By Katie Wilson
You would expect to see a view like this in the Loire Valley, but we’re actually in Surrey at Denbies Wine Estate.
This family-run business is set on 265-acres of rolling hills in Dorking, just an hour from London by train.
And with the addition of 17 new rooms, it can now call itself England’s first vineyard hotel.
The hotel is a renovated 1850s farmhouse with a newly-constructed wing called The Brokes, which is where we stay.
Rooms are big and made for comfort, with king-size beds as standard, large screen TVs, Nespresso machines and a rather fancy selection of biscuits. The caramel wafer was a favourite.
There’s a choice of luxury suites and doubles, including dog-friendly options, but all enjoy vineyard or courtyard views.
After freshening up, we head downstairs for a private wine tasting with our expert guide, Jeremy.
Denbies produces an award-winning range of red, white and sparkling wines. We learn the entire winemaking process takes place on site, from pressing the grapes to fermentation and bottling.
As fizz lovers, our favourite is the sparkling bacchus and we make a note to buy a few bottles from the vineyard shop before we head home.
Next up is dinner in The Vineyard Restaurant, which must be so pretty in the summer when the patio doors are opened up.
We visit in autumn, so it’s a little cold to have them open, but the weather doesn’t detract from the stunning backdrop.
A little tipsy from the wine tasting, we devour a feast of Salmon Pastrami (£9), Venison (£26), Cauliflower Risotto (£17) and share a Toffee Apple Pudding (£8) for dessert.
This was our first-ever stay at a vineyard hotel and we would thoroughly recommend it.
The rooms were comfortable, the food delicious, and the staff friendly and very knowledgable, which always makes such a difference.
Of course the main selling point is the wine, so while you’re there you must go on a tour of the vineyards and take part in a tasting.
The location is also great being only an hour away from London Waterloo if you are visiting by train.
Rooms start from £145 a night
Photos courtesy of Denbies