A bed for the night in Berkshire

The location

A restaurant with rooms on the banks of the river Thames in the quaint village of Sonning, near Windsor. Originally a coaching inn, the hotel has been hosting guests from more than 200 years.


The standard of service. The Emmanuel family have owned the hotel for 40 years and pride themselves on making their guests feel welcome. You won't want to go home.

The comfort factor

Decorated in elegant, traditional style. Most of the 12 rooms and suites and eight riverside cottages have beautiful views over the Thames. Comfortable beds and heavy curtains ensure a peaceful night's sleep. All rooms have TV and internet access. The comfort continues in the cosy bar with its roaring log fire.

The bathroom

Spacious. Most have separate bath and power shower. Fluffy white towels and robes. Potions by Penhaligon's.

The food and drink

Enjoy nibbles at the bar, including homemade cheese straws, while watching the hotel's signature dish, spit-roasted duck, cook in front of the fire. The exquisite food draws on classic French cuisine and traditional English cooking using local ingredients. A three-course à la carte meal without wine (there's an extensive list) will set you back about £150 for two. More affordable options include a three-course dinner, available Sunday to Thursday, for £40 per head.

The people

Mainly couples at the weekends. Fans of Pride of Britain Hotels, of which it is a member, will want to tick it off their list.

The area

The Mill at Sonning (0118-969 8000; www.millat sonning.com), is an 18th-century flour mill converted into a theatre and restaurant. Pamper yourself at the Nirvana Spa in nearby Wokingham (0118-977 1777; www.nirvanaspa.co.uk). Play a round of golf at the club on the edge of Sonning. Or visitWindsor Castle (020-7766 7304; www.royalcollection.org.uk).

The access

Full disabled access in the cottages, one of which has been purpose-built for guests with disabilities. All other rooms and suites are on the first floor so are not accessible for wheelchair users. The restaurant and bar are fully accessible. Children welcome. No pets.

The damage

From £140 to £205 per room per night, based on two people sharing.


The French Horn, Sonning-on-Thames, Berkshire RG4 6JN (0870-609 3012; www.prideofbritainhotels.com).