“Come over and have tea with me,” said the happy and chatty voice down the phone line. We were in London for a holiday and I was visiting my Uncle in Reading for the day. “Pangbourne is very close to Reading, so just say the word and I will have you collected,” said Anne Blake Coulter my FB friend whom I was going to meet for the very first time!
Anne and her husband Lionel are originally from India, but have made the UK their home for many years. Lionel has years of hoteliering experience behind him, having worked in top management in the biggest hotel chains across the world. Anne had been a fashion designer, but gave it all up for love and for Lionel! They have two lovely sons and now run this jaw-droppingly gorgeous hotel called The George.
The George Hotel is a traditional coaching inn dating back to the 17th century full of old world English charm and character. It is situated in the beautiful Thames-side village of Pangbourne in Berkshire and lies on a site that has welcomed travellers since 1295!
“ The hotel has 23 rooms all recently refurbished with ensuite TV coffee/tea makers and high speed internet access. Come let me show you around,” said Anne and it was marvelous going around looking at the wonderfully comfy rooms. Interestingly all bedrooms are named after a character or place from the Wind in the Willows, in honour of the author Kenneth Grahame a resident of Pangbourne in the 1920's.
So obviously old world, the Hotel is a dream to stay in and one can almost hear the horses clop-clopping in and out like in the days of old with travellers. Today sleek cars drive in and park in the parking area infront of the stables, which still exist.
“Rooms are graded as Standard or Superior as well as two Honeymoon Suites complete with four poster beds. Children are most welcome and there are two specially designed family rooms available to make our guests stay even more comfortable,” explained Anne.
The restaurant serves up a Village Bar Menu which is great value for money. Infact it was the ex-Mayor of Pangbournes Birthday when we visited and the staff were blowing up balloons and dressing up the restaurant for his private celebration. Such is the warmth and genuine care taken of the guests visiting the Hotel.
“Come and have a drink at our Three Seasons pub,” welcomed the warm and expansive Lionel Coulter. And judging from the crowd already in the pub, people are happy with the quality of food and service offered by them.
So,whether you are looking for a weekend of holiday romance, or the best possible business trip or even a rollicking family weekend in the country, call Lionel and Ann and they will organise a room for you. And then the nicest part of all, at the end your bill does not bust your wallet like most other hotels do. It is pleasantly affordable.
Just 10 minutes’ from the M4 motorway, George Hotel is a 5-minute walk from Pangbourne Rail Station. London Paddington is a 30-minute train ride away and Arlington Business Park is a 10-minute drive.