Gourmet Overnight Trip to the Berkshire's (Downton Abbey)

Wednesday February 6, 2013 at 08:30

Gourmet Overnight Trip to the Berkshire's (Downton Abbey)Map and Directions

Hello Tastourians,

Roaring fires, crisp walks and award winning organic food makes this the perfect ‘End of Winter’ treat.

One things for sure… Tastour is more fun when you stay over. I hope you’ll join me and 7 other taste adventures on this gastronomic tour of Berkshire’s.


If you would like to book: Please email info@tastour.co.uk to request a booking form

If you are a MAYBE or a NO: PLEASE, change your rsvp, with a comment, so that I can follow up if there is still space.


There are only 8 spots for this trip. And I received a special offer, so if we do run it again, it will be more expensive.  The itinerary is still shaping up, but so far it looks like a dream.


DAY 1: Saturday

8:30 am meet in West London, Shepherd’s Bush. For a prompt departure at 8:45am

We’ll meet outside the Shepherd’s Bush Empire

(we’re heading west, so no point in meeting in central London)


10:00 Walk & Visit to Donnington Castle (Free entry)

Gourmet Overnight Trip to the Berkshire's (Downton Abbey)



12:00 Lunch at the stunning Riverbar restaurant, set in the grounds of the gorgeous Georgian grade II listed Newbury Mannor.  This two AA Rosette Riverbar is perched at the union of the Rivers Kennet and Lambourn. After lunch we will explore the  tranquil  woodlands and water meadows.


Gourmet Overnight Trip to the Berkshire's (Downton Abbey)
This photo of The RiverBar at Newbury Manor is courtesy of TripAdvisor


2:00pm  Guided walk (TBC) of  Newbury

Gourmet Overnight Trip to the Berkshire's (Downton Abbey)With origins following the Norman Conquest of AD 1066, Newbury is rich in history.   The first mention of Newbury, then Neoburiae, comes from a land grant in 1079. Borough status was granted in 1189 and by 1204 there was a market, corn mill and fulling mill.

We will have free to to explore the market: The majority of the traders today have been on the market for many years, and you can find a wonderful variety of produce including: Fruit and veg, fishmonger, herbs and spices, olives, bread and cakes, cheese, flowers, plants and books. There is also 2 fresh butchers stalls, jams and chutneys, army surplus goods, secondhand books and a range of pet supplies. You will also find clothing, fresh coffee beans from around the world and homemade pies to take away and cook at home. There is fresh Isle of Wight garlic and freshly milled flour for your bread making and once you have done all your shopping, you can relax with a cup of tea and some hot food.


4:15  Champagne at Sunset

Gourmet Overnight Trip to the Berkshire's (Downton Abbey)


We will climb the steep, but short climb and we’ll be rewarded with the view of Highclere castle (the set of Downton Abbey) and Watership Down (The setting for the classic heroic fantasy novel, written by Richard Adams)





6:00 Check in at hotel

7pm Meet for Pre-dinner drinks

Gourmet Overnight Trip to the Berkshire's (Downton Abbey)


8pm Dinner

Our exclusive wine tasting dinner will be hosted in a private dinning room at a Marco Pierre White restaurant.  (Dinner is included in the price, however wine is extra)

Gourmet Overnight Trip to the Berkshire's (Downton Abbey)

From their website: Our Wheeler’s of St James’s menu (ONE OF MY FAVOURITE RESTAURANTS IN LONDON) is served throughout the Carnarvon Arms, enabling a different choice of dining styles. It is this versatility – the balance of a fine dining ethos and standard set in a laid-back country pub environment – that is so popular with diners.

Our experienced kitchen team source as many ingredients as possible from locally based suppliers to ensure freshness and the shortest route to table, including organic meats and vegetables.

The food is complemented by a carefully chosen wine list of over 40 wines from around the world. Our bar also specialises in hand pulled beer, Marco’s own The Governor and Butcombe Gold, being the most popular. Open all day, the bar also has a range of malt whiskies and after-dinner drinks.





DAY 2: Sunday

9:00 Breakfast & Leisure time.  Hotel check-out.


10:30 Walk, followed by Sunday Lunch

Gourmet Overnight Trip to the Berkshire's (Downton Abbey)

About the Sunday Lunch:

This award-winning 17th-century village free house, which stands in fine walking country just below Combe Gibbet and Walbury Hill in the North Wessex Downs, is presided over by organic beef farmers Mary and Bernard Harris. The beamed interior has old photographic prints and open winter fires. Almost everything on the menu is prepared using their own fresh produce; meats are 100% organic and butchered on the premises; all beef is supplied by their organic farm in Inkpen. Fresh pasta and bread are cooked daily on the premises. Even the wine is organic. The menu offers traditional English favourites and classic Italian dishes, such as chicken liver pâté; home-cured bresaola; spaghetti napoletana; meat loaf; braised ox tail; mixed seafood risotto; and ricotta and spinach cannelloni. There is an organic farm shop and butchery attached to the pub (Soil Association registered).


About the Walk:

A GENTLE AND EASY circular pub walk through varied countryside with a choice of pubs. The 17th Century Swan Inn champions organic food with its own farm shop and features in The Good Pub Guideas well as Rick Stein’s Guide to the Food Heroes of Britain.  On route we will also rest and refuel atThe Crown and Garter is a 16th Century brick-built pub recommended in a range of Good Guides for its food, ale and welcome.

You will walk along generally well kept paths and tracks through varied countryside from light woodland to farmland and riverside as well as some short stretches of quiet country lanes.  This is a remote area with little traffic to trouble you.   Depending on the group we can  walk for 1.5 hours to 3 hours.

After lunch: To Be Confirmed

The Herb Farm

An informal talk on how to grow herbs, care for them and cooking best practises.  (might be around £15 extra and include coffee/tea and a piece of cake.)

Gourmet Overnight Trip to the Berkshire's (Downton Abbey)


Return to London around 6 or 7pm



About the Hotel:

Built in the 1800s as a coaching inn providing a stop off for travellers to nearby Highclere Castle, home to the present Lord and Lady Carnarvon, this Grade II listed coaching inn is steeped in history. It was the 5th Earl of Carnarvon who famously opened Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, dying the following year and triggering suggestions of a Mummy’s Curse. Following a recent restoration by Marco Pierre White and his team, The Carnarvon Arms is now a modern country inn, decorated with an eclectic mix of artefacts and art, and with a fine dining ethos set in a relaxed country-pub environment. The kitchen team prepare dishes created by Marco, including potted duck with green peppercorns; fillet of smoked haddock with poached eggs; chicken and leek pie; and roast rump of lamb.  Finish with Eton Mess, sherry trifle or bread-and-butter pudding.

Gourmet Overnight Trip to the Berkshire's (Downton Abbey)

Gourmet Overnight Trip to the Berkshire's (Downton Abbey)



for me it’s all about creating the best experience at reasonable price.

(Please note that this hotel is usually £120 per night)

Dinner is included

£175 Bon Vivant Members – click here to join

£205 Non Members


Save £20 if booked by 10th February, standard price is £225/195

Price per person is based on two people sharing

£70 single supplement for a large double bed (only 3 available)


Fine Wine Tasting

2 Course Dinner on Saturday night

Full English Breakfast on Sunday morning

Glass of Champagne over looking the Highclere Castle at sunset

Guided walk around Donnington Castle

Return transport from London to Newbury.

Transport for 48 hours

Parking fees and petrol.

Food, Drink & Hotel cost of Driver & Guide,

A fun group of taste adventure seeking travellers to share the experience with.

Booking fee & insurance (in case of accidents) during the trip.

Not included:

Additional Food, Drink and shopping

Wine with dinner

Wine for the tasting (just in case you are not able to drink)

Your Travel Insurance, highly recommended


If you would like to book: Please email info@tastour.co.uk to request a booking form

If you can no longer make it, please change your rsvp.   If you’ve requested a booking form, please email me.


Here’s to a wild, and crazy night in the Berkshire’s!




Leave a Reply