Boom! Hot new local openings in 2022
Planning on eating, drinking and loafing your way through 2022? Don't miss out on Berkshire's new hotels, pubs restaurants and foodie businesses.
The Retreat – Elcot Park, Newbury
Squeals of excitement at Muddy Berkshire HQ, the bucolic 18th century mansion house Elcot Park is undergoing a refurbishment and will reopen in the spring as The Retreat at Elcot Park. It’s the second property from The Signet Collection, who caused quite stir when it opened The Mitre in Hampton Court in 2020.
As its name suggests, the emphasis at The Retreat is on rest and recuperation, with hydrotherapy pools, sauna and steam in the spa, tennis courts, and – the piece de resistance – an infinity pool with Whispering Angel pool bar and private cabanas. It will also have a bakery, hair salon, wine shop and coffee house and guests can choose between a pan-Asian restaurant and more informal brasserie. Rooms will be bright and breezy, with splashes of bold colour, standalone baths and sumptuous beds. Jeepers, I’m not sure we will ever want to leave.
The Bell at Boxford
Ding dong. Good news for fans of The Woodspeen – Newbury’s one Michelin Star restaurant – The owners have submitted plans to renovate The Bell at Boxford. It will become a 60 cover restaurant with vegetable garden, offering high-quality, sustainable food and drinks. Although not a carbon copy of its sister restaurant just two miles down the road, you’ll see The Woodspeen’s DNA in the new venture.
Big Dog Bakery, Holyport
If you’ve cut out carbs or trying to go sugar free, avert your eyes now. A new artisan bakery has opened in Maidenhead and it’s going to take all our will power not to dive into the plate cinnamon rolls. All rise for Big Dog Bakery, a family run business that has opened on All Saints Avenue. It’s open Thursday-Saturdays from 9am-2pm, serving coffee, pastries and freshly baked bread.
On a mission to inject more fun into 2022 – it wouldn’t be hard after the past two years, but a new business is launching to get the party started. Say hello to the Cookham Cocktail Club, launching officially on 4 March. The brainchild of Jules Herd and Stephanie Maher, The Cookham Cocktail Club selling gin has its own signature gin No.5, a little mixology at private dinner parties or special events for groups of up to 12, as well as offering its own bespoke, locally-themed drinks.
It’s finally open! Fairmont Windsor Park – sister hotel to The Savoy in London – opened its doors on 1 Jan. It’s a luxurious crash pad with 200 bedrooms, a two-storey £140m spa and not one but four restaurants. There’s emphasis here to relax, recharge and nurture your wellbeing. Enjoy fine dining at 1215, afternoon tea in the Orchid Tea Room, middle eastern morsels at MOREish and Greens is the spa café that puts your wellness and culinary needs as a top priority. You’ll find shuffling around in a waffle robe on repeat.
West Berkshire Brewery
All change at West Berkshire Brewery. New owners and a new menu to sink your teeth into in 2022. Yattendon Estates bought the business at the end of 2021 saving the brewery and the super-cool taproom from imminent closure. The business took a huge hit during the multiple lockdowns, allegations of staff bullying and sexual harassment resulting in the CEO stepping down and a string of negative reviews. But it’s all change now. New menu of casual dining classics, Sunday breakfast and a new start.
It’s been a hideous 21 months for the hospitality industry. Japanese restaurant Arigato is the latest pandemic casualty. It closed its doors at the end of 2021. Cocktail bar Chapters in Caversham has also announced that the bar will close, with the owners focussing on their mobile cocktail bar and cocktail kits.