St Peter Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8BS
Stayed September 2022
Well after originally booking into what was supposedly a four-star hotel that turned out to be worse than some of the el-cheapo notels I stayed in back in a former life (review of my one-nighter will be following shortly.) After a mishap with booking into another hotel, I realised that the Winchester Royal Hotel was in a great lo
cation. It was also not far from where I had spent a very uncomfortable night which was great, as I was walking with my three pieces of luggage plus all my extras; and had a room that overlooked the gardens at a reasonable rate. So, after chewing up and spitting out the manager of the tenement of a hotel as I was checking out, I and my entourage of Samsonite Atlantic Blue suitcases moved over to the Winchester Royal Hotel.
After navigating through the fairly large tour group from France, that had congregated in what is a beautiful entrance hall, I made it to registration and waited for the guest at the counter to finish their business, the very lovely lady at the desk greeted me and I introduced myself and explained my situation and that I
knew I most likely could not check in to my room yet. We took care of all the credit card business and without me having to ask, said that if I wheeled my entourage back around the corner into the hall they would hold my luggage and assorted bags for me until I came back when my room would be ready. I also asked if they could arrange a cab for me to get to The Hunting Stock Market, a fabulous manufacturer and retailer of riding attire, as well as other related products, located just outside the amazingly charming village of Stockwell. Anyone that rides, or just likes riding attire needs to visit their website, the quality of their coats from the material to the stitching and even the buttons and button holes they had put in for me were of such quality that I wish they could make my entire wardrobe. Richard, of The Hunting Stock Market, was so helpful and helped to make sure I was getting the right size the two black Labs were the icing on the cake.
****So as we are just getting to
know each other with this being the second post on the blog, I think I should give you a heads-up about "tangents". Sometimes I will digress on a tangent, I apologize, but I come by it both genetically and by osmosis from two of my earliest mentors from yet another life. You will also notice that I speak of my past lives, not as in reincarnation, but other paths I have taken in my forty-something years on this planet that is culminating in this blog and the things this blog will hopefully be a springboard for. Another warning ***I unashamedly thoroughly enjoy having good-looking boys/men being the desk agent, server, busser, you name it to deal with no matter what the situation. Even better if they do not mind or better yet enjoy my, depending on the situation, muted to blatant flirting.
So after navigating through t
he mob of the Bastille, again, off I wandered to go have breakfast. At the High Street, a block and a half away is The Ivy Winchester Brasserie (review coming) where I was greeted by two very nice young ladies one of who seated me and took my coat. I had a scrumptious breakfast, that was served by an even more scrumptious team of young men. After paying my check and getting a very big smile from the one very attentive server after he saw the generous tip I left for him and the rest of the late teen/early twenty-something team that knew exactly how to turn and give the right amount of smile to make breakfast almost orgasmic. Writing this of course now has me wondering which streaming service I already have has When Harry Met Sally.
*** You will find I relate m
any things to movies, musicals, plays, etc. I have since I was a little kid watching movies. I have seen movies that most people do not even know exist, and some I have no idea what the Titles are. Having always been more nocturnal, back in the 1980s there was always a plethora of B and worse movies to watch on the minor networks and PBS stations between midnight and four in the morning.
So back to the hotel and my cab is waiting for me so off I go to Stockbridge, to take care of the jacket then walked through the forest back to the village and spent the afternoon getting some wonderful pictures of this idyllic village. After a delicious steak and ale pie and a pint of cider at The White Hart, I got a cab back to the hotel. When I arrived I went to reception and they ma
de my keys and one of the staff helped me up to my room with my bags. Now The Winchester Royal Hotel dates back to the 16th century and has a very interesting history as a safe house for Catholics, and as with many hotels that are in buildings that date back to before the colonies were the colonies, they are buildings added to buildings and as with The Winchester Royal, have more modern additions as well. I was lucky enough to be staying in one of the older sections of the hotel in a nicely appointed room with views of the garden. I had a nice relaxing night in the room and after realising that it was almost 11 PM I decided to order room service. I ordered the charcuterie board and a Ceaser salad. What a feast I enjoyed when it arrived. Smoked duck breast, dried meats, cured meats, and some cheeses I should have ordered a bottle of wine instead of the soda and
lemonade (not the American version) but, it was a great late-night meal that certainly helped put me to sleep not long after. As a lover of duck, the smoked duck breast was delectable and whoever is responsible for the smoking did a great job, it had just enough smoke flavor that did not take away the signature taste of duck that I have come to love. Although I have to say even poorly done duck is usually delicious at least to me, I have had smoked duck breasts that were not smoked either hot enough or long enough or a combination of both, and it can be a tricky meat to smoke, so bravo to the cook that does the duck breasts.
I also had breakfast at the hotel restaurant one morning which is a well-appointed buffet with more options than I can even remember was another delicious meal enjoyed that set me up for my day. After returning from a day of supporting the British economy, I decided on Tea at the restaurant, which was a perfect afternoon cream tea, with jams, butter, and clotted cream to enjoy with my scones and a lovely pot of tea. I have to say this and I will say it over and over and over, restaurants and hotels in the Colonies really need to embrace the teapot. Not having to drink out of the same vessel that the tea is brewed in is not a luxury, it is an important function of brewing tea, whether loose or bagged and being able to enjoy the full taste of what is for many, more of a no
n-alcoholic liqueur that varies in shades from almost clear to deep rich amber.
While I can really not say anything bad about The Winchester Royal, there were three items in the room that could have been better. One was the mattress, it needed replacing, it was just like the one I am currently sleeping on at my home in the northeast, so as much as it would have been nice to have a mattress that was up to standard, it made my stay in Winchester feel even more like my home away from home. The other two items are somewhat related. The first was, and I know there is an energy crunch in the country, was the valve to turn the radiator on was not functioning, no handle. As someone who is more likely to feel frozen than hot, and the temperature got cool at night, it would have been nice to be able to turn the heat on in the room. The other was the bit of mold on the window, which I am sure, after seeing the amount of condensation o
n the window if the radiator could be turned on and help dry out the room.
The Winchester Royal Hotel is excellent, and as far as I am concerned the only place to stay, in what is now my favorite place in England. Every member of staff was pleasant to deal with and any time I needed assistance from someone, I was never met with the sometimes way too obvious looks of disgust about having to actually provide hospitality in a hospitality-based business, that I have so often encountered in other lodging establishments. I have booked here again for another trip next year in July, and am looking forward to another stay at what is turning into my home away from home until I am lucky enough to own my own place in the birthplace of England.