart little outfit, a sturdy red brick building with neat blue painted windows, a charming orchard garden for drinks and swish rooms in the former stables at the rear. The pub is part of the Honesty Group – the brainchild of inspirational food writer Romilla Arber who lives locally – which is a collection of coffee shops and tea rooms in farm shops and garden centres in Berkshire and Hampshire.

It’s so-called because they use Rainforest Alliance coffee beans in their house blend, ethically produced teas and make all their baked goods using traditional methods without additives or preservatives.

Back at the pub we strolled into the casual flagstoned bar for pre-dinner drinks. A quintessential G&T for me using Ramsbury Gin, from the nearby distillery in Wiltshire while my better half plumped for a pint of Ramsbury Gold, a rich golden glass of ale. The restaurant prides itself on using seasonal produce for its poshed-up pub grub. I particularly enjoyed my chunky ham hock terrine with its scattering of homemade pickles to start, and a beautifully grilled Barnsley chop with herbed new potatoes and minty pea purée for my main course. My elegant wedge of chocolate and fig tart was a rich, sticky triumph with a crisp pastry shell and served with a dollop of thick double cream.

Ham hock terrine
Ham hock terrine

Our simply furnished room overlooked the pretty herb-planted courtyard and was stylishly decorated with all mod-cons, including (in my book) essential tea and coffee supplies. But we didn’t come all this way to lie in bed and were up early the next day. After a classic full-English breakfast we enjoyed a good walk around Inkpen Common, a remnant of ancient heathland where there’s a beautiful woodland, a small valley bog and a pond. Not quite as dramatic as Combe Gibbet, but altogether a less grizzly end to the weekend.

How to book

Double rooms for bed and breakfast start at £130 per night for two people. Dinner, bed and breakfast starts at £190 per night. Visit crownandgarter.co.uk for more details.

Don`t miss

We value your privacy

We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our site and to allow us and third parties to customise the marketing content you see across websites and social media. For more information see our cookie policy.

Cookie Preference Centre

Learn more about what each cookie category does and choose your settings (toggle right to opt in or left to opt out). Cookie policy


Strictly Necessary

These technologies are needed to enable our websites and apps to run and to keep it secure.

Sainsbury's Magazine

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
PHPSESSID Until the browsing session ends
device_view 1 month
recentlyViewedRecipes 1 year
subscription-{popup-version-date}-PopupClosed 12 days

Vimeo

Enables Vimeo videos on the site

Cookie name Duration
_derived_epik 1 year

Constant Commerce

Enables shopping tools for recipe ingredients

Cookie name Duration
cc_a_h 10 years
cc_a_s Until the browsing session ends

DoubleClick

DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) is an integrated ad-technology platform that enables us to more effectively create, manage and grow high-impact digital marketing campaigns.

Cookie name Duration
DSID 10 days
IDE 1 year
RUL 11 months

Performance/Analytics

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Google

Google Analytics tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
__gads 13 months
_ga 28 months
_gat 1 minute
_gid 1 day
1P_JAR 1 month
ANID 10 days
CONSENT 18 years
NID 6 months
__Secure-3PAPISID 2 years
__Secure-3PSID 2 years
__Secure-3PSIDCC 1 year

Marketing/Targeting

These technologies help us decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you. We use this data to customise the marketing content you see on websites, apps and social media. They also help us understand the performance of our marketing activities. These cookies are set by us or our carefully-selected third parties.

Pinterest

Pinterest conversion tracking gathers conversion insights and builds audiences to target based on actions our visitors have taken on the site.

Cookie name Duration
_pinterest_ct_rt 1 year
_pinterest_ct_ua 1 year
_pin_unauth 1 year

Outbrain

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
outbrain_cid_fetch 5 minutes
adrl 5 weeks
apnxs 6 weeks
criteo 2 months
obuid 6 months

Twitter

Twitter conversion tracking enables us to measure our return on ad spend by tracking the actions people take after viewing or engaging with our ads on Twitter.

Cookie name Duration
personalization_id 2 years
muc 2 years
ads_prefs 5 years
auth_token 5 years
dnt 5 years
guest_id 2 years
twid 5 years