Last weekend, D&me drove fifty miles up the M4 to visit The Woodspeen Restaurant, Newbury, in Berkshire.
Yes, bit of a shock, as it was the first time I’ve ventured out of London since my big health crisis of 2015. Though, digging deep into the memory banks, we did enjoy the odd venture beyond the M25 most summers past and even, accasionally, at other times of the year – Le Manoir, Hinds Head and The Fat Duck being notably memorable. (Click here for more reviews of accessible restaurants visited, all found on my old – pre-Wordpress – blog.)
This occasion was prompted by necessity … an upcoming family celebration for which my family yelled, en masse, “NOT in London.”
Of course, not in the place I live and know which has more easily accessible restaurants than any other town in the U.K.
Obviously, I’m thrilled to seek out that rare restaurant, not in London, with both good food, including choices for two vegetarians – one of whom does not eat cheese – and manageable power wheelchair access, with a driving distance that my bladder is able to cope with.
(Should a disabled toilet even be available, they won’t have hoisting facilities and, honestly, I’m not up to rolling my own hoist through a roomful of diners even assuming both it and my wheelchair would be able to get in it together. It truly is difficult, and attention grabbing, enough getting wheelchair access to the restaurant usually. A toilet I am able to use too? Don’t even think about it.)
Anyway, moaning aside, as ever, I do my best so, there we were motoring towards Newbury. To the Woodspeen Restaurant which really does look rather nice, image above or click the link, doesn’t it?
And, it was.
The journey was pleasant and not too long. Okay, fifty miles is a worrying distance with no toilet access but I have a strong bladder and know my capabilities. It was motorway, pretty much all the way and, in these summer months, we made it in good time. Frankly, it took less time than going from west to east London does – see my next blog about getting to the London Stadium.
Access was good, with an adjacent gravel-covered car park which my wheels hate but D was able to let me out on the tarmaced path and go park while I waited. Moments later, we were in. The entrance to, and inside of, the restaurant was all level and easily traversed.
The room itself is lovely. A modern extension to an old pub with picture windows, outside terrace and a lovely rural view. Tables are spaced well apart – great for wheeling between and around – and, even those for two people, a good size. I really loved seeing all the green. Sad, I know, but I don’t get to see much of nature and this gave me the kind of view of it that I like best: from behind a window with a glass of bubbles in hand. Love it.
The food was very fresh. They grow a lot of their vegetables and herbs and it tasted like it. D chose a pea and mint risotto to start and it was a wondrous thing. Everything we chose – including scallops, lobster, pina colada and elderflower yoghurt desserts – was well cooked and presented. There seemed to be sufficient vegetarian options – my sister gave it a thumbs up after I sent her the links so I’m thinking it a possibility for our planned meal.
My only quibble, and it won’t be for many, is that it was a lot. Of food. Portions were more substantial than I’m used to but, as complaints go … *shrugs*.
We forewent coffees as we were trying to dash back to see Usain Bolt in the hundred metres final – missed that but kinda glad we did as he didn’t win. With drinks, we spent c.£150 which seemed pretty reasonable to us. (Drinks did include some champagne and wine.)
The staff seemed happy, enthusiastic and welcoming.
Nothing else to say. The Woodspeen Restaurant. It’s on our list.